Tuesday, December 6

A note for the Queen

Its been a while since I have made an entry here.

Busy times, and depressing news lines with an exception of occasional good stories here and there have not been too motivating. Just because things are, to put it gently are shit.

Back home crackdown continues unabated. Money is laundered and no one is to take responsibility for what is going on only to blame "others" whoever those others are still a mystery to me.

But then, I stumbled upon a status update shared on Facebook. It was not really a status update but a letter to the Queen of England herself. Below you may find rough translation of the status that for Russian speakers you may find here.

"Thoughts of provincial biopolitics 8 or an open letter to the Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Her Majesty Elizabeth II. 

“Nobody tells me anything…” 
 James Galsworthy

You Majesty, Ilham Murtuzayev speaking here, from Azerbaijan. I would like to congratulate you albeit belatedly on your 90th birthday and wish you good health and well-being. However, in this regard, I have a delicate request to make. 

As far as we are allowed to know, our country, namely the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, has allocated a lump sum to celebrate your anniversary. 

I am 67 years old and I have about 50 years’ of professional experience. Currently, my pension is around 50-60GB pounds per month. One million pensioners in Azerbaijan receive approximately the same amount. 

I imagine it would be difficult for you to understand how one survives on this amount, and I won't even try explaining it to you. Perhaps, our president also does not know. 

That is why I hope you would understand my delicate request and refund this money to the poor Azerbaijani pensioners. 

Maybe you would want to donate this sum to a charity, but to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, one can say “Good purposes cannot be reached by bad money”.

I understand that this will not affect my pension (and neither it will yours) and I may as well be accused of international terrorism, religious extremism, drug or weapon trafficking and so on. 

Thank you, Your Majesty. 

Using this opportunity and while I have access to Internet, I would also like to appeal to some of the countries which also receive our money, and ask them not to build various centres, parks, monuments and etc. with the money of poor Azerbaijani pensioners. 

Even religious structures do not recommend that one engages with charity to the detriment of one’s own interests. However, in this case I am not sure that personal interests are being hurt. 

For example, about a year ago, we, a group of citizens from Gusar city sent a letter to the Haydar Aliyev Foundation asking to save from destruction our very ancient city park which has a 200-year-old history. We never received even an answer. 

However, the same Haydar Aliyev Foundation built an entertainment centre in Paris. 

It is hard to stay happy in such cases. I am kindly asking world communities to stop organizing “Eurovision”, “Formula 1”, European and other Olympic games in Azerbaijan. Also, please do not send always-smiling OSCE and other observers to Azerbaijan during various referendums, election monitoring and etc. Or, at least, please choose those who are allergic to black caviar. 

The same smiling observers visited Syria many times. It would be great to send them there nowadays.  
Azerbaijan has a lifetime prime minister, and other ministers (who have privatized their ministries), deputies (who were elected by no one) and even an ombudsman has been here for a lifetime?! 

On 26th September we had the referendum (I even saw three people who went to vote) and now, to call things by their names, even Mr President is here for life. 

80-90 per cent of goods in our country’s grocery stores are imported from Russia, Iran, Belarus, Ukraine and even Georgia!? We don’t even produce plastic buckets. The Baku – Russian border highway (250 km long) has been under construction for almost ten years. One billion US dollars has been spent on it. All the people involved in it have already bought houses, villas in London, Istanbul, Prague and elsewhere. 

But the highway is still under construction. When one section of road is ready, they immediately start to repair the previous one. 

Today is 28th October 2016. We are in Gusar city. There has been no gas since this morning, and at 5pm just when our residents were looking forward to getting their gas back, the electricity went down as well. It is exactly the same like it was 20 years ago…"

I think this letter sums up pretty well the shit show taking place in Azerbaijan right now or shall I say, taking place for the last 20 years? 

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