The word “first lady” is an unofficial title to name the spouse of the head of a state.

This title was first used in the United States of America. US President is called the first person of the country, and his spouse is referred to as the first lady. Later, this title started to be used in other countries too.

Usually, first ladies keep diplomatic ties with spouses and families of the heads of other states. During official trips of the head of state, a special programme is arranged for the first lady. Some of the first ladies take active part in the country’s public and political life and are supportive of implementing the state’s policy in various spheres.

Azerbaijan’s first lady is Mehriban Aliyeva.

Mehriban Aliyeva was born on 26 August 1964 to a family of intelligentsia in the city of Baku. In 1982, after finishing Secondary School №23 in Baku city with gold medal, she entered the Medioprophilactic Faculty of the N.Narimanov Azerbaijan State Medical Institute. In 1988, she graduated from the M.Sechenov 1st Moscow State Medical University with honorary diploma and, during 1988-1992, worked at the Eye Diseases Research Institute in Moscow under the leadership of Academician Krasnov. In 2005, she defended thesis on the topic of “Euthanasia and humanism issues in medicine” and received the degree of a doctor of philosophy.

Physician by profession, Mehriban Aliyeva is the head of the Azerbaijan Culture Foundation, president of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation and of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, and a deputy to the National Assembly (Milli Majlis) of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

In 1983, Mehriban Aliyeva married Ilham Aliyev. They have three children named Leyla, Arzu and Heydar, and four grandchildren.

Children are our future, children are the future of Azerbaijan

Our greatest wish is, certainly, to see our children well-educated and healthy, which can be achieved by their studying very well. Because every child and youth’s future depends on how well-educated and knowledgeable they are. You – today’s youth, today’s children - will secure our country’s future. Therefore, today your prime obligation is to receive proper education. In order to meet the requirements of the contemporary world, you have to master thorough knowledge. You have to love your Homeland, educated in a spirit of patriotism, at the same time, be open to the whole world.

Mehriban Aliyeva .          

In the multilateral activity of Mehriban Aliyeva, caring for children has always been a priority issue. She has infinite love for children.

Now every child feels this love and care. It is by no chance that majority of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s projects are aimed at children - be they related to education or healthcare. She has been showing special approach towards these projects. Children love her very much. Numerous letters sent to the Foundation, various handicrafts with the name of Mehriban khanum reflected on, her skilfully drawn portraits, all these are the way children express their love for her.

She has a very simple desire. She wants to see all children happy. She calls on people to show constant care for children, to protect them, and make them active participants and members of the society. She advocates this in all her speeches. She wants no child to be deprived of parental care, suffer from serious diseases, every child to grow up with sound health, surrounded by parents, and not to face problems that would deeply affect their memory. She wants them to grow up as true patriots, and decent citizens, loving and respecting their Homeland and its traditions: “I wish every child in Azerbaijan to be happy. Therefore, we have to bring up you - our children – with love, respect and care. Of course, you are at the beginning of your life. Each of you is expecting a great path, a great life. In this life, on this path, you will face some hardships and challenges, along with moments full of joy, pleasure and victories. Therefore, today we, the elderly, want to bring you up and educate in a way that tomorrow you become true humans, true citizens and decent personalities”.