MIRAS Social Organization in Support of Studying of Cultural Heritage accomplished the carried out training tour as a part of "Erasmus+" program in partnership with Union of Turkish Associations in Belgium. Starting project with the training tour to Azerbaijan in 2015 finished with the travel to Belgium between 28 October and 3 November in 2016.
Teachers and students staff for 50 people from both countries participated in the project. The training tour to Belgium with consisting group of 3 teachers and 24 people of Baku State University, students of Azerbaijan State Culture and Art University, Azerbaijan State Pedagogical University, Azerbaijan Technical University, Khazar University, Azerbaijan State Economic University and Azerbaijan University of Cooperation was kept in mind with interesting, efficient meetings and excursions. The Belgium part of the project which aims "research, travel and outlook" generally aims approach to various aspects of the concept of "multiculturalism".
The first day of training travel was kept in mind with moving from Brussels to Hasselt, accommodation, acquaintance and discussion of program. The starting friendship ties from Azerbaijan strengthened slightly in Belgium. The youths gathered again after a long parting. Opening the meeting Rifat Can who the chief of Union of Turkish Associations shared his unforgettable memories relating with Azerbaijan and expressed hope that the youths would leave with the same feelings from Belgium. Then, youths introduced themselves and informed expectations of the project.
The Board member of MIRAS - Social Organization in Support of Studying of Cultural Heritage, professor Gafar Jabiyev said his good wishes to this step of the project and expressed his valuable advice to young people. He gave present the book of "Kəşfül-Həqayiq" of Mir Mohammed Karim Agha Mirjafarzadeh which is considered as one of the final interpretations of Holy "Koran" in Azerbaijani language ones upon a time published with financial support of famous Azerbaijani philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev and his own book "Girdman history and historical geography" to the project managers from Belgium. The leader of projects from Azerbaijan, the chief of MIRAS - Social Organization in Support of Studying of Cultural Heritage, PhD Fariz Khalilli talked about looking forward this meeting of young people and stage of preparations for the visit. He sent greetings to young people who participated in the first stage but currently, are serving in military service and presented the book of " Rich cultural heritage of Albanian in Aghsu - Nargizava" to Rifat Can the chief of Union of Turkish Associations. The project coordinator from Belgium Sergul Shamlioghlu explained to young people what matters they should pay attention and how fulfill assignments at this stage. In the end, the delegation from Azerbaijan gave prepared sweets by themselves and pomegranates which is symbol of Azerbaijan as a gift to Belgium friends.
On 29 October 2016, the first day of the official visit started with interactive training in the topic of "Multiculturalism and Migration". Trainer Ms. Catherine explained with interactive games the faced situations by people of different cultures to young people and invited them to discussions, debate about different situations. Sometimes the positions around questions divided and sometimes merged. But these points remained unchanged: If there are not education, mutual respect and understanding, it is not possible to gather people.
The youths who leaving good impression from training moved from Hasselt to Beringen. Although, mining have been stopped in the famous city for its coal mines, the mines serve to people as museums. It is a fact that abandoned mines since 1994 were working owing to immigrants who came from Turkey and Morocco in 1964. Listening to museum worker who ones upon a time worked in these mines but then qualified as a museum guide, learning about interactive exhibits we knew that workers of perhaps the hardest profession in the world worked how difficult and dangerous conditions. Before entering museum relating presentations to topic of Arzu Aydinli and Aytekin Memmedova who represent both countries' youths helped us to gather our idea.
We went from Beringen to other mine city - Genk. The songs of Azerbaijan, Turkey and England which was sung by participants of training tour was shortening distances. In Genk we met with the Deputy Mayor Ali Chaghlar in the meeting hall of Yunus Emre Mosque and listened his speech about "A work day of municipal member and multiculturalism in Genk". The speaker who generally responsible for roads and sport shared his way of life and the secret of success with listeners when he answered the questions of young people.
Here it should be emphasize especially the beauty, structure and service are of Mosque. The building which decorated verses from Holy "Koran", given special magnificence with delicate floral patterns, wood carving art and the prayer hall which built special form to target exactly of the location of pulpit to Kabeyi-Mukerreme stayed in front of us. There are all opportunities for prayers of believers in mosque building which decorated with carpets. Wireless internet, game counsels, funeral room which is not far from and ceremonial hall were attracted our attention. It is possible that to keep corpse in equipped morgue with special refrigerators and then to bury.
Participants who went out mosque went to C-mine centre of Genk. The building which was coal mine in the past currently turns to business centre. There are all opportunities for shopping, to engage with art, to arrange exhibitions and efficient meetings here.
Participants of the project who moving to Gent presented impressions of day, important highlights which attract their attention and received knowledge and habits like essay and video in English after took place in new hostel.
Day started with presentation of historian and journalist Tina de Ghent about "The history of Turks migration to Gent" in "Draecke" hostel in 30 October 2016. The presentation was based on the different periods of history of Turkey and Belgium, the situation of immigrants and culture which delivered by immigrants. The presentation finished with speech of speaker about recognition of Gent as a weaving centre and invaluable services of Turks at this work. Then staff walked to Gent Textile Museum and factory. Museum locates centre of city which is important for tourism, resembles Venice with canals and is an example of the classic Gothic style with its architecture. Museum was rich for both interactive exhibitions, the actual factory and various ancient and modern objects which to be located the 3rd floor and young people hear only the name of some of the exhibits, see others in the book. It is possible to see the first printing machines, coal-fired irons, old TV sets, vacuum cleaner, sewing machines, washing machines, even the fashionable accessories of that period, cars here. The young people went to walk this beautiful city after museum. A few hours' walk finished in the office of Union of Turkish Associations, then went to Hasselt to write and share our impressions.
The group which went to Brussels in the early morning in 31 October 2016 became in Federal Parliament of Belgium here. They listened talk of guide about the structure and work procedures of Parliament. They feels themselves as member of parliament, senators and members of the commission for a moment.
After that young people met with Salih Goksal who is deputy chairman of the Schaerbeek municipality of Brussels which is considered political centre of Europe. The speaker talked about the act of municipality, ethnic composition of the living here population, education, tourism and library system. He answered many questions of young peoples.
Simon Paskoe welcomed participants of project in The European Comission and gave information about The European Commission's activities, the programs of "Horizon 2020", "EC Strategy 2020" and their targets, answered participants questions.
The last meeting of that day was with former minister Emir Kir who is chairman of the Saint-Josse-ten-Noode municipality of Brussels in Brussels office of Union of Turkish Associations. Giving information about yourself chairman preferred to build on to answer questions of young people. At the same time, he told about the difficulties of immigrant life, the possibility to win to every hardship with only self-confidence and purposefulness, being an important factor of education, giving special importance to scholars' opinion and gave many examples of his own philosophy of life to young people.
In 1 November, participants of the project visited to Antwerp. The special training which they did with psychologist Ulku Dursun was memorable. Young people who turning sometimes "fish", sometimes "alga" wrote words when create a portrait of a successful person at the beginning of training. At the end, young people who looked again threw those words and deleted some of them and added others did not leave. The information of members of Belgium-Azerbaijan group attracted attention of all of them and help them to know city during city tour and along the way in the end.
The evening of Azerbaijan was held with participants of training who return hostel. The video which demonstrates sightseeing places of our countries and prepared by participants of project Zaka Babayev and Xanim Baghirov, "Ramadan traditions", a short film which painter is Vuqar Gurbanov, "Master class" of sculptor Vugar Guliyev were presented here. The follow presentations; "Azerbaijan literature" of Nargis Garayeva, "Azerbaijan's historical and geographical, tourism potential" which was arranged by Ayten Namaz, "Conflict of Garabagh" of Xanim Baghirova, "Art of Azerbaijan" of Arzu Murvetova and Gunel Aliyeva, "Tourism in Azerbaijan" of Aida Malikova were presented orally relating time limit.
The participants of this project traveled to Brussels in November two. The young ones who make friends with each other visited "Atomium", museums and galleries, met historical and architectural monuments and symbols of Brussels, and went to shopping. Took a lot of photos and was a guest on Rifat Can, the chief of Union of Turkish Associations, and his family`s home at the end of the day. Turkish hospitality, warm fire, joyful atmosphere, Turkish and Azerbaijani dances replacing each other made special of this night. The most important part of this night was the presenting of certificates of the completing this project. The delegation of Belgium presented to participants of project gifts, famous Belgium chocolates with certificates. "2007-2014 the most beautiful poetries" consisting of living in Belgium Turks brothers' poetries, The presentation Book of The Union of Turkish Associations in Belgium, "50 Gold Stories, 1964-2014" book which consist of life stories of people who immigrated to Belgium were gifted to trainers. The delegation of Azerbaijan gifted to project managers sculptures reflecting archaeological monuments and national symbols of Azerbaijan which was prepared by Vugar Guliyev, participants of projects, talented sculptor, Board member of MIRAS - Social Organization in Support of Studying in this evening. We want to mention that these gifts were especially prepared and presented to Belgium officials in order to promote Azerbaijan.
The hardest day participants of project was in 3 November. Young people from Belgium did not sleep during whole nights and make dawn together with Azerbaijani students. Became the anthem of the project, "Biz mehriban ailəyik", "Bu qala, daşlı qala" and other songs replaced each others on the way from Hasselt to Brussels. Airport became the culmination of the project. The delegation of Azerbaijan, leaving with hope to see you again, fragile emotions, would remember days which they spent together for a long time.
Thus, the project which was held by MIRAS - Social Organization in Support of Studying of Cultural Heritage with The Union of Turkish Associations in Belgium as a part of "Erasmus+" program finished with new ideas and joint activities.