On 22 September Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism held a presentation of a university textbook “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism”.

The textbook “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism” to be taught at universities has been developed under the scientific editorship of Academician Kamal Abdulla, the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism, Rector of Azerbaijan University of Languages and Professor Etibar Najafov, the Chief Adviser of the Department of Interethnic Relations, Multiculturalism and Religious Affairs of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The book consists of Introduction, three parts and seven chapters. The textbook is intended for BA, MA and PhD students who study the course “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism” at the universities of Azerbaijan and foreign countries, as well as those interested in urgent issues of the model of Azerbaijani multiculturalism.

Speaking of the importance of the publication by Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism, Kamal Abdulla noted that the course “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism” has been taught in our Republic and at foreign universities for two years already. He stated that one of the basic conditions for teaching this course successfully is the development of its textbook. The Plan of Actions “On the Declaration of 2016 as the Year of Multiculturalism in the Republic of Azerbaijan” approved by the appropriate Decree of President Ilham Aliyev taking into account the above-mentioned necessity defines the development and publication of the textbook “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism” as an obligation. And Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism has developed the textbook “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism” with the joint efforts of prominent scholars in Azerbaijani history, literature, philosophy, law, modern policy, language, ethnography, international relations.

The academician said, “In a short span of time we managed to move the ideas of multiculturalism towards the targets indicated by President Ilham Aliyev, and the course “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism” was taught in a number of universities of Europe and the world. Then this book did not exist, but ideas, desire and intention did. We took these ideas to different foreign universities. At the leading universities of Turkey, Russia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Portugal, Lithuania, Indonesia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Switzerland, Belorussia, Poland and Italy we tried to present Azerbaijani multiculturalism, that is, Azerbaijani history, literature, culture, art, our country’s vision of the world to the youth of those states. We did not confine ourselves to it, Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism organized summer and winter schools of Azerbaijani multiculturalism as recommended by President Ilham Aliyev. We invited the youth studying this course to familiarize themselves in practice in different regions of Azerbaijan with the knowledge they had acquired theoretically in classrooms and meet people with different language and religious identities. After the summer and winter schools the foreign students were convinced that Azerbaijan is one of the countries enjoying the glory multiculturalism. Given that Europe has seen incidents associated with the failure of multiculturalism, the glory of multiculturalism in Azerbaijan is, first of all, the result of President Ilham Aliyev’s efforts and care. However, the national leader Heydar Aliyev was the first to lay the foundations for this deed, i.e. the founder of Azerbaijani multiculturalism.

It was also stated that this book, which is being used by the professors at the universities of our country, is the first resource to present the model of Azerbaijani multiculturalism systematically and scientifically. The book consisting of three parts analyses all the main features of the model of Azerbaijani multiculturalism including the objective and subjective reasons for its formation, its historical evolution, literary-artistic, scientific-philosophical, publisistic, political and legal sources, its reflection in different forms of public consciousness, its manifestations in Azerbaijan’s internal and foreign policies. The publication, which is going to be translated into Russian, English, French, Italian, will train a new generation of scholars in this field.

Professor Etibar Najafov, who characterized Azerbaijan as one of the basic centres of multiculturalism in the world, noted that multiculturalism manifests itself in both the internal and foreign policies of our state. It was stressed that even European countries want to benefit from Azerbaijan’s experience in multiculturalism. The main reason for it is that multiculturalism is the lifestyle of our people. Based on this experience, the course “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism” is being taught in a number of foreign universities. Since, those universities intend to scientifically acquire and disseminate the great achievement gained by Azerbaijan in the regulation of ethnic, religious, racial diversities. Even many foreign specialists well-known in this field visit our country and scientifically study the achievements gained in Azerbaijan in the appropriate line. At present this process is underway.

Etibar Najafov, who underlined the importance of the book from the perspective of introducing Azerbaijani multiculturalism to the world, pointed out that those interested in our country’s multiculturalism can acquire our experience by reading this textbook.

The Chair of the Composers’ Union of Azerbaijan, People’s Artist, member of the Board of Trustees of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism Firangiz Alizadeh emphasized the importance of the publication from the perspective of the merge of the facts on our country’s multiculturalism and their reflection in the textbook “Azerbaijani Multiculturalism”. It was pointed out that the book must be translated into different languages and used as a textbook at foreign universities. Since, today Azerbaijan can attract the attention of the entire world with its traditions of multiculturalism. At present the multicultural environment in our country is manifested in all aspects of life including culture and art.

The  research fellow of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Professor Solmaz Tohidi, the senior consultant of the Department of Archival Documents in the Presidential Office of Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Hajar Verdiyeva, the teacher of Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts Rima Gafarzadeh, the teacher of Sumgayit State University Adil Gurbanov, the teacher of the State Administration Academy under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Jahangir Jahangirli spoke of the projection of multiculturalism from the planes of politics and science onto the plane of education. It was stated that in our country multiculturalism has been targeted at the maintenance of science and cultural values. The presented book is a valuable source for students and teachers in the study of Azerbaijani model of multiculturalism as well as a great contribution to the education of the young generation in this field.