According to the poll results conducted by Azerbaijan Sociological Association on the initiative of the "Leader Women" Public Association, President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva has been announced "Woman of Year" and appropriate presentation of the honorary award was arranged at the Yacht Club of Baku on July 18.
Member of the Milli Majlis (Azerbaijan Parliament), chairperson of the "Leader Women" Public Association Malahat Hasanova stated that in 2004 it was established an Organizational Committee to conduct poll to define the "Woman of Year" in Azerbaijan on results of the year on the 10th anniversary of 4th International Women Conference held in Beijing in 1995. Experienced experts of the republic, as well foreign countries were involved in work of Committee, since February questionnaires were distributed with their participation to 1800 respondents selected from different sections of population in the capital and regions. Poll questionnaire included names of the women distinguished in public-political life of republic with special activity. Interest in the poll was higher than it was expected, thousands of people belonging to different age groups, specializations applied to organizers for taking part in the poll. 74,6% of poll participants gave the first place to President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva, once again considered her `Woman of Year` for her high qualities of Azeri woman, wide charitable activity. A number of respondents wrote their views on the opposite side of the questionnaire despite it was not considered. For instance, Mammad Tagiyev, 77, pensioner, candidate of historical sciences, expressed his sincere words: `Dear Mrs. Aliyeva, who considers the charity, humanism, mercy, modesty her lifestyle! You taught with sincerity not only to help the helpless people but also to love them. You created charity movement in the country in short time. Thank You very much for all these!`
M.Hasanova stressed it was the reflection of views of thousands people of the society formed about Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva. It is not accidental that nearly 100 woman organizations acting in the republic elected her their sole leader, characterized as an example of national solidarity.
Then video was showed on `Woman of Year`.
The video covered philanthropic activity of Mrs. Aliyeva, who has great services in protection and popularization in the world of our national and moral values, expansion of Olympic sport movement, implements effective works in these spheres as heads of Foundation of Friends of Azeri Culture, Gymnastics Federation.
She has gained respect and sympathy of all the sections of the society due to actions she implemented in direction of treatment of helpless, mentally and physically retarded children, as well children deprived from parental care, their involvement in education and improvement of their living conditions, her familiarization with problems of the children`s homes and boarding schools during her visits to regions of the republic and assistance to settlement of them.
Video showing the presenting of the diploma of Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO to Mrs. Aliyeva on September 9, 2002 in Paris caused interest.
Then, Malahat Hasanova presented the honorary awards "Woman of Year" - model of Momina Khatun temple that embodies beauty and devotedness of the Azerbaijani woman to Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva.
President of Azerbaijan Sociologists Association Rufat Guliyev, Italian Ambassador to Baku Margarita Costa, head of UN Office to Azerbaijan Marco Borsotti, head of UNICEF Office to Azerbaijan Hana Singer, chairwoman of State Committee for Woman Problems Zahra Guliyeva, spouse of US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, program director of `View to World` organization Lesley Harnish, Egyptian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Yusif Ahmad Ibrahim al-Sharkavi, honored figure of science, professor Agabey Sultanov congratulated President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva on high award, mentioned she had gained prestige also in aristocratic circles of foreign countries with her great public activity, cultural functioning, character of real aristocratic lady, high personal culture and modesty.
Mehriban Aliyeva expressed her sincere satisfaction to all the respondents, experts participated in the poll, as well to ceremony participants, stated her honor of assisting to vital problems of our people, said she would further use all her energy and skill for progress of native Azerbaijan through the public organizations led by her.
Mrs. Aliyeva said:
- I feel highest responsibility for every duty I assume. I have always tried to base on several goals in my activity. These are patriotism, humanity and mercy. I cordially express my gratitude to each of you for the high value set to my activity.
At the ceremony, presenting were MPs, state and public figures, renowned scientists men of culture and literature, ambassadors of foreign countries.
Ceremony participants congratulated Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, were taken picture with her for memory.