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In the News

Azerbaijan America Alliance holds Gala dinner

AZERNEWS

November 04, 2013

By Sara Rajabova

The Azerbaijan America Alliance hosted its second annual gala dinner on October 31, the organization's website announced.

The gala dinner titled "Celebrating Today, Building Tomorrow" was held at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.

The main purpose of the Azerbaijan America Alliance at the reception ceremony was strengthening social and economic relations between the two countries, and stressing the importance of friendly bilateral relations.

The audience was introduced to Azerbaijan's culture, national customs, and cuisine.

This year's event highlighted the innovative architectural developments of Azerbaijan and the growing relationship between the United States and Azerbaijan, while celebrating the ancient and rich culture of the key ally in the South Caucasus region.

Opening the reception, in which nearly 600 invited guests from Capitol Hill, the Diplomatic Corps, think tanks, and academic and business communities took part, Azerbaijan's ambassador to the United States Elin Suleymanov said the best way of diplomacy is to present the country's culture, something that is being successfully implemented at this event.

Speaking at the event, Founder and President of the Azerbaijan America Alliance Anar Mammadov spoke about the organization`s activities and mission, saying that the U.S. Senators, Congressmen, and ambassadors, diplomats representing 40 countries, prominent representatives of arts and culture, and prominent businessmen were guests at the event.

He said that last year the Alliance organized the event called "An evening in Washington, DC, dedicated to friends from Baku" at the Ronald Reagan Building.

Mammadov said the Alliance is a non-partisan, non-profit organization, with an educational mission to foster an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect between Azerbaijani and American people.

He added that through academic discussions, cultural programming, and political discourse, the Alliance is dedicated to promoting a lasting partnership between Azerbaijan and America.

He further informed the guests about the important events organized by the Alliance in the past three years.

Mammadov said Azerbaijan is a good friend and ally of the U.S..

"We hope that by working together, we can further strengthen the cooperation between Azerbaijan and the U.S. in the fields of culture, education, business, and art," Mammadov said.

Speaking at the event, Chairman of the board of the Azerbaijan America Alliance Dan Burton thanked the Allience for presenting Azerbaijani culture in Washington, and in U.S. universities.

Burton said Azerbaijan is a true friend of America, and it`s extremely important to expand relationship with Azerbaijan.

"The Azerbaijan America Alliance is working to strengthen those ties through its various activities and by hosting events such as tonight`s, where Americans can experience the vibrant culture and people of Azerbaijan," he said.

Burton said during the 30 years that he was congressman, he visited many countries as the chairman of the Foreign Committee, but neither of these countries impressed him as much as Azerbaijan.

The evening included Azerbaijani music and dance as well as a dinner featuring a traditional Azerbaijani menu.

The event featured live musical performances by "RAST" group, Eurovision Song Contest 2012 finalist Sabina Babeyeva, and the Pearl of Azerbaijan Dance Ensemble.

The culmination of the event was the performance of the great representative of the Azerbaijani mugham People's Artist, Alim Gasimov, and his daughter Honoured Artist Fargana Gasimova.

The honorary host committee of the gala dinner was comprised of Senators Richard Burr, Saxby Chambliss, Thad Cochran, Roger F. Wicker; US Representatives Gene Green, Randy Hultgren, Robert Aderholt, Corrine Brown, Luis Gutierrez, George Holding, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Walter Jones Jr., Adam Kinzinger, John Shimkus, Tim Ryan, Fred Upton; Larry Beasley, President & Chief Executive Officer of The Washington Times; Victor Shiblie, Editor-In-Chief of The Washington Diplomat; Steven Knapp, President of George Washington University, and other cultural, business, and media leaders.

The Azerbaijani American Alliance is a non-partisan, non-profit organization providing information broadly about the culture, society, industry, history, and current events of the Azerbaijani people.

Through academic discussions, cultural programs, and political debate, the Alliance plans to turn into a major organization that deals with the promotion of a long, sustained partnership between Azerbaijan and America.

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