Azerbaijan's ancient history, rich culture and art presented within Muslim Art and Culture Festival

Azerbaijan's ancient history, rich culture and art presented within Muslim Art and Culture Festival

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Apr. 6

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On Sunday, 4th of April current year Muslim Art and Cultural Festival (MACFEST) with the participation of Azerbaijan concluded. Very esteemed and honorable guests both from Azerbaijan, Great Britain, and the US took part in the work of this remarkable event. The preventing of islamophobia, bringing together Muslim and non-Muslim communities, and promoting peace and tolerance were the main goals and themes of the Festival.

Qaisra Shahraz, MBE, Founder and Executive Director of MACFEST, The host from the UK

Leyla Qasimova, the host and organizer from Azerbaijan, an alumna from the University of Manchester at the end stressed her gratitude to all guests and participants and highlighted the importance of promotion of peace and tolerance quoting “Our common values bring us together and the differences make us respect each other”

Chief-guests added the value of and special meaning to the Festival by their thoughts and personal experiences:

Professor Akbar S.Ahmed, anthropologist, poet, playwright, a scholar of Islam, filmmaker and former ambassador. He has been recognized by BBC as “the world`s leading authority on contemporary Islam and included in the list of 100 influential Muslims”. He currently holds the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies and Professor of Islamic Relations at the American University in Washington

Jonathan Davidson, poet, writer, literature activist, Director of Birmingham Literature Festival and Chief Executive-Writing West Midlands

Sajjad Karim, British politician and former MEP, Chair of Delegation to the EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary

Dr. Patrick Walsh, historian and author of books on South Caucasus

Mike Shaft, who has spent over 40 years of his life in British Broadcasting. During his career Shaft has presented programs for Piccadilly Radio, Jazz FM, BBC Radio Manchester

Dr. Ravan Hasanov, Acting executive director of Baku International Center of Multiculturalism, a former adviser at President Administration of Azerbaijan

Rufat Hasanov, film director, Head of Cinema Department at the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan

Organizers express their special gratitude to:

Fund For Support to Azerbaijani Diaspora (FSAD), Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan and Baku Creative for material and technical support

Farid Mirzoyev, an artist and sculptor, demonstrated the religious diversity in Azerbaijan through contemporary art.

Historian Kerim Sultanov presented to the guests the information about the transition from various faiths and the adoption of Islam by the population of Azerbaijan in the middle ages

Prof. Tahir Amiraslanov, Chef and President of the National Culinary Association of Azerbaijan, gave valuable information of rich traditions of the national cuisine of Azerbaijan through historical retrospective

Yashar Guluzadeh, who provided valuable information about the symbol of national pride of Azerbaijanis – Karabakh horses

Ph.D. fashion designer Gulnara Khalilova demonstrated national ornaments and distinctive features of the national costumes within her internationally recognized collections

Firakhnaz Musayeva Head of International relations and Innovation Department, representative of the national Carpet Museum during her speech highlighted the historical background of the carpets after video-screening “Gasimushagi” Carpets from the 17th century.

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