Caption: Jacques Gilbert, Mayor of Apex, presents the Azerbaijan’s Independence Day Proclamation
By Dr. Adika Iqbal
Relationship between Israel and Azerbaijan has Improved Dramatically
Over the years the relationship between Israel and Azerbaijan has improved dramatically. Azerbaijan and Israel share unique, time-tested, special bonds, which are based on mutual trust and understanding at all levels. It is no surprise that what is believed to be the world’s only all-Jewish village outside of Israel and the United States—and the last surviving shtetl—is the Red Village, situated in the northeast of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan includes populations of both Ashkenazi and “Mountain” Jews. According to the Jews of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the country is an “oasis of tolerance,” protecting all religious minorities in a world where persecution has become a norm.
Azerbaijan and Israel Share Common Values
The newly founded nonprofit Azerbaijan Friendship Organization in North Carolina continues this tradition by creating a special new relationship with the North Carolina Coalition of Israel. Dr. Adika Iqbal, the President of the organization says, “The most vital factors to Azerbaijan-Israel friendship are the shared values and goals for a peaceful world, where Muslim-Jewish relations not only cease to exist as a source of local and global tension, but can advance into a positive friendship, shared values and collaboration.”
USA, Israel, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Pakistan, Were Represented
On Saturday, October 2nd, the Azerbaijan Friendship Organization hosted a “Memorial and Independence Day” picnic. In attendance were around 60 people including Jacques Gilbert, Mayor of Apex; consulates from the Azerbaijan Embassy in Washington DC; and board members of the North Carolina Coalition of Israel, American Turkish Association of North Carolina, as well as Pakistani American Anjuman- North Carolina. The mayor presented the Azerbaijan’s Independence Day Proclamation to the Azerbaijan Friendship Organization, recognizing and honoring those Azerbaijani forefathers worked hard to spread freedom and democracy in the Caucasus region, and Azerbaijani- Americans contribute to cultural diversity, richness, and economic prosperity in Apex.
As historic background to the occasion, on October 18th, 1991, the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan adopted a Constitutional Act on the Declaration of Independence of Azerbaijan, thereby exiting the Soviet Union. The declaration was confirmed by a referendum in December 1991.
The Azerbaijan Friendship Organization in North Carolina works tirelessly to bring communities together to unite for the common good. They hope the unity between community members will lead to a better world.