EDMOND—Seven Armstrong International Cultural Foundation representatives and guests attended the Turkish Dialogue Institute’s 12th annual Friendship Dinner and Awards Ceremony at the Skirvin Hotel on May 10. The gathering highlighted Turkish culture, worthy causes, and cooperation among people of different backgrounds.
The program included Turkish marbled art, a silent auction for Turkish artifacts, awards presented to University of Oklahoma President David Boren and Dr. William Tabbernee, and a keynote speech about acting on priorities and helping other people, presented by kindergarten teacher Sonya Romero, who helps underprivileged children at her school in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Foundation staff member Sherry Beezley said the experience was “a lovely evening. I appreciate the hospitality of the Dialogue Institute for inviting us to share a meal with them and being able to meet people from different cultures who promote cooperation and peace.”
The Turkish Dialogue Institute’s guests included approximately 300 attendees included Muslims, Christians and Jews, a crowd that heard about the insitute’s stated mission: to promote respect, understanding and cooperation between different ethnicities, cultures and faiths through opportunities for direct communication and meaningful shared experiences. The non-profit institute, which was founded in 2002 on the vision and teachings of educator Fethullah Gulen, has an international presence. It invited Armstrong foundation marketing director Shane Granger to attend cultural exchange tour of Turkey last summer, and has invited him and other foundation representatives to attend its events in Oklahoma City.
“Ersin Demirci and his staff at the Dialogue Institute do a great job of promoting cooperation and understanding between people of all faiths and backgrounds,” Granger said. “Their kindness and hospitably show them to be wonderful ambassadors for Turkey and Turkish culture.”