Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the 50th anniversary of the People’s Artist of Azerbaijan Amaliya Panahova - Republic Palace, July 8, 1995

I am glad to meet you. Today’s event was very good. We have never forgotten and will never forget our culture. Everybody has his own place in art. Nobody can replace anyone. People, society, as well as, the state appreciate men-of-art for their places in our culture. I want there to be a unity in our culture and make it unite our people. There have been differences among our people. It has resulted in great tragedies. That’s why, our people need unity more than ever. Moral values have always united the people, because in comparison with others moral principles exceed others. Morals have been cultivated to the people through art. Literature has a great influence on people. However, to watch a literary work lively on the scene is better than to read it. That’s why theatre has a great role in our life.  I always love theatre and derive benefits from it. I have always respected and esteemed theatre even in the hard days of my life, and have not gone away from it.

Our theatre workers and stage masters have done a lot in this sphere. I have said about them in our previous meetings as well. However, these words now are more topical. Theatre workers and all the people working there demonstrate selflessness. In my opinion, in the frontline one person is equaled to three persons and is paid a tripled salary, in the theatre we have the same situation, because it is not an easy task to work in theatre. I know it well.

When we sat in the hall, three hours passed as a minute. However, I can imagine, probably all the spectators know it, how every actor or actress felt excited and spent energy and concentrated themselves when they performed their parts. It can be said about all the actors, dancers and singers. That’s why, I repeat again: theatre and art workers are very selfless. When you watch them on the scene, they seem very careless, happy, and full of joy. However, most of us do not have an imagination about their life outside of the theatre and cannot imagine. I know it. That’s why, I highly appreciate the art workers. 

Gifts and services contributed to the people by our culture and art, perhaps, do not draw attention, but they are very valuable. That’s why I appreciate the services of each of you as a citizen, spectator. As President I thank you for your activities.

Today is the anniversary of Ms. Amaliya. In some time we will celebrate the anniversaries of others. It is necessary to unite, be closer, help and support each other. We must work together hand in hand. I want it. There have always been people not having sufficient wisdom. Of course, not everybody can tolerate injustice. Life is complicated. Our period is also complicated. I think that history will regulate everything. If today someone says a bitter word to someone, I hope that it will be forgotten. I personally want everyone to reconcile. I need reconcilation among our people. I want peace among the creative workers more, I want them be kind and friendly.

Our greatest problem is the aggression of Armenia. It is already seven years that the war has started, a part of our lands has been occupied, we have over a million refugees and they live in hard conditions. It is our greatest problem. It is unacceptable to get offended and to create additional problems in such a situation.  That’s why, I think that every person must stand above pettiness. I repeat again that everyone has his own place in art. No one can replace the other.

I love the Azerbaijani theater from my youth. I saw Abbas Mirze Sherif-zade, Ulvi Rejeb, Merziye Davudova, Alasgar Alakbarov, Mirzagha Aliyev, Sidgi Ruhulla, Sona Hajiyeva and others on the stage. I loved the characters they created. I also watched the parts of other people performed on our scene. I was familiar with all of them. I remember all.

It is the men-of-art; it is you who keep our history and culture alive. I hug each of you and wish you new creative successes. I hope that you and the coming generation will lead our culture ahead. 

“Azerbaijan” newspaper, July 10, 1995

Historical backgrounds