TODAY.AZ / Voice of Diaspora

Conference titled “Azerbaijan: 20 years later” held at University of Toronto

07 November 2011 [12:40] - TODAY.AZ
The Azerbaijani Youth of North America (AYNA) Network and the University of Toronto Azerbaijani Student Association (UofT-AzSA) have co-organized a conference dedicated to the 20th anniversary of restoration of Azerbaijan`s independence from the Soviet Union.

The conference, titled "Azerbaijan: 20 years later" and held at the University of Toronto Downtown Campus, was sponsored by the Azerbaijani-American Council (AAC). Two members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario (Canada), Monte Kwinter and Reza Moridi, as well as UofT Assistant Professor of Criminology, Matthew Light, were guest speakers at the conference.

The AYNA Conference was opened by the president of UofT-AzSA and AYNA activist, Iskandar Gadirzade. He welcomed the guests and briefly spoke about the history behind the restoration of Azerbaijan`s independence. Gadirzade noted Azerbaijanis fought and sacrificed their lives on the path towards independence, thus freedom and independence were precious for Azerbaijani society.

Kwinter spoke about his visit to Azerbaijan as a chair Ontario investment and trade advisory council and the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development and Trade. He compared Azerbaijan to other former-Soviet states, and said how much the country has achieved to the day. Moridi spoke about the history of Azerbaijan starting with the establishment of the first democratic state in the Muslim world in 1918 and the last 20 years of independence. Both Kwinter and Moridi stressed that Azerbaijan played an important role in the Soviet Union as an oil producer, specifically in the Second World War, and a significant role it plays in the region at the moment as a modern and sovereign state.

Moridi also noted how fascinated he was when he visited the country for the second time two years ago. He also underlined the necessity of creating stronger economic, political and cultural bridges between Canadian and Azerbaijani societies. Both speakers acknowledged an important role played by youth and their organizations in establishing and facilitating ties between the two countries. The speakers noted that the rich Azerbaijani culture, literature and cuisine could enrich Canadian multicultural mosaic.


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