The Islamic Solidarity Games is a multinational, multi-sport event held by the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF).

The 4th Islamic Solidarity Games will be held 12-22 May 2017 in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan under the motto "Solidarity is our strength". Games bring Islamic countries together, attracting young people and encouraging solidarity among them.

On 12 May Baku, a beautiful city that embodies Islamic traditions with a modern society, will welcome the world with a spectacular Opening Ceremony that tells a universal story of peace and hope. Baku was awarded the Games at the General Assembly of the ISSF in Jeddah in July 2013. With the view to organizing and running the Games in cooperation with the ISSF the Organizing Committee was set up by the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan H. E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev. According to this decree, the leadership of the Organising Committee has been assigned to the First Vice President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, H. E. Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva.

There are four core values of the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games: Unity - Work together as one team with one voice, overcoming boundaries, Peace - Stand for harmony and peace by understanding and appreciating the differences between people, Respect - Show respect and celebrate multiculturalism, traditions, religions and heritages, Excellence - Strive for excellence in everything.

Athletes from 54 Islamic countries around the world will be representing their nations over 10 days of competition across 20 different sports which include 23 disciplines (Athletics and Para Athletics, Aquatics – Diving, Aquatics – Swimming, Aquatics – Water Polo, Basketball 3×3, Football, Gymnastics – Artistic, Gymnastics – Rhythmic, Wushu, Table Tennis, Handball, Judo and Blind Judo, Wrestling – Greco, Wrestling – Freestyle, Shooting, Tennis, Volleyball, Boxing, Zurkhaneh, Karate, Taekwondo and Weightlifting) in 16 world-class sporting venues in Baku.

Mascots of the 4th Islamic solidarity Games are "İncə" (tender) and "Cəsur" (brave). "İncə" and "Cəsur" are Karabakh horses, a national treasure of Azerbaijan. "İncə" personifies compassion and beauty, while "Cəsur" embodies expertise and bravery. These horses are felt to be very symbolic of the Islamic Solidarity Games.

Journey from the Caspian

"Journey from the Caspian" is a programme of events that took place around Azerbaijan in the lead up to Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games. Prior to the 1st European Games in Baku in 2015, a torch was lit with sacred fire and carried around the host country to bring the spirit and excitement of the games to the whole country. For the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games, the element of water is on focus.

The reason behind this idea is that water is hugely important in the Islamic faith, symbolizing purity, healing and cleansing. Moreover, water is one of the four classical elements that Azerbaijani people celebrate before Novruz alongside earth, air and fire.

On 5 April 2017 the Journey from the Caspian Launch Ceremony took place at the Stone Chronicle Museum in Baku. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan H. E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev presented water from the Caspian Sea to children from all over Azerbaijan. They took the water back to their regions as part of the Journey from the Caspian. This water represents a memento, from Baku and the Islamic Games, to the regions of Azerbaijan.

The Journey continued 37 days and visited 15 more iconic cities and water locations, covering over 3,000 km. Each region hosted a Water Ceremony and an evening Water Festival.The Journey will come to an end at the Baku Olympic Stadium. The water collected from all over this amazing country will return to Baku on the 12th May and will welcome the athletes of the Islamic Solidarity Games as part of the Opening Ceremony.

The 4th Islamic Solidarity Games will be broadcast in 58 countries, across four continents with global audience to top 1 billion viewers.

The material was provided by the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

In the photo: The opening ceremony of the project "Journey from the Caspian" in the presence of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan – H. E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev and the First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan – H. E. Mrs. Mehriban Alieva.