New York hosts "Jewish identity in Turkic world" symposium

New York hosts "Jewish identity in Turkic world" symposium

U.S, New-York, Nov.24 / Trend K.Pashayeva /

On Nov.23, the Azerbaijan Society of America (ASA) and Azerbaijani-American Council (AAC) joined the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA), the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), the "Turk of America" magazine and the Uzbek Initiative in organizing a symposium on the "Jewish identity in the Turkic world". This one-day educational conference under the Pax Turcica initiative was hosted at the Center for Jewish History in New York. Among the event co-sponsors were the International Charity Fund of Mountain Jews (STMEGI), the Bukharian Jewish Congress of US and Canada, the Turkish American Action Committee, the Turkish-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TACCI), and the "Kavkaz" Jewish Youth Center.

The event moderator Dr. Javid Huseynov of AAC, spoke briefly about the Pax Turcica platform and emphasized the interest in promoting the intercultural and interfaith dialog within the context of academic grassroots initiatives relating to the Turkic world. This event at the Center for Jewish History was the second academic event in Pax Turcica series, after the May 2009 conference in Columbia University. 

Speaking at the introduction, ASA President, Tomris Azeri, and ATAA President, Gunay Evinch, highlighted the centuries-old heritage of Jewish communities in the Turkic societies as a spectacular example of tolerance and peaceful co-existence between the peoples of two different ethnic and religious backgrounds.

On the second panel dedicated to the Mountain Jewish communities of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, the representative of Azerbaijani Jewish community, Rashbil Shamayev, spoke about the heritage of Mountain Jews in Krasnaya Sloboda settlement of Quba region. He talked about the respect, tolerance and mutual understanding experienced by Jews in Azerbaijan, both historically and at present. Mr. Shamayev also mentioned the fact that one of the national heros of Azerbaijan, Albert Agarunov, is an Azerbaijani Jew who gave his live for the liberation of Azerbaijani lands during the Karabakh war. At the end of his speech, Mr. Shamayev read a poem which he dedicated to Azerbaijan as his homeland.

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