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Zarifa Aliyeva: prominent scholar and careful mother

28 April 2016 [17:17] - TODAY.AZ

/By Azernews/

By Amina Nazarli

April 28 sees 93rd birthday of Zarifa Aliyeva, an outstanding scientist, spouse of national leader Heydar Aliyev, and mother to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

A prominent ophthalmologist and academician Aliyeva, was born in a beautiful and ancient corner of Azerbaijan - Nakhchivan, in 1923.

Born and raised in a family of prominent statesman Aziz Aliyev, Zarifa Aliyeva absorbed all the rich values of her family.

Aiming to devote herself to the medicine Aliyeva entered in 1942 the Treatment and Prophylaxis Faculty of the Azerbaijan State Medical Institute that she graduated with excellent marks.

It is in these years that she met Heydar Aliyev, a young promising officer, who would soon rise through the ranks to become the head of department at the State Security Committee (KGB) and later lead Azerbaijan.

Zarifa and Heydar Aliyevs led an exemplary family life. They had two children -- Sevil and Ilham. Zarifa was a great women, who could balance in between her family and her career.

She was a prominent scholar, beautiful woman and careful mother.

Zarifa Aliyeva could gain love of millions of her compatriots with her intelligence, beauty, and grace. With a deep sense of devotion to her family and country, she dedicated herself to raising her children.

PhD in medicine Nubar Hashimova, who is also a doctor at the children's department of the National Center of Ophthalmology, shared her memories about Zarifa Aliyeva in an interview with Day.Az.

“Zarifa Aliyeva treated her patients by her intellect, urged by strength of character and supported by kindness. The harmonic combination of these important qualities was her power as a doctor,” Hashimova said, adding that patients were always pleased with the results of her treatment.

Hashimova recalled huge merits of Zarifa Aliyeva in the development of national ophthalmology.

“Zarifa Aliyeva was not just dreaming about the development of the national ophthalmology, but was quite active to realize this vision,” she believes.

In those years, the country had very few national ophthalmic specialists. Exactly that time, in 1960s, trachoma, accompanied by inflammation swollen eyes and blindness, caused a lot of suffering to the people in Azerbaijan.

“I myself was a witness of this historical event," she remembers. "In the session of the All-Union Ophthalmological society, Zarifa Aliyeva raised the issue of occupational diseases of vision organs for the first time. Prior to that, no scientist was engaged in it in the USSR.”

Zarifa Aliyeva was in the forefront of science and despite many difficulties, she made great strides in a very short time. She applied antibiotic treatment methods developed by herself to treat patients and her efforts were rewarded by highest prize in the field of ophthalmology – Academician M.I.Averbakh Prize. Aliyeva became the first female doctor in the Soviet Union to win the prize.

Collecting a wealth of factual materials on the prevention of trachoma, Aliyeva without fear of contacting the disease herself traveled huge distances to examine patients.

Aliyeva is an author of a number of valuable research papers, 12 monographs, textbooks and manuals, about 150 scientific works, one invention and 12 rationalization proposals.

She is one of the authors of a fundamental book ‘Therapeutic ophthalmology’, which is regarded as a handbook for every ophthalmologist.

Zarifa Aliyeva is also one of the scientists having studied development of diagnostics of disease in new direction (change in iris, iridodiagnostics) for the first time and written some scientific articles on this subject. She is one of the authors of unique scientific work ‘Fundamentals of iridodiagnostics’ that is invaluable scientific device to doctors.

She was a very intelligent woman with many talents. Zarifa Aliyeva loved music and was highly skilled on playing the piano. She paid great attention and respect for the arts and was a connoisseur of national and world classic music, inveterate theater-goer, and an art connoisseur.

Unfortunately, Zarifa Aliyeva could not see the present days of our independent Azerbaijan. She died in the 62nd year of her life.


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