Couple of weeks ago, I came across an article published by “Azerbaijan” newspaper (pro- government) titled “KIV’in Reklami ve Ehalinin Sosyal Durumu” (Ads on mass information resources and social condition of people). Basically the author of this article was saying that according to some (whom, he doesn’t mention exactly), one can understand the social- economic conditions of the country based on ads on TV, radio, newspapers and other information resources. “If, on the pages of newspapers, on TV, on radio there are ads on cheap products such as toothpaste, chewing gum, chocolate and others that means the population is poor. But if there are adds with expensive cars, apartments, furniture, tourism and holiday destinations, then that means that the country’s economy is strong and its people are well- off”. There is one thing I can say to this and that is “Ay senin bashiva dash dushsun, bedbext insan!” (which literally means I wish a stone falls down on your head, your poor person!”).
Of course, forget about the economic theory and the economists who have spent years on finding ways to calculate purchasing power parity and/or GDP. Who cares, because in Azerbaijan we have smart people like this guy who thinks commercials are just enough.
I don’t know where he lives but when he writes “just get out on the street you live on and look around you- your polyclinic, your hospital, schools, even your own house and you will see how far we have come” it makes want to see what place he is so patiently talks about ‘cuz it ‘ain’t Azerbaijan. I agree with him only on thing- that we have come far- in corruption, in backwardness, in bribery, in bad education, poor health care, undeveloped regions, I can go on. I don’t know where he lives but when I go on the street I live on I don’t see anything else by dirt and filth. When I go the polyclinic or a hospital all I get is wrong and expensive diagnosis. When I go to a school all I see is the low level of education but nice jewelry on teachers.
This is what I see, and this is real Azerbaijan not some fake, made- up story.