April 23, 2015, Queens, NY – With hundreds of guests in the audience, Turkish Cultural Center of Queens held another Annual Friendship Dinner and Award Ceremony at Flushing Town Hall.
The recipient of this years Peace Award, Representative Grace Meng noted that she was very honored to have TCC in Queens, underlining the center’s role as a cultural bridge. Congresswoman Meng also remarked how happy she was to be at the award ceremony, and made a commitment to help the Turkic community in her district with anything she can.
Dr. John Pahl from the Department of Theology of the University of Philadelphia, who was the keynote speaker of the night, talked about how M. Fethullah Gulen has been leading the world in advocacy for peace, dialogue, education and mutual understanding for years. Noting that M.F. Gulen was one of the 100 Most Influential People of Time Magazine in 2013, he also underscored Hizmet Movement’s (also known as Gulen Movement) ideology of peace and dialogue.
Another speaker, New York City Schools Associate Commissioner Angelica Infante, noted that she could see people of every creed in the room, which according to her was a source of richness and pride. Expressing importance of learning second and third languages for school aged children, Infante thanked TCC for all its activities, while urging the center to up its effort in promoting multilingualism.
Director of Workforce Education Center, Adjoa Esinam Gzifa, as well as Carole K. Nussbaum who has worked in the New York State Education system in various positions for roughly 5 decades, were also presented with their Education Awards.
Guests had a chance to sample some Turkish cuisine throughout the event, as well as witnessing a great Sufi music performance by Emir Vahip.