Russian "Nezavisimaya gazeta" publishes article about Stars of Commonwealth award ceremony

Russia`s "Nezavisimaya gazeta" newspaper published an article by Olesya Khantsevich titled "Stars of Commonwealth light up in Moscow". The following is the abridgement of this article:
"The Moscow-based Pashkov House of the Russian State Library hosted a ceremony announcing winners of the CIS Interstate Award "Stars of the Commonwealth" for 2011.
The high award is presented annually for major contributions to science and education, culture and art, and humanitarian activities.
Each of the three nominations presents three awards worth 2 million Russian rubles. Stars of the Commonwealth award was established in 2008 by Interstate Fund for Humanitarian Cooperation of CIS Member States (IFESCCO) and the Council for Humanitarian Cooperation of CIS.
This year the gloomy weather was in sharp contrast to the festive atmosphere in the Pashkov House. One of the most beautiful buildings in Moscow, has brought together the elite of Russia and all CIS: Rector of the Moscow State University Viktor Sadovnichy, Head of the The Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) Konstantin Kosachev, film director Yuli Gusman, a Georgian film director Irakli Kvirikadze, members of the State Duma, Olympic champions, representatives of scientific and creative intellectuals, diplomats, and winners of previous years' awards.
An unexpected and unforgettable gift for the guests of the ceremony was a performance of State Chamber Orchestra «Moscow Virtuosi» conducted by Vladimir Spivakov, People's artist of USSR. The concert also featured young talents Elvin Ganiyev (Azerbaijan), Matvey Sherling (Russia), as well as the soloist of the Bolshoi Theater, Anna Aglatova. Honored Artist Svyatoslav Belza hosted the solemn ceremony.
Chairman of the State Duma Sergei Naryshkin, who emphasized the importance of humanitarian inter-cultural cooperation within the CIS, spoke about the outstanding merits the winners. Being a gentleman, Naryshkin drew attention on the only lady in the list of winners - the First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva. She was awarded the prize "Stars of the Commonwealth" for her humanitarian activities. Naryshkin highlighted her outstanding achievements in health, social, cultural, humanitarian fields, as well as an exceptional role in the strengthening of integration processes for the benefit of all peoples of the Commonwealth.
Regalia of Mrs. Aliyeva can be enumerated endlessly: President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, MP, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Professor emeritus of the First Moscow State Medical University after Sechenov, Head of the organizing committee of the international song contest Eurovision-2012 - are part of her honors.
Mehriban Aliyeva said she accepted this award as an attention and respect to the achievements of Azerbaijan. "I appreciate this award as recognition of the merits of modern Azerbaijan and contribution of my country to the strengthening traditionally friendly relations between our countries and peoples," Mrs. Aliyeva said.
She said it is important that "during the formation of our countries as independent states such positive trends, both good-neighborliness and cooperation have been preserved and strengthened".
"Azerbaijan is located in the heart of Eurasia, and for many centuries, our country has been combining traces of different cultures and civilizations."
Aliyeva emphasized, "We are living in a complex, difficult and contradictory world and sometimes feel a lack of simple understanding, tolerance and respect."
"In my opinion, only by working side-by-side, by taking as a principle universal values such as morality, humanity, faith and compassion, and, of course, strengthening humanitarian and cultural ties, we can build confidence, find understanding and create mechanisms to solve the problems. Large-scaled projects in the field of education, science and culture as well as the strengthening of economic ties contribute to our countries' aspiration towards peace and prosperity," said Mrs. Aliyeva expressing gratitude for Moscow hospitality."
The Stars of the Commonwealth award for 2011 was also given to Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan Ibrahim Dzhunusov, Head of the Scientific Center for Cardiovascular Surgery Leo Bokeria, Professor of Kazakhstan Seit Kaskabasov, Artistic Director of famous "Syabry" band Anatoly Yarmolenko (Belarus), film director and actor Muhammad Ali Makhmadov (Tajikistan).



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