Azerbaijan International

Winter 2006 (14.4)
Page 73

Educational Opportunities
Celebrating our Families - 2007

This July, the Sixth Reunion of the AzerbaijanAdopt ListServ will take place in Philadelphia. Jenny Grabowski is the driving force organizing the event this year. As many families who have adopted children from Azerbaijan live in the northeast, many have indicated that they come to the reunion.

Children will get the chance to visit some of Philadelphia's unique sites such as: Please Touch Museum and the Academy of Natural Sciences where there is a superb Butterfly exhibit.

Already some of the children who were adopted from Azerbaijan as infants will be seven and eight years old this summer. "Celebrating Our Families" Reunion is becoming an annual tradition for many of these families, a tradition that began in 2001. Since then, volunteer families have hosted the reunion in different cities throughout the United States.

The idea began with Kimi and Bill Abernathy, whose daughter Inara was the first child adopted internationally from Azerbaijan in 2000. Kimi also was the driving force in creating the Yahoo Internet ListServ - AzerbaijanAdopt - to which many adoptive families subscribe. She also hosted the first reunion in 2002 in Nashville, Tennessee.

In 2003, Kathleen and Jim Shyrock, along with Judy Shifrin, coordinated the reunion in Kansas City, Missouri. In 2004, Gina Andriolo and Jane Bottner brought the event to New York City. Sharon Hamilton and Staci Pretti invited the families to Seattle in 2005, and the Estells, Icenogles and Wierzbickis organized the event in Indianapolis in 2006.

For more details for the Philadelphia 2007 reunion: contact Jenny Grabowski: JGrab989@com. Families and friends of Azerbaijan are invited.

Azeri Classes
Indiana University will be conducting its 57th Summer Workshop in Slavic, East European and Central Asian Languages (SWSEEL) from June 15 to August 10, 2007. SWSEEL offers high quality intensive language training in 19 languages this summer, including first and second year Azeri.

The classes are taught by Shahyar Daneshgar and Zemfira Zeynalova and offer 6 graduate or 8 undergraduate credits. The program is open to advanced high school students, undergraduates and graduates, and adults of all ages. All attendees pay the same low in-state tuition.

Contact: Director, Slavic, East European and Central Asian Languages, Ballantine Hall 502, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405; Email: SWSEEL@; Tel: (812) 855-2608.

Gafgaz University
Special Spring courses, providing an overview of Azerbaijan are being offered at Qafqaz University in Baku. The program is comprised of sessions that relate to Azerbaijani history, literature and culture and language. The course is offered in English for three weeks from April 2-20, 2007. Contact Mr. Ayhan Guney (Director). Email: Tel: (994-12) 448-2862 /-66; Fax: (+994 12) 448 28 61/67. WEB site:

Eurasian Studies Conference
The Central Eurasian Studies Society Eighth Annual Conference (2007) will be held October 18-21, 2007 in Seattle, Washington. The conference will be held at the University of Washington, hosted by the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies.

Deadline for submission of panel/paper proposals: Friday, April 6, 2007.

Panel and paper topics relating to all aspects of humanities and social science scholarship on Central Eurasia are welcome. The program will feature approximately 60 panels. There will also be cultural events, a welcome reception, conference dinner and keynote speaker. Web: CESS_Conference.html. n


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