From Ismail Serageldin, Co-Chair of Board of Trustees of Nizami Ganjavi International Center

His Excellency Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Your Excellency,

Allow me to extend my very best wishes for a very happy birthday, may you have many more years of health and happiness. I look forward to the occasion of seeing you in Baku in 2021, whenever your calendar permits.

I would also like to re-iterate that all of us at the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC) and the members of the Board of Trustees of the NGIC, are extending our heartfelt congratulations to you on your leadership as you presided over the recovery of the territories in Nagorno-Karabakh, thereby ensuring the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. We know that there is much more to be done in terms of resettlement of displaced persons and reconstruction after the damages of war, as far away as Ganja itself. But we are confident that Your Excellency’s abilities and wisdom will manage these difficult tasks most effectively. And in that context, may I also join the many who have expressed admiration and support for your important declarations concerning your commitment to the preservation of historical and cultural monuments, whatever their origin or religious affiliations. That was another important and enlightened gesture that should be better known in the rest of the world.

And I must also seize this occasion to thank you for your continued support to the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC), which with the enormous work of its Secretary-General, Rovshan Muradov, has been able to arrange for the NGIC to organize or participate in more high-level meetings than ever before, although - due to the pandemic - all the meetings were on-line. We have been active partners with the most prestigious institutions, from the UN to European and American institutions, and from the World Academy of Art and Science to the Lancet, not to mention China.

Thus, despite the pandemic, the NGIC remained present and active on the international scene, and we gained new friends and partners, and we also maintained and expanded our presence on the social media.

Finally, allow me once more to thank Your Excellency for your trust in the Board and its Co-Chairs, our selected Secretary- General and his staff. We hope that you are fully satisfied by the results achieved by the NGIC in this exceptional year and we look forward to a return to a semblance of normalcy in 2021.

May you have a very happy birthday and many more years of health and happiness as you go from success to success.



Ismail Serageldin

Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center

Emeritus Librarian of Alexandria

Vice President of the World Bank 1992-2000

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