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twinning jews and muslims in tbilisi, georgia

The Georgian city of Tbilisi participated for the first time in the international 4th Annual Weekend of Twinnings between the Muslim-Jewish communities.
 
Two events marked the occasion. The first was a Parliamentary Reception for rabbis, imams, and senior Christian clergy, together with community and state leaders, to mark "Tolerance Day”.
At this event Marine Solomonishvili, President of International Foundation LEA & the Council of Jewish Women in Georgia give a interview to the regional television station, explaining the importance of the event for developing the process of integration, friendship and intercultural dialogue between Jews and Muslims and other ethnic minorities, and particularly through the  partnership between women leaders from the different communities.
 
The second event was around-table meeting of Muslim and Jewish leaders at the Vere Palace in Tbilisi, entitled “Present and Future Perspectives”. The leaders discussed the importance of working together to address the key problems of education, employment, and the protection of the cultural heritage and traditions of Azerbaijan’s Muslims and Jews in Georgia.
 
In Georgia the basic religion is Orthodox Christian, alongside which there are Islamic and  Jewish communities, with the church, the synagogue, and the mosque sitting together in the historic city center of Tbilisi, symbolizing the area's tradition of tolerance. The shared history of Georgian people of various religions and nationalities has enabled them to enrich each other's spiritual heritage and culture. Today, more than 1/3 of the Georgian population consists of representatives of ethnic minorities, and there are more than 20 ethnic minority communities in Georgia, including Jews, Azeri, Armenian, Kurds, Russian, Ukrainian, Assyrian, Germans, Czechs, Polish, Greeks, Estonian, Lithuanian, etc. In turbulent times there are many challenges for socially vulnerable groups, including religious/ethnic minorities and women.
 
The speakers at the event included Marine Solomonishvili, President of International Foundation LEA & Council of Jewish Women, and Fakhrat Masaev, deputy head of the Cultural Center at Azerbaijanian Museum in Georgia, who welcomed the twinning events as promoting cultural cooperation. Also participating from Muslim women’s groups were Leila Suleimanova, head of the Union of Azerbaijanian Women in Georgia, Sabina Alieva, head of the Union of Azerbaijanians for Civil Activism in Georgia, and Leila Mamedova, from the Union of Young Azerbaijanians. The women noted that it is necessary to work together to improve the development of key problems of gender in Muslim and Jewish communities.