The first ever Azerbaijan Night at the University of Maryland was hosted on 10 March. It started at 19:00 at the Critique Hall of the Plant Sciences Building. The Night went fantastically well and exceeded all expectations, but there were also interesting stories and surprising encounters around it I would like to share.
The Azerbaijan Night was the first event organized by Azerbaijan Culture Group student organization. The idea of starting such a group was first expressed a year ago by Shahla, but it was not met with much enthusiasm. Nevertheless the idea gained some momentum this year with the study abroad program in Azerbaijan on environmental issues offered by the University of Maryland for the first time. The study abroad program was designed under the guidance of Dr Richard Weismiller, Assistant Director of International Programs for College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, by Hokuma Karimova, our compatriot studying at the university. She actively got down to business in organizing the Azerbaijan Night as the president of Azerbaijan Culture Group.
During the preparations we tried to disseminate information about the event in Washington DC and surrounding states and I contacted few very nice people from Azerbaijan, whom I found by a pure chance: Dr Mikhail Anisimov, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Physics at the University of Maryland is native of Baku and has “a great feeling of nostalgia about Baku and Azerbaijan”. I was also surprised to learn that the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology is lead by our compatriot Dr Vidadi Yusifov.
Apart from other things I was responsible for designing the event poster. Looking for images I liked a photo of the old city walls in Baku with new glass constructions of Icheri Sheher metro station by my good friend Dena Barmas, who lives in Canada now. I asked his permission to use this photo as a background for the poster. Other images used brought me together with few very interesting people: Feride Sadikhova from California is the author of a very nice shekerbura photo I found at her AZ Cookbook blog famous for its excellent illustrated recipes of Azerbaijani cuisine. Dr Tamás Sajó from Budapest is director of the Studiolum Publisher and author of a beautiful Azeri socks photo he put at his interesting blog called Poemas del río Wang. So the full credits for this poster look like this:
Silk Road Dance Company, photo © by Kaveh Fard | Shekerbura – traditional sweets, photo © AZCOOKBOOK.com | Azerbaijani carpets, photo © azerbaijan24.com | Traditional socks, photo © 2009 Studiolum • riowang.blogspot.com | Background image – Old city walls and Icheri Sheher metro station in Baku, photo © 2009 by Dena Barmas | Poster design © 2010 by Araz Yusubov