An event dedicated to the poetry of prominent Azerbaijani poet Imadaddin Nasimi was held on Feb. 20 at the UCLA Library in Los Angeles, one of the world’s top universities.
Co-hosted by the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles and the UCLA Library, the event was attended by the Library leadership and staff, UCLA faculty and students, as well as representatives of culture and science, mass media, members of the Azerbaijani community and other guests.
Opening the event, Dr. Sharon Farb, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections and International Collaborations, expressed their satisfaction in co-hosting a celebration of Azerbaijani poet Nasimi and his literary genius.
Speaking afterwards, Dr. Alena Aissing, Librarian for Slavic, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies, noted the successful partnership between Azerbaijan and the UCLA Library, highlighting the Memorandum of Understanding between Azerbaijan National Library and the UCLA Library signed in 2018. She also shared her impressions of Azerbaijan following her visit there last September to attend the 6th Baku International Book Fair.
In his speech, Azerbaijan’s Consul General Nasimi Aghayev stressed that Nasimi is considered one of the greatest Sufi poets of the late 14th and early 15th centuries and one of the most prominent early masters of Azerbaijani and Turkic literature.
Consul General said: “In his works, Nasimi promoted the ideas of unity, peace and tolerance among all people, without attaching any importance to differences between religions or ethnicities. In general, Azerbaijan was historically one of the major centers of Sufi movement that preached the same ideals of interfaith and intercultural understanding and peace. It is no coincidence therefore that for thousands of years different religions, cultures and civilizations have enjoyed peaceful coexistence in Azerbaijan. Today Azerbaijan which is a 95% majority-Muslim nation, is home to over half a million Christians of various denominations, 30,000 Jews, thousands of Bahai’s, Hare Krishnas and many others, who continue to live together with their Muslim borthers and sisters in harmony and mutual respect.”
Consul General mentioned that last year Nasimi’s 650th birthday was celebrated all around the world, and that the year of 2019 was declared as “Nasimi Year” in Azerbaijan by the Order of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
Following the speeches, Nasimi's poems were recited by well-known American actors Lisa Cirincione and Satiar Pourvasei, wearing Azerbaijani national costumes, accompanied by renowned musicians Burak Besir and Dimitris Mahlis, who performed spiritual Sufi music. Moreover, “Nasimi” composition of the world-famous British musician of Azerbaijani descent Sami Yusuf that was first performed in Baku last year was screened. The event was received with much interest by the audience.
Short video of the event can be watched here