Last night, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, officially launched the Baku 2017 Journey from the Caspian, at a Ceremony that took place at the Stone Chronical Museum in Baku.
The President, who was accompanied by the First Vice-President and Chair of Baku 2017 Organizing Committee, Merhiban Aliyeva, and the President of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation, HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, presented copper vessels filled with water from the Caspian Sea to 16 children, who will return to their home towns and cities, to bring the spirit of the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games to the people of Azerbaijan.
The water presented by President Aliyev during the Launch Ceremony had been collected from the Caspian Sea by Hayat Allahveridiyeva, an 11-year old girl from Baku, and two Azerbaijani athletes, Rashad Ahmadov, the World Championship taekwondo bronze medalist and Mariya Stadnik, who won a wrestling silver medal in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The ceremony itself, which celebrated the start of a nation-wide tour that will last 37 days and cover over 3,000km, also featured Azerbaijani traditional dancing, a performance by Alim Qasimov and his daughter, Farghana Qasimova, as well as beautiful special effects.
Following the Launch Ceremony, the Journey from the Caspian will visit 15 locations across Azerbaijan. At each location, two events will be held. The first, a Water Ceremony, will take place during the day at a water themed area of outstanding natural beauty in that region. During this Ceremony, a local child and two Azerbaijani athletes will fill a Water Vessel with water that will be presented later that day at an evening Water Festival, before beginning its journey to Baku, where it will form part of the Opening Ceremony of the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games, which take places on 12 May at the Baku Olympic Stadium.
Speaking about the Launch Ceremony of The Journey from the Caspian, Mr. Azad Rahimov, Minister of Youth and Sport and CEO of Baku 2017 said: “This fantastic Ceremony heralds the start of a nation-wide journey that will bring the spirit of the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games to the people of Azerbaijan.”
“The Journey from the Caspian will provide a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase the wonderfully diverse landscapes and outstanding areas of natural beauty that exist across our fantastic country.”