On February 24th, 2014 the Azerbaijan Center in collaboration with the C.T. Bauer College of Business and the student organization, Energy Association, University of Houston held an annual lecture series dedicated to the development of Azerbaijan after the tragic events of Khojaly. The Khojaly tragedy happened on the night of February 25-26, 1992 when Armenian armed forces with the help of the Soviet Union killed hundreds of civilians (mostly women and children).
Each year, the Azerbaijanis around the world remember and commemorate the innocent victims of that tragic day. The title of the event was: Geopolitical Dynamics and International Energy Projects in Caucasus.
The event started with a lavish reception at the Mecher Hall Ticker followed by an educational lecture at the Cemo Hall, University of Houston. The number of attendees was close to 100-150. Each attendee received a folder with the information about Azerbaijan and Khojaly tragedy.
The lecture went well and consisted of a panel of honorable guest speakers who shared their knowledge with the attendees. At the end of the lecture, students and participants asked additional questions. The guest speakers presented their answers and participated in a friendly discussion.
Irada Akhoundova, President of the Azerbaijan Center thanked the University of Houston, its officials, the student organization, Energy Association and the honorable guests and guest speakers for attending the event. Then, Mrs. Akhoundova spoke briefly about how Azerbaijan got its independence and what obstacles and losses the country faced during the road to freedom. A short video about Khojaly tragedy played on the screen during a moment of silence.
We were extremely happy to have with us Frank Kelley, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Business Programs C. T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston; Dr. Radha Radhakrishnan, Clinical Assistant Professor Energy Supply Chain, University of Houston; Mr. Jonathan Slapin, Associate Professor at the University of Houston, Department of the Political Science; Mr. Mammad Talibov, Counselor of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington DC; Senan Mirzayev, Adv Mr. Jonathan Slapin, Associate Professor at the University of Houston, Department of the Political Science; Mr. Mammad Talibov, Counselor of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the United States of America; Sanan Mirzayev, Advisor to Executive Director World Bank for Azerbaijan in Washington DC; Mr. Rauf Mammadov, Director of SOCAR USA Representative; Mr. Yusif Babanly, MBA, co-founder of U.S. Azeris Network; Mr. Alex Vatanka, MA, Middle East Institute.
In addition to our distinguished guest speakers, we were also pleased to be recognized by a number of elected officials, who sent proclamations and resolutions in recognition of Khojaly tragedy. We were thankful to have Mr. Jeremy Brown from Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis’s office who presented a proclamation on behalf of the Texas State Senate; Ms. Beth Martin from the Office of State Representative Gene Wu who presented a certificate to memorialize the 22nd anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy; and last, but not least, the State Representative Hubert Vo for issuing a proclamation in recognition of Khojaly tragedy.
Additionally, we were grateful to have honorable guests among attendees, Texas House of Representative, Ms. Alma Allen, Consul General of Greece, Georgious Papanikolaou, Consul General of Pakistan, Afzaal Mahmood and Vice Consul of Turkey, Abdullah Topçu.