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The talented Mr. Rashidov and hatred

He donates money and his works, supports orphans, is ready to apologize if he makes a mistake, is in love with Dr. Snezha – this is the new chairman, who has already taught the first lessons to the deputies

“Hatred is a road to nowhere and breeds only hatred.”

Vezhdi Rashidov strongly insisted on this title of his interview in “24 Chasa” on Monday, when he entered the parliament as the oldest deputy – he turned 71 on December 14. Without suspecting how his life will change on Friday, when he will leave this building as the first person in the country after almost three shameful days for Bulgarian politics.

The 48th National Assembly found only one sign to unite at least part of the warring parties – to elect the sculptor Vezhdi Rashidov as the oldest, the most consensual, the most dialogic, the most… Which comes to show that being talented always matters.

I have never put anything in front of my name and no titles in my life. I am straightforward but not confrontational. I come from an orphanage in the village of Studen Kladenets. I graduated from the Art High School and the National Academy of Arts with honors. I have taught at the academy for 11 years. When we talk about criteria, let’s also talk about the biography. I am an academician in two countries, from France to Moscow, I am a corresponding member, I was twice discussed to be an academician, but I refused because there was also a talk. I am an honorary professor, doctor honoris causa. You remember Dechko Uzunov back in the day, they took him to a Picasso exhibition in Paris, arrived with Bay Marin and introduced him. This is the great Bulgarian artist, professor, academic, etc. Picasso raises his hand and says – it’s my pleasure, Picasso. There is nothing better than a good name that a person has!

I refused a third term, I got sick, I had a serious illness, I also refused the last parliament, because I always left the pleasure before it left me.

This is the speech with which he refused the presidency on Thursday and was applauded by all the deputies. Even from those who were against him. He made strangers cry, but especially his wife – the doctor from “Pirogov” Dr. Snezhana Baharova.

Which showed that what you say always matters. And it is important that the words have meaning. On Friday, when he was literally forced to accept the post, the artist emotionally shared that his grave will probably be in this building.

He said that Stoichkov called him from America to ask him to accept the position.

Vezhdi is one of those who allow himself to say what he thinks without worrying about party criticism. Thus, before the opening of the parliament, he was outraged by the debate on whether to invite the Russian ambassador on the first day (and it is good that she did not come), although his party GERB was of the position that Mitrofanova had no place on the balcony with the deputies. Minutes after Vezhdi was applauded as chairman, Boyko Borisov wrote on Facebook: “First among equals – this is how he lives and this is how he will work.”

Rashidov is an example of self built be human

He grew up in an orphanage after the death of his mother, the singer Kadriye Latifova. She died when Vejdi was only 11 years old. The car was then driven by his older brother.

“Mother died in my arms… My brother lived his life feeling guilty for killing our mother.” says the sculptor years later.

Last year, he himself got into an accident on a metropolitan boulevard, and an unknown girl from the car he collided with helped him out of the overturned car. His head is covered in blood, but the first thing he does is talk to his savior, who has a birthday, and promise to help her if she doesn’t have insurance. Then he was taken to “Pirogov”.

Over the years, his life has not been easy. The first time he applied to the Art High School in Sofia, he was not accepted. His father enrolled him in the mining electromechanics technical school in Madan, where he studied for a year. The next day, he takes money from his father’s pocket and runs to the capital to apply again to the Art Academy. Sleep at the station. This time they accept it. And years later, as a student at the Art Academy, he became first in success for sculpture and second for illustrations.

In order to earn money during his school and student years, he apprenticed in the studios of professors, where he also learned a trade.

In the summer he works in the mines of Madan. To make a profit, yes was also a general worker at Iskar Station,

unloaded wagons at Stočna Gara.

Rashidov became a famous sculptor thanks to his talent. He has no influential relatives and does not make partisan monuments. If anyone helped him, it was the former first secretary of the BKP in Kardzhali, Georgi Petrov, who noticed the talented orphan and helped him to continue his education in the field of plastic arts.

Rashidov established himself in the 1970s in Bulgaria, mainly through cavalcade works, and thus broke into the organized group of monument makers who dominated Bulgarian sculpture at the time. They strive to prevent others from entering the business of monuments, and such young, poor orphans as Rashidov have a chance precisely with talentedly made small formats.

He gradually gained international fame and won a scholarship to work in Paris’s Ildezar (Island of the Arts), the small island on the Seine, to the right of Notre-Dame de Paris, where there are many studios. The year is 1985, and the revival process has just begun in our country. That is why the Ministry of the Interior does not want to release him.

He managed to leave thanks to the then deputy head of the State Council, Georgi Jagarov, who vouched for him. They allow him to spend 2 months there, but he does not return when they expire. During the next year and a half, he lived in Paris. Then he managed to return to Bulgaria with the help of the embassy.

To date, Rashidov has over 50 solo and group exhibitions. He is the recipient of dozens of awards, including the Order of Alexander Nevsky 1st degree of the Russian Federation, the Orders of Merit of Ukraine and Turkey – 1st degree, the Order of Stara Planina 1st degree and the Order of Cyril and Methodius. His work includes the statuettes for the “Orphan Tramp” awards of the BNR, “Golden Rose” at the Bulgarian Film Festival in Varna, “Policeman of the Year” at the Ministry of the Interior.

The time spent in the orphanage clearly left a bright mark on Rashidov and he never forgot it. Therefore, over the years that it has existed,

sends food, clothes and shoes for the children, also establishes scholarships for the gifted among them

He also built an 18-meter monument free of charge, dedicated to the children who died in the Lim River.

In 1988, he donated BGN 60,000 to the victims of the earthquake in Armenia, for which his country is grateful to this day.

Over the years, he has also helped a number of people to recover from serious illnesses. As a minister, he extorted 11,000 dollars from the state so that the legendary guitarist of “Crickets” Pepi Guselev could go to the USA for treatment.

Vezhdi himself fell ill after 2 terms as Minister of Culture. His diagnosis is throat cancer. He was successfully operated on in Germany in 2015. This is also the reason why he refused alcohol and smoking. And today to say:

We all have flaws – mine a lot. I see that I made a millionaire with my image – like Slavi Trifonov. He’s playing me, I haven’t smoked since I was 8, but I have a cigar in my hands. He plays me with the whiskey in his hand. Even though I was drinking vodka…

Rashidov did not expect to turn out to be an acceptable figure for the parliament. With his typical sincerity, he admits that he wanted to indulge his grandchildren.

In addition to his directness, people also know him as a person who is ready to apologize whenever he thinks he was wrong.

He proved it once again from the highest rostrum in the country, by asking for an apology from the leader of the BSP, Kornelia Ninova, with whom they had many conflicts over the years. And he sincerely regretted that he behaved like that “with a lady”.

However, Rashidov seems to be the figure that was missing from the last parliaments. Because in addition to uniting and subduing the opposing deputies, he has a sense of duty, respects his colleagues. And he tried to teach them a few lessons:

Reduce feathering. It doesn’t help you. Reduce the lack of intelligence, and put in more work.

Stay close to people.

Don’t demonize one group or another. Or as with DPS, I hear them say: “We don’t have that with them”. And they are a Bulgarian party, colleagues. Do not insult the Bulgarian citizens of Turkish origin! Never do it! They are good people!

To stop the hatred, Rashidov called in an interview through the pages of “24 Chasa” just two days before he ascended the highest podium in the country.

Hate breeds only hate, he warned. The support of the same yellow-coated sheepish hatred of some young people, some of whom to this day do not know the price of heating, electricity, or bread, all of which still lies on the backs of their parents. This cannot be a policy or a way to get anywhere. Such a road is nowhere.

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