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A solemn ceremony to mark the 650th birth anniversary of the great Azerbaijani poet and thinker Imadaddin Nasimi has been held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Addressing the event, Azerbaijan’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO Ambassador Anar Karimov said that President Ilham Aliyev declared 2019 as a Year of Nasimi in the country. He noted that a series of scientific, literary and cultural events were being held in the country and abroad on the occasion.

Karimov highlighted First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva`s initiative to plant 650,000 trees in Azerbaijan in one day to mark the 650th birth anniversary of the poet.

UNESCO Assistant Director-General Ernesto Ottone Ramírez said Nasimi’s works made a significant impact on the development of humane values. He said the celebrations would contribute to the promotion of mutual understanding, tolerance and culture of peace.

Deputy Minister of Culture Sevda Mammadaliyeva highlighted the life and works of the great poet.

German scholar Michael Hess described Nasimi’s works as a literary treasure, noting their importance for Western readers.

The event then featured a concert program which included recitation of Nasimi poems and ghazels by People’s Artists Teyyub Aslanov and Honored Artist Sevda Alakbarzade in mugham and music genres, as well as performance of Azerbaijan State Pantomime Theater.

Shahla Aghalarova

Special Correspondent