Congratulation by Heydar Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Azerbaijani people on the occasion of Gurban Bairam - February 10, 2003

Sisters and brothers!

I cordially congratulate you on occasion of the sacred holiday of all Muslims of the world - Gurban Bayram.

Gurban Bayram, celebrated by Muslims with great solemnity as a symbol of solidarity and fraternity, makes available for people the possibility of joining to high universal human and spiritual values. The people of Azerbaijan, always remaining faithful to the Islamic principles of humanism, friendliness and charity, celebrated Gurban Bairam even in the most hard times as one of the most beloved holidays. The official celebration of this day after restoration of our state sovereignty is the most evident expression of allegiance of our people to his national and religious traditions. In this holiday that brings together and relates people the hostility and malice disappear from the hearts, feelings of self-sacrifice and compassion strengthen, relatives and household are commemorated, prayers are offered for peace of souls of our dears.

In this blessed holiday I ask from the Almighty peace to the souls our sons and daughters who gave their lives for the sake of independence of Azerbaijan and inviolability of our territories, I wish passion to their relatives and families. I do hope that all wishes expressed in this holiday related with return of our compatriots, driven out their homes, to their home lands will come true. Let the blessed Gurban Bayram, as our other great national and religious holidays, provide tighter unity around high ideas, strengthen all-national solidarity among all Azerbaijanis for the sake of future development of independent, sovereign and democratic Azerbaijan!

I congratulate you once again cordially in this blessed holiday, when Allah completed creation of Islam as a religion granted it to people, I wish each of you strong health, happiness, peace and prosperity.

Happy Holiday!