The president of the Republic of Tajikistan, Emomali Rakhmonov, was born on October 5th, 1952, in the Dangara settlement in the Kulyab region of Tajikistan.
After finishing secondary school be commenced his career of an electrician at the Kargan-Tyube creamery.
In 1971 through 1974, did his stint in the Pacific fleet and then returned to the creamery. Combining work and studies, in 1977 he entered the Economics Department at the Tajik State University, from which he graduated in 1982.
For several years he held party posts. From 1987 to 1992 was director of the Lenin State Farm in the Dangara district.
In 1990, was elected a People's Deputy to the Supreme Council of the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992, was elected chairman of the executive committee of the Kulyab district's Council of People's Deputies.
In November 1992, Emomali Rakhmonov was elected chairman of the Supreme Council of Tajikistan.
On November 6th, 1994, was elected president of the Republic of Tajikistan and on November 6th, 1999, was re-elected as the head of state.
In 1998 Emomali Rakhmonov became head of the People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan. He is simultaneously chairman of the National Unity and Renaissance Movement of Tajikistan.
In June 1997, performed a small hajj - umra /pilgrimage/ -- to Mecca.
Emomali Rakhmonov stands for the development of a democratic, secular, law-governed state, preservation of unity of the Tajik nation, territorial integrity of the republic. In the years of a civil war he found a common language with the opposition, displayed the maximum of tolerance towards political opponents.
He considers the development of many-sided bilateral relations with Russia a priority of his country's foreign policy.
The Tajik president says he is an optimist despite the criticism of his opponents and repeated attempts on his life. People close to him say he is a man of principle, firm, objective and modest. Until recently he drove a modest Volga car and lately, on the insistence of his bodyguard service, has been driving an armoured car of foreign make. During official visits he often flies by routine liners, instead of a special aircraft.
The Tajik president says he has almost no free time. He devotes all his free time to his family. Emomali Rakhmonov is the father of a large family - seven daughters and two sons.
The president is fond of classic Oriental music and likes to read historical novels. On his initiative the Koran in Tajik has been published to meet the spiritual requirements of Tajiks in Iran. He particularly admires the poem Shah Namah by Firdausi and the fundamental study The Tajiks by Academician Bobojon Gafurov.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969