This year's Assembly of the Serbian-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce ‘SAKOM’ took place on May 5, 2023, at the Radisson Collection Hotel ‘Old Mill’. In addition to all members of SAKOM and scholarship holders, this meeting was also attended by representatives of the company Azvirt, Mr. Fikrat Najafov and Mr. Hurol Candan; deacon Budimir Kokotović, author of the monograph on the monastery ‘Duboki potok’; Mrs. Andrijana Radovanović, advisor for education affairs of the Šabac City Administration; as well as a representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Elvin Alizada.
The meeting provided an opportunity to analyze all the results and projects, including the scholarship program that SAKOM launched three years ago, which is certainly one of the most significant. In his remarks, Mr. Turkoglu stressed that he is absolutely certain that all SAKOM members are aware of the importance of this joint venture:
"It is my belief that you are all proud that we are investing in the young people who are present today. I am certain that we will all be very proud to have chosen them."
SAKOM is providing its scholarship for 34 scholarship holders, coming from various parts of the beautiful Republic of Serbia and various faculties of the University of Belgrade and Novi Sad. Aydin Malikli, a student from Azerbaijan studying for a master's degree at the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Belgrade, is among them. In addition to the current 34 scholarship holders, it is important to note that 6 scholarships have expired and that we have helped a total of 40 students.
In the words of Mr. Turkoglu:
“The goal was for each company to be associated with at least one scholarship holder, while also being credited for their accomplishments. It is with pride that we can say that each of us contributed to the encouragement of young people in these challenging times.”
As part of the Assembly session, discussions were held regarding a particularly significant partnership with the monastery ‘Duboki Potok’ in Zubin Potok, located in the north of Kosovo, with the monastery church representing an intangible cultural heritage and cultural monument. Besides being known for the first school in Kolašin, founded in 1891, it also houses old church manuscripts from the 16th century, including a few on parchment, as well as Saints Cosmas and Damian's relics. Cooperation with this monastery was initiated in 2020 when the late Archimandrite Romilo Jelić approached SAKOM, knowing that the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan supports the territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia and the survival of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija.
Last year, we allocated funds for publishing a monograph that will provide insight into the history of the monastery, present its significant cultural heritage and treasures, and also portray the late Abbot Jelić, who is to be credited for the remarkable restoration of this sanctuary that had been destroyed several times throughout history. Deacon Kokotović, the author of the monograph, gave a presentation to the members describing the future book and the history of the monastery. Mr. Kokotović published several outstanding works, and his book ‘My God in You I Trust’ about the Holy Martyr Sava (Trlajić), the bishop of Srem and Gornji Karlovac, was given to all SAKOM members along with a certificate of appreciation from the ‘Duboki Potok’ monastery in appreciation of our association's support at this difficult and complex times and circumstances.
As we have been writing before, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu club ‘VIN’ allowed SAKOM scholarship holders to attend training for free, and this year we were delighted to support the highly humane initiative of the ‘VIN’ Club and the ‘Kukolj Team’ Judo Club, which encourages martial arts for the blind and partially-sighted.
We would like to mention that these two sports associations, i.e. sports academies, are completely non-profitable, with former and current European world champions serving as their coaches - sports pedagogues. In judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, these athletes represent Serbia's best, both university-educated and successful in their respective fields.
As our most successful judoka, Aleksandar Kukolj is an economics graduate who was Vice-Champion of the World in 2021 and European Champion in 2017 - the only one Serbia has ever had. He won 16 medals in grand prix and grand slam competitions, including two from Azerbaijan. Then there are the founders of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu club ‘VIN’, doctor Nemanja Aleksić, a doctor specialist in cardiac surgery, a docent at the Faculty of Medicine in Belgrade, holder of a 3rd-dan black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, as well as his brother, a doctor specialist in neurosurgery Vuk Aleksić, an assistant at the Faculty of Medicine in Belgrade, holder of a 3rd-dan black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a 3rd-dan honorary black belt in judo, former representative of Serbia, multiple state champion, two-time ADCC champion — which is equivalent to the world championship, but also the former best student of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Belgrade.
Our decision to support this noble action was prompted by the fact that Azerbaijan is a country that contributes significantly to combat sports, and that at the global level both the Azerbaijanis and the Serbs achieve exceptional results at international competitions.
(See the video clip at the bottom of the page.)
For the second year in a row, we would like to express our gratitude to our partner, the ADORÉ chocolate company, for supporting us and donating their products to support our scholarship holders. We perceive their donation as a significant recognition of our socially useful work and support for all our efforts.
During the closing remarks, Mr. Turkoglu expressed his delight that SAKOM, similar to Azvirt, is developing eternal ties between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Serbia and their people.
In closing, we invite all followers of our page to click below for the press release on the SAKOM Assembly session, which has been published on the following media platforms: