The project of the VI International Winter School of Multiculturalism “Dialogue Among Civilizations: New Challenges”, which started yesterday in Baku by the organizational support of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism, continued its work in Shamakhi on 13 February.

About 30 students from the leading universities of such countries as Azerbaijan, Austria, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Great Britain and Ukraine are attending the VI International Winter School of Multiculturalism.

In the conference hall of the hotel “Shirvan” in the city of Shamakhi the students listened to the lectures “The Ethnic Diversity in Azerbaijan” by Irina Kunina, the Head of the Scientific Research Laboratory of Azerbaijani Multiculturalism at Azerbaijan University of Languages and “Teaching the Course ‘Azerbaijani Multiculturalism’ in Foreign Countries” by Sharkhanbey Khudiyev, the Head of the Department at Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism.

Providing the students with information on Azerbaijan’s multicultural state, ethnic picture at her lecture accompanied by the similarly-named picture shot, Irina Kunina said, “Azerbaijan is a poliethnic state. The nation is comprised of the titular ethnic group – the Azerbaijani Turks and autochthonous national minorities  – the Udins, Ingiloys, Grizes, Khinaliglis, Buduqs, Tats, Talyshes, Lezghiz and other minorities. These nationalities constitute a single poliethnic Azerbaijani people. Along with these peoples, Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians, Kurds, Jews, Greeks, Germans and Tatars also live in our country. Each of these national minorities has a historical Motherland respectively and belongs to the allochthonous national minorities. In Baku, taken alone, there are over twenty different cultural communities. Among them are the communities of the Russians, Ukrainians, Kurds, Lezghiz, Slavs, Tats, Tatars, Georgians, Ingiloys, Talyshes, Avars, Akhiska Turks, European and Mountain  Jews, Georgian  Jews, Germans and Greeks. In general, such communities exist in all the districts where ethnic minorities are densely populated.”

Whereas, in his lecture the Head of the Department of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism Sarkhanbey Khudiyev spoke of the importance of the project of teaching the course “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism” at foreign and national universities (the author of the idea and program of this course is Academician Kamal Abdullayev, the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism) and underlined the opportunity of the international community to get knowledge about the multiethnic and multiconfessional state of our country through this project. S.Khudiyev said, “This course is being taught at 38 leading universities of our country and 18 prestigious univerisities of the world. The aim of teaching the course is to present Azerbaijan to the world from a different perspective, to introduce our people’s traditions of tolerance and multicultural values to the world community. Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism is making its decent contributions to the realization of the targets defined by President Ilham Aliyev to present Azerbaijani multiculturalism in the world.  The number of the foreign universities where the course “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism” is taught in the frames of this project is increasing year by year.”

Following the lectures, the students’ questions were answered. The students from foreign countries mainly asked questions on the settlement of the Germans, Jews, Khinaliqlis, Malalkans in Azerbaijan.

It should be noted that the project of the International Winter and Summer Schools of Multiculturalism is the logical continuation of the project of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism on “Teaching the Course “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism” Abroad and at the Universities of the Country”. The Winter and Summer Schools of Multiculturalism organized for the students studying Azerbaijani multiculturalism at present at 18 prestigious foreign universities and 38 leading universities of Azerbaijan in the frames of the educational project are aimed to enable those youth to see with their own eyes the maintenance of multicultural and tolerant values in our country about which they have learnt theoretically.

The participants of the Winter School listen to lectures on the multicultural state, tolerant mood, ethnic-religious diversity in Azerbaijan, the peaceful co-existence of the representatives of different peoples, different confessions in our country. As a result of the Summer and Winter Schools of Multiculturalism, which have turned into a valuable tradition, there is a platform of communication and strong lobby consisting of the intellectual youth supporting the just course of our country in the example of the young friends of Azerbaijan abroad and their close circle. This process, which is continuing intensively, proves that the targets defined by President Ilham Aliyev to present Azerbaijan in the world are being successfully realized.

In the afternoon the students and those accompanying them had a tour of Shamakhi including the mosque “Juma”, Shamakhi Observatory, Safari Park, met with the local communities.