Wiesenthal Centre - Europe Invited by Azerbaijan to Participate in Baku International Humanitarian Forum

November 1, 2018

Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, and Advisor to the Director-General of UNESCO, Dr. Graciela Vaserman Samuels, were invited by H.E. Rahman Mustafayev, Azerbaijan Ambassador to France, as part of a French delegation, to attend the Sixth Baku International Forum entitled "Shaping a New World and a New Humanity: Creativity and Human Development."

"The interfaith work of the Wiesenthal Centre is universally known in Azerbaijan, due to the pathbreaking activities of its Director for Global Social Action, my colleague Rabbi Abraham Cooper," noted Samuels.

"Thus," he continued, "in conversations at the Forum with the Azerbaijan Culture Minister, the Head of the Mountain Jewish Community, the Deputy Director of UNESCO, Council of Europe expert on cultural heritage and the Azerbaijan Ambassador to UNESCO, the idea emerged to propose the unique Jewish village of Qırmızı Qəsəbə, some 100 miles from Baku, for World Heritage status." (Refurbished synagogue pictured right).

This would follow the Centre’s campaign for such acknowledgement of MoisesVille in Argentina and Sosua in the Dominican Republic.

"In each case, at different periods in history, these villages represented the welcome of the home country to fugitives fleeing persecution, their successful absorption and pride in their host country - each providing lessons for contemporary migrants and refugees," he explained.

"The proposal is pending further discussion in the community, the Azerbaijani Government and UNESCO. Its success would underline and manifest the example of a Muslim country’s dedication to inter-faith and multicultural harmony, as also a close friend of Israel," concluded the Centre.


Among the dignitaries who attended the Forum with SWC representatives Shimon Samuels and Graciela Vaserman Samuels (pictured left and center) were: (a) Milikh Yevdayev, Head of the Community of Mountain Jews in Azerbaijan;  (b) Qu Xing, Deputy Director of UNESCO; (c) Abulfas Garayev, Azerbaijan Minister of Culture; and (e) Robert Palmer, former Director of Cultural Heritage at the Council of Europe.

For further information, contact Shimon Samuels at +33 609 770 158, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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