Cultural Center in Houston talks about centuries-old traditions of Azerbaijan’s tolerance


The Azerbaijan Cultural Center in Houston rendered financial aid for the restoration of the largest religious temple in Houston-Congregation Beth Yeshurun synanogue, which was damaged in 2017 as a result of Hurricane Harvey, the Azerbaijan-Israel International Association (AZIZ) reported.

“This was another action demonstrating the centuries-old traditions of Azerbaijan’s tolerance, as well as friendship and mutual assistance of Jews and Azerbaijanis, beyond Azerbaijan,” the message said.

Expressing gratitude for the financial aid, Rabbi David Rosen praised the rich multiculturalism traditions of Azerbaijan, which has no anti-Semitism, and thanked Azerbaijan for being a close partner of the US and Israel.

Advisor at Azerbaijan’s Embassy in US Vugar Gurbanov noted that the Jewish community is an integral part of the Azerbaijani society, and that both nations support each other in both difficult and happy times.

Lev Spivak, director general of the Israel-Azerbaijan International Association, spoke about the tolerance and multiculturalism traditions in Azerbaijan and the efforts made to strengthen Israel-Azerbaijan friendship.

According to Aziz News, the English version of “Black Snowdrops” book by Efim Abramov and Leyla Begim, timed to the event of the memory of the victims of the Khojaly tragedy February 26 was also presented at the Houston State University.

The event was organized by the Azerbaijan Cultural Center in Houston jointly with AZIZ within the Justice for Khojaly project.

In his turn, Spivak spoke about the centuries-old friendship between the Azerbaijani and Jewish peoples.

“The Jewish people are aware about the pain of loss and genocide,” he added. “During these sad days, we are in solidarity with Azerbaijanis.”

In his turn, Gurbanov spoke about the causes of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the terrible night in Khojaly town.

“It was massacre, cold-blooded killing of innocent civilians – women, old people and children,” he said.

Poetess and playwright Leyla Begim told the guests about the history of the creation of the story, translated into three languages ​​and published in several countries.

She added that the story touched the hearts of thousands of readers of different nationalities. The human pain, described in the story, is understandable to everybody. This proves once again that only literature and art, mutual understanding and tolerance are able to truly bring peoples together.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

On Feb. 25-26, 1992, the Armenian armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops, stationed in Khankendi, committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly. As many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people were killed in the massacre. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people still remains unknown.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.