Monday, March 16

A strange country it is...

Here in Azerbaijan, people like Azerbaijani traditional music, they like to eat- esp. good kebab, drink freshly made tea, talk to friends, or at least this is what I envisage when I think of my home country (on my good days). 

It is a country named as the bridge between the East and West. It is an economy called the fastest growing economy in the world in 2006 (thanks to its natural resources). It is also a country with rich history and exquisite traditions. 

And yet, it is also a country where according to Freedom House reports all of the indicators of a free, democratic, liberal state are pretty much non existent (or exist- according to some- and at very high costs). It is also a country where book stores are closed for selling books on restricted gay love and books on the same (or similar or anything controversial) topics are banned. 

And as I go through the pages of "Ali&Nino" I cannot help but ponder where did the noble Azerbaijan go? 

Or hundreds of Azerbaijani men and women demanding Mutallibov's resignation in front of the National Parliament? 

Gone? 

Or lost amid what Thomas Goltz called in his description of Azerbaijan in early 90s crocodiles "a dangerous and even vicious group of people, determined to survive". Unfortunately the scene of crocodiles in Azerbaijan has not changed much since the early 90s and what Goltz have said then, still describes very well the reality of today Azerbaijan...

3 comments:

Steve S said...

Thanks for this. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaqatala region for a year, and I've been following Azeri politics (to the extent that I can) since I got home. My heart breaks for the country, because these "crocodiles" really are holding it hostage.

Arzu_G said...

Thanks for your comment Steve. It is indeed heartbreaking and its only a matter of time until people lose their patience (or at least I want to hope). Maybe then change will come? Who knows...

Anonymous said...

:)