Amateur Chess Tournament – Houston

Dear Friends, last Sunday February 21 both adults and kids took part in the Amateur Chess Tournament, organized in cooperation between Azerbaijan Center, Houston-Baku Sister City association and Houston Azerbaijanis. This was the 3d annual tournament and we were happy to see there were a lot of participants this year also.

Our congratulations to the winners of the 1st and 2nd prizes:

1st place – Mr. Khoa M Bui – (5.0/1883) – $100.00
2nd place – Mr. Shelev Oberoi – (4.0/1924) – $25.00
2nd place – Mr. Ernesto Lizarondo – (4.0/1865) – $25.00

We encourage everyone who did not win a prize or did not go at all participate the next year!

Special thanks to Ilgar Azizov, Eldar Guliyev (Houston Azerbaijanis) and Farid Mammadov (Azerbaijan Center).

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Overview of 2015 and new in 2016

Dear Friends,
Another year has gone by. And it is time again to share the accomplishments of Azerbaijan Center for the year of 2015. We would like to congratulate all the members of Azerbaijani community, all volunteers with the successful 2015 year.
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have been organized by the Azerbaijan Center and its members and volunteers in 2015. All of them have attracted a large audience. Azerbaijan Center made new friends!
 2015 was full of educational, business and cultural projects in cooperation with various institutions and with the tremendous support of our partners, sponsors and volunteers.
 As a non-profit organization Azerbaijan center continues to focus on enabling official and economic exchange between the State of Texas and the Republic of Azerbaijan.
 It is thanks to the dedication, hard work and unwavering support and belief of everyone helping us in 2015, we were able to implement the Azerbaijan Center’s vision of…
BUILDING BRIDGES 
BETWEEN AZERBAIJAN AND TEXAS.
Let us remind you some of the most interesting projects of 2015. Going backwards:
The year of 2015 ended with Children’s Recital Concert. In December talented students of Tarana Taylor Kamilah Obaidy and Timur Balametov have presented the results of their hard work to the grateful audience . On behalf of Azerbaijan Center we would like to wish both  Kamilah and Timur further success in learning the beautiful world of music and continuous diligence in reaching their goals.
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 November of 2015 is going to be remembered as a month of the first Oil and Gas Conference organized by the Azerbaijan Center in partnership with the Consulates of Turkey, Greece and Italy, and the University of Houston and with the support of the numerous sponsors. Southern Gas Corridor Conference 2015 gathered about 150 participants, including representatives from oil and gas companies,  consulates and legislative authorities; students from the University of Houston and Rice University; 20 notable  speakers of educational and legislative institutions (University of Houston, Georgetown University, Mayor’s Office,  the Senate). Read more…
And also in November the whole Azerbaijani community in Houston as well as all Azerbaijani nation celebrated Azerbaijan National Flag Day. The Reception took place in Zaza hotel, Houston, Tx. The event was recognized state and city officials to express respect to this meaningful national holiday of Azerbaijan. Find more information and pictures here.
And of course there were Picnics, Holiday Celebrations, Competitions, Festivals, Commemorations which were organized by the Azerbaijan Centre or where the Azerbaijan Center took an active part.
Please look through the pages on our website to remember all those events and watch for the new ones planned in 2016!
 The nearest events even though not organized but supported by the Center are the Exhibition

“Slavs and Tatars” and “Pan-African Women’s Economic Empowerment Summit”.

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Schedule of the Exhibitions and Lectures
January 15 – March 19, 2016:
Admission Free, reservations required, see countercurrentfestival.org
Jan 15, Friday at 7-9 pm   
LOCATION: BLAFFER Museum of the University of Houston
Jan 15, Friday at 6 pm 
“The Tranny Tease”
LOCATION: DUDLEY Recital Hall 4173 Elgin St, Houston 77004
LOCATION: Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore Blvd
summit
Marriott West Loop, near Galleria, Houston 
February 25-28, 2016
Speakers:

Ndileka Mandela, Mandela Foundation, granddaughter of Former President Nelson Mandela,(South Africa)

H.E. Veronica Macamo – Speaker of The Parliament, highest woman in leadership (Mozambique)

Bernard Katompa front-runner candidate for president & former CEO of Liberty Africa Group (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Mme. Rosalie Lo, New Partnership for Africa Development, Gender Unit NEPAD

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner 

Senator Rodney Ellis (Texas State Senator)

US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas)

US Congresswoman Fredricka Wilson (Florida)

Senator Donzella James (Georgia State Senator)

Ms. Donna Cole Cole Chemicals – Welcome Breakfast

Rt. Hon. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhilas Prime Minister (Namibia)

Ms. Susan Hodge, Women Leading Together, former Treasurer of Shell Oil and VP with Royal Dutch Shell

Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah Deputy Prime Minister. (Namibia)

Dr. Mae Jemison (NASA Space Shuttle veteran & Star Trek alumni)

Hon. Pendukeni Livula-Ithana (Minister of Home Affairs & Immigration-Namibia)

Hon. Haija Khadija Bukar Ibrahim (Minister of Foreign Affairs,  State – Nigeria)

24th Annual Turkish Festival in Houston, Tx

The 24th annual Houston Turkish Festival took place at the Jones Plaza on Saturday and Sunday November 14th and 15th, 2015.

Azerbaijan Center and HBSCA took part in the Turkish Festival.  This year’s Festival differed from previous ones.  This year various countries of the world took part in the Festival activities including arrangement of information booths, folk fashion shows, musical performances.  Visitors of Azerbaijan booth got acquainted with the traditional food, cultural peculiarities, national art and history of the country.  By tradition a ceramics artist Saida Hagverdi had a workshop where she demonstrated the sculpturing technique to the visitors of her booth.  Azerbaijan National Dress fashion show  has been presented by Mehriban, Kamran and Baby Orhan. Musical Band “Autesh” performed beautiful songs of  Azerbaijani composers, solo by Kamiyar.

Overall there was a wonderful and friendly environment at the Festival uniting different nations who live in Houston. Everyone enjoyed Delicious Turkish Foods and Pastries; took a sip of Turkish coffee and had their coffee cup fortune read; learned about and took part in Traditional Turkish Arts & Crafts and oriental dances performed by the world famous Turkish folk band, TUANA; dedicated children’s activity area with fun filled activities from balloon clowns, face painting to a magic show and storytelling; listen to live Turkish music performances; enjoyed a traditional attire fashion show and perused the Grand Bazaar offering modern and traditional arts and crafts from various lands.

The Kids venue had a dedicated children’s corner that will be filled will fun activities.

Cultural events included lectures on a wide variety of topics from history of Sufism and Rumi to Christian sites of Turkey, from ecological and biological treasures of Turkey to its economic role in the Eurasia region, and concerts of various artists, cultural exhibitions as well a very colorful Grand Bazaar

Great thanks going to the volunteers who helped to promote Azerbaijan culture at the Festival and provided support during the Festival.

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More Pictures and Song Videos…

 

Meeting at the Austin Capitol

On November 11th , 2015 new appointed Governor of Texas Greg Abbott met with the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the US Elin Suleymanov, Councelor of the Azerbaijan Embassy Mammad Talibov,  and CEO of Houston Azerbaijan Center Irada Akhoundova in the Texas State Capitol. 


The Ambassador gave an overview of the main points of the effective cooperation between the US and Azerbaijan in such areas as energy supplies, fighting against terrorism and others. Elin Suleymanov noted a significant role of Azerbaijan Center and its Director Irada Akhoundova in successful organization of the important events such as an international conference “The Southern Gas Corridor in European Energy” and a celebration of Azerbaijan National holiday – Flag Day. Irada Akhoundova provided an insight about mission and purpose of the Azerbaijan Center in Houston. Governor Abbott extended his appreciation for the contributions of Azerbaijan Community in Texas and suggested that the relationship between Texas and Azerbaijan should be expanded.


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The Southern Gas Corridor Conference at the University of Houston, TX

2015 Conference “Southern Gas Corridor”

First Oil and Gas Conference about Southern Gas Corridor Projects organized with the help of Azerbaijan Center and sponsored by State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic has attracted a lot of attention of the public of City of Houston.

District Council Rep Edward Gonzalez opened the Conference with a proclamation by City of Houston and pointed out the importance of such a conference with regards to international relations between the US and Azerbaijan.

Bilateral in her welcome remarks the Chancellor of the University of Houston System Renu Khator drew the attention to the importance of a dialogue and interaction on the international level.

Irada Akhoundova, CEO of Azerbaijan Center and a Chair of Conference Organizing Committee, gave an overview of the main goals of the Conference which was building bridges between nations in terms of not only culture but also business. At the same time the Conference was a good opportunity for Azerbaijan State Oil Company SOCAR to shed some light on the Southern Corridor Projects.

The first session was devoted to topics relating to strategic importance of the Caspian region; Ambassador J.  Maresca has specifically reviewed the risk factors and main competitors in oil and gas supply to Europe;

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Dr. Economides presented a more specific view on oil and gas supply in connection with the geopolitical context,  providing some figures characterizing supply vs. demand, reserves vs. production in different countries around the world.

The second session was held by the speakers from Turkey, Greece and Italy. The speakers Caner Can (Counselor for Energy, Turkey), George Papanikolaou (Consul General, Greece), Elena Sgarbi (Consul General, Italy) outlined the advantages of the Sothern Gas Corridor project to their respective countries, in terms of economic investments, decreased level of unemployment, new perspective of diversification of gas supply to European countries. Congressman Weber have summarized the session giving the US perspective from the SGC Project pointing out the significant role that Azerbaijan is playing on the oil and gas market, becoming a fair competitor to the countries currently supplying the market.

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Ambassador of Azerbaijan Republic to the United States gave the keynote speech at Luncheon about strategic importance of Azerbaijan and the necessity to build strong partnership relations between neighboring countries and countries benefiting from the Southern Gas Corridor Project. He expressed a belief that the Project is a way for partners to demonstrate their reliability in business terms. He also pointed out the enthusiasm with which European countries participate in Project Development.

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Afternoon session done by Ed Hirs, Oil Finance Expert, started from the general overview of Global Oil and Gas markets, gas prices; major gas trade movements and Europe’s future energy supplies.

Deputy Vice –president of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, has given a broad insight into TANAP, TAP and SPC Projects development as well as Shah Deniz capacity to feed the demand. Among the things to be focused on, he named keeping flow of crude oil production stable; increasing production and exports of natural gas; contribute to Azerbaijan economic development, link Azerbaijan in trade and infrastructure with other countries. He also drew the attention of the audience to the fact that Azerbaijan projects are profitable for the investors; Azerbaijan parliament has adopted 3 PSAs as a part of national legislation to encourage foreign companies to come to Azerbaijan to conduct business.

The Southern Gas Corridor itself has 26 wells, $15bn Offshore facilities, TAP $5bn, TANAP $12bn. About 12500 people employed on the Projects: these are just a few numbers to the point of the importance and seriousness of SGC Projects committed by Azerbaijan and its partners.

Dr. Shaffer from Georgetown University has focused primarily on the new resources development in Azerbaijan, its strategic geographical location, pointing out the work European governments have to do to create proper legislative and economic conditions for natural gas to be supplied there.

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The last but not least two speakers – Mr. Mammad (TANAP External Relations Director) and Dr. Niftiyev (Strategy and Policy Coordinator at Caspian Strategy Institute) talked about the outlook of TANAP and TAP Projects and their advantages to the European countries. It was mentioned that those projects have come to life thanks to strong economic and political commitment of Azerbaijan and Turkish leadership.

The SGCConference gathered about 150 participants, including representatives from oil and gas companies,  consulates and legislative authorities; students from the University of Houston and Rice University; 20 notable  speakers of educational and legislative institutions (University of Houston, Georgetown University, Mayor’s Office,  the Senate). More Photos…

Read More… CBC; FuelFixLogo Conference (4)