Azerbaijani-American Evening of Art, Music and Goodwill held in Los Angeles

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Washington, February 16, AZERTAC

The State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan and the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles, in partnership with D.A.R.E. – the most prominent drug prevention organization in the U.S. - held on Feb. 12, 2015 a well-attended event titled “Say No to Drugs” in Los Angeles. The event featured an art exhibition of cartoons, sculptures and paintings created by Azerbaijani and foreign artists reflecting the negative impacts of drug abuse on individual, family and community.

A delegation of the State Customs Committee visited the U.S. for this purpose.

Held in the same venue, where the annual Golden Globe Awards are presented, the event was attended by over 600 people, including elected officials, representatives of the City and County of Los Angeles, consuls general and honorary consuls of various countries, representatives of diverse drug prevention organizations based in Los Angeles and members of the local Azerbaijani, Iranian, Turkish, Jewish and other communities.

Welcoming the guests, Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev highlighted the tireless efforts by the State Customs Committee, both in Azerbaijan and internationally, to fight against drugs, and stressed the importance, in this regard, of educating the public, especially the younger generation about the negative repercussions of the drug abuse.

Taking the floor afterwards, the representative of Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee, customs service major-general Gambay Aliyev spoke about the efforts of Azerbaijani customs officials in the fight against drug trafficking. Noting that the drug abuse is a universal problem Mr Aliyev stressed the importance of uniting all international efforts in fighting this calamity. He also informed the audience about the exhibitions held by the State Customs Committee titled “Say No to Drugs” in different countries over the last few years.

Then the floor was given to Mr Frank Pegueros, President of D.A.R.E. and Mrs Lourdes Saab, Deputy Chief of Protocol of the County of Los Angeles. The speakers stressed the importance of holding this kind of events in educating the public, especially the younger people, about the impact of drug abuse on individual, family and society. They also commended Azerbaijan’s consistent domestic and international efforts in the fight against drugs and in drug education. Mrs Saab presented a proclamation signed by all members of the Board of Supervisors of the Los Angeles County highlighting the significance of the event. On behalf of the D.A.R.E., Mr Pegueros presented Certificates of Appreciation to Mr. Aliyev and Mr. Aghayev.

A proclamation signed by the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti was also read out. According to the Proclamation, February 12, 2015 was proclaimed the “International Say No to Drugs Day” in Los Angeles. Mayor Garcetti also commended the efforts by Azerbaijan in fighting drug abuse and trafficking.

Then the attendees were treated to some of the best samples of Azerbaijani music performed by outstanding musicians from Azerbaijan. Opera soloists Samir Jafarov and Afag Abbasova as well as popular singer Ayaz Gasimov, accompanied by renowned composer Vugar Jamalzadeh, mesmerized the audience with their spectacular performance of Azerbaijani classical and folk music. The performance of a scene from the Azerbaijani ballet “Seven Beauties” by San Diego Ballet dancers was received with much ovation.

The event continued with the exhibition “Say No to Drugs” prepared by the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan.

Yusif Babanlı

Special Correspondent

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