Today First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva celebrates her birthday, APA reports.
Mehriban Aliyeva Arif was born in Baku. Mehriban Aliyeva graduated from secondary public school No. 23 in Baku in 1982 with a gold medal, and later entered Azerbaijan State Medical Institute named after Nariman Narimanov, Preventive-Treatment Faculty. She continued her studies at the Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy (currently the I.M.Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University), from where she graduated with an honorary diploma in 1988. She worked at the Moscow Scientific Research Institute for Eye Diseases under the leadership of academician Krasnov in 1988-1992. In 1995, on the initiative of Mehriban Aliyeva, the Friends of Azerbaijan Culture Foundation was established. In 1996, Mehriban Aliyeva founded the ‘Azerbaijan-Heritage’ magazine, which is published in three languages (Azerbaijani, Russian, and English) for a wider promotion of Azerbaijani culture.
In October 2002, Mehriban Aliyeva was elected as President of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation.
Mehriban Aliyeva has also been heading the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The official opening ceremony of the Foundation was held on May 10, 2004. Heydar Aliyev Foundation takes charity measures, implements projects in educational, cultural, art fields. These projects are not limited to just Azerbaijan. Humanitarian projects implemented by Mehriban Aliyeva are famous in the whole world. A new school has been built for girls in Pakistan, a range of humanitarian actions have been held in Islamabad, as well as in other Provinces of Pakistan. Restoration of a part of Palace of Versailles and a church of middle centuries in Strasbourg, one of the galleries of the Louvre Museum, catacombs of Rome, construction of Azerbaijan-Russia friendship bridge in Astrakhan, erection of the first monument to Saint Equal to the Apostles Prince Vladimir, and other projects are among charitable works of Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
On August 13, 2004, Mehriban Aliyeva was named Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO for her role in protection and development of Azerbaijan's intangible folk literature and national musical legacy.
However, in November 2022, First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva terminated her term as Goodwill Ambassador and sent a letter to UNESCO Director- General in this regard.
Vice-President explained her refusal of this position by the fact that she was actively involved in the large-scale restoration and reconstruction of the region after the liberation of the Azerbaijani territories from the occupation of Armenia as a result of the Patriotic War, and that it was impossible for her to fulfill the duties of the Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO.
On December 28, 2004, Mehriban Aliyeva was elected as a member of the Executive Committee of NOC at the 4th General Assembly of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
She was also awarded the title of ‘Woman of the Year’ in 2005, according to the social poll held in Azerbaijan. On June 9, 2005, the first lady of Azerbaijan 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.
Mehriban Aliyeva received a PhD in Philosophy in 2005.
On November 24, 2006, 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 intercultural dialogue, attention to children in need of special care and support for improving living conditions, great support for education and projects being realized in the Islamic world.
The World Health Organization (WHO) awarded Mehriban Aliyeva for her exceptional services in protecting and strengthening the health of the mother, child, and family. This was made upon a unanimous decision of the 120th session of the WHO executive committee in Geneva on January 29, 2007.
Mehriban Aliyeva was honored with ‘Gold Heart’ international award in May of 2007 for her charitable activities and outstanding achievements in services to the highest ideals of humanity.
The first lady was awarded the ‘Grand Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland’ on September 14, 2009. She received this Order for her contribution to the development of friendly ties between Azerbaijan and Poland.
Mehriban Aliyeva was awarded the ‘Order of Legion of Honor’ by French president’s order dated February 10, 2010.
Mehriban Aliyeva was presented with the Crans Montana Forum`s Gold Medal, Brussels, June 24, 2011.
The Humanitarian Cooperation Council (HCC) of CIS member states and the CIS Interstate Humanitarian Cooperation Foundation (IHCF) presented Mehriban Aliyeva the ‘Stars of the Commonwealth’ Interstate Prize on April 13, 2012.
Mehriban Aliyeva was honored with Pakistani ‘Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women Excellence Award 2013’ on December 27, 2013.
The First Lady was awarded an honorary prize of the Turkish-German Friendship Federation on May 12, 2014, for her contributions to dialogue between civilizations, as well as for the services towards promotion of the Turkic world in Germany and the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Germany.
Azerbaijan’s first lady received the Olympic Excellence award of the International Olympic Academy in Athens on June 16, 2014.
On August 9, 2019, Mehriban Aliyeva has been awarded the Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation under the Decree of President Vladimir Putin for her contributions to the development and strengthening of Azerbaijan-Russia relations.
Moreover, Mehriban Aliyeva was awarded "Heydar Aliyev" Order of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Order of Knight Grand Cross “For Merits” of the Italian Republic, Order "Hilal-e Pakistan" of Pakistan, Sreten Order of Serbia, Commander’s Cross Order of Merit of Hungary, Saint Princess Olga Order of 2nd degree of Russian Orthodox Church, Order of “For Services to Astrakhan Region” of Russia, UNESCO`s Mozart Gold Medal, golden medal of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), High Order of the European Olympic Committee, Medal of Special Merit of the International Fair Play Committee, Gold Medal of the Nizami Ganjavi International Centre, an Honorary Diploma of the State of Kuwait.
The work of Mehriban Aliyeva as chair of the Organizing Committees of the I European Games held in Azerbaijan, as well as the IV Islamic Solidarity Games was highly appreciated by the international community.
Mehriban Aliyeva is an honorary professor of I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, an honorary doctor of the St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria).
Under the Decree of President Ilham Aliyev dated February 21, 2017, Mehriban Aliyeva has been appointed First Vice-President of Azerbaijan.
As First Vice President, Mehriban Aliyeva focuses on addressing social issues and problems of disadvantaged groups of people. The care of the families of martyrs, war invalids, IDPs, children with disabilities and low-income families is always in the center of attention.
She is the Deputy Chair of the New Azerbaijan Party.
Mehriban Aliyeva is married, has two daughters and a son.