By Laman Ismayilova
First Deputy Minister of Culture, acting Minister of Culture Anar Karimov and Israeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan George Deek have discussed cultural cooperation between the two countries and the expansion of exchanges in various fields.
The culture minister touched upon the Second Karabakh War which ended with the historic victory of Azerbaijan.
Anar Karimov provided insight into the attacks by the Armenian army against Azerbaijan's residential settlements, civilians. He also expressed his gratitude to the Israeli ambassador for visiting Ganja city that was subjected to Armenia's missile attack.
Speaking about Azerbaijan's contribution to intercultural dialogue, Anar Karimov noted that the Baku Process initiated by President Ilham Aliyev had turned into an international platform.
It was noted that representatives of different nations and religions live peacefully in Azerbaijan. The Jewish community is also regarded as an integral part of society.
The Jewish community has historically lived in peace with the people of Azerbaijan. The two nations are proud of the National Hero Albert Agarunov, who sacrificed his life for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
Ambassador George Deek noted that the centuries-old friendly relations between the two nations laid the foundation for close cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel. He stressed the development of bilateral relations in various areas.
The diplomat praised the country's achievements during the years of independence. He emphasized that Azerbaijan's tolerance is a model for other countries.
Speaking about cultural cooperation, George Deek touched upon the joint projects on jazz music, Azerbaijani mugham and Jewish music.
The sides also noted the importance of establishing cooperation in the field of creative industries.
Notably, Azerbaijan and Israel have engaged in close cooperation since 1992.
The strategic relationship included cooperation in trade and security matters, cultural and educational exchanges.
Notably, the Azerbaijani and Jewish peoples have a long tradition of tolerance and interaction.
Azerbaijani-Israeli friendly relations are built on centuries of shared Jewish-Azerbaijani existence.
Mountain Jews settled in the Caucasus more than 2,000 years ago. Located 165 km northwest of Baku, Krasnaya Sloboda (Red village) is home to the country's largest community of Mountain Jews and one of the largest Jewish populations in the former Soviet Union.
This Jewish settlement in Guba has been inhabited by Jews since the 13th century. Here the Jews have lived together with the Azerbaijanis for many years in peace.
Several synagogues are operating in Baku, as well as in Guba and Oguz regions. The synagogue which opened in Baku in 2003 is one of the largest in Europe.
In September 2003, the first Jewish school was opened in Baku.
In 2016, a branch of the Baku International Multiculturalism Centre (BIMC) opened in Israel aimed at increasing the international community's awareness of Azerbaijan's and Israel's history and culture.
The world's first Mountain Jews Museum has been operating in Azerbaijan since February 2020.
The museum's collection includes valuable exhibits: ritual utensils, manuscripts, ancient household as well as books in Juhuri, a traditional language of the Mountain Jews.
STMEGI International Charitable Foundation, which unites the Mountain Jews from all over the world, was engaged in collecting exhibits for the museum. The SetLine company was involved in the interior design of the museum.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lamiva993
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