The students got familiarized with the comparative analysis of German and Azerbaijani multiculturalism.

On 24 July the International Summer School “Multiculturalism in Azerbaijan: Learn, Study and Share” held by the organizational support of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism, the Knowledge Foundation under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Baku Slavic University continued its work at Nabran Educational Resource Centre. First, preparation work for competitions was conducted in groups in the summer school.

Following the preparation meeting, a roundtable was held on “Tolerance and Multiculturalism in Azerbaijan’s State Policy” in the conference hall. There was a thorough exchange of views in the event moderated by the member of the Milli Majlis and of the Azerbaijani delegation in the PACE, Professor Sahiba Gafarova, and the Executive Director of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism, Professor Azad Mammadov.

Azad Mammadov emphasized the priority of multiculturalism in the state policy of Azerbaijan. The professor spoke of the role of Azerbaijani multiculturalism and in general, the conception of multiculturalism in the guarantee of the security of the country and state, “Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism was established by President Ilham Aliyev’s Decree dated 15 May 2014. Multiculturalism also has its historical background. Our National Leader Heydar Aliyev’s political force provided the restoration of tolerance and multiculturalism in Azerbaijan in the early 1990s. Heydar Aliyev considered the policy of multiculturalism as an indivisible part of the country’s democratic development.  He reviewed the protection of the ethnic minorities’ rights and freedoms, their ethnic-cultural and religious values in the frames of human rights and basic freedoms. Today President Ilham Aliyev develops successfully this policy targeted at the protection of the multicultural traditions in Azerbaijan. Taking into account the fact that multiculturalism is our state policy and lifestyle, Ilham Aliyev attaches special importance to the international cooperation in this field. Heydar Aliyev Foundation is also making great contributions to the international advocacy of our traditions of multiculturalism and tolerance. With its centuries-old traditions of tolerance and multiculturalism, Azerbaijan is a bright example of pursing a successful policy of multiculturalism, and we are always ready to share our experience with the world community.” In his speech the Executive Director also touched upon the related activities and great merits of the State Counselor on Multiculturalism, Interethnic and Religious Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism, Academician Kamal Abdullayev.

Greeting the students, S.Gafarova noted that the Azerbaijani state has turned multiculturalism and tolerance into one of the mainstreams of its state policy in the period of the spread of national, religious discrimination, racism in the world, “For many centuries different religious confessions, different nations and ethnic groups have co-existed in peace, friendship and fraternity in Azerbaijan.”

Drawing attention to the Nagorni Karabagh conflict, the Parliamentary member also gave to the students a profound information on Armenia’s policy of invasion. S.Gafarova also stated that 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory is under occupation and over one million of our compatriots have been ousted from their homes. Referring to Armenia as one of the mono-ethnic countries of the world, the Parliamentary member focused the attention on the fact that both as a state and nation, it is devoid of the values of tolerance. At the roundtable the students got answers to their questions.

In the afternoon Klaus Wolf, the professor of the University of Augsburg (Germany) delivered a speech on “Multiculturalism in Germany” and Professor Etibar Najafov, the Senior Advisor of the Service of the State Counsel on Multiculturalism, Interethnic and Religious Affairs presented the speech “Multiculturalism in Azerbaijan”, and both the speakers conducted a contrastive analysis of the situation in both the countries. In his speech Klaus Wolf stated that there is multiculturalism in Germany too. “Forty percent of the population in the city of Augsburg has been formed as a result of migration. Sixty percent of the children in the kindergartens in Augsburg are the migrants’ children. The similar situation is also observed in the other cities of Germany. What is important to me is churches, mosques, sinagogues have always co-existed in Azerbaijan and the new ones are being built too. Whereas the construction of mosques in Germany dates back to the latest periods. At  present one of the necessary points for us is the integration to the Islamic community. It is in this aspect that we will be able to learn something from Azerbaijan. I think that the existence of a unique, democratic, multicultural model is appropriate for all societies.”

In his speech Professor Etibar Najafov spoke of the multicultural and tolerant environment in Azerbaijan, equal conditions for all national and religious minorities in all spheres in our country generated by our state and the possibility of all this to become an example for many states in the world. The topics evoked great interest in the participants of the summer school.

After the event the students held competitions for different sports. The fourth day of the summer school was accomplished with the musical competition “Present Your Nation”.

Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism

The Knowledge Foundation under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Baku Slavic University