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There has been an official closing ceremony of the IV International Winter School of Multiculturalism “Multiculturalism as the Lifestyle in Azerbaijan: What Does Islamic Solidarity Give Us?” held by President Ilham Aliyev’s recommendation and joint organizational efforts of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism and the Knowledge Foundation under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The Executive Director of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism Azad Mammadov spoke of the goal of the project of the international schools of multiculturalism, “The goal of the winter and summer schools organized for the students learning the course “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism” at 15 universities of the world as well as 40 leading universities of our country in the frames of educational project is to enable those young people to see our theoretically taught multicultural and tolerant values in practice in our country.  The IV International Winter School of Multiculturalism  was held under the motto “Multiculturalism as the Lifestyle in Azerbaijan: What Does Islamic Solidarity Give Us?” jointly by Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism and the Knowledge Foundation under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 13-20 February 2017. The winter school functioned in Baku and the districts of Shaki, Gakh, Oghuz and Gabala, and was attended by the students of the well-known universities of Portugal, Italy, Germany, Russia, Czechia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Israel, the USA, Macedonia, Greece, Vietnam, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Poland, Jordan and Romania, along with the universities of Azerbaijan. I hope that our friendship and cooperation with the participants of the project will continue further.”

The Executive Director of the Knowledge Foundation Oktay Samadov thanked all those who had made efforts in the implementation of the project, “A week has come to an end within a very short span of time. It is very pleasant to us that the Azerbaijani youth got together and made friends with the students of foreign universities. During his meeting with the participants of the winter school the State Counselor Kamal Abdullayev referred to a statement uttered by President Ilham Aliyev, “The interest in Azerbaijan should turn into the love of Azerbaijan.” We are delighted that we have been able to realize the President’s stated target, and both the organizational institutions have done their best to turn the interest in and friendship with Azerbaijan into the love of it. I express my gratitude to all those who have made efforts in the realization of the winter school. Today we are saying goodbye to you and you are departing from Azerbaijan. However, we are convinced that this departure is temporary. We say to you, “See you soon”, and wish to see you in Azerbaijan again.”

The participant of the IV International Winter School, Co-chair of the NGO “the Club of the Young Friends of Azerbaijan”, Lithuanian student Salomeja Lukaite noted that she had already participated in the project for the second time and the exchange of experience she gained here was very important, “Azerbaijan is a country dear to me. I am not tired of speaking to my friends and colleagues about the multicultural values and traditions of tolerance in this country. Given that ethnic and religious intolerance is increasing in the world, and Europe is rejecting multiculturalism, it is noteworthy that multiculturalism is the guideline of the state policy in Azerbaijan and the centuries-old lifestyle of the Azerbaijani people. As we know, Ilham Aliyev’s strong political will is of great importance in pursuing the policy of multiculturalism in Azerbaijan. Thus, we express our gratitude, first of all, to the Azerbaijani President, also the organizational institutions for forstering our participation in the project of the international school of multiculturalism.

A considerable number of foreign youth are applying for the membership to the NGO ‘the Club of the Young Friends of Azerbaijan” which was launched in the summer of 2016. The Club is already functioning in mobile groups to advocate the Azerbaijani realities in foreign countries and deliver them to the international community. As the State Counsel of Azerbaijan Kamal Abdullayev said during his meeting with us, now the Azerbaijani realities are being defended in the world by its friends.”

By the end of the ceremony the participants of the winter school were conferred with certificates and the gifts of the Knowledge Foundation.

The closing ceremony was accomplished with the artistic-musical program.