THE FOUNDATION OF GOOD AND HOPE
This is how the people of our city increasingly call the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, whose priorities - along with propaganda and study of the creative legacy of the great leader – include providing aid for children and performing variety of charitable and humanitarian actions.
Even experienced foreign experts and heads of prestigious international organizations cannot stop admiring the results of the Foundation’s work for a short period of time, the enthusiasm, initiatives and creativity of its president Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, who has been in charge of the Foundation from the very first day of its establishment.
Together with the team of like-minded individuals, the First Lady regards as her civil duty to draw public attention to the problems of safeguarding the nation’s gene pool directing the efforts towards providing aid to the most needy sections of population, sick children and those deprived of parental care. It includes the programs aiding refugees and internally displaced persons, children suffering from thalassemia, construction of new children’s homes, and the Mehriban Aliyeva-initiated movement to hand over children from children’s homes to full-fledged families, as well as greening of towns and villages.
Thousands of Azerbaijani schoolchildren, especially in remote villages, are thankful to the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation for the opportunity to study in new schools constructed and equipped in accordance with international standards.
Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva bears a number of other important public responsibilities – she is the president of the Fund of Friends of Azerbaijani Culture, member of the Milli Majlis, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO, and the president of the country’s Gymnastics Federation. The status of first lady is also a great responsibility.
“Where does this woman, who harmonically combines outward beauty and inner spirituality, derives so much strength and time from to realize all the ideas and plans?” well-known politicians and public figures wonder.
The answer to this question is the highest sense of responsibility, huge potential of the politician and skillful organizer. And the most important thing is love for her country and people. It was for her good deeds, big heart, compassion and kindness that people in all corners of our country love her.
Hundreds of letters with requests and appeals from citizens arrive every day for the First Lady of Azerbaijan, the president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva. Not a single remains unanswered. Many are provided assistance directly from Mehriban khanum and the Foundation, other part of the letters is submitted for consideration and further urgent actions to various state and local bodies.
There are letters in the first lady’s mailbox, which allow you to realize the scale of Mehriban Aliyeva’s activities as a public figure and an elected representative of people. Those are the letters of gratitude from the people she had helped, each containing a piece of heart and soul of ordinary citizens.
“Dear and esteemed Mehriban khanum,” writes Bayram Mustafayev from Tovuz region, I once told you that you equaled hundred men. Now I say that you equal not one hundred but two hundred men. Your generosity is boundless. You have heard my voice, the voice of an ordinary man. I am writing to you on behalf of two hundred of my fellow-villagers you had helped in resolving the problem of watering their lands. This letter is a reply to the respect you had shown to us...”
The letter from Mushvig Namazaliyev, an internally displaced from Fizuli region, says: “This letter is not to request something from you. I just want you to know that your deeds will remain in people’s memory forever. Only the blind cannot see your good deeds. Unfortunately, there are few people working for their nation. I wish there would be hundreds of people like you…”
“Now we know we’ll never be helpless,” – it is an excerpt from the letter of resident of Barda region Sudzhayat Bakhshaliyeva. This idea is a leitmotif running through the whole mail addressing the First Lady.
Many of the letters are from the people who Mehriban khanum helped to restore their health. Since the very first day of founding, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation has been dealing with healthcare problems, realizing important programs to aid children with thalassemia and diabetes. Thanks to those programs, thousands of children managed to undergo expensive treatment, to take free medicines and improve their quality of life. Apart from these programs, as a mother, doctor Mehriban Aliyeva with all her heart realize the sorrow of a woman whose child is seriously sick and who appeals to the First Lady as the last hope. And Mehriban khanum helps as numerous letters confirm.
“When my mother told me that I will undergo treatment at the expense of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, I thought it was one of the promises I had heard over the past nine years,” writes Nurlana Ismaylova from Dashkesan. “They often told me the same many times to give me hope that I will survive. At the expense of the Foundation, I went away for treatment to Tehran. I underwent several heart surgeries, which turned out to be successful. You granted me a second life, and I want to thank you on behalf of my whole family.”
Here are the lines from the letter of the Azerbaijan Diabetic League’s team: “We have spent the funds you set aside from your MP’s salary for our organization on organizing a special summer camp “Sweet Life” for children with diabetes. The children thank you for unforgettable rest in “Oak Shore” in Lankaran.” The one-year-old son of Vusala Azizova from Yevlakh region could have lost his eyesight. “Only thanks to your help my baby has been operated, and now he can look at this world with healthy eyes,” the happy mother writes.
Another letter, and another joy of a mother, whose child now is able to walk thanks to help from the First Lady. “I know you do not need my gratitude. But I feel the moral need to share with you my happiness I have been bearing in my heart for the past few days. My heart is full of feelings too hard to express. I just want to say: May Allah save You for Azerbaijan,” writes Gulnara Suleymanova from Baku.
Little Murad Muradov from Baku is also among those who were granted a second life. At the expense of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, he underwent complex heart surgery. “We will pray for you all our life,” this is how the kid’s mother Mahbuba Muradova expressed her feelings.
A concrete man with their problems, sorrows and joys stands behind each letter addressed to Mehriban khanum. She reacts keenly to them finding proper way to provide support even in a situation seeming hopeless. “I am grateful to you for the help in organizing an exhibition of my late daughter’s works, Thank you for making Arzu’s dream come true,” writes Zemfira Hashimova from Baku, who untimely lost her daughter.
Activities of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation are associated with realization of deliberate programs in the field of education and safeguarding the cultural heritage of Azerbaijan. Thanks to the Foundation and its president, hundreds of schools have been built or overhauled, and well equipped under the “New School for Renewing Azerbaijan” program. By the efforts of the First Lady, the world has got acquainted with unique manuscripts of ancient Azerbaijani scientists and thinkers, and mugham, the pearl of mankind’s musical culture.
“On behalf of the Sheki population, we thank you for help in major repair and construction of a new building of the secondary school located near the ancient Palace of Sheki khans,” writes collective of the district secondary school No 1.
Here is the letter by Aida Guliyeva, a Principal of the Moscow secondary school No 157, in which Azerbaijani children study: “The computers granted to our school have already been installed and handed over to the children. All the schoolchildren, their teachers and parents believe that your deeds will go down in history. The Azerbaijani intellectuals living in Russia highly appreciate your efforts.”
There is a great number of letters of gratitude to the First Lady for her assistance in solving social and everyday problems of people. Some received a long-awaited apartment; some were helped in finding a job while others in finding justice.
“We thank you for your help with employing my husband in the Oil Rocks,” writes Shirin Mammadova from Agstafa region. “It allowed our family to get out of the difficult situation; now we have a fire burning in our hearth.”
With the help of the First Lady, Kamal Mammadov from Agsu region received the long-awaited medal “For Military Services”, which he had been awarded for heroism shown in the Karabakh war. “I could not get the medal because of the official circumlocution. It is so good that you exist! Otherwise, I hardly could have made it to the officials. Now, thanks to you, I take pride of wearing the medal I had deserved,” he says in his letter to Mehriban khanum.
“I had appealed to you as I lost any hope. My grandson was employed after the very first appeal. I don’t know how to thank you for your help with improving financial position of our family. May Allah always help you,” the letter by the veteran of the World War II Murshid Huseynov from Masally region says.
A group of Sumgayit residents write: “Thanks to you, the construction of a three story building on the area of the playground in our yard was prevented. For the time being, a children’s camp is being built here, and happiness of the children is boundless. Thank you for the happiness of our kids.”
They say a man is remembered for good deeds. The letters arriving for the First Lady demonstrate that Mehriban khanum has won thousands of hearts.