Friday, 13 May 2011


The Embassy of Azerbaijan in Sweden organised a gala concert attended by 600 people to mark the 88th Anniversary of the country's late President, Heydar Aliyev. 

Heydar Aliyev is to Azerbaijan what Winston Churchill is to Britain, or George Washington to America. Known affectionately as 'Baba', the Azeri word for 'grandfather' he was beloved by the nation and singlehandedly rebuilt the country whilst it was struggling in the ashes of the Soviet collapse. His policies and courage saved the country from many evils such as civil war, Islamic fundamentalism and economic collapse. He was the relentless driving force behind 'The Contract of the Century', with the completed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline an important contributor to World energy supply. 

Under his presidency Azerbaijan prospered like never before, but it is not this legacy that shall always be remembered but that of a fearless man who stood up for his beliefs and his people. An inspiration in every sense, he  embodied the spirit of his nation and gave himself to it entirely. 

It is here I'd like to mention that I am not someone who is prone to particular effusiveness or excessive patriotism, but in this regard I am truly proud of my country's political heritage and the progress it has made and continues to make.

The concert took place in the Stadhuset which is considered to be Sweden's greatest architectural marvel and the programme featured some of the greatest compositions of Azeri classical music.

Amongst the 600 attendees were Ambassadors , representatives of the Swedish elite, including the Nobel family who played a major role in Baku's first oil boom, artists and Azeris   both living in Sweden and flying in from abroad for the event.

Azeri music is incredibly moving and as the concert ended to a standing ovation there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

The Venue- The Stadhuset

Rafael Ibrahimov, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan, Sweden

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