NEW YORK - On October 18, 2012, in celebration of its 55th anniversary and the 21st anniversary of Azerbaijani Independence Day, Azerbaijan Society of America (ASA) organized a reception at the landmark Empire State Building in New York. The nearly 100 attendees at the reception included high-ranking diplomats from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, representatives from various New York-based governmental, non-governmental and business organizations, CBS News and other media groups, Azerbaijani, Turkish and Jewish communities, students from Columbia and New York Universities.
Opening the event, ASA external communications director, Emin Hasan, briefly talked about the organization's history and the opera musician, Alexandria Sultanzade von Brusseldorf, performed the U.S. and Azerbaijani national anthems. Further, former Congressman, Michael McMahon (D-NY); ASA President, Tomris Azeri; Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the UN, Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev; General Director of Azerbaijani-American Council, Javid Huseynov; Science TV Channel host and architect, Danny Forster; President of the Federation of Turkish-American Associations, Ali Cinar; Honorary Turkish Consul and former president of the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations (ATAA), Nurten Ural; Consul General of Azerbaijan in Istanbul, Hasan Zeynalov; Director of Kavkaz Jewish Youth Center, Luba Yusubov; representative of the Azerbaijani State Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Javanshir Veliyev, addressed the audience. The speakers highlighted the successes and challenges of Azerbaijan since the restoration of its independence in 1991, highlighted ASA's heritage as the oldest Azerbaijani-American grassroots organization and its leading role in Azerbaijani-American community advocacy.
Additionally, the recognition letters from the New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo; Deputy Foreign Minister and Azerbaijan's first envoy to the U.S., Ambassador Hafiz Pashayev; Consul General of Israel in New York, Ambassador Ido Aharoni, community leaders in Israel and Canada greeting ASA's 55th anniversary were read at the reception.
The event concluded with the performance by the Azerbaijani mugham music master, Jeffrey Werbock, opera musician Alexandria Sultanzade, and the Central Asia Vatan music group in New York. Among the distinguished guests at ASA's Empire State Building reception were also the current and former board members of ATAA and a rising New York-based modeling star, Rustam Jabrayilov.
Select photos and recognition letters from the event are included below. For more photos, visit ASA page at http://ASA.azeris.org
ASA is the oldest grassroots organization uniting Azerbaijani-Americans since 1957