Following 30 days of fasting, Bayram prayers were held at the Bina on Sunday morning, August 19, 2012. That same day, over 100 community members gathered to celebrate the holiday with a luncheon at the Burlingame Recreation Center. Helal chicken pilav and it belish (meat pie) prepared by the ATTA Board were served by helpful volunteers.
Following prayers led by Imam Abduldeyyan Safa, the Tatar Sunday School students read the Islamic recitation “Resulebez” and a poem “Tayan Allaga,” by Gabdulla Tukay, and all children were presented with gifts from the ATTA and several community members. Later on, everyone enjoyed tea and desserts brought by our own members.
Tatar organizations from Helsinki, Ankara and Adelaide sent letters to the ATTA extending their well wishes to all our members. We also acknowledge and thank several of our young adult members who volunteered to wash the headstones at Cypress Lawn cemetery the day before Bayram. We appreciate their efforts and those of everyone else who helped make this Bayram a success!
The origins of Sabantuy, a Tatar National Holiday, go back to ancient times. After completing cultivation of their farmland, our ancestors came together, ate, danced and hoped for a successful harvest. We did not cultivate our non-existing farmland but celebrated the 2012 ATTA Saban Tuy on Saturday, June 30 at Flood Park in Menlo Park. As always, ATTA’s most popular annual event was fun-filled and relaxing day of games, activities, good food and good company. More than 120 attended the Sabantuy with about one-third of the attendees being guests. The children had the best time and every child received some kind of a prize for his/her effort in various games. Adults did not limit themselves to watching the children having good time but also actively participated in some of the games. There was a very fun volleyball game too…thank God with no injuries!
The only negative note was an e-mail received from the Ministry of Culture of Tatarstan on June 28th. They informed us that the US Consulate set the appointment for visas to the Tatarstan representatives on July 2nd . Thus, the two talented performers, İskändär and Säydäş Biktagirov, who were to represent Tatarstan at our Saban Tuy, could not be with us at our SabanTuy.
Through the efforts of Rifat Fattahov, the Principal of a Tatar Cultural Foundation named after Räşit Wahapov, two talented musical artists – Filus Kahirov and Rüstem Rahmatullin – were authorized by the Ministry of Culture of Tatarstan to visit and perform in Burlingame last month. The evening began with Rifat sharing information about the famous Tatar singer Räşit Wahapov and the festival named after him. Filus, himself the recipient of the grand Prix award in this festival, beautifully sang several of Wahapov’s songs while Rüstem masterfully accompanied on accordion in addition to performing a potpourri of Tatar songs solo.
The guests from Tatarstan put on two concerts on consecutive days. On the evening of May 19, the first concert was held at the Turkish Cultural Center. This concert was open to the public, and many Americans attended the concert. The second concert was held the next evening at our own ATTA Bina for our own Tatar community. About 60 ATTA members attended the concert, loved the performance and enthusiastically applauded our artists after each song. After leaving Burlingame, our artists flew to Washington, D.C. and participated in the Saban Tuy there.
The ATTA celebrated Mother's Day with a full house at the Bina on Saturday, May 12. The informal event was a welcome opportunity for the mothers and ladies in our community to come together and socialize. The ATTA prepared and provided lunch followed by tea and desserts.
Towards the end of the occasion, students from the ATTA Sunday School performed three songs they had learned and received a huge applause. Afterwards the students handed out small gifts as well as hand-made greeting cards (painted pop-up Soyombike Tower) they had prepared in advance for each lady in attendance. On behalf of ATTA, we thank all of the students and their mothers for their thoughtfulness.
The 2012 ATTA General Meeting was held on Sunday, April 22 at the Bina with 36 members in attendance. The Board delivered reports on the status of ATTA finances, membership, cemetery matters, building maintenance and cultural activities. Members interested in reviewing ATTA finances may request to see the financial balance sheet. 128 ballots were received and votes were tallied on two issues: (1) approval of the new ATTA Board and (2) revisions to the By-Laws on membership. The results of the vote are as follows:
1. 2012-2014 ATTA Board: Approved by 93% of votes
Approve: 119 Do Not Approve: 8 Abstain: 1
2. Revision to ATTA By-Laws: Approved by 72% of votes
Approve: 92 Do Not Approve: 29 Abstain: 7
Your new ATTA Board for 2012-2014 is:
President: Cuneyt Capanoglu
Vice-President: Turan Apakay
Secretary: Rasim Arslan
Treasurer: Filiz Kohli
*New to the Board
We welcome our new Board Members and extend our gratitude to departing Board Members Aynur Devletsah and Ravile Serefiddin for their efforts and contributions in serving the community.
The ATTA’s March 31 presentation, “Siña Cırlıybız Saydaş” was a delightful event for a full audience at the Bina. The day featured an overview of the interesting life and works of Tatar composer Salih Aga Saydaş in both English and Tatar. We had excellent renditions of Saydaş’s music and songs by the“Ay Bılbılım” Song Group, rousing solos by Umit Agi, Turan Apakay, and Rukiye Safa, and two very entertaining performances from “Zängär Şäl” and “Il” plays. We thank Dilare Capanoglu and Göliyä Badygina, entire group of singers and actors for a wonderful show.
You can watch one or more of the six excerpts from this show on you tube by searching for ‘Salih Saydash” or by clicking www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY7NJ-60HUU or www.youtube.com/watch?v=2caoUS7pKwg
Masguda Shamsutdinova, a well-known Tatar composer living in Seattle, was the ATTA's honored guest on December 10-11. She was greeted by over 30 members in our Bina on Saturday evening where her exhilarating presentation mesmerized the audience. She noted that Tatar people know what suffering is, and Tatar music conveys this suffering and touches the soul. However, Masguda's vocal rendition of many traditional lullabies and Munajats was so powerful that many in the audience were moved to tears.
Her visit to Tatar Sunday school on December 11 was a pleasant surprise to the students. They thoroughly enjoyed being with her and it was a special treat when she took charge and played the "flew away" game with them. These students will never forget meeting and having lunch with the great Tatar composer.
Thank you Masguda for being with us and hope to have you visit with us again in the near future.
We celebrated Korban Bayram (Eid-ul-Adha) on Sunday, November 6, with prayers beginning at 8:30 AM at the Bina. The Bayram Dinner was held at 5:00 PM at the Bina. Prior to dinner, Imam Abduldeyyan Safa read prayers from the Quran and attendees stood and recited the Salawat. The ATTA-provided dinner included pilaf with korban beef, meatless pilaf, lamb, grilled chicken and salad, and was prepared and served by Board members and other volunteers. The ATTA's monetary gift to the children was supplemented by half a dozen families and was divided equally and given to all young ones there.
Over 90 people attended the dinner, and many paid compliments on not just the food but also the arrangement and organization of the event. On behalf of ATTA, we wish to thank all of the volunteers involved in preparing and serving the dinner and the members who either brought sweets or made monetary contributions. Special thanks go to Adile Safa and Turan Apakay for washing the headstones at Cypress Lawn the day before Bayram.
Following the Singapore meetings on economics, President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov arrived in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, on Tuesday, September 27, 2011. There he met with Premier of the State, Hon. Mike Rann and discussed issues ranging from economics to farming and tourism. A two hour reception in the evening was reserved for Adelaide Tatars.
Tatar community knew the arrival of President a month in advance and the President of Tatar Association in South Australia, Mr. Rustam Sadri, worked very hard to arrange a meeting. Tatar community was well prepared for this occasion and the meeting was very elaborate. President Minnikhanov was greeted with songs, dances and chak-chak and he was quite impressed with the strength of Tatar community and the children speaking in their mother tongue.
This gathering at the Intercontinental Hotel was organized jointly by South Australian Treasurer (and a member of the state parliament) Mr. Jack Snelling and the Minister of Multicultural Affairs and Reconciliation (and a member of the state parliament) Ms. Grace Portolesi. Tatar community thanked them from the bottom of their hearts.
ATTA community members celebrated the month of Ramazan by fasting, organizing and attending iftar dinners and performing Teravih prayers. The month of fasting was concluded on July 29th followed by Ramazan or Eid-ul-Fitr Bayram prayers on the morning of July 30th. More than 80 people gathered for the Bayram celebrations in the evening at the Bina. Imam Abduldeyyan Safa thanked Ibrahim Feyzullahoglu and Turan Apakay for performing the duties of muezzin throughout the month as well as those attending Teravih prayers. Following Imam`s prayers from Quran all of the participants rose and recited the "Salawat" in one voice.
ATTA provided the dinner for the evening while many of the participants brought home-baked traditional Tatar sweets. Everyone had a pleasant time and expressed their appreciation for a well orchestrated event. On behalf of ATTA we thank Board members Rukiye Safa, Saadet Sezgen, Aynur Devletsah, Ravile Serefiddin and Dina Younes and the ATTA member Sadiye Feyzullahoglu for preparing the tasty dishes. In addition, we thank all of the other volunteers (too many to be named) who not only served dinner and refreshments but also went into kitchen to clean up.
A very entertaining Karaoke Party was held on Saturday, March 19 with about 50 people in attendance. Many solo and group singers bravely took the stage and gave memorable performances. To coincide with St. Patrick's Day, the evening had an Irish theme, including delicious Irish corned beef with cabbage for dinner. This fun event was also a fundraiser which yielded a net profit of about 600 dollars for the General Fund. Thank you very much to Ravile Serefiddin and her team, who planned, prepared and executed an evening to remember.
An interesting function was held on December 4th at the Bina with about 35 adults and 11 children. This function was hosted by the parents of Tatar Sunday School students and consisted of three parts. The first part of the program started at 2:00 p.m. and consisted of students putting on a play called "Kabartma Malay" and reciting poetry on seasons of the year. Then, the guests were served with traditional Tatar sweets and tea. After the refreshments, guests decided to watch a video instead of playing bingo. Tatar National Dance and Song Ensemble's video was not just dances and songs but also presented a special Broadway-type musical show named "Mohacir." This musical cleverly told the history of Tatars emigrating to Turkey to find freedom and better life after the fall of Kazan Khanate.
Rustam Minnihanov, President of Tatarstan, came to California on November 18th to be acquainted with Silicon Valley technology firms and to meet with the administrators of two universities (Stanford and the University of California) with advanced technology programs. On the 20th he met with the American Tatar Association officers and the Tatar businessmen. During this meeting President Minnihanov gave us a congratulatory award. The content of this award is summarized as follows: "Please accept my words of appreciation for maintaining and attempting to advance wealth of moral-ethical and civilized values of Tatar peoples. I sincerely wish you health, prosperity and success in your endeavor." In addition, he presented us with a Tatar Karaoke-DVD player.
Korban Bayram was celebrated on November 16 at the Bina with over 75 people in attendance for an evening dinner hosted by the ATTA. Visiting guests included Ms. Raushan Akhmedyarova, principal violinist with SF Symphony, and Dr. Airat Shigapov and family from Kazan. Many thanks to Filiz Kohli and Diana Kudeki for heading the committee effort in organizing a wonderful event with delicious Tatar food for all to enjoy!
On the Sunday before Bayram, members of the ATTA Youth Group once again gathered at Cypress Lawn cemetery to clean gravesites and wash the headstones of our deceased members. On the morning of November 16, Bayram prayers were held at the Bina and led by our Imam Abduldeyyan Safa.
Dr. Rauza Yaus-Veli came from Turkey for a week long stay to attend a conference. Her writings were published in a serial form in a newspaper and later published as a book. On November 11th she attended song group session and sang two beautiful Chinese songs. Dr. Rauza identified several pages from her book on headaches and breathing and illustrated pressure points on the body.
On the evening of September 10th more than 100 people got together to celebrate Ramazan Bayram. Our Board hosted the event and the dinner, consisting of meat pie, pilaw and salad, was prepared and served by the members of our Youth Group. Going from one table to another serving tea with cak-cak and brownies, they chatted and showed their respect. The members of our Youth Group gained admiration and appreciation of our guests. Two pictures from Bayram are enclosed.
ATTA was founded by Turkic Tatar immigrants arriving in Burlingame, CA from various parts of the world including China, Korea, Japan and Turkey in 1960. To celebrate the 50th anniversary an optional black-tie dinner-dance event was held on March 13, 2010 at the Marriott Hotel. Close to two hundred people attended the 50th Anniversary celebration, some coming from as far as Finland and Russia. This event began began with a reception at 6:00 P.M., background music being provided by the Pacifica Quartet. Following the opening remarks by the ATTA President Ms. Rukiye Mansur and a three-course dinner, live entertainment began at 9:00 P.M. Besides the performance by guest artists Leysen and Iltuzer Mohammadgali from Tatarstan, traditional Tatar songs were presented by our own "Ay Bilbilim" song group. Guests danced until midnight and a lucky attendee won the first prize, two rountrip tickets to Turkiye, donated by Turkish Airlines.