One of Mex­ico’s high­lights is its Magic Towns. The Magic Towns pro­gram con­trib­utes to reval­u­a­tion of places and sites that have al-

Azeri Observer - - Az­eri Ob­server -

A: As men­tioned above, we have a solid ba­sis on which to build. To­day’s mar­ket place throws up many chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties. This year our two gov­ern­ments launched a new ini­tia­tive to en­able us to dis­cuss trade and eco­nomic re­la­tions, to build on the suc­cesses of the past and to ex­plore new ar­eas in which we might co­op­er­ate. The first ses­sion of our Joint In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Com­mis­sion was held in Fe­bru­ary in Lon­don. It was co- chaired by Lord Maude, ( the then) Min­is­ter of State for Trade and In­vest­ment for the UK and Mr Shahin Mustafayev, the Min­is­ter of Econ­omy of the Repub­lic of Azer­bai­jan.

This ini­tia­tive cov­ers a num­ber of joint pri­or­ity sec­tors in­clud­ing: Oil and Gas, ICT, Fi­nan­cial & Pro­fes­sional Ser­vices, Ed­u­ca­tion, In­fra­struc­ture ( in­clud­ing trans­port), Tourism and Global Sport. The aim is to in­crease our bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion as well as ease mar­ket bar­ri­ers and deal with other is­sues. I look for­ward to a pro­duc­tive sec­ond meet­ing which will be hosted in Baku early next year.

Q: In your opin­ion, what does Brexit mean for Bri­tain and Europe?

A: Some things have not changed po­lit­i­cally. First of all, the UK is still a mem­ber of the P5 on the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil. It is still a mem­ber of the G7; it is still a lead­ing mem­ber of NATO, with some of the most ca­pa­ble armed forces and in­tel­li­gence ser­vices in the world. We re­main a mem­ber of the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion; of the Com­mon­wealth and of a large num­ber of other in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions. We are one of very few coun­tries in the world that spends 2% of GDP on de­fence, and 0.7% of GDP on de­vel­op­ment aid, so meet­ing the NATO bench­mark on de­fence and UN bench­mark for aid.

There is no im­me­di­ate change to our re­la­tion­ships with the Euro­pean Union or with our EU part­ners. The UK re­mains a mem­ber of the EU, with all rights and obli­ga­tions, un­til we leave. There will be a ne­go­ti­a­tion about the terms of our fu­ture re­la­tion­ship with the Euro­pean Union. What­ever comes out from that ne­go­ti­a­tion, the coun­tries of the EU will con­tinue to be among our most im­por­tant in­ter­na­tional part­ners. We have enor­mous eco­nomic in­ter­ests, se­cu­rity in­ter­ests, peo­ple to peo­ple links; and our shared demo­cratic val­ues have not changed. We will con­tinue to work with the Euro­pean Union and its Mem­ber States what­ever the out­come of the ne­go­ti­a­tions to leave the EU will be.

prob­lems. Around this time, my in­ter­est in Azer­bai­jan was grow­ing through the ex­pe­ri­ence of my fa­ther, who had been very deeply in­volved in the ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween SO­CAR and for­eign oil com­pa­nies since 1992. The sto­ries he told about his vis­its to Azer­bai­jan, and the Azer­bai­jani peo­ple I met through his work, made me very cu­ri­ous to come to the coun­try my­self and see if my skills and ex­pe­ri­ence would be use­ful there. My first trip was at the end of 1997 and I knew then that I had found my vo­ca­tion. The post- Soviet en­vi­ron­ment is an in­ter­est­ing one, such a mix of minds and cul­tures. I was never aware of my new-found in­ter­est in an­thro­pol­ogy, oth­er­wise I could have stud­ied this when I was younger, but my stud­ies in Man­age­ment Science and a later Mas­ters in So­cial Pol­icy have given me the prac­ti­cal and the­o­ret­i­cal back-up for the work we do.

Q: Could you tell us about some of those projects that you have im­ple­mented over the years to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion con­cern­ing chil­dren, health and ed­u­ca­tion in the coun­try? What ini­tia­tives did you un­der­take aim­ing to re­duce the num­ber of chil­dren in state care as well as to raise the level of in­sti­tu­tional care in Azer­bai­jan?

The core ac­tion has been to grow a team of lo­cal spe­cial­ists who are able to lead the de­vel­op­ment of the so­cial sec­tor through in­no­va­tion and prac­tice. Many mem­bers of the ex­ist­ing UAFA team have been with me for more than 10 years, some even 15 years. Dur­ing this time, we have been trained and sup­ported by some of the world’s top spe­cial­ists in child de­vel­op­ment, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion and so­cial work. The train­ing plus the daily work ex­pe­ri­ence of pro­vid­ing ser­vices to lit­er­ally thou­sands of chil­dren has cre­ated a great re­source for Azer­bai­jan.

Some of our no­table achieve­ments are the fol­low­ing:

- 6 com­mu­nity-based re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­ters, where par­ents can go for ad­vice and sup­port and to meet other par­ents, and where the chil­dren can par­tic­i­pate in re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, ed­u­ca­tion and recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties with other chil­dren who have dis­abil­i­ties;

- 17 low cost pre- schools for chil­dren aged 2-6 years in vil­lages where no ser­vices ex­ist, where there is lit­tle em­ploy­ment and lit­tle hope;

- Teams of so­cial work­ers in 6 re­gions who work with vul­ner­a­ble fam­i­lies and chil­dren;

- Im­proved life con­di­tions for 100s of chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties who live in State care in­sti­tu­tions;

- And, along with prac­ti­cal achieve­ments, we have been a strong sup­port to pol­icy re­form over the years, play­ing a lead­er­ship role in the field of so­cial pol­icy based on our field ex­pe­ri­ence.

Q: Are you sat­is­fied with what has been achieved over the years?

A: Of course! We have achieved so much in such chal­leng­ing con­di­tions, and we still can achieve so much more with united sup­port be­hind us. One of the im­por­tant achieve­ments is the level of trust and be­lief

Q: Mr. Am­bas­sador, how would you de­scribe the bi­lat­eral re­la­tions be­tween Azer­bai­jan and In­done­sia?

A: Af­ter the dis­so­lu­tion of Soviet Union in De­cem­ber 1991, In­done­sia rec­og­nized Azer­bai­jan’s in­de­pen­dence and less than a year later, in Septem­ber 1992, the diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries were of­fi­cially es­tab­lished. In 2005 the Em­bassy of Azer­bai­jan was es­tab­lished in Jakarta, and In­done­sia re­cip­ro­cated in De­cem­ber 2010 by open­ing our em­bassy in Baku. It was a very im­por­tant step, since both coun­tries are rich in en­ergy re­sources and have mu­tual in­ter­ests in the field.

Over the years, In­done­sia and Azer­bai­jan de­vel­oped and strength­ened bi­lat­eral ties in var­i­ous fields. As In­done­sia is one of the largest Mus­lim coun­tries in Asia, and Azer­bai­jan is also a Mus­lim coun­try, we have great prospects in eco­nomic, hu­man­i­tar­ian and cul­tural co­op­er­a­tion; and in spite of the great dis­tance be­tween Azer­bai­jan and In­done­sia, the two coun­tries have a lot in com­mon. Our coun­tries also sup­port each other within in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Is­lamic Co­op­er­a­tion (OIC).

Q: Are you sat­is­fied with the state of eco­nomic and trade re­la­tions be­tween In­done­sia and Azer­bai­jan?

A: The eco­nomic and trade re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries have reached a sat­is­fac­tory level. In­done­sia needs oil and gas from Azer­bai­jan; we are the sec­ond big­gest coun­try af­ter Ger­many which is pur­chas­ing oil and gas from Azer­bai­jan. We also pro­duce oil - around 800,000 bar­rels per day - but it is not enough to cover the needs of our whole pop­u­la­tion, as we ac­tu­ally need 1,800,000 bar­rels per day. That is why we have to buy oil from other pro­duc­ing coun­tries as well. One of the high­est qual­ity oils in the world is from Azer­bai­jan, and In­done­sia imports from 4 up to 6 hun­dred mil­lion bar­rels of Azer­bai­jani oil per year.

How­ever, I would say that our trade with Azer­bai­jan is still small and has to be in­creased more. In­done­sia’s imports from Azer­bai­jan amounted to $2.4 bil­lion per year, while its ex­ports to Azer­bai­jan amounted to $32 mil­lion of its over­all ex­ports. So, we have to de­velop more and raise the trade con­nec­tion be­tween our coun­tries.

Q: What goals do you hope to ac­com­plish dur­ing your diplo­matic mis­sion in Azer­bai­jan, which started in April 2016?

‘Gemu Fa Mi Re’, a tra­di­tional dance from the Flores of In­done­sia, which en­cour­aged them to dance to­gether with the staff and vol­un­teers from In­done­sian Em­bassy in Baku. Vis­i­tors’ in­ter­est was in­creased by the songs that we pre­sented, played with a tra­di­tional mu­si­cal in­stru­ment named Angk­lung, as well as the va­ri­ety of In­done­sian culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ences, and also the In­done­sian hand­i­crafts that were on sale. We also par­tic­i­pated in the Azer­bai­jan In­ter­na­tional Tourism Fair AITF 2016 and were awarded as the ‘Most At­trac­tive Tourism Des­ti­na­tion’. I am very proud to men­tion that our pavil­ion at­tracted the most vis­i­tors.

Our Em­bassy par­tic­i­pated in the In­ter­na­tional Dolma Fes­ti­val that was held in Baku in July ear­lier this sum­mer. Dur­ing the event 300 kinds of dolma were pre­sented by 400 rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 24 re­gions of Azer­bai­jan as well as from the coun­tries of Turkey, Ukraine and Jor­dan. Al­though dolma is not in­cluded in the In­done­sian cui­sine, we still de­cided to par­tic­i­pate and present some­thing sim­i­lar that we call Arem – Arem. Arem - Arem has the mean­ing of hap­pi­ness in our lan­guage. Rice is boiled un­til it is soft, mixed with spicy veg­eta­bles, then rolled and wrapped in ba­nana leaves and cooked in steam.

I deeply be­lieve that such kinds of events con­trib­ute to bring­ing to the pub­lic the strong culture and tra­di­tions of the Azer­bai­jani peo­ple, in­clud­ing the fea­tures and wealth of its na­tional cui­sine; that’s why our par­tic­i­pa­tion and sup­port was very im­por­tant not only to us but also to all the peo­ple of Azer­bai­jan. Lastly, we are plan­ning to or­ga­nize an In­done­sian cul­tural fes­ti­val in or­der to in­tro­duce to the lo­cal so­ci­ety of Azer­bai­jan our na­tional mu- sic, dances, and cui­sine, and also to show­case In­done­sia as a top tourism des­ti­na­tion through a pho­tog­ra­phy ex­hi­bi­tion that we pre­pared. The fes­ti­val will be held in Novem­ber in Baku and will be open to ev­ery­one.

Q: What were your first im­pres­sions of Azer­bai­jan when you came here a few months ago?

A: I came to Azer­bai­jan on March 16th, and I have al­ready vis­ited many at­trac­tions of Baku and trav­eled to the re­gions. I find Baku a very mod­ern, beau­ti­ful and at the same time his­tor­i­cal city. I find the peo­ple warm, friendly and po­lite, and that’s some­thing that makes me ad­just very eas­ily and feel at home.

Azer­bai­jan is a rich coun­try due to its oil and gas re­sources. Dur­ing the last years, the city of Baku and other cities in the re­gions have been de­vel­op­ing im­pres­sively fast. Un­for­tu­nately, last year’s de­cline in oil prices and the de­val­u­a­tion of its cur­rency af­fected the strong econ­omy of the coun­try. How­ever, it seems that the gov­ern­ment of Azer­bai­jan is try­ing to di­ver­sify, re­build its busi­ness char­ac­ter and fa­cil­i­tate more in­vest­ments to grow, thus al­low­ing its econ­omy to re­cover. Hope­fully, in 2017 the sit­u­a­tion will be bet­ter and more sta­ble.

Q: What are the chal­lenges of be­ing posted in a new coun­try?

A: I wouldn’t re­fer to it as a chal­lenge, rather I would say that, for me, the be­gin­ning of a post in a new coun­try is a pleas­ant op­por­tu­nity, as I al­ways love and en­joy meet­ing new cul­tures and new civ­i­liza­tions and new peo­ple, learn­ing about the his­tory of a coun­try as well as the men­tal­ity, and the op­por­tu­ni­ties that I have through my job to de­velop ties with lo­cal so­ci­ety and au­thor­i­ties.

Turkey and Rus­sia re­stored their re­la­tions af­ter Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan sent a let­ter to Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin ex­press­ing his apolo­gies and deep con­do­lences to the killed pi­lot’s fam­ily. The lead­ers of Turkey and Rus­sia met in face-to-face meet­ing on Au­gust 9. This was the first meet­ing since dra­matic col­lapse of re­la­tions back in late 2015, and the two seemed to have a lot to talk about.

Turk­ish fighter jets shot down a Rus­sian Su- 24 war­plane over the Syr­ian bor­der on Novem­ber 24, bring­ing the re­gional ri­vals to the brink of war and spark­ing a po­lit­i­cal cri­sis.

Dur­ing the cri­sis in Turk­ish-Rus­sian re­la­tions, Er­do­gan has sur­vived a mil­i­tary coup at­tempt, while Putin suc­cess­fully re­stored Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al- As­sad’s con­trol over much of Syria. So, both pres­i­dents had a lot to dis­cuss.

Def­i­nitely, one of the key top­ics was the chaos in Syria, as both sides have their own in­ter­ests there. More likely, Rus­sia wants to en­sure that Turkey won’t par­tic­i­pate in NATO’s Black Sea ac­tiv­i­ties, while Turkey wants to se­cure its bor­ders with Syria.

The sec­ond topic of dis­cus­sion was about fill­ing in the vac­uum in bi­lat­eral re­la­tions. Both po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic co­opera-

Jus­tice, Bekir Bozdag, stated that the is­sue of whether or not Turkey should bring back cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment af­ter the failed coup should be con­sid­ered from a le­gal stand­point, and not in terms of the EU’s as­pi­ra­tions. So, EU and NATO con­demned the pos­si­ble restora­tion of death penalty, while the Krem­lin viewed it as the in­ter­nal is­sue of Turkey. More­over, Rus­sia was among the first to con­demn the mil­i­tary regime change at­tempt, and Putin phoned Er­do­gan to back “or­der” in Turkey.

In gen­eral, be­com­ing an ally with Rus­sia is more likely to hap­pen. In case of ex­tra­di­tion, the US will lose its main lever­age on Turkey. The death penalty will be prob­a­bly brought back af­ter Gulen’s ex­tra­di­tion, and he will be im­me­di­ately ex­e­cuted. Thus, it is point­less to wait for Gulen’s “ar­rival”. But, if Gulen is not ex­tra­dited to Turkey, the process of be­com­ing a clos­est ally of Rus­sia will flow faster.

On the other hand, if the death penalty is re­stored in Turkey, its can­di­dacy for EU mem­ber­ship will be re­jected. Ba­si­cally, the death penalty in Turkey has not been im­ple­mented since 1984, was partly abol­ished in 2002, and was fully elim­i­nated in 2004; but, still, since then its EU mem­ber­ship has not been ap­proved ( Note: Turkey is a can­di­date coun­try for EU mem­ber­ship fol­low­ing the Helsinki Euro­pean Coun­cil of De­cem­ber 1999). In other words, Turkey could never be­come an EU mem­ber state, and Er­do­gan un­der­stands that.

In case the mil­i­tary bloc be­tween Turkey and Rus­sia is formed, Turkey will pro­vide the Rus­sian air force with ac­cess to its mil­i­tary air­base In­cir­lik. The newly formed al­liance will make an ef­fort to de­stroy rebels and ISIS in Syria, and Bashar Al As­sad will stay in power. Al­though, the change of the pol­icy to­ward As­sad has not been of­fi­cially an­nounced by the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment, the mil­i­tary al­liance be­tween Turkey and Rus­sia could re­sult in ex­actly that. There­fore, in near fu­ture we could see the meet­ing be­tween Er­do­gan and As­sad, ini­ti­ated by Putin. This will be a sign of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. But, lib­er­ated from ISIS north­ern parts of Syria could go un­der con­trol of Turkey. But, in ex­change for that, Turkey could agree to weaken its po­si­tions in the South Cau­ca­sus, es­pe­cially in Azer­bai­jan ( the South­ern bor­der of the for­mer USSR); and, as a re­sult, the re­gion could fully fall un­der the tra­di­tional in­flu­ence of Krem­lin.

Fur­ther­more, the pos­si­bil­ity of Turkey join­ing the Eurasian Eco­nomic Union (EAEU) can­not be ig­nored, and even re­mains high. The EAEU would like to see Turkey as its mem­ber; and Pres­i­dent of Kaza­khstan Nur­sul­tan Nazarbayev has al­ready stressed the im­por­tance of Turkey to join the EAEU at the meet­ing with for­mer Prime Min­is­ter of Turkey Ah­met Davu­to­glu. Turkey’s mem­ber­ship means sub­stan­tial ex­pan­sion of the trade op­por­tu­ni­ties to the shores of Mediter­ranean Sea. Also, Turkey will gain ac­cess to the mar­kets of Cen­tral Asian coun­tries, which is what it ac­tu­ally wants. For ex­am­ple, Turk­ish in­vestors have al­ready taken first step to ac­cess the EAEU mar­ket through Kyr­gyzs­tan, where they in­tend to build a tex­tile fac­tory and ex­port prod­ucts to EAEU states us­ing the Duty Free Sys­tem.

Be­sides the eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties, there are also po­lit­i­cal and so­cial as­pects of Turkey’s mem­ber­ship in EAEU. Namely, Turk­ish mem­ber­ship might af­fect other states’ de­ci­sion to join the EAEU. For ex­am­ple, it can be sug­gested, that due to the com­mon Tur­kic ori­gin, the mem­ber­ship of Turkey may al­ter the po­si­tions of some states, such as Azer­bai­jan, Turk­menistan and Uzbek­istan, to­ward EAEU.

There are two im­por­tant fac­tors that will most likely lead Turkey to join the EAEU: first, the prospects of Turkey join­ing the EU are not promis­ing; and, sec­ond fac­tor is the con­tin­u­ing ten­sion be­tween Turkey and US due to Gulen’s is­sue. This will def­i­nitely im­pact Turkey’s re­la­tions with Western coun­tries. Firstly, NATO could ex­clude Turkey from the al­liance, and se­condly, the ac­tiv­i­ties of the Kur­dish groups in Turkey that are sup­ported by the lib­eral West could in­ten­sify. In or­der to pre­vent the activation of Kur­dish groups in Turkey, pres­i­dent Er­do­gan needs to pre­vent uni­fi­ca­tion of Iraqi and Syr­ian Kurds and PKK. Nev­er­the­less, Er­do­gan has al­ready taken the first step and gained sup­port from the Iraqi Kur­dish re­gional Pres­i­dent, Massoud Barzani.

To sum up, if all the above- men­tioned come true, dra­matic changes could be ob­served in the whole re­gion and the world. The world could be­come bipo­lar again as in XX cen­tury, when the USSR and War­saw Pact states con­fronted the US and lib­eral states of Europe. That was a clash of ide­olo­gies. How­ever, now we could wit­ness po­lit­i­cal con­fronta­tion be­tween the au­to­cratic regimes (Turkey, Rus­sia, Iran) and Lib­eral West.

High tech­nolo­gies have not only af­fected our daily lives but are also widely used in medicine. Model de­signs and con­struc­tion pro­cesses in in­dus­tries are com­pletely con­trolled by the com­put­ers. Den­tistry as a branch of medicine has also been trans­formed by tech­nolo­gies -To­mog­ra­phy, CAD/CAM sys­tem, 3D scan­ning, aes­thetic dig­i­tal sim­u­la­tion, and other pro­cesses are con­trolled by the com­put­ers. In 1999, the first op­er­at­ing CAD/CAM tech­nol­ogy was pre­sented in ex­hi­bi­tion, and to­day the mar­ket of­fers more than hun­dred such sys­tems.

In den­tal clinic "Med­hold­ing" we ac­tively use mod­ern dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy in the di­ag­no­sis, pros­thet­ics, in­lays mak­ing, treat­ment and pre­ven­tion of tooth-jaw de­fects. Res­i­dents of Baku who visit our med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers re­ceive the high­est level of ser­vice, which does not dif­fer from the best Euro­pean clin­ics. What is CAD/CAM tech­nol­ogy?

CAD/CAM tech­nol­ogy in den­tistry is used for about a decade, and is prac­ti­cally in­dis­pens­able in mak­ing of crowns, abut­ments for im­plants and pros­the­ses of high pre­ci­sion and best qual­ity. The essence of this tech­nol­ogy lies in the pre­lim­i­nary three-di­men­sional mod­el­ing of the prod­uct us­ing a com­puter and in fur­ther pro­cess­ing in the milling unit. Com­puter 3D To­mog­ra­phy in den­tistry

Dig­i­tal to­mog­ra­phy of jaw has sev­eral ad­van­tages over com­mon x-ray be­cause the com­puter can pro­vide a three-di­men­sional im­age of the scanned ob­ject to the doc­tor. Dig­i­tal to­mog­ra­phy takes a lit­tle time - about twenty sec­onds, and al­lows you to:

-De­ter­mine the sever­ity of the teeth and jaw in­juries -De­fects in grow­ing and po­si­tion -Dis­eases and in­flam­ma­tion of the si­nuses -Im­plant plan­ning and sur­gi­cal op­er­a­tions, ther­a­peu­tic treat­ment

-De­tec­tion of com­pli­ca­tions af­ter in­tra­canal treat­ment

-De­tec­tion of new car­i­ous teeth in­ac­ces­si­ble by vis­ual in­spec­tion

Den­tal dig­i­tal to­mog­ra­phy is com­pletely harm­less. In or­der to clin­i­cally de­tect the dam­age, a pa­tient will go through be­tween six and seven thou­sand pro­ce­dures. In this case, the pa­tient will re­ceive a re­duced dose of ra­di­a­tion, which means that the pro­ce­dure can be used not only in di­ag­no­sis, but also in the qual­ity con­trol of the treat­ment. Aes­thetic Dig­i­tal Smile De­sign

One of the most pop­u­lar di­rec­tions in mod­ern den­tistry to­day is aes­thetic re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. In the be­gin­ning of aes­thetic restora­tion of the teeth, pa­tients of­ten ask us ques­tions like - is it pos­si­ble

Azer­bai­jan’s Min­istry of Health, tak­ing se­ri­ously this ad­vice from the fa­ther of medicine, launched an am­bi­tious na­tional ini­tia­tive - a multi step pi­lot pro­gram, which fo­cuses on the pre­ven­tion of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases in new­borns.

World­wide, 2.7 mil­lion ba­bies die ev­ery year in their first month of life and a sim­i­lar num­ber are still­born (born dead). Within the first month, up to one half of all deaths oc­cur within the first 24 hours of life, and 75% oc­cur in the first week. The 48 hours im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing birth is the most cru­cial pe­riod for new­born sur­vival. This is when the mother and child should re­ceive fol­low-up care to pre­vent and treat ill­ness. Glob­ally, the num­ber of neona­tal deaths de­clined from 5.1 mil­lion in 1990 to 2.7 mil­lion in 2015. How­ever, the de­cline in neona­tal mor­tal­ity from 1990 to 2015 has been slow.

Ac­cord­ing to Child Mor­tal­ity Es­ti­mates (CME) re­port, in Azer­bai­jan, com­pared to 1990, the in­fant mor­tal­ity rate de­clined from 95 to 32 per 1 thou­sand, in 2015. No mat­ter how en­cour­ag­ing this drop may ap­pear, the rate is still high.

Azer­bai­jan is a rapidly grow­ing, dy­namic and mod­ern coun­try. The coun­try is ac­tively ex­pand­ing its na­tional health­care sys­tem to meet the grow­ing needs of its peo­ple and sup­port eco­nomic diversification, with med­i­cal cen­ters, cor­po­ra­tions,

Preterm birth is the birth of an in­fant be­fore 37 weeks of preg­nancy. Preterm birth is the great­est con­trib­u­tor to in­fant death, with most pretermre­lated deaths oc­cur­ring among ba­bies who were born very preterm (be­fore 32 weeks). Pre­vent­ing preterm birth re­mains a chal­lenge be­cause the causes of preterm births are nu­mer­ous, com­plex, and not al­ways well un­der­stood.

A Non-Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­ease (or NCD) is gen­er­ally agreed to be a med­i­cal con­di­tion or dis­ease of a child which is non-in­fec­tious, of long du­ra­tion and gen­er­ally slow pro­gres­sion. Some­times it is re­ferred to as “chronic dis­eases”. It is the sec­ond new­born mor­tal­ity cause. Car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases

surgery or other pro­ce­dures in the first months of their lives.

In March 2016, Azer­bai­jan’s Min­istry of Health an­nounced the pi­lot pro­gram on pre­ven­tion of con­gen­i­tal heart dis­eases. This ini­tia­tive aims to run a prospec­tive study on CHD preva­lence, first at re­gional level (Baku) and later at na­tional level- and to run pre-symp­to­matic early de­tect­ing screen­ing with the use of pulse oxime­try mea­sure­ments to de­tect crit­i­cal con­gen­i­tal heart dis­eases dur­ing the first 4 days of a neonate’s life. It will also serve as a guide for strate­gic plan­ning of the con­gen­i­tal car­di­ol­ogy sec­tor, which is cur­rently un­der­de­vel­oped in the coun­try. Only four hos­pi­tals of­fer lim­ited con­gen­i­tal/pe­di­atric car­di­ol­ogy ser­vices, mostly pro­vided by adult car­diac sur­geons and car­di­ol­o­gists with short term or no train­ing in con­gen­i­tal heart dis­eases. As CCHD is very com­plex and in most cases fa­tal dis­ease with no ob­vi­ous symp­toms in many cases, a screen­ing test is es­sen­tial and can save thou­sands of lives.

Screen­ing tests are sim­ple and easy; they help to iden­tify peo­ple with in­creased risk of a haz­ard con­di­tion or dis­ease be­fore they have symp­toms or even re­al­ize they may be at risk, so that pre­ven­tive mea­sures can be taken. They are an im­por­tant part of pre­ven­tive health care. Screen­ing tests help de­tect a dis­ease in its ear­li­est and most treat­able stages. There­fore, they are most valu­able when they are used to screen for dis­eases that are both se­ri­ous and treat­able, so that there is a ben­e­fit of de­tect­ing the dis­ease be­fore symp­toms be­gin. A pos­i­tive screen­ing test of­ten re­quires fur­ther test­ing with a more spe­cific test. This is im­por­tant in or­der to cor­rectly ex­clude those in­di­vid­u­als who do not have a given dis­ease or to con­firm a di­ag­no­sis. What is Crit­i­cal Con­gen­i­tal Heart Dis­ease?

Crit­i­cal con­gen­i­tal heart dis­ease (CCHD) de­scribes a group of heart de­fects that can cause life-threat­en­ing prob­lems which need to be treated within the first days or first months of life. CCHD can usu­ally be treated if de­tected early. CCHD can be caused by dif­fer­ent rea­sons, in­clud­ing prob­lems with the heart’s struc­ture or ab­nor­mal heart­beat. The heart is a very com­pli­cated or­gan with many struc­tural com­po­nents. If spe­cific struc­tures of the heart do not form prop­erly dur­ing preg­nancy, the re­sult is a heart de­fect. Crit­i­cal Con­gen­i­tal Heart De­fects can be less se­vere (need­ing only one heart surgery or catheter in­ter­ven­tion), se­vere (need­ing many open heart surg­eries), or some­where in be­tween. CCHD can in­volve prob­lems with the cham­bers of the heart, valves in the heart, ab­nor­mal con­nec­tions in the heart, and ab­nor­mal­i­ties in how the heart func­tions. Most con­gen­i­tal (from birth) heart con­di­tions af­fect peo­ple from child­hood through adult­hood. Typ­i­cally, th­ese types of heart de­fects lead to low lev­els of oxy­gen in a new­born and may be iden­ti­fied us­ing pulse oxime­try screen­ing at least 24 hours af­ter birth. What is Pulse Oxime­try and how it is used for neonates screen­ing?

Pulse oxime­try is a sim­ple, quick and pain­less test used to find ba­bies who may have a CCHD. Pulse oxime­try mea­sures a baby’s pulse and how much oxy­gen a baby has in his or her blood (called oxy­gen sat­u­ra­tion). Ba­bies who have low oxy­gen lev­els in their blood may have a CCHD; but they may also have a dif­fer­ent cause for low oxy­gen sat­u­ra­tion that is not a CCHD, but an­other life threat­en­ing con­di­tion. Why is pulse oxime­try used to screen for CCHD?

In 2003, pulse oxime­try started to be used in Swe­den as a screen­ing test, and soon af­ter be­came manda­tory in many Euro­pean coun­tries, Canada, China and USA. Pulse oxime­try is the pre­ferred method to screen for CCHD be­cause it al­lows the CCHD screen­ing test to be eas­ily per­formed soon af­ter a baby is born, and it is the best way to catch a CCHD along with the pe­di­a­tri­cian’s phys­i­cal exam. This CCHD screen­ing should be per­formed af­ter a baby is 24 hours (or 1 day) old. A phys­i­cal exam will not al­ways de­tect CCHD since some CCHDs do not show out­ward symp­toms. Ul­tra­sounds done dur­ing preg­nancy can be used to check the fe­tal heart. How­ever, ul­tra­sound checks dur­ing the preg­nancy can miss CCHD if not con­ducted by a fe­tal car­di­ol­o­gist. Con­fir­ma­tory test­ing

If a baby fails the pulse oxime­try screen­ing or is sus­pected to have a CCHD, then mul­ti­ple pulse oxime­try screen­ings must be com­pleted be­fore the baby is ex­am­ined by the pri­mary care provider/spe­cial­ist at the hospi­tal. A baby may then need ad­di­tional test­ing such as an echocar­dio­gram (an ul­tra­sound of the heart). The doc­tors will dis­cuss the fol­low up care for the baby and any ad­di­tional test­ing the baby may need. At any point in test­ing the baby may be re­ferred to a pe­di­atric car­di­ol­o­gist.

The Azer­bai­jani pi­lot CHD pre­ven­tion pro­gram has two pri­mary sites: the Repub­li­can Peri­na­tal Cen­ter and No. 3 City Clinic Hospi­tal's Ma­ter­nity Ward. All new­borns born in th­ese two lo­ca­tions are en­rolled for the first part of the study. In May 2016, spe­cial pulse oxime­try equip­ment, spon­sored by the Rostropovich Vish­nevskaya Foun­da­tion, was placed in the afore­men­tioned hos­pi­tals. By late June both hos­pi­tals had started test­ing the neonates.

If a baby fails the pulse oxime­try screen­ing or is sus­pected to have a CCHD, he will be re­ferred to the Sci­en­tific Pe­di­atric In­sti­tu­tion of the Min­istry of Health; the neonate will be trans­ferred there in or­der to con­firm the di­ag­no­sis and re­ceive a con­ser­va­tive treat­ment.

A: Yes, I think so: they have the same sense of hu­mor….

Q: In which coun­tries and cities did you live over the years be­cause of your hus­band’s ca­reer with the Ital­ian For­eign Ser­vice as a diplo­mat? Which coun­try did you like the most and why?

A: Be­fore mov­ing to Baku, I have lived four years in each of the fol­low­ing Coun­tries: Venezuela ( Cara­cas), Pak­istan (Is­lam­abad) and In­dia (Mum­bai). All of them have been ex­tremely pre­cious to me. Each and ev­ery place has some­how in­spired me with its hu­man­ity. I feel a pro­found and sin­cere grat­i­tude.

Q: What has been the hard­est as­pect of your ex­pat ex­pe­ri­ence so far?

A: Over the years there have been plenty of dif­fi­cult and test­ing times for us. The tragic floods which swept Cara­cas ( Venezuela) in 1999, as well as the in­se­cu­rity and high crime af­fected our daily lives there. War in neigh­bor­ing Afghanistan and loom­ing ter­ror­ist threat in Pak­istan: Is­lam­abad came to the world me­dia’s spotlight af­ter the 9/ 11 at­tacks in the US, and that meant to us get­ting used to con­stant se­cu­rity alerts and bomb at­tacks, which hap­pened to hit also peo­ple we knew or places we used to go. And then the dev­as­tat­ing earthquake of Oc­to­ber 2005, which killed 70,000 peo­ple in North­ern Pak­istan, in­clud­ing in the cap­i­tal, where we lost a good friend and Em­bassy’s col­league. Last but not least, In­dia: for all its amaz­ing charm and cul­tural rich­ness, it is a land of ex­treme com­plex­i­ties and daily chal­lenges.

Dif­fi­cul­ties in­volve also our kids and their ed­u­ca­tion: chang­ing so many places, schools, friends, lan­guages, habits, etc, may

tion will show­case new state-of-the-art den­tal equip­ment and con­sum­ables, to­gether with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy in im­plant den­tistry, teeth whiten­ing and oral hy­giene. The an­nual Beauty Azer­bai­jan ex­hi­bi­tion will fea­ture com­pa­nies and prod­ucts from Azer­bai­jan, Ger­many, Canada, China, Rus­sia, Turkey and sev­eral other coun­tries. Com­pa­nies from Thai­land will de­but at this ex­hi­bi­tion, and cos­metic com­pa­nies from Italy will also par­tic­i­pate. Among the in­no­va­tions at this year's ex­hi­bi­tion will be sa­lon ac­ces­sories from Ger­many, Asian cos­met­ics from Ja­pan and Korea, and much more. For the first time, a work­shop has been or­ga­nized at the Beauty Azer­bai­jan 2016 ex­hi­bi­tion which will be at­tended by lo­cal dis­trib­u­tors and sa­lons, as well as by for­eign com­pa­nies. Thanks to the pre- sched­uled itin­er­ary, the work­shop will pro­vide a di­rect in­ter­ac­tion with com­pany ex­ec­u­tives with­out in­ter­me­di­aries, and help to es­tab­lish busi­ness con­tacts with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of lead­ing lo­cal com­pa­nies and beauty sa­lons.

The ex­hi­bi­tion sea­son will then con­tinue with the largest ex­hi­bi­tion event in the Caspian re­gion – Caspian Con­struc­tion Week, which will fea­ture the 22nd Azer­bai­jan In­ter­na­tional Con­struc­tion Ex­hi­bi­tion BakuBuild 2016, the 9th In­ter­na­tional Heat­ing, Ven­ti­la­tion, Air Con­di­tion­ing, Water Sup­ply, San­i­tary Ware, En­vi­ron­men­tal Tech­nol­ogy, Swim­ming Pools and Re­new­able En­ergy Ex­hi­bi­tion, AquaTherm Baku 2016, and the 9th Caspian In­ter­na­tional Pro­tec­tion, Se­cu­rity and Res­cue Ex­hi­bi­tion Se­curikaCIPS2016 (Oc­to­ber 19-22). This year, the BakuBuild and Se­curika CIPS ex­hi­bi­tions have been fully re- branded. Caspian Con­struc­tion Week will bring to­gether over 400 com­pa­nies from more than 20 coun­tries and will in­clude a num­ber of na­tional booths. The ex­hi­bi­tion will high­light the full range of build­ing ma­te­ri­als, win­dows, doors, in­te­ri­ors, con­struc­tion ma­chin­ery, heat­ing and ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems, com­bi­na­tion boil­ers, plas­tic pipes, fit­tings, ra­di­a­tors, CCTV and sur­veil­lance equip­ment, res­cue gear, means of in­for­ma­tion pro­tec­tion, smart cards, ID- tech­nolo­gies, fire safety equip­ment and much more. One the new fea­tures of BakuBuild 2016 will be the ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion of fur­ni­ture com­pa­nies that are pre­par­ing to show­case a wide range of lux­ury fur­ni­ture. The spon­sors of the ex­hi­bi­tion are Corella (NB Group) and Akkord Se­ment. The In­for­ma­tion Part­ner is “Dom I In­teryer” mag­a­zine.

As usual, the ex­hi­bi­tion sea­son will cul­mi­nate with the Baku­tel 2016 ex­hi­bi­tion ( 29

stand­ing guests’ in­di­vid­ual well­ness sta­tus and pro­vid­ing them with per­sonal treat­ment plans. The tar­geted treat­ments ap­plied will pos­i­tively sig­nal the body to build up its own in­ter­nal medicine and to re­spond by re­gain­ing en­ergy, func­tional ca­pac­ity, and in­ner har­mony; and Chenot ex­perts will teach the in­di­vid­ual how to con­sciously pre­serve th­ese gains over a long pe­riod of time.

Ac­com­pa­ny­ing the guests on their path is a highly qual­i­fied Euro­pean team of med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als in in­ter­nal medicine, car­di­ol­ogy, sports medicine, en­ergy medicine, acupunc­ture, aes­thetic medicine, nu­tri­tion, os­teopa­thy, phys­i­cal ther­apy and fit­ness. This de­voted team is ac­tively in­volved in par­tic­i­pat­ing in and study­ing the lat­est re­search pre­sented at the most renowned in­ter­na­tional med­i­cal con­gresses. As a re­sult, they are able to pro­vide the lat­est and most ef­fec­tive tech­niques and tech­nol­ogy that de­liver ex­cel­lent and long-last­ing re­sults.

An in­te­gral part of the method, the Chenot diet demon­strates that in­di­vid­ual well­ness does not only come from the finest in­gre­di­ents but also from the caloric den­sity, nu­tri­tional value and unique prepa­ra­tion and cook­ing process of the food that is pro­vided at our re­sort with ex­quis­ite taste and pre­sen­ta­tion. Diet is cru­cial to clean and re­bal­ance the body, stim­u­lat­ing cell re­pair mech­a­nisms with anti-ag­ing and anti-in­flam­ma­tory ac­tion. The syn­ergy of diet and treat­ments pro­motes in­ner and outer well­be­ing, and our nu­tri­tional sug­ges­tions ap­plied to ev­ery­day life will help all of our guests achieve a health­ier lifestyle that can en­sure longterm well­ness.

The vast 26-hectare park pro­vides a beau­ti­ful land­scape that in­dulges the senses, with ponds, lakes and cas­cades of wa­ter­falls. A sense of seren­ity is evoked from the panoramic view that Ga­bala has to of­fer, en­cour­ag­ing one’s de­sire to en­hance their vi­tal­ity through ex­er­cise with low in­ten­sity walks or runs. The lux­u­ri­ous stars shim­mer­ing across the out­door swim­ming pool gen­er­ate the per­fect set­ting for pure re­lax­ation.

Fea­tur­ing nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als and colours, the Chenot Palace Ga­bala blends har­mo­niously with the na­ture around it. Its flow­ing forms and light-in­fused spa­ces con­vey an im­me­di­ate and ben­e­fi­cial sense of har­mony and re­lax­ation. The in­te­rior de­sign, even in its small­est de­tails, is re­spect­ful of the na­ture that sur­rounds it; huge win­dows open to land­scape views and nat­u­ral wood floors and sim­ply-de­signed fur­ni­ture give a sense of light­ness, cre­at­ing a smooth, car­ing and in­spir­ing en­vi­ron­ment to en­sure the guests’ com­plete rest and re­cov­ery.

El­e­gance, space and stun­ning views from ev­ery win­dow, bal­cony and ter­race con­nect the in­ner and outer spa­ces of all of the 72 ac­com­mo­da­tions and 3 vil­las with pri­vate spas.

The ut­most def­i­ni­tion of lux­ury in our mod­ern times with­out a doubt is ex­tended to phys­i­cal and men­tal well­ness, to the pos­si­bil­ity of re­gain­ing or pre­serv­ing our qual­ity of life and our func­tional ca­pac­ity in the long-term. That’s why any­one who val­ues the con­cept of well­ness as a means to main­tain health and im­prove per­for­mance in the long-term can trust the Chenot Palace Ga­bala to be the ideal re­treat, where one can achieve youth­ful­ness in the per­fect har­mony of na­ture. For more in­for­ma­tion: Email: pr@chenot­palace.com Web: www.chenot­palace.com

Or­dubad, also known as the “pearl” of Azer­bai­jan, is the sec­ond largest city of the Nakhchivan Au­ton­o­mous Repub­lic of Azer­bai­jan and the cap­i­tal of the Or­dubad dis­trict. This land is fa­mous for its na­ture, cli­mate, mon­u­ments, na­tional and ar­chi­tec­tural land­marks, as well as for its ex­ports of fruits and spices, and its unique cui­sine. Dat­ing back to the 17th cen­tury, ar­chi­tec­tural build­ings of the city have pre­served their an­tiq­uity. The an­cient quar­ters are typ­i­cal for Or­dubad. Ser­she­her, Am­baras, Mingis etc... Ev­ery quar­ter has its own square, mosque, sycamore trees, pool, fountain and bath. Lemons with no as­trin­gent taste

But Or­dubad is fa­mous not only for the an­tiq­uity of its ar­chi­tec­ture. Fruits of Or­dubad are very tasty thanks to the city’s unique cli­mate. Prob­a­bly many of us tasted dried fruits of Or­dubad and know their fla­vor. But, we would es­pe­cially like to men­tion the lemons of Or­dubad, be­cause cit­rus fruits there have unique pe­cu­liar­i­ties. Or­dubad lemons do not have as­trin­gent taste and a strong ef­fect on blood pres­sure.

Lemons are grown al­most in ev­ery yard of Or­dubad. The rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Lo­cal Ex­ec­u­tive Au­thor­ity Hik­mat Nasirov says that Or­dubad lemons have been home grown from an­cient times. “Lemon trees are planted in pots here. The pots should be nei­ther in a very sunny nor in a very shad­owy place. The trees have to be ir­ri­gated ev­ery day in sum­mer, and once a week in win­ter. Lemon trees should not be kept in an open air dur­ing the win­ter”, Mr. Nasirov says.

He fur­ther con­tin­ues: “Lemon trees here are usu­ally one me­ter in height. If ir­ri­gated nor­mally one tree can give up to ap­prox­i­mately 15 to 30 lemons. The price of lemon is ex­pen­sive in the mar­kets, with one lemon sell­ing for around five man­ats. Big lemons may even sell for 15 man­ats.” Fried Eggs of Or­dubad

You can­not en­joy the cui­sine of Or­dubad any­where else. Here is the right place where you can learn how to cook lo­cal food recipes; how­ever it re­quires skills to get the same taste. For ex­am­ple, “Or­dubad Fried Eggs” may sound sim­ple, but it is very dif­fi­cult to make them. As they are not the or­di­nary fried eggs that we usu­ally cook, their prepa­ra­tion re­quires lots of time and ef­fort. Imag­ine that you need two kilo­grams of but­ter, 18 eggs and juice from a cup of honey to make this dish. One of the fa­mous cooks of Or­dubad Asi­man Tagiyev says that if you eat a slice of Or­dubad omelet in the morn­ing you do not feel hun­gry till the evening.

There­fore, we can say that Or­dubad is a won­der­ful place to not only have a rest in na­ture, but also to change the taste of your mouth. Those who want to visit a me­dieval city may come to Or­dubad. The town of­fers a unique walk through his­tory in many of its an­cient neigh­bor­hoods. The re­mains of an­cient houses, old doors and gates can be found here.

Lo­cated be­tween the At­lantic and Pa­cific Oceans, at the North Amer­i­can sub­con­ti­nent, Mex­ico oc­cu­pies an area of nearly two mil­lion square kilo­me­ters, which makes it the four­teenth largest coun­try in the world. Its capri­cious ge­og­ra­phy and di­ver­sity of land­scapes, with huge canyons, high moun­tains, rain forests, wet­lands, and deserts, of­fer a large di­ver­sity of en­vi­ron­ments and cli­mates. This ex­plains why Mex­ico is one of the 17 megadi­verse coun­tries that ac­count for 70% of the world´s bio­di­ver­sity.

Due to its mul­ti­eth­nic and mul­ti­cul­tural mo­saic, its his­tory and its tra­di­tions Mex­ico is a unique place, a coun­try that many want to visit and learn more about, one of the 10 most vis­ited coun­tries of the world (2015) with over 32 mil­lion vis­i­tors. An­cient cul­tures and other in­flu­ences

Mex­ico has a mil­lenary his­tory. Its culture starts with the Me­soamer­i­can civ­i­liza­tion, be­gin­ning with the Olmec, go­ing through the de­vel­oped Maya ( one of the three civ­i­liza­tions world­wide to de­velop the num­ber zero), the Toltec, and end­ing this age with the Aztec em­pire. There were also other dis­tinc­tive cul­tures in the East and West of its ter­ri­tory. As a le­gacy of this glo­ri­ous past, the land has nowa­days 68 indige­nous groups that are part of its cul­tural wealth and more than 360 indige­nous lan­guages are spo­ken in its ter­ri­tory.

In the six­teenth cen­tury, the Span­ish “con­quis­ta­dores” came and started the colo­nial era, which brought the fu­sion of the indige­nous with Europe. Other in­flu­ences also en­riched the

quarry used to build its ed­i­fices), San Luis Po­tosí, Guadala­jara (known as the city of the Roses due to their abun­dance on its streets and plazas), Gua­na­ju­ato (full of al­leys, in­clud­ing the "Al­ley of the Kiss", where, as ru­mors say, young lovers would kiss each other from the bal­conies while their par­ents were amidst a life- feud), San Miguel de Al­lende, Quere­taro and More­lia. Even more fas­ci­nat­ing are the dif­fer­ent cuisines in each of those sites. Cities of Puebla (tra­di­tion says it was de­signed by an­gels them­selves) and Oax­aca (the City of One Thou­sand Churches) are also very at­trac­tive and fas­ci­nat­ing cities worth vis­it­ing. Amaz­ing for all

In Mex­ico and around the world, tourism is in­creas­ingly gain­ing strength as a fac­tor of eco­nomic growth and so­cial de­vel­op­ment. Tourism not only gen­er­ates jobs and at­tracts in­vest­ments and cur­rency, but also trans­forms and cre­ates pros­per­ity for the com­mu­ni­ties, states and whole re­gions. It rep­re­sents al­most 9% of Mex­ico’s GDP and over 9% of em­ploy­ment .

Mex­ico is a unique na­tion. It has a vast cul­tural and his­tor­i­cal her­itage, and an amaz­ing nat­u­ral di­ver­sity, which makes it a great tourist des­ti­na­tion. You can en­joy the views of vol­ca­noes with peren­nial snow, deserts in ex­treme heat, forests, lakes, and canyons with over a kilo­me­ter in depth (Cañón del Su­midero).

ed to buy the book. Af­ter pay­ing the money to the cashier, I went to the stor­age room. It was there for the first time in my life that I saw a mini-book, and I got com­pletely caught up in it. Af­ter learn­ing that mem­bers of the Moscow Book-Lovers So­ci­ety ar­ranged meet­ings ev­ery Wed­nes­day, I be­gan to join them, ex­chang­ing books and es­tab­lish­ing con­tacts with col­lec­tors. This is how I started the for­ma­tion of my own col­lec­tion. Next year, in Novem­ber 2017, my col­lec­tion will turn 35 years old; and, in April 2017 our mu­seum will cel­e­brate 15 years of its ex­is­tence.

Q: What im­pe­tus did you have for open­ing the Mu­seum of Minia­ture Books?

A: On Oc­to­ber 3, 1993, Hey­dar Aliyev was elected to his first term as Pres­i­dent of Azer­bai­jan. On Oc­to­ber 10, 1993, I at­tended his inau­gu­ra­tion cer­e­mony in the "Repub­lic" palace. Hey­dar Aliyev stood at ros­trum for one hour and ten min­utes and de­liv­ered his en­tire key­note speech from mem­ory, with­out read­ing the text. It made an im­pres­sion on me, and I told my­self that I should pub­lish it in a minia­ture book. I was in­spired by the minia­ture of the in­au­gu­ral speech of John F. Kennedy, pub­lished in the Nether­lands af­ter his death, which I al­ready had in my col­lec­tion at that time. I found a spon­sor and im­ple­mented the idea. The book un­der the ti­tle “The Oath of Al­le­giance to the Home­land, the State and the Peo­ple” was pub­lished by the 5th Moscow Obraztsova Print­ing House in three lan­guages. I pre­sented the book per­son­ally to Pres­i­dent Hey­dar Aliyev at the of­fi­cial event ded­i­cated to the 60th an­niver­sary of Mam­mad Araz, which was held at the Phil­har­monic House and where the in­tel­lec­tu­als met with the Pres­i­dent.

The of­fi­cial pre­sen­ta­tion of the book to the pub­lic took place on June 3rd, 1995, in the Hall of For­eign Lit­er­a­ture in the Azer­bai­jan Na­tional Li­brary af­ter M.F. Akhun­dov, where I was ex­hibit­ing 2000 minia­ture books out of the 4000 books in my col­lec­tion at that time. Pres­i­dent Aliyev ex­am­ined the col­lec­tion at­ten­tively, but he ex­hib­ited par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in three books: Alisher Navoi’s "Farkhad and Shirin", re­pro­duc­tions of Ro­erich and rare fac­sim­ile life­time edi­tion of Alexan­der Pushkin's "Eu­gene One­gin" (1837). I pre­sented those three minia­ture books to the Pres­i­dent. I re­mem­ber stand­ing near the dis­play of Erich Huneker’s 10 vol­umes, and say­ing: "Hey­dar Aliyev, the Ger­man Demo­cratic Repub­lic does not ex­ist any­more, how­ever, the books re­main". The Pres­i­dent looked at me and replied: "This is a book that al­ways re­mains."

In my speech that I gave on that same day, I said that if I were given a room, I would cre­ate a mu­seum of minia­ture books and be­queath the books to the city. Nine months af­ter the event (and af­ter send­ing the let­ter to the mayor of Baku at the time Rafael Al­lahverdiyev), I re­ceived a call from the city’s ar­chi­tect who said: "Zar­ifa khanum, the place you choose will be­come the place of the mu­seum".

The cre­ation of the Mu­seum is a vivid con­fir­ma­tion of Hey­dar Aliyev’s fore­sight. He re­al­ized the sig­nif­i­cance of the col­lec­tion for the culture of the coun­try. The grand open­ing of the Mu­seum took place on April 23, 2002. That day was not a ran­dom se­lec­tion, as April 23 is cel­e­brated world­wide as the In­ter­na­tional Day of Books and Copy­rights.

A: To­day, in the mu­seum, in an area of 145 sqm, 30 glass cases ex­hibit more than 5500 minia­ture books pub­lished in 73 dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

The mu­seum’s ex­po­si­tion con­sists of books on va­ri­ety of top­ics such as: reli­gion, life in for­eign coun­tries, sports and the Olympic move­ment, world clas­sics; and also mini books on arts and many oth­ers.

Q: Could you please name "top of the most" books: rare, small, old?

A: The most rare books in the ex­hi­bi­tion are the mi­cro books pub­lished by "Top­pan", Tokyo, Ja­pan, with a size of 0.75 x 0.75; and the old­est book in the col­lec­tion is a minia­ture of the "Ko­ran", 1672 A.D., pub­lished in Saudi Ara­bia.

Q: Out of the whole col­lec­tion, which book is your fa­vorite?

A: It is that very old ver­sion of the "Ko­ran", and also the life­time edi­tion of Pushkin’s "Eu­gene One­gin"(SPb..1837).

Q: Tell us, please, about one of your most re­mark­able achieve­ments - get­ting into the Guin­ness Book of World Records?

A: In June 2014, I’ve read in the news­pa­per "Moskovsky Kom­so­mo­lets" that a woman in Amer­ica had grown out her nails and got­ten into the Guin­ness Book of World Records; an­other man had grown a 5.5 me­ter long mus­tache and also won the Guin­ness Record. Those achieve­ments, frankly speak­ing, are not that out­stand­ing. So, as a board mem­ber of the Icheri She­her’s Ak­sakkals, I asked the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Icheri She­her to as­sist us in our ap­pli­ca­tion to the Guin­ness World Records Book.

The fil­ing of the ap­pli­ca­tion was pre­ceded by very te­dious work. The rea­son was that, ac­cord­ing to Guin­ness World Records’ re­quire­ments and stan­dards for minia­ture books at that time, the size of minia­ture books could not ex­ceed 75x75 mm; while in the USSR that for­mat­ting stan­dard was 100x100 mm at that time. So, in or­der to fig­ure out how many of my books would fit into that size re­quire­ment, I had to go through each book on each shelf. In the end, I found 2913 books in my col­lec­tion that cor­re­sponded to that stan­dard. Pre­vi­ously, the only record of Minia­ture Books was reg­is­tered in 1982 by an In­dian cit­i­zen’s col­lec­tion of 286 books. We pre­pared all the nec­es­sary doc­u­men­ta­tion and pro­vided tes­ti­mo­nial ev­i­dence from peo­ple who con­firmed data about my col­lec­tion. One of tes­ti­fiers was the prom­i­nent Azer­bai­jani writer Chin­giz Ab­dul­layev. Also, upon the ad­di­tional re­quest, I was asked to con­firm that the ma­te­rial I was pro­vid­ing was not fal­si­fied, and that I want to reg­is­ter the col­lec­tion (not the mu­seum). On Jan­uary 20, 2015 we re­ceived a con­grat­u­la­tory let­ter stat­ing that our col­lec­tion would be in­cluded in the Guin­ness World Records. Fi­nally, in March, 2015, on the very same day as the pre­sen­ta­tion of minia­ture books "Zakir Ba­girov, 85", we re­ceived the long-awaited of­fi­cial cer­tifi­cate, which still weighs in the heart of the mu­seum.

Azer­bai­jani pain­ter Javad Mir­javadov is an un­fath­omed ge­nius of the 20th cen­tury, a non-con­form­ist and a re­former, whose mas­ter­pieces have had a tremen­dous in­flu­ence on the de­vel­op­ment of con­tem­po­rary Azer­bai­jani art.

Mir­javadov`s paint­ings are cur­rently part of the col­lec­tions of ma­jor art lovers and mu­se­ums around the world. His works are either un­equiv­o­cally rec­og­nized or re­jected, but the fur­ther his cre­ative work dis­tances from us in time, the clearer one may com­pre­hend the unique­ness of his grandeur as a clas­si­cal con­tem­po­rary pain­ter in Azer­bai­jan, the merits that Mir­javadov has gained af­ter many years of non-recog­ni­tion by crit­ics and view­ers.

The his­tory of the pain­ter`s life is as com­pli­cated and cap­ti­vat­ing as his works. He was the first and the most re­mark­able fig­ure of the Azer­bai­jani avant-garde. Though the pain­ter was born to a well-to-do fam­ily in Baku in 1923, his an­ces­tors were famed for be­ing as­cetics and cur­ers. In a way, Mir­javadov fol­lowed in their foot­steps, though he cured not hu­man bod­ies, but hu­man souls by his paint­ings. The turn­ing point in his cre­ative work came when he was a stu­dent and saw a re­pro­duc­tion of Paul Cezanne`s ``Mardi Gras``, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing cre­ative re­gen­er­a­tion. This pas­sion­ate, ded­i­cated and fear­less man headed to Saint Peters­burg to study the works of Cezanne, Van Gogh, Matisse and other out­stand­ing artists of the 20th cen­tury. In or­der to fully grasp the enor­mous courage of this de­ci­sion, we must re­call that this hap­pened dur­ing Stalin`s rule, when tak­ing in­ter­est in th­ese painters was con­sid­ered het­ero­doxy and even treach­ery.

noble or faint-hearted. His paint­ings in­di­cate the ver­sa­tile col­ors and mix­ture of hu­man qual­i­ties. There is not a sin­gle bit of ide­al­iza­tion or lies. Due to his straight­for­ward and in­de­pen­dent ap­proach, non-com­pli­ant with Soviet ide­ol­ogy, the artist was shunned by the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem and did not live long enough to re­ceive due recog­ni­tion. 1985 was one of the most chal­leng­ing years of his life. Per­sis­tent fi­nan­cial con­straints, health prob­lems and - the most dis­ap­point­ing of all - non-recog­ni­tion of his tal­ent, caused the pain­ter to fall into a world of dark­ness. In one of those days the el­derly, ail­ing and down-hearted artist asked his wife to turn on the TV, and on the screen was the smil­ing face of writer Chin­giz Ayt­ma­tov, who just ar­rived in Baku. Half an hour later Mir­javadov and his spouse were at the guest house, and the artist told the crowd of ad­mir­ers that he would be the first to meet the renowned writer. A mi­nor squab­ble en­sued, and Ayt­ma­tov` s friend, writer Leonid Latynin, came out af­ter hear­ing the noise…Hav­ing looked at the slides of Mir­javadov`s paint­ings, he un­ex­pect­edly asked the Mir­javadovs to come in.

This meet­ing was a turn­ing point in the artist`s life. On the fol­low­ing day, Ayt­ma­tov came to their apart­ment, which was full of Mir­javadov`s draw­ings. On the same day, a huge can­vass en­ti­tled “Phaeton”, cre­ated by the Azer­bai­jani pain­ter, be­came part of Ayt­ma­tov`s pri­vate col­lec­tion. More­over, the “Fire” paint­ing soon ended up in Arthur Miller`s pri­vate col­lec­tion, while “Som­nam­bulu” was taken by Gabriel Gar­cia Mar­ques, who said: “I will hang up `Som­nam­bulu` in the study room at my apart­ment in Paris.”

Mir­javadov` s first pri­vate ex­hi­bi­tion took place in 1987 when the artist was 64, and it was the first-ever op­por­tu­nity to fa­mil­iar­ize a wide range of view­ers with his works. In 1987, when the breeze of free­dom swept through the coun­try, the dar­ing pain­ter was un­ex­pect­edly elected to the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the Union of Artists; the doc­u­men­tary “This is Javad” about the artist was shot; and the re­pro­duc­tions of his paint­ings were pub­lished in the Go­bus­tan mag­a­zine. A year later, Mir­javadov was named a renowned art fig­ure of the repub­lic. In 1988 Mir­javadov`s draw­ings were in­cluded in an ex­hi­bi­tion held in Ja­pan. Mir­javadov got his first op­por­tu­nity to travel abroad -- to far­away Den­mark -- in 1989.

“I par­tic­u­larly re­joiced that the first coun­try I could go to was a monar­chy, to the ag­gra­va­tion of the com­mu­nists, and at times I shouted on the streets “Viva the Queen!”

But as early as in 1988 Mir­javadov was di­ag­nosed with the ruth­less “at­ro­phy of the brain”. The pain­ter bat­tled the ill­ness for four years be­fore he died.

The artist was fond of mu­sic…Once he asked his wife: “When I die, make sure you look at my eyes. If they are shut, I was born to be a mu­si­cian, but if they are open, then my life was on the right path.”

He passed away on a train. Suf­fer­ing from se­vere ill­ness and still un­rec­og­nized, he has proven with his whole life that he was a real pain­ter. Javad left this world with his eyes wide open. Au­thor, arts critic Nar­giz Ha­jiyeva ex­tends her grat­i­tude for the ma­te­rial pro­vided by Lyubov Mir­javadova.

“It’s called ‘The Girl from the Golden Horn’. It’s a novel. It was writ­ten by Kur­ban Said, the same au­thor who wrote ‘Ali and Nino’.”

“I didn’t know. What’s so spe­cial about it?” asks Gül­süm.

“Wait un­til you grow up to un­der­stand,” replies Rushthen. “Why? Is it so dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand?” “Leave your dad alone! Why don’t you go play with Sind­bad?” asks Sham­siya.

“I’m not in mood! No­body’s in mood any­way in this house. I hate the snow. I feel cold. Maybe I’ll get the flue.”

Sham­siya heads for the cor­ner where a com­puter is sit­ting. This is a com­puter used by all, when they are eat­ing in the kitchen or sit­ting in the main liv­ing room. It is more con­ve­nient. Yet ev­ery­one has their own lap­top.

Lately Sham­siya has started us­ing In­ter­net more than she used to. As if she had dis­cov­ered a new teenager­hood. She is praised by friends and foes alike for be­ing skill­ful at work and steady in ful­fill­ing her un­fin­ished busi­ness. Make no mis­takes! Sham­siya does have a plenty of foes in­clud­ing peo­ple who hates her for break­ing up with Fariz, her for­mer hus­band, and for bring­ing about a group-headache by bring­ing Rushthen in the fam­ily’s life! Lately, Sham­siya has started to get ac­quainted with face­book. She was in­vited by Ni­gar, her best friend, to join. She did. No re­grets so far. It is amaz­ing how peo­ple give false in­for­ma­tion when sub­scrib­ing to hide their real iden­tity, and yet can­not help post­ing their real pho­tos or com­ment­ing on se­ri­ous is­sues like abor­tion or polygamy.

Rushthen likes the In­ter­net too; but for a dif­fer­ent pur­pose. He needs this medium to track hack­ers who think that break­ing in a firm’s busi­ness is an achieve­ment. He once used to be a hacker him­self. Not good! Just a child­ish be­hav­ior be­cause the task is point­less; be­sides, it plays the games ini­ti­ated by the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy creators. This did hap­pen in the past when they talked about 2000 bug. Noth­ing hap­pened. They did it also with the so-called stars war and space hi­jack­ing games. And they are do­ing it again with Wik­ileaks saga. God! How come Wik­ileaks is put­ting things up­side down? Well Rushthen doesn’t buy it. Leaks have al­ways been parts of dirty wars, and Wik­ileaks is part of this war. How­ever, who might be the scape­goat, the vic­tim or the win­ner?

Now, Rushthen is read­ing his “Girl from the Golden Horn”. Amaz­ing! The story writ­ten al­most eight decades ago, but so well with the present life! Would it be a sin to make the same mis­take? What is hap­pen­ing in this neigh­bor­hood is in­trigu­ing! Sec­u­lar­ism, moder­nity, iden­tity, self-re­spect, reli­gion and culture are a bas­ket of con­tro­ver­sial in­gre­di­ents. Rushthen makes a pause and dreams away. The Caspian and the whole story of the re­gion are all about sur­vival! And what is he do­ing here any­way?

The phone is ring­ing. Sham­siya gets up and an­swers. It is her mother Ganira. Gül­süm is head­ing for the com­puter. Rushthen says ‘’No way”. Both pre­tend fight­ing for tak­ing over the com­puter. Then Rushthen stops be­cause he gets a glimpse of the screen where Sham­siya’s Face­book page is still open.

“I do have a face­book ac­count too,” com­ments Gül­süm. “Since when?” asks Rushthen. “Since ev­ery­body started to have one.” “Does your mother know about it?” “Sham­siya? None of her busi­ness! I face­book as she does! You should face­book as I do. Face­book when you can’t read. I do some­times,” mocks Gül­süm. She goes on teas­ing Rushthen. “Look and Facelook!” “Facelook? What do you mean?” “Just look and facelook! Look into the face and read….” “You’re amaz­ing!” “How amaz­ing?” “Amaz­ing to the level I could swal­low you at once!” “You like me none­the­less!” “What do you think?” “Look and facelook, then!” Rushthen has no time for ar­gu­ing. He is as­ton­ished to no­tice that Sham­siya has so many friends on her face­book page. She never men­tioned she had a face­book page. At a glance, he no­ticed also she has posted a hun­dred of pic­tures. He feels an un­bear­able un­ease for spy­ing on Sham­siya and for notic­ing th­ese de­tails. “What the heck” he would have said in other cir­cum­stances. Gül­süm is watch­ing him in­tently. Rushthen goes back to his book. How­ever, he is not in­ter­ested in read­ing any­more. He has to face the truth; he lives in the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy era. What to do?

Snow out­side is get­ting on Rushthen’s nerves. He re­turns to the Girl from the Golden Horn. The hero­ine is sit­ting in the ve­randa and think­ing. Will it be safe to

“So­cial fo­rum ad­dicted too daddy! Amaz­ing!” “What’re you im­ply­ing Gül­süm?” “Just thoughts like thoughts could be. In­spir­ing some­times; warn­ing some­times. Mis­lead­ing some­times… And you’re late…”

“This is get­ting se­ri­ous! What are you try­ing to say?” protests Sham­siya. “It’s a pri­vate mat­ter!” “Pri­vate?” “Pri­vate like pri­vate could be for any­body!” “I don’t get it. But bet­ter you shut up,” warns Sham­siya.

“Let her speak! Show­time for chil­dren!” says Rushthen.

“Do you think I’m just a spoiled girl?” asks Gül­süm.

“I didn’t mean that. But I’m a lit­tle con­fused. Why do you keep bring­ing up the In­ter­net story in ev­ery con­ver­sa­tion? Do you have a point you’d like to make or some­thing?”

“As mat­ter of fact I do. But you’re blind and you don’t see.” “Blind? How?” “Blind like a blind date!” Gül­süm an­swers. That is the kind of di­a­logue that ce­ments Rushthen and Gül­süm. Sham­siya would not have au­tho­rized it had not she ex­pe­ri­enced the same at­ten­tion and care from Rushthen. Rushthen would not com­plain either. He re­calls when he first ex­pressed the will­ing­ness to buy a piece of land to start a farm­ing busi­ness. He could not, be­cause the law did not al­low for­eign­ers to pos­sess a land. He would reg­is­ter the land in Sham­siya’s name or Gül­süm’s name; but Fariz, said no. He still has not lost faith in get­ting back to­gether with Sham­siya. Baku is a swamp of gos­sips. Fariz heard that Sham­siya was not re­ally in love with Rushthen, and for the sake of be­ing a good Azer­bai­jani; he had to rec­on­cile with Sham­siya – and get the for­eigner out of the city. Well, Rushthen did not lose faith either. He was pretty sure that the chem­istry work­ing be­tween him and Gül­süm will even­tu­ally break the ices in Sham­siya’s heart and he will get a warm place some­where in be­tween.

As soon as Rushthen leaves the house, Sham­siya starts get­ting ready to go out too. She puts on a light make up, a drop of the per­fume she likes the most, a gift from Ni­gar, her best con­fi­dent in all times. She spends more time than usual look­ing into the mir­ror. She has never doubted her beauty. She has even been asked to ap­ply for Miss Azer­bai­jan com­pe­ti­tion ahead of the Euro­vi­sion 2012. Some say she is a lit­tle older for that – ab­surd thoughts, she is only thirty years old. Peo­ple for­get that girls marry at a very early age in this re­gion. At a sec­ond thought, why not? It she does ap­ply, this will bring about gos­sip, which is good for her busi­ness. “Do you have a date Sham­siya?” asks Gül­süm. “How dare you call me Sham­siya? I’m your mother for God’s sake,” shouts Sham­siya.

“Be­tween women, no need for su­perla­tives, Sham­siya!” mocks Gül­süm.

“One of th­ese days I’m go­ing to teach you how to be­have. Rushthen is spoil­ing you. But it’s not his fault.”

“Who’s fault Sham­siya?”

“You keep on teas­ing me. Wait till I come back.”

“Adults talk like chil­dren when they’re short of ar­gu­ments. I’ll wait. What are go­ing to do? Slap me? Hit me? Starve me to death? The fact is you’re hav­ing a date. Both of you!” “Why do you bother?” “I don’t want you to ruin this re­la­tion­ship. Rushthen is a good man.” “How do you know? He isn’t your real fa­ther.” “What that does mean be­ing a real fa­ther or a real mother? Where do you live? Look around Sham­siya and wake up!”

Gül­süm would not be that sharp had not Rushthen come in her life as a step­fa­ther and as a friend. He would not sleep be­fore telling her a story or watch­ing her un­til she would close her eyes. The first time Sham­siya in­tro­duced him to her Gül­süm felt like she had known him for years. He was such a nice and shy per­son. From the first day, he tried to be friendly with her. He man­aged to learn a cou­ple of Az­eri ex­pres­sions. He was funny re­peat­ing them blindly as if he was go­ing to be drafted or some­thing. Gül­süm knew then that Rushthen was look­ing for a safe haven too. Sham­siya was not that in love with him. Yet, she was will­ing to tease her rel­a­tives by bring­ing a for­eigner into the fam­ily. A for­eigner with plenty of cre­den­tials but not that im­pres­sive from Gül­süm’s grand­fa­ther’s point of view. Gül­süm was lazy at school. She was mad at her fa­ther, Fariz, who hap­pened to drink a lot and find also time to go to the mosque. There­fore gos­sips were the com­mon recipe in the whole neigh­bor­hood. Her fa­ther? A nice man though, but he was very busy run­ning af­ter a lost dream. He is a real Baku­vian. You would fig­ure it out from the way he looks down to peo­ple walk­ing on the Boule­vard. He likes to say, Baku was a peace­ful place once where one could en­joy life amid peo­ple whom he knew. Now, you are in trou­ble be­cause you may run into a for­eigner who would pre­tend be­ing a rel­a­tive and would never leave un­til he would swin­dle you. Fariz is ex­ag­ger­at­ing.

“Now, I can watch this movie with­out be­ing dis­turbed. I can’t wait to find out why Sham­siya and Rushthen are so care­ful watch­ing it ev­ery weekend?” Gül­süm says.

She sits on the sofa Rushthen bought at an auc­tion a week ear­lier, and switches on the Video while play­ing with Sham­siya’s lip­stick. Sham­siya would kill her if she found out about it. Right now Gül­süm does not care.

‘Joe is email­ing to Kath­leen try­ing to flirt with her. Kath­leen is skep­ti­cal about her feel­ings and gets con­fused be­cause Joe is re­ally try­ing hard to ex­press how badly he is will­ing to meet her.’

“I swear I don’t mother!” Sham­siya stops ar­gu­ing. Gül­süm is call­ing her ‘mother’.

“I swear. You’ve got to be­lieve me,” says Gül­süm again. “Then, who did de­stroy the com­puter?” “Face­book! Wik­ileaks! Prob­a­bly,” mocks Gül­süm. “How do you know?” “Rushthen thinks so!” “Rushthen? Oh right! What foam of non­sense! He’d have to ex­plain to me some miss­ing links down the val­ley of our life as Baku­vians!”

Late night, Rushthen shows up a lit­tle ex­hausted. He is re­ported about the com­puter de­struc­tion. He seems a lit­tle wor­ried too. How­ever, he makes no com­ment. He even brings a box of choco­lates that he of­fers to Gül­süm. The din­ner is served. Sham­siya and Rushthen barely talk to each other. Sham­siya asks Gül­süm what she has been do­ing when they were out; she says she had started watch­ing “You’ve got mail”, but she could not fin­ish it, be­cause Joe and Cath­leen were such losers. She is asked where the car­pet of the liv­ing room has gone. She does not know. Strange! The car­pet has gone too. Sind­bad is still ag­i­tated. “What’s wrong with Sind­bad?” asks Rushthen. “I don’t know,” says Sham­siya. “Maybe Gül­süm has some­thing to share with us. We’re not in­ter­ested in Joe and Kath­leen’s story. Too ro­man­tic and over-ex­ag­ger­ated! We’re lis­ten­ing!” “I’ve noth­ing to say.” “Try!” “Do you re­ally want to know?” “Hon­est!” “I read some­where on some­one’s face­book that “Pic­tures might be beau­ti­ful and scener­ies splen­did, they re­main vir­tual still!”

“Quite in­spir­ing!” says Rushthen. “I thought I read such state­ment too.”

“I read also on an­other face­book page that “Power comes with love.” And that “Strength is gen­er­ated in and by a full and gen­uine ded­i­ca­tion.” I also like this one: “A mir­ror is sim­ply a re­flec­tion of an im­age; it is never the im­age”. Also that one “Masks can prove to be the real na­ture of a hu­man be­ing!” “Quite in­spir­ing in­deed!” com­ments Sham­siya. Then Rushthen gets up and says: “I’d bet­ter be fin­ish­ing read­ing ‘The Girl from the Golden Horn’. I re­ally need to un­der­stand.”

“Don’t you like to facelook a lit­tle daddy?” mocks Gül­süm.

“Not for the time be­ing ge­nius! Read­ing books is also vir­tual, but books have got the merit to give you room to think and as­sess. No rush.” Gül­süm turns to Sham­siya, and asks: “What about you mother?” “You call me mother again!” “I know. You’re my mother. Aren’t you? You’ve al­ways been. Don’t you want to face­book?”

“Not any­more! It’s a vir­tual deadly game. I don’t like it any­more!”

Sham­siya hugs her daugh­ter and says:

“I for­got to tell you that Fariz is will­ing to take you for a trip next spring? What do you think?”

“I ask daddy Rushthen, first!” “He wouldn’t mind.” “I’ll think about it.” A few min­utes later, Rushthen shows up. He seems a lit­tle up­set again.

“I hate it when I can’t use in­ter­net. Did we for­get to pay the monthly bill? It’s not work­ing….”

“You said you were go­ing to chat with your Girl from the Golden Horn? Change of plans or ad­dic­tion?” asks Sham­siya. “I’m not kidding.” “I don’t think we failed to pay the bill. It might be tech­ni­cal prob­lem, be­cause of the snow. I’ll check to­mor­row,” ex­plains Sham­siya.

“Be­sides, I can’t be­lieve you didn’t tell me you were go­ing to the Mu­seum Cen­ter. We would have gone to­gether,” protests Rushthen.

“You didn’t ask me,” replies Sham­siya. “And since when I’m sup­posed to lay down my daily sched­ule to you?”

“It’d have been nice to have a drink at the same place we first met.” “You do re­mem­ber…” “In­deed. But what made you wear the same per­fume?”

“I don’t know. A hint! An in­tu­ition! And what about you dressed like a gigolo? Like the first time we met!” “A hint! An in­tu­ition, like you said.” Gül­süm could not help sneer­ing. Her par­ents would not get it. Not yet! But she has faith. Sooner or later, she will make her point best un­der­stood for good. She leaves the stage fol­lowed by Sind­bad.

“Don’t you know Sind­bad that there’re two cat­e­gories of in­di­vid­ual-pets? The first cat­e­gory in­volves those who al­ways think that the oth­ers are an­i­mals and they are hu­man. The sec­ond cat­e­gory in­volves those who know what ex­actly the first cat­e­gory thing about them but don’t have the guts to chal­lenge them to prove that they re­ally are hu­man and that they’ve to leave the task of clas­si­fy­ing peo­ple ac­cord­ing to ori­gins to the na­ture and the weather. They’re an­i­mals too. To which cat­e­gory do we be­long, you and me my poor Sind­bad?”

Gül­süm brushes her teeth and de­cides to go sleep­ing. While in bed, she re­sumes draw­ing in her mind the paint­ing she could not fin­ish ear­lier. All of a sud­den the Girl from the Golden Horn emerges from nowhere.

‘Why are you so anx­ious to see things go your way? Leave it to time! No rush. Don’t make the same mis­take! Trust your in­stinct! They’re go­ing to heal. It’s meant to be this way. No rush! It’s a mat­ter of faith and prom­ise. Go ahead with your draw­ing but make no mis­take, the vir­tual might prove to be a safe haven, a shel­ter, a re­demp­tion!’

The Girl van­ishes. Gül­süm smiles. She hugs Sind­bad and sleeps at once.

piera” or soup tureen, a nick­name which has lasted to this day. Even­tu­ally, they re­moved the fountain from Campo de’ Fiori and put it in the place where it cur­rently stands.

How did a can­non­ball ar­rive in the cen­ter of a fountain in Viale Trinitàdei Monti?

Leg­end has it that one morn­ing the fa­mous 17th cen­tury res­i­dent of Rome, for­mer queen Cristina of Swe­den , was bored and wanted to go hunt­ing, but be­cause she was not al­lowed to ven­ture into the for­est alone, she had to in­vite some­one else to ac­com­pany her. But how could she find some­one quickly? Ac­cord­ing to the story, she de­cided to fire a can­non­ball against the door of the Villa Medici to wake up the owner of the prop­erty and make him par­tic­i­pate at the hunt. As ev­i­dence to sup­port the truth of this story, you can see a dent on the bronze gate of Villa Medici.) How do you think the owner re­acted? Supris­ingly, he was de­lighted, and he even de­cided to move the can­non­ball and put it in the fountain near his res­i­dence! In­cred­i­ble!!! COLOS­SEUM UN­DER­GROUND

See more of the Colos­seum than ever be­fore on this in­cred­i­ble look in­side Rome's most sym­bolic mon­u­ment.

Fi­nally, tourists can visit the un­der­ground of the Colos­seum. You can ac­cess it through the ma­jes­tic “Libiti­nar­ian” gates, which have been ren­o­vated dur­ing re­cent years. The de­scent to the hy­pogeum or un­der­ground level will com­plete your visit to the Colos­seum. There you will see the place where Ro­man slaves worked out of sight of but was sub­se­quently closed for be­ing too dan­ger­ous; it has re­opened re­cently to the pub­lic. This tour is fan­tas­tic be­cause it al­lows vis­i­tors to dis­cover spe­cial places that tell the story of Rome in one of the most an­cient mon­u­ments of the world. AN­GELS AND DEMONS IN THE UN­DER­GROUND OF PI­AZZA NAVONA

In the wake of the suc­cess of the Dan Brown thriller An­gels and Demons, this guided tour is fo­cused on the real places de­scribed in the best­seller based on the Il­lu­mi­nati. The book and tour

In a re­gion pop­u­lated by olive and al­mond trees, Noto sits on a plateau dom­i­nat­ing the val­ley of the Asi­naro and its cit­rus plan­ta­tions. This tiny Baroque jewel en­dowed with an op­u­lent beauty is a re­sult of a sin­gle tragic event - the earthquake of 1693, which, de­spite caus­ing death and de­struc­tion to this part of Si­cily, also prompted huge ef­forts to re­build it. The town ( Noto An­tica- An­cient), that be­fore the earthquake was lo­cated some 9- 10 km away from its cur­rent lo­ca­tion, has its ori­gins way back in An­tiq­uity. lt wit­nessed the birth of Ducetius who, in 5 B. C., made the Greeks shake in their shoes for in­cit­ing the Si­culi against the Si­cil­ian na- tion­al­ist move­ment. The 1693 earthquake com­pletely de­stroyed the old town. A broader and safer site was cho­sen for the new town; the site could ac­com­mo­date a straight­for­ward, lin­ear town plan, with in­ter­sec­tions at right an­gles and wide, par­al­lel streets in ac­cor­dance with new Baroque taste. Three of the main streets run across the town from east to west, and al­ways lay bathed in sun­shine.

The town was di­vided into three parts each pop­u­lated ac­cord­ing to the so­cial sta­tus: the high­est part of the town was re­served for the town’s no­bil­ity; the cen­tre of the town - for the clergy ( all ex­cept the hun-

Spinola in sal. S. Ca­te­rina, Palazzo Gi­a­como Spinola at pi­azza Fon­tane Marose, Palazzo Agostino Balbi that shares the name of the street where it is lo­cated (via Balbi), Palazzo Cosma Cen­tu­ri­one into via Lomellini. A long se­quence of other build­ings “dei Rolli” oc­cu­pies the cen­tral part of the an­tique built-up area of Genoa and; the list would be too long to re­port it en­tirely.

The City of Do­ria, Mazz­ini, and Mon­tale are the cities of many other painters, the au­thors of splen­did great works of the sev­en­teenth cen­tury.

There are many tal­ented Ge­noese con­tem­po­rary painters (Rai­mondo Sirotti ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Lin­guis­tic Academy, Wal­ter Di Giusto, Gian­netto Fi­eschi and so on). The ma­jor works of one of those fa­mous painters are cur­rently re­pro­duced by Roberto Perotti, who re­ceived the award from the culture de­part­ment of the city. Six paint­ings from Roberto Perotti are also owned by the GAM Mu­seum of Genoa Nervi.

The culture of the sea is mag­nif­i­cently pre­sented in the Ge­noese aquar­ium, which is one of the most vis­ited places in Italy, at the Mu­seum of the Sea (MUMA) where the story of the city and the story of the mar­itime ac­tiv­i­ties are well pre­sented.

Be­sides the glo­ri­ous build­ings, Genoa amazes vis­i­tors with its lit­tle vil­lages sit­u­ated on the coast of Lig­uria, safe­guarded dur­ing the years with the col­or­ful houses, the lit­tle fish­ing boats as­sem­bled on the coast, some­thing that no one can imag­ine in a city. We will men­tion only a few of those typ­i­cal vil­lages: Boc­cadasse, that is sit­u­ated at the end of the path near the sea of Corso Italia; and, near that vil­lage, there is Ver­naz­zola, where you can find the fas­ci­nat­ing at­mos­phere of the past, with calm and full of po­etry.

Fur­ther­more, the Nervi parks, which are lo­cated in the neigh­bor­hood at the ori­en­tal ex­trem­ity of the com­mune of Genoa, not only have rare ar­bo­real species and a gor­geous rose gar­den, but also three Mu­se­ums: The GAM, the Wolf­so­ni­ana and the col­lec­tion Fru­gone.

The story of the sea traf­fic with nearby places and Far East is the story of the glo­ri­ous repub­lic of Genoa, which has been for cen­turies the queen of the sea to­gether with its ri­val Venice. The traces of cul­tural ex­change and mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism cre­ated by those trades can be seen in the city even to­day.

The ex­tra­or­di­nary po­ten­tial of Genoa port with its fea­tures and strate­gic po­si­tion is not suf­fi­ciently ex­plored yet. Also, there are lots of prob­lems in the city, with one of the main one be­ing the de­fi­cien­cies in the trans­port in­fra­struc­ture; this is es­pe­cially true for the rail­way in­fra­struc­ture that con­nects the city with north­ern re­gions of the coun­try. Re­cently, they built so-called “third cross­ing place”, in or­der to re­lieve the city’s cen­tral parts of the traf­fic load. Since Genoa is not a suf­fi­ciently ren­o­vated (al­though beau­ti­ful) city, this mea­sure should help to de­crease the load on some of its parts.

It is only re­cently that the touris­tic value of this once glo­ri­ous Repub­lic has be­come known to the world. Peo­ple vis­it­ing the city be­come shocked by its beauty, and by the fact that they did not know about it.

There is Hon­orary Con­sulate of the Repub­lic of Azer­bai­jan in Genoa, and the Con­sul is Margherita Costa, for­mer Ital­ian Am­bas­sador to Azer­bai­jan.

Who loves the sea, knows very well the mag­nif­i­cence of its shows. Un­pre­dictable or calm, the sea stays nev­er­the­less the most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion to re­lax and en­joy the sun­shine. The sea bot­tom is also very gen­er­ous and mar­velous; it can al­low a dive into the si­lent and os­cil­lat­ing world rich of col­ors and fan­tas­tic crea­tures.

The sea bot­tom is made of sed­i­ments of dif­fer­ent ori­gins, dis­persed out over the oceans by rock frag­ments, con­sumed by waves, muds and vol­canic sands.

For those who love the sea, the ex­plo­ration of sea bot­tom is a key mo­ment of hol­i­days.

The Ital­ian coast is highly di­verse, de­vel­oped and has many dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ments. Even though it is “in­serted” into the Mediter­ranean Sea, Italy also faces the Tyrrhe­nian Sea on the west, and the Adri­atic Sea on its east, both with many dif­fer­ent fea­tures. The warm sea­side of Cal­abria will not let you be in­dif­fer­ent. With the sea bot­toms of Tro­pea and Capo Vat­i­cano, we can cher­ish cliffs com­pletely cov­ered by won­der­ful corals and col­or­ful sea­weeds. Thanks to the trans­parence of the sea, you can ob­serve the most beau­ti­ful fishes stand­ing on the seashore.

Pianosa Is­land, also called the ‘Devil Is­land’, is one of the most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions for those who like to dive in. The is­land, which is a real jewel, is part of the Tus­cany ar­chi­pel­ago; it is worth to visit it to ad­mire its won­der­ful sea bot­tom.

Sar­dinia: You can find here beau­ti­ful places that pro­vide ex­cel­lent con­di­tions for div­ing; the area is full of evoca­tive places to visit. Vil­lasimìus has a rich and di­verse sea bot­tom, made of rocks, precipices, and won­der­ful ma­rine flora – its rich­ness al­lows an un­for­get­table scuba div­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

The sea bot­tom in the pro­tected ma­rine zone of Mi­ra­mare in the Gulf of Tri­este is also a good div­ing site, thanks to the low sea bot­tom and the vast va­ri­ety of fishes; the en­vi­ron­ment here is made of rock, gravel and sand, and has a huge di­ver­sity of ex­tremely rare species.

The cape of Portofino is one of the most in­ter­est­ing des­ti­na­tions due to its won­der­ful sea bot­tom. You will en­joy ob­serv­ing the huge fish va­ri­ety and ma­rine species that live in the rock cracks, and the “posi­do­nia ocean­ica” which is

Mrs. Gwen Burchell Founder of United Aid for Azer­bai­jan

Ques­tion: What does it feel like to be the spouse of a diplo­mat?

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