Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Remembering Khojaly...year 2013

I must have written before that months of January and February are not the happiest for Azerbaijan. In Baku these are the gloomiest in terms of weather and we all know what the weather means to almost all of us. This gloomy weather also echoes with tragedies that Azerbaijan remembers in January (19-20 January) and Khojaly massacre in February. 

Today in the morning when I started checking what was happening in social networks I came across the article in one of Russian web newspapers. The article about one of the cases during Khojaly massacre, one family, mother and her four children (with one born only two days ago), father killed and them walking to the boarder on the snow, barefoot and hungry... 

Azerbaijan is in ceasefire now. Nevertheless quite often young soldiers are killed on the boarder by snipers. You will call me biased but I strongly believe that Azerbaijanis by nature are not aggressive. Different nations and religions historically blended together on this land. The article I mentioned before talks about the family of Meskhetian Turks not Azerbaijanis. Meskhetian Turks historically were repressed, deported from country to country and at some point some of them moved to Azerbaijan as well. We have also other region in Azerbaijan where they reside. I am trying to say that historically this land welcomed everyone and continues to be the place where everyone as they say can find his or her place under the Sun. Unfortunately this hospitality got misinterpreted and we ended up with Daglig Qarabakh (Nagorniy Karabakh) and seven bordering regions to be occupied by our neighboring country Armenia.  

I do not preach war. As an incorrigible optimist I believe that there are other ways to reach justice in XXI century and Azerbaijan will find that way. May all victims rest in peace.

Photo is borrowed from the article I mentioned above.
My posts that I wrote on Khojaly during previous years can be read here, here, here and here.  

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mother factor...

I started writing this post last week. That day I was writing that I had spent some time talking to one of my older relatives who was telling me about her mother in law, Mina, whom I knew only as an old granny. Mina nənə (nənə means grandmother in Azerbaijani) had to take care of her big family with many kids after her husband passed away quite early (pre, during and right after World War II period). 

One of the stories is that the river that was crossing Sheki had no bridge at a time and once the water was coming from mountains it was hard to cross it. School was on the other side of the river. So Mina nənə and probably other mothers would take their children on their shoulders and help them to cross the river. This illiterate but hard-working and wise woman and mother would do anything for her children to study. Later Mina nənə's all four sons and one daughter (out of four) came to Baku and got higher education to do a professional career in Baku and  Sheki. This culture of self sacrificing mothers is quite common in Azerbaijan as anywhere in the world.

Post was expecting to get finalised when I had to make a break...to have a baby last Sunday. Today is the 7th day that our baby boy has joined our family :).   

As you can imagine I am quite grateful and emotional these days. Thinking and talking about mothers brings almost tears to my eyes. 

This post is devoted to all mothers around the world. God bless them all...one post is not enough to describe everything that mothers do for us first to give us life then to bring us up and later help us throughout our lives. Another thing that is so common in Azerbaijan is that parents continue helping their children physically and financially until they can...

Below in the picture is Mina nənə with two of her grandchildren. I had different post where I said that Mina nənə had many grandchildren. In this picture one her right is my mother. It is great to see that she is so happy on the picture (I asked her the reason she can't remember :), little boy is my other relative. Mothers like Mina nənə and my mother are role models for me and my sisters these days. Their wishes and dreams always came second if not third to dreams and ambitions of their children. In today's world we modern mothers are trying hard to balance wishes of our children and wishes of our own or spouses etc. Things around us have developed a lot but questions are still there and did not become easy when we talk about bringing up children.

Anyways. Be well and remember to take a good care of your loved ones especially mothers. Do not take them for granted.    

Friday, February 15, 2013

Old and kind Sheki...

Today's post is a gentle "reminder" that this blog is actually about Azerbaijan with many posts devoted to the town that my parents come from and I associate myself with, Sheki

If you happen to visit Azerbaijan...
Why Azerbaijan you might ask. Whats so special. 
Everywhere is special. (majority of people in the Orient believe to be philosophers by birth or talk with philosophical hint :) 

In addition to anything else in Azerbaijan you would get a chance to get rid of stereotypes, well maybe. You would be thinking that you are visiting post-Soviet, Muslim country neighbouring Russia, Turkey, Iran, Georgia and Armenia and you would form certain opinions and then once you visit you would see how everything can blend together and it would be so hard or almost impossible to identify, associate with something or somewhere in particular; you would notice a lot of similarities and differences and end up thinking: "what a blend - hard to understand and grasp and hard not to get charmed." 

Sheki is a small and proud town in Azerbaijan that is blessed with beautiful nature, warm hearted people that like to make witty jokes and speak with "sweet" dialect that might have caused them to have specially delicious cuisine including distinctive confectionery products.

So if you are in Azerbaijan you need to spend time in the regions including couple of days in Sheki to put or at least try to put together "jigsaw puzzle" of this country.      

Below is picture of Sheki that I took last summer...
Be well...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love is...no...should be in the air...

Nowadays it is so depressing to say the least to watch news. Wars, killings, people suffering, people destroying lives of others. Nobody is happy about what the other is doing or not doing. Although its XXI century people seem wilder, more sophisticated in their ways to distract, manipulate, reach their goals whatever the price. 

Today many people around the world greet this day as Valentine Day and have another reason to be more attentive to those they love. 

We all know that there is nothing more supreme than love and its not just about love between the two. I find it hard to understand that to some its natural to love their other half but then be quite intolerant to many around.

I wish that people would be kinder and have more sympathy to each other. Anywhere in the world. 

I decided to post pictures of two sculptures of my spouse, Teymur Rustamov to this note. One is about peace and the other about love, harmony, tranquillité.

"Swallows" by Teymur Rustamov
"Man and Woman" by Teymur Rustamov


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Galoshes and not only...

Dear All, thank you for each and every of you for visiting my blog. Life has been too busy and to my regret I wasn't able to update the blog as often as I should have.

The major question now is what do I write about, what do I start with. There have been so many events and emotions in Azerbaijan, life was moving on sometimes with joy, sometimes with grief and as always there are more questions than answers. In light of major global events of the world sometimes every day passions seem so small and so not important. But then its life and it goes on...daily...

I have two pictures that I took in Sheki back in May 2012. These are pictures of galoshes and boots that are worn to work in the garden. Once the work is done in order not to mess the other part of the yard the shoes are changed. While owners of the shoes thought that those were their ugliest possessions I loved the way they looked and purpose they served. The work, tools to do the work can never be ugly.
Already in February people in Sheki started to get their gardens ready for spring. Those shoes are back in fashion and serve a wonderful purpose.

Wishing all of you more of pleasant outdoor chores to feel the spring approaching. Be well.