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The sacrifice of almost 2900 Azeris to be remembered

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Last year, Israeli Ambassador George Deek laid flowers in honor of the memory of civilian victims of the attacks in Ganja (Photo: Israeli Embassy)

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On September 27, Azerbaijanis across the globe commemorate Memorial Day, which marks the anniversary of when the Second Karabakh War began. The Memorial Day is held in honor of the Azerbaijani military personnel, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the liberation of Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territories .

During the Second Karabakh War, 2,783 Azerbaijani soldiers died in the liberation of the occupied territories of their Motherland. Over the course of 44 days, over 90 Azerbaijani civilians also perished during the fighting. Nevertheless, the war ended with the liberation of over 300 settlements and villages including five cities. Susha, Azerbaijan’s cultural capital city, was among the cities liberated. Under the subsequent peace agreement, Agdam, Lachin, and Kalbajar regions were also vacated by December 1 of last year.

For over three decades, Armenia systematically refused to implement the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, which demanded that Armenia withdraw from the Azerbaijani territories occupied by it during the First Karabakh War in violation of international law. Following the First Karabakh War, one fifth of Azerbaijani territory remained under occupation and one million Azerbaijanis lived as displaced persons. 

Rabbi Israel Barouk wrote in Khojaly: A Crime against Humanity: “The historic Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh is a highland region in the west of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The word Karabakh means ‘black garden’ in Azerbaijani. Nagarno means ‘mountainous’ in Russian and was added to the name after Azerbaijan was invaded by Soviet Russia in 1920. Nagorno-Karabakh, strategically located and with a temperate climate and fertile soil, has compelled invaders for centuries. During the collapse of the Soviet Union, as Azerbaijan finally began to realize its freedom from the iron grip of Russian imperialism, Armenian forces mounted a systematic offensive to drive out the Azerbaijani residents of Nagorno-Karabakh and illegally claim the land as their own.” 

However, when Armenia last September began to discriminately fire upon Azerbaijani civilians, Azerbaijan decided to respond by liberating the territories which rightfully belong to her.

The Russian-mediated peace agreement thus ended the 30-year-old conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, removing the main obstacles to peace and giving hope to all of the Azerbaijani displaced persons that they will be able to return to rebuild their lost homes, once all of the landmines are cleared from the area.  Already, an airport was built in Fizuli, a hotel exists in Shusha, and a number of mosques and churches were renovated, as was the Shusha fort.  Israel and Italy also jointly operate a dairy factory in the region.     

Now, the Azerbaijani IDP-s are hoping to be resettled in the areas that were liberated in Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven Azerbaijani districts, which will thus put an end to the conflict over the region. In gratitude for this great victory, President Ilham Aliyev decreed that Azerbaijanis across the world should commemorate September 27 as Memorial Day, so that the sacrifices made by the Azerbaijani military for the freedom of its people will never be forgotten.

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This year on that date, literary and artistic compositions, photo exhibitions, and videos documenting the great sacrifices made by the veterans of this war will be displayed in Baku schools. There will also be drawing, poetry and song competitions among the students, who seek to document what happened during this war. Azerbaijani educational institutions will also plan events that will document the history of the war and will erect cultural monuments, so that the history of this war will forever remain ingrained in the national consciousness. Webinars will also be hosted, so that the lessons of the war can be taught to the general population.

Educating future generations about what truly happened during the First and Second Karabakh War, and what happened in-between, is of pivotal importance for the Azerbaijani nation. George Orwell once stated, “The most effective way to destroy a people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” 

Thus, attempts to revise the history of the First and Second Karabakh War, and what happened in-between, so that it contradicts with the truth regarding what actually happens by elements in the Armenian Diaspora and government, only serve as fertile breeding ground for the destruction of the recent peace agreement. 

For this reason, the Azerbaijani people must invest their resources in preserving and educating about the truth, so their national memory will never be obliterated.  And it is for this reason, Azerbaijanis across the globe mark September 27 as Memorial Day.  

Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights.  She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings at the American, Israeli and Arab Media.”  

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Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

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