Israeli Embassy organizes ambassadors’ visit to Guba

Israeli Embassy organizes ambassadors’ visit to Guba
# 14 May 2007 10:26 (UTC +04:00)
The visitors are ambassadors of Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, India, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, UN Resident Coordinator and Deputy Head of OSCE Office in Baku. The diplomats visited secondary school #1 named after Isaak Khanukov. They were told that the education is in Azerbaijani and Russian. There are cabinets of Jewish, Tat, Lezgin, Khinalig languages and the pupils study their mother tongue. The ambassadors also visited two synagogues in the settlement.
Head of Mountain Jews religious community Boris Simanduyev said that Jews have been living in Azerbaijan for 2500 years, and Girmizi Gesebe is 280 years old. Noting that the settlement has 4,000 population now Simanduyev said Mountain Jews enjoy equal rights in Azerbaijan .
“We have no problem. We are only concerned about Azerbaijan’s common problems, violation of territorial integrity, the Nagorno Karabakh conflict,” he said.
Mr.Simanduyev said that there has never been anti-Semitism in Azerbaijan, Jews preserved their religious and national traditions.
“The majority of the 13 synagogues have been closed during Soviet period and used for other purposes. Our religious places were returned after Azerbaijan gained its independence,” he said.
He also noted that the representatives of 20 nations live in Guba in a friendly atmosphere.
Israeli Ambassador said that the aim of the visit is to demonstrate tolerance in Azerbaijan and inform the world community of it.
“Therefore, I brought representatives of 15 states so that they can be informed of it. This tolerance is important not only for Azerbaijan but also for its friends. I wanted them to witness how different nations live together,” he said.
Commenting on recently-found mass graves in Guba region, the diplomat said that he welcomes Azerbaijan’s investigating its history.
“I consider that foreigners will visit the place after the investigation is over,” he said.
Deputy Head of the OSCE Office in Baku Robin Seaword called Girmizi Gesebe a unique place in the world and welcomed teaching different languages in the village school. /APA/