By Laman Ismayilova
A concert dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) was held on August 19, at the historic Saint John's Lutheran Church of Sacramento, California’s capital city.
Supported by the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles and organized by the Azerbaijani community in Sacramento, the cultural event was attended by political, economic, scientific and cultural figures of Sacramento, as well as media representatives and others, Trend reported.
Addressing the event, the Azerbaijani community activist Shabnam Gafarova welcomed the guests and stressed the importance of this cultural event in California’s capital city. Informing the attendees about Azerbaijan, she talked about Azerbaijan’s ancient history, rich culture and music.
In his remarks, Consul of the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles Orkhan Rustamli informed the guests about Azerbaijan’s history of independence and stated that 100 years ago on May 28, 1918, the people of Azerbaijan established the very first Republic in our history - the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
He stressed that it was also the first ever secular democracy among all Muslim nations and the first majority-Muslim nation to grant women the right to vote.
Highlighting Azerbaijan’s rich musical heritage, Consul Rustamli said that Azerbaijan is a birthplace of the first opera, operetta and ballet in the Muslim world.
Following the remarks, Azerbaijani vocalist Marziyya Huseynova and pianist Aida Elkhanzade, both winners of multiple international awards, performed at the concert.
The musicians performed the classical works of Azerbaijani and European composers.The concert received much applause of the audience.
On May 28, 1918, Azerbaijan declared its independence establishing the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which became the first secular parliamentary democracy in the Muslim World and recognized by other democratic nations, including the United States of America.
During the short period of independence Azerbaijan granted all people the rights to vote regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, and religion, becoming the first Muslim nation to give women equal political rights with men, an accomplishment preceding the United States. Azerbaijan’s independence was interrupted in 1920, when it was invaded by Bolshevists, and forcefully incorporated into the USSR in 1922 to restore its independence only in 1991.
Short video of the event can be watched here: https://youtu.be/R3lrb2oxBfY
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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