I`m proud that I worked with such a person like Heydar Aliyev, and this was the most meaningful part of my life
Q: Mr. Garalov, you turn 80. Please accept our congratulations. In what mood do you celebrate your anniversary?
A: I was born in a large family in Ormeshan village, Bashkechid district, Georgia in 1934. in 1937, my father was arrested. He received religious education in Turkey. He had some books by Nizami Ganjavi and other poets in Arabic. And the authorities arrested him, alleging that he possesses Quran at home. My father was one of the 10 intellectuals that were arrested in our village, I want to say that we lived in very difficult conditions.
Then a school in our village closed because of the World War II. So we had to go to a secondary school in Gizilkand village, which was seven kilometers from us. I graduated from the school at the age of 16. In 1952, I came to Baku and entered State Pedagogical Institute. In 1956, I graduated from the institute and was assigned to a position at my school in our village. I visited the school before the start of the academic year and met with its principal. Social Labour Hero Mahmud Guliyev was the fists secretary of the district then. He was close friends with Vasily Pavlovich Javanaze, who was the husband of Nikita Khruschov`s sister-in-law. Mahmud Guliyev told me that I will be the new principal of the school.
In 1957, I was elected a representative to the 1st congress of Georgian teachers. And I received my first medal at this congress, the Medal for the Achievements in Labor. I got acquainted with Eduard Shevardnadze at the congress. In 1959, I was elected the first secretary of the komsomol of Bashkechid district.
Then I continued my activities in Baku, where I worked as director of the Pedagogical Research Institute. From 1995 to 2005 I was a member of the parliament, and chaired the standing commission of the Milli Majlis. I have three children, and seven grandchildren.
Q: What about the role of scientific and pedagogical activities in your life?
A: This occupies a crucial place in my life. As I have already said I graduated from the school in 1956. In parallel to being a school principal, I was preparing to enter post-graduate school. I was eager to study and carry out research activities. So I returned to Baku. Later I was offered the position of the chairman of the district Executive Committee, but I refused. I embarked on my scientific paper, and published many articles in local newspapers. From 1961-9164 I was receiving post-graduate education.
I focused on pedagogical and psychological sciences. I have authored a large number of articles, books and textbooks.
Q: But you also have books related to politics…
A: I expanded my activities in writing political articles and books after the return of national leader Heydar Aliyev to political power in Azerbaijan. I published many articles and books in local newspapers. In them, I analyzed the activities of the national leader.
I would like to note that last April I presented by “Scientific legacy of Heydar Aliyev: theory and practice” two-volume book. And now I`m working on another book about national leader Heydar Aliyev. I have already competed nine chapters of the book.
Q: How did you first meet national leader Heydar Aliyev?
A: I first met national leader Heydar Aliyev in 1973. After being elected the first Secretary of the Central Committee of the New Azerbaijan Party, national leader Heydar Aliyev raised the issue of improving the quality of education in the country. And as deputy director of the Pedagogical Research Institute, I was received by the national leader, who gave me many questions concerning the state of education. He then instructed me to draw up a relevant report. In 10 days, together with our scholars we made a report on the state of education. I was told by the Central Committee that Heydar Aliyev will receive me again. When I entered his office, I saw that our report was on his table. He said that he had already read the report, and added that he had his own proposals.
Our most expanded talk with national leader Heydar Aliyev took place in 1976 when I was invited to the Central Committee ahead of my appointment as the director of the institute.
Heydar Aliyev told me: “I think that your experience and knowledge are enough that you take up the post of the director of the institute.
Q: As we know a group of people who stood to defend national leader Heydar Aliyev gathered at the Pedagogical Research Institute.
A: Yes they gathered at our institute to explore ways of solving the problem. Our position was that only national leader Heydar Aliyev could save Azerbaijan from the crisis and the threat of collapse and civil war in the early years of independence.
Deep political, economic and social crisis in the country aroused the concerns of the intellectuals and renowned persons - the leading groups of the nation. At that moment, the persons thinking of the country's destiny came forward with an initiative to set up a new party able to get the country out of the crisis and united around the nation's wise son Heydar Aliyev to the effect. At that time, an appeal signed by 91 Azerbaijani intellectuals was sent to Nakhchivan, to Heydar Aliyev. The document get into the modern history of Azerbaijan as the "appeal of 91 intellectuals", and in reality, it was the expression of people's wishes and will. This appeal signed by the well-known intellectuals and famous figures and personalities of Azerbaijan urged Heydar Aliyev to be the head of the new political party.
Q: As one of the persons who were closely involved in the founding of the New Azerbaijan Party, what can you say of the party`s development at the modern stage?
A: In the 1990s, the fundamental economic and political reforms were necessary. But in those days there were different views on where the reforms will take us. There were different views on foreign policy and its directions. The wisdom of the great leader played an important role in the formation of very specific and targeted programs for all areas. Today we are going this way. The policy of Heydar Aliyev continues and, of course, is enriched today. The foundation of Azerbaijan’s successful development was laid in those years. The conference, which gathered the representatives of all the regions of Azerbaijan, was held November 21, 1992 with national leader Heydar Aliyev presiding at the event. The Constituent Assembly approved the decision on the establishment of the Party, the Party's Program and its Statute. National leader Heydar Aliyev was unanimously elected as a chairman of the party. It elected the Political Council, the Board and deputies chairman. The New Azerbaijan Party assumed a great historic mission in the history of independent Azerbaijan, and its establishment became a remarkable event in the life of our people.
Q: National leader Heydar Aliyev`s political course is today being successfully continued by President Ilham Aliyev. What can you say of Azerbaijan`s development today?
A: In October, 2003 the Azerbaijani people voted for Heydar Aliyev`s policy, peace, progress, development, stability. This policy has no alternative in Azerbaijan. Heydar Aliyev`s policy has brought great successes to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is developing and achieving successes in all the spheres. Azerbaijan has gained a worthy position in the international arena. Azerbaijan has a good reputation worldwide now. All the large-scale projects in the region are being implemented with the participation of Azerbaijan, taking the interests of Azerbaijan into consideration.”
As a result of the Head of State`s tireless work Azerbaijan became one of the most rapidly developing countries in the world. Time shows that there is no alternative to Heydar Aliyev policy, and that the people of Azerbaijan were right to support Ilham Aliyev.
As a result of multi-sided and balanced policy pursued under President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan has become the most powerful country in the region. World powers and international organizations call Azerbaijan the guarantor of security and source of development in the South Caucasus.
Azerbaijan is one of the major energy suppliers of Europe. No project can be realized in the region without Azerbaijan`s involvement. And this is a strong signal of importance attached to Azerbaijan by world powers. Azerbaijan is regarded important partner by all countries. Azerbaijan is the major guarantor of peace and security in the South Caucasus region. So led by President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan is cementing its position in the system of international relations.