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Tour reinforces Azerbaijani identity and helps participants confront hostility

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Representatives of the Azerbaijani Diaspora embarked on a trip to the country’s liberated Shusha city. (Photo: news.az)

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After the 44-day Second Karabakh War, Azerbaijan’s cultural capital, the pearl of Karabakh Shusha, began reconstruction work, and the city returned to its spirit and historical roots. Shusha’s historical significance and place are unique to Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis. As a result, after the city was liberated from Armenian occupation, the number of Azerbaijanis who wanted to see the city, feel that spirit again, and bow before the souls of those who died during the return of the lands was limitless.

Every Azerbaijani living in and outside of Azerbaijan wishes to visit those lands and become a part of them. The State Committee for Work with the Diaspora of the Republic of Azerbaijan created this opportunity for Azerbaijanis living abroad. After 30 years, on July 27, 2021, representatives of the diaspora visited Shusha, the cradle of Azerbaijani culture, music and poetry, as well as the heart of Azerbaijani civilization.

The visits of Azerbaijani diaspora representatives to Shusha under the slogan “We are in Shusha with the power of an iron fist” continue to this day. As part of the visit, the representatives of the diaspora visit the main square of Shusha, the cultural capital of Azerbaijan, “Bazarbashi”, Jidir Duzu, the square with the monuments subjected to Armenian vandalism, the historical site of signing the Shusha declaration, Khurshudbanu Natavan’s house, “Khan Gizi Spring”, and the Museum-Mausoleum Complex of Molla Panah Vagif.

They also saw the monument to Uzeyir Hajibayli, House Museum of Bulbul, as well as Ganja Gates, Saatli, Ashaghi Govhar Agha and Yukhari Govhar Agha Mosques, and other sights. They got acquainted with the reconstruction and works carried out in the ancient city during the post-war period.

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During the visit, diaspora representatives are also given detailed information about Shusha’s long history and rich cultural monuments. With the support and organization of the State Committee for Work with the Diaspora, diaspora representatives visited Shusha four times in 2021 (July 27, August 17, October 9, and December 2), and twice in 2022 (July 26, August 17).

These visits are met with great interest and appreciation by Azerbaijanis all over the world. Diaspora representatives holding the tricolor flag of Azerbaijan and the flags of the countries where they live praise Shusha, the righteous path of Azerbaijan, and the bravery of the army with poetry, by shouting slogans like “Karabakh is Azerbaijan,” “Shusha is Azerbaijan,” “We are in Shusha with the power of an iron fist,” and other slogans where they share the joy of being in Shusha.

There were also diaspora representatives who could not hold back their tears as they remembered the unjust treatment by Armenians in various countries for the past 30 years. They say they were looking forward to this day because it would make them even more proud of the country they live in.

After returning, the Azerbaijanis who participated in the trips wrote letters to the ambassadors of their countries, shared their impressions, and urged them not to remain silent about the atrocities committed by the Armenians in the occupied Azerbaijani lands for 30 years.

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Just like Birthright Israel reinforces Jewish identity amongst college kids who must fight anti-Israel sentiment on their campuses, the trip to Shusha organized by the State Committee for the Work with the Diaspora for the Azerbaijani Diaspora members does likewise, reinforcing Azerbaijani identity and helping Azerbaijanis confront the hostility they face in the diaspora.      

In the United States, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken appointed a new head of the MINSK Group despite Azerbaijani protests that this move could jeopardize the prospects for peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia. At the same time, as Justin Trudeau descends in the polls, the leading contender to become opposition leader in Canada has some controversy to address.

According to Canadian Jewish activist and Consrvative Party member Esther Ha-Levi, who was born and raised in Azerbaijan, “As I am writing this post, I am fuming with anger, because I am not happy with the way Pierre Poilievre’s office handles his affairs.”

She asserted, “The head of his Public Relations for #PierrePoilievre campaign is an Armenian, Agop Evereklian, who openly supports the occupier on the issue of Karabakh, and not only that, he abused his position and has not allowed Azerbaijani supporters to meet with Pierre for 6 months under various pretexts. However, in the same period of time, at the initiative of Agop, he made sure that Pierre already met with Armenian lobby groups 2-3 times.”

In conclusion, Ha-Levi declared, “As a Jew I left Azerbaijan because of the brutal invasion and occupation of Azerbaijan by Armenian Dashnaks. Even though I would want Azerbaijanis to meet him to discuss Canadian politics and issues concerning Canadians, I will be more than happy to tell him the TRUTH about this whole conflict. I had no intention to drag anybody through a mudslide with false lies and propaganda, like Dashnak Lobbyists do but I am compelled to write this statement.”    

The recent visit to Shusha that was organized for the Azerbaijani Diaspora helps members of the Azerbaijani community abroad to confront all of these challenges. 

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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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

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.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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