Mehriban Aliyeva graduated from Secondary Public School No. 23 in Baku in 1982, receiving a gold medal for the successful completion of her studies. A few months later she was admitted to the Nariman Narimanov Azerbaijan State Medical University, and later continued her studies at the Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, from where she graduated with an honorary diploma in 1988. Mehriban Aliyeva worked at the Moscow Scientific Research Institute for Eye Diseases in 1988-1992.
In the mid-1990s, Mehriban Aliyeva established the Friends of Azerbaijani Culture Foundation, which she currently heads and which publishes the "Azerbaijan-IRS" (Azerbaijan-Heritage) magazine in three languages (Azerbaijani, English and Russian), to widely publicize Azerbaijani culture. Thanks to this publication, Azerbaijan was presented on the international arena not only as a country rich in oil and gas, but also as a nation that has created a masterpiece in many areas - in music, architecture, fine and applied arts.
Mehriban Aliyeva heads the Heydar Aliyev Foundation since the very date of its establishment on May 10, 2004. The Foundation`s goal is to study the rich heritage of the National Leader of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, to grow up new generations in the spirit of his ideas of national statehood. The priority directions of the Foundation are education, health, culture and social sphere. It covers assistance to children devoid of parents, recreation and improving logistics base of orphanages and boarding schools.
The status of First Lady and working for the Foundation, allows Mehriban Aliyeva to regulate the work, expand the scale of projects and draw extra resources for their realization.
To popularize and promote Azerbaijani culture, in July, Gabala again hosted numerous guests from all over the world at the International Music Festival for the next time upon the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation pays special attention to the publication of music albums of prominent Azerbaijani singers. The Foundation reprinted the "Ekhlagi-Nasir" book of the world-renowned thinker, great scholar, who had an encyclopedic knowledge, Nasreddin Tusi. Also a photo-book "Azerbaijan" and a Russian version of the "Gabusname" publication that is popular in many Turkic countries were prepared, and a multimedia collection "Azerbaijani Mugam" and the "The World of Mugam" publication were released.
Museum of Modern Art was opened in Baku upon Mehriban Aliyeva`s initiative. The Foundation is also successfully implementing many projects outside of Azerbaijan through its representations in other countries.
The Foundation participates in the restoration of universal cultural monuments. Thus, the Foundation restored two monuments included in the World Heritage List, damaged with time and by climatic conditions, in the park of Versailles Palace in Paris. The Foundation allotted financial aid to repair stained-glass windows of the Strasbourg Cathedral. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Vatican signed a bilateral agreement on restoration of Roman catacombs on June 22, 2012. Furthermore, many mosques, synagogues and churches were restored in Azerbaijan.
An opening ceremony of new halls dedicated to Islamic art at Louvre Museum of Paris was held on September 18, 2012. The President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva and French President Francois Hollande attended the ceremony.
The next day the ceremony of opening of the Azerbaijani Cultural Center was held in Paris with support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Azerbaijani embassy in France.
The ceremony was attended by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva. Azerbaijani Cultural Center, created near the Eiffel Tower, is one of the important steps for propaganda of our country`s culture in the capital of world culture. This cultural event, having a special significance, serves to high level popularization of Azerbaijan, which entered the world agenda as a leading force of inter-cultural and inter-civilization dialogue platform.
The Center, in which the samples of rich culture and history of Azerbaijan are presented in one space, also provides large opportunities for demonstrating Azerbaijan`s activity in this sphere, which is notable in the cultural life of Paris. The Azerbaijani Cultural Centre also embodies the endless interest to our country.
Cultural events were held in the regions of France to promote Azerbaijani culture. The new project was organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, with the support of the Azerbaijani Embassy in France. The first events were held in Reims on October 19, 2012. In particular, the opening ceremony of "Cultural values of Azerbaijan, the pearl of the Caucasus" exhibition was held.
The exhibition was also organized in French cities of Romorantin-Lanthenay, Mulhouse, Strasbourg, La Rochelle.
A solemn ceremony, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and France, was held at famous Salle Pleyel Palace of Paris on October 27, 2012 on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and with the support of the Azerbaijani embassy in France.
The ceremony was attended by the First Lady of Azerbaijan, head of the Azerbaijan-France inter-parliamentary friendship group Mehriban Aliyeva.
The historical and modern wealth of Azerbaijani culture was presented within the framework of the project, which was implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
Azerbaijan was for the first time presented in Cannes Fireworks Festival (d`Art Pyrotechnique) and the Azerbaijani jazz music in classic and modern arrangement was sounded in Cannes.
The classic music evening was organized under the project of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation on the propaganda of Azerbaijani music in the world. Each project presented during the Azerbaijani culture days, provided large opportunities for the better familiarization with the ancient history of our country, its traditions and art samples.
During the days of culture the locals and tourists had the opportunity to get closely acquainted with Azerbaijan through various exhibitions. The exhibitions Giz Galasi (Maiden Tower) and Jeyranlar (Gazelles) were of special interest. The exhibition "Cultural values of Azerbaijan, the pearl of the Caucasus" and the Emotions Exhibition which presented samples of contemporary art of Azerbaijan, were of great importance from the point of view of propaganda of Azerbaijan, its cultural wealth and contemporary art. "The day of national cuisine", which was accompanied by a special show, was remembered with deep impressions about the cuisine, hospitality and traditions of Azerbaijan. One of the masterpieces of the Azerbaijani national cinema - the film "Arshin mal alan" was also presented in France within the project. A concert program was organized under the open sky as well.
A ceremony dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Azerbaijan`s membership in UNESCO was held on July 18 at the headquarters of this organization in Paris.
Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO Mehriban Aliyeva and Director-General of this organization Irina Bokova attended the ceremony of handover of stone sculptures of horse and lamb presented to UNESCO by Azerbaijan on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Azerbaijan`s membership in this authoritative organization. The monuments, erected in the courtyard of UNESCO headquarters, will be demonstrated here permanently. They belong to the XII-XIII centuries and were found in the village of Asagi Ayibly of Tovuz region. The books about the history of stone monuments found in Azerbaijan were handed to the participants of the ceremony.
The event "Azerbaijan: the heart of culture", dedicated to the 20th anniversary of establishment of relations between Azerbaijan and Italy was held in Rome on November 15, 2012 on the initiative and with the support of Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
A solemn ceremony, titled "Azerbaijan: the heart of culture", was held in Rome`s concert and festival palace Auditorium Parco Della Musica, along with a concert of Azerbaijan`s State Chamber Orchestra named after Gara Garayev.
The opening of exhibition "Historical Look on Azerbaijani Pearls", organized on the initiative and with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation was held in Vatican on November 14, 2012. Azerbaijan was the first Muslim country to organize the exhibition of its cultural values in Vatican.
The ceremony of official opening of "Fly to Baku: Contemporary Art of Azerbaijan" exhibition, organized under the joint project of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, English-language version of Baku journal and Azerbaijan`s embassy in Italy, was held at MAXXI museum of modern art on March 6, 2013.
The official opening of Azerbaijan`s exhibition hall was held on May 31, 2013 within the framework of the 55th World Exhibition of Fine Art of the Venetian Biennale with organizational support of Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
The ceremony was attended by the First Lady of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva and Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva.
The exhibition hall is located in the Lecce Palace of XIV century, which is situated in one of the most popular places of the city - Campo Santo Stefano.
The exhibition of modern art of Azerbaijan and neighboring countries was opened within the framework of the 55th International Venice Biennale. The works of modern fine art by 17 Azerbaijani artists were presented at the exhibition.
On May 14, 2013, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva attended the opening ceremony of Azerbaijani Cultural Center in Vienna. The centre created in Vienna, was the next measure taken by the First Lady of Azerbaijan for popularization of the country abroad.
The new cultural centre opens wide opportunities for strengthening work in this direction, its administration from a unified centre and more effective activity.
In September 2012, the opening ceremony of a school for girls, named after the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva, constructed by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in 2007 and rebuilt in 2012, was held in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan.
The solemn ceremony of opening the monument to the great Azerbaijani writer, philosopher and humanist Mirza Fatali Akhundzade was held in the atrium of the All-Russia State Library for Foreign Litarature named after M.I.Rudomino, on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
The project was implemented jointly with Azerbaijani Embassy in the Russian Federation and the All-Russian National Library of Foreign Literature named after M.I.Rudomino.
On September 15 the world famous auction house Christie`s jointly with the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Yarat! Contemporary Art Space organized its first exhibition in Azerbaijan in the grandiose salon of the newly opened "The Four Seasons" hotel.
The ceremony was attended by the First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva, and the Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva.
Works of art, objects and the exhibits chosen for the autumn sales of Christie`s organized in London, New York and Dubai were demonstrated at the exhibition.
The exhibition included the works of impressionism, painting samples, which were created after World War II and in the modern period, oriental carpets, as well as the contemporary art works of the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Turkey. It included works by world famous masters of brush. Among them is the immortal work of art by the world famous artist Pablo Picasso `Woman with Dog Under a Tree`.
Along with this work, a Karabakh carpet of the XVIII century, which is included into Christie`s collection, was also demonstrated at the exhibition.
Mehriban Aliyeva is committed to use all available opportunities to enhance the efficiency of humanitarian programs, which target benefiting the Azerbaijani people.
One of the priorities of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation is to draw the international community`s attention to the realities of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The projects in this direction include the publication of a collection of "Karabakh Realities" booklets, reflecting the history of the Armenian aggression, books entitled "War and Our Cultural and Historical Monuments" and "War Against Azerbaijan: Targeting Cultural Heritage", recounting Armenian destruction. Moreover, the Foundation has held events and photo and video exhibitions in various countries on the Khojali genocide.
In August 2004, Mehriban Aliyeva became a designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for promoting national literature and the musical heritage of Azerbaijan. Two years later, she was conferred with the title of ISESCO (Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Goodwill Ambassador for extensive and selfless activity in various fields, including inter-cultural dialogue, attention to children in need of special care and support for improving living conditions and education.
To be an ambassador for such authoritative international organizations is a very honorable and responsible mission. Both UNESCO and ISESCO are non-political institutions, as is written in their charter. And at the same time, this is an international arena on which Mehriban Aliyeva represents her country.
This is an opportunity to show modern Azerbaijan and its people with the most profound historical and cultural roots, and to inform the world about the achievements of national art, music, and literature. Mehriban Aliyeva was awarded the Mozart Gold Medal by UNESCO on July 30, 2010.
Mehriban Aliyeva`s task as a goodwill ambassador is to show the opportunities of the Islamic world through science, culture, and education and to demonstrate how the West and the East, two very different civilizations, could be interesting and helpful to each other.
On June 9, 2005, the First Lady was awarded the order of the "Ruby Cross" from the International Charitable Foundation "Maecenas of the Century" for her public support and charity activities, considerable contribution to the support of educational and cultural institutions and strengthening friendships between the peoples of Russia and Azerbaijan.
The World Health Organization (WHO) awarded Mehriban Aliyeva "for the exceptional services in protecting and strengthening the health of mother, child and family". For her charitable activities and the outstanding achievements in services to the highest ideals of humanity, Mehriban Aliyeva was honored with "Gold Heart" International award in 2007.
Mehriban Aliyeva was awarded the title of "Woman of the Year" according to the social poll held in Azerbaijan in 2005.
The National Hero Chingiz Mustafayev Foundation and the ANS Group of Companies announced Mehriban Aliyeva `Person of the Year 2005` for her services to the development of country`s education system, protection of the national and cultural heritage, the works she has done for a positive image of Azerbaijan in the world, organization and realization of the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship in Azerbaijan, as well as the philanthropic activity.
For achievements in preservation and promotion of Turkic culture, First Lady of Azerbaijan, President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva in February of this year, was awarded the title of "Protector of Turkic culture". Mehriban Aliyeva was awarded the award in a survey of "For Service to the Turkic world - 2012", initiated by the newspaper "Turkistan" and undertaken with the support of about 20 organizations.
Mehriban Aliyeva`s broad activity is not limited with the above. She was elected the President of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation in 2002, demonstrating herself as an excellent organizer. Her authority has played a crucial role in making decisions on holding the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Azerbaijan in 2003, 2004 and the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in 2005 and European Championship in 2007, 2009.
It was announced in February 2012 that Azerbaijan will host 2014 Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championship. The Championship is expected to take place in the Olympic Gymnastics Complex in Baku, which is currently under construction. The Azerbaijani national rhythmic gymnastics team has gained international recognition, and Azerbaijani gymnasts take the leading places at international events.
On December 28, 2004, Mehriban Aliyeva was elected a member to the Executive Committee of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the 4th General Assembly of the Organization.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on January 17, 2013 on the establishment of the Organizing Committee for holding the first European games in Baku, in 2015.
According to the order, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, member of the Executive Committee of the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva was appointed as the chairwoman of the committee.
"As you know, the European Games for the first time will be held in our country in 2015. This kind of event has never been held before in history. Although the Olympic movement, in general, originated in Europe and then revived in Europe, the continental games were held on other continents. The honor to hold the games for the first time in Europe fell on us. We should take our utmost to organize these Games at the highest level. Generally, it is the beginning of a new period in the history of European sports movement, and Azerbaijan is a country that writes the first page of this history," Mehriban Aliyeva said during the second meeting of the Organizing commitee.
Mehriban Aliyeva received a PhD in Philosophy in 2005. In the same year, and in 2010, she was elected a member of Azerbaijani Parliament.
On June 7, 2013 at the 5th meeting of the ruling "Yeni Azerbaijan" party, Mehriban Aliyeva was elected as deputy chairperson of the party.
The Azerbaijani Parliament unanimously passed an amnesty act proposed by First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva on May 7, 2013. The Act was included on the agenda upon the initiative of Azerbaijani First Lady, MP Mehriban Aliyeva in connection with the 90th anniversary of Azerbaijani national leader Heydar Aliyev. The amnesty covered 9,000 people.
The Azerbaijani President signed an order on May 5, 2009 to award Mehriban Aliyeva the Heydar Aliyev Prize for the productive activities in the country`s socio-political and cultural life.
Mehriban Aliyeva was awarded the Grand Commander`s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Polish Republic Sept. 14, 2009. Mehriban Aliyeva received this Order for her contribution to development of friendly ties between Azerbaijan and Poland.
Mehriban Aliyeva was awarded with Order of Legion of Honor by French President`s order dated Feb.10, 2010.
Mehriban Aliyeva has been awarded the Crans Montana Forum`s Gold Medal on June 24, 2011. The Medal is awarded to people who achieved great prestige in the world by their services, and have special merits. Rewarding of Mehriban Aliyeva with the Gold Medal Crans Montana Forum is another evidence to that her multilateral activities in the field of culture, science, education, health, social and other spheres, is in the focus on an international scale.
On February 13, 2012, Mehriban Aliyeva was honoured with the title of Honorary Professor of Russian Federation`s I.M.Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University.
On April 13, 2012, Mehriban Aliyeva was presented the "Stars of the Commonwealth" Interstate Prize by the Humanitarian Cooperation Council (HCC) of CIS member states and the Interstate Humanitarian Cooperation Foundation (IHCF) of CIS member countries.
On June 29, 2012, Mehriban Aliyeva was awarded the "Prix de la Fondation" Prize of the Crans Montana Forum. The forum`s highest award - "Prix de la Fondation" - is awarded to people who distinguished themselves with their work, and earned sympathy at the international level.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has initiated Azerbaijan`s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. Azerbaijan participated in the contest only five times, and the country`s representatives have always been among the leaders of the competition. In May, the young singers from Azerbaijan, Eldar and Nigar won "Eurovision-2011". President Ilham Aliyev signed an order to appoint Mehriban Aliyeva the chairwoman of the Organizing Committee to hold Eurovision Song Contest in Baku in May of 2012.
The staff of International News Agency Trend congratulates the First Lady of Azerbaijan, President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva on the occasion of her birthday, wishes her health, happiness, prosperity, and further success in the multifaceted and important activity for the benefit of Azerbaijani people.