The European Azerbaijan Society celebrates its tenth anniversary

Press Release: On 16 March, prominent politicians, dignitaries, academics, journalists and athletes gathered at the Marriott Hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) and its magazine Visions of Azerbaijan. The organisation raises awareness of Azerbaijan, fostering closer cultural, economic and academic ties with nations across Europe.

“Azerbaijan is a small country, but strategically located, with a rich history and vibrant culture,” said Tale Heydarov, Chairman and Founder, TEAS. He added that the country had seen a dramatic transformation since it regained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, emerging as a modern, developed nation that has become a beacon for religious tolerance in the world.

“We want the world to know about us,” Heydarov said.

Over the past decade, TEAS has put Azerbaijan into the international spotlight through activities such as business forums, jazz concerts, and football charity matches as well as showcasing the famous Karabakh horses at the Royal Windsor Horse Show for the Queen’s Jubilee.

Its magazine Visions of Azerbaijan, which is also available online, offers a window into the country’s colourful culture. “The magazine has raised Azerbaijan’s profile in Europe and worldwide,” said Anne Thompson-Ahmadova, the magazine’s founding editor and former head of the BBC Monitoring Caucasus Unit. “It breathes Azerbaijani history and culture, and has a special force field of its own.”

One of the key pillars of TEAS is education and learning. The organisation founded the European Azerbaijan Schools and Azerbaijan Teachers’ Development Centre that provides education and training at the highest international levels.

3Apples, the children’s literature division of TEAS Press, publishes books, aimed to entertain and educate. Oxford University Press, the largest university publisher in the world, has appointed TEAS as its official distributor of English-language teaching material in Azerbaijan.

TEAS is also supporting the Justice for Khojaly campaign, which highlights the unresolved Armenian–Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and the massacre in Khojaly, in which 613 men, women and children were killed in 1992.

Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts were occupied by Armenia during the post-Soviet power vacuum in the early 1990s, resulting in nearly one million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Despite numerous resolutions by the United Nations, European Parliament and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) calling for its immediate and unconditional withdrawal, Armenia continues to occupy the territory to this day.