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Posts Tagged ‘Patriarch of Moscow’

 

Everything went well on Friday as we chose ITV, Azerbaijan’s public television network, as the “broadcast partner” of ADA Majis.

Omarov and Pashayev

Omarov and Pashayev

Secretary-Director Ismail Omarov and  Ambassador Pashayev had not met before, but we talked for nearly an hour with translation.  Omarov promised to give us all we need to launch our program on November 13th.  That was followed by a one-hour tour of ITV’s facilities, my second in the two weeks.  Finally, Ambassador Pashayev was interviewed for the nightly news program.  We’ll follow up with planning meetings this week as I outline for the director, set designer, graphic artist, and technical staff our vision for the program.

Also this week, I’ll begin a series of one hour, one-on-one “media training” sessions with young Azerbaijani diplomats, some who’ll be leaving in a few weeks for assignments in China, Europe, and the United States.  They all speak English, which certainly makes my job easier.  ADA wants me to work on their public speaking, and to prepare them for possible appearances before news media.  I’ll use my FLIP video camera to tape the sessions and show them areas where they can improve.

This afternoon, I took a short walk through a nearby neighborhood, and found, there in the midst of dilapidated, Soviet-era housing, a jewel!  The Cathedral of Holy Myrrh-Bearers of the Russian Orthodox Church was built in 1909 but closed during the Soviet period, except for its use as an ammunition depot and gymnasium.  It was severally damaged by Soviet missile fire in 1991.  Muslim Azeris contributed greatly to the cathedral’s original construction, and in 2003, a Russian-based Azeri businessman financed its restoration.  The Patriarch of Moscow re-consecreated the cathedral and the Azerbaijan government hailed it as an example of its “religious tolerance.” The murals and icons are new, but there is an “old world” feel inside aided by the fragrance of burning incense which, I assume, includes myrrh.  Your history lesson for the day!

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