A charity event dedicated to the memory of Azerbaijan’s National Leader Heydar Aliyev (1923-2003) was held in Los Angeles on December 10, 2015, on the eve of the National Leader’s 12th death anniversary. During the event, over 500 homeless people were provided hot meals.
Initiated and held by the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles, the event was hosted at the Los Angeles Mission (LAM), which is one of the largest service providers to the homeless and disadvantaged men, women and children in the U.S.
Consul General Nasimi Aghayev and Consulate staff joined the LAM’s volunteers in handing out the meals.
Before the event, Consul General Aghayev met Herb Smith, President of the Los Angeles Mission. At the meeting, the Consul General spoke about the extraordinary life path of Heydar Aliyev and his outstanding role and tireless work in the preservation and strengthening of Azerbaijan’s independent and sovereign statehood. He noted that the timely return of Heydar Aliyev to power in 1993 shielded Azerbaijan from potential fragmentation. Highlighting the many difficult challenges the National Leader faced in preserving Azerbaijan’s independence and how masterfully he overcame them, the Consul General said that the memory of Heydar Aliyev will always live in the hearts of the Azerbaijani people. “Continuing the policies set forth by the National Leader, President Ilham Aliyev led Azerbaijan through a tremendous transformation towards becoming the largest economy in the region and one of the most rapidly developing and modernizing countries in the world,” Aghayev noted.
Herb Smith thanked the Consul General for helping the homeless through this important charity event. He also expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to learn more about National Leader Heydar Aliyev and his tremendous heritage. Expressing his appreciation for Azerbaijan’s long-standing traditions of interfaith harmony and tolerance, Herb Smith underlined the importance of this unique model of peaceful co-existence for many countries in the world.
At the invitation of the Consul General, one of the prominent leaders of Los Angeles’s Christian community and founder of over 40 churches Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez, who heads the Los Angeles Mayor's Annual Inter-Faith Prayer Breakfast, also joined the event. Commending this act of charity by Azerbaijan, Bishop Mendez also stressed the historical role played by Heydar Aliyev in strengthening Azerbaijan’s freedom and independence, as well as in restoring peace and stability not only in his country, but also in the region.