Winter 2001 (9.4)
Experiences - These Past Ten Years
Many things are different today. Consider simple everyday tasks:
we used to have to wait for hours for buses in the morning and
then after coming home from work very tired, we had to go and
stand in more queues to buy meat or butter, bread and everything
Many things are politically different, too. The Soviet communist
ideology and the Russification [meaning the act of making others
learn Russian language, history, literature] in the name of "Friendship
of the Nations" would still exist. We used to have to fill
out applications for the simplest things in Russian, not Azeri.
The developments of our own nationalistic and religious values
Of course there have been difficulties since the Soviet Union
collapsed and Azerbaijan became independent. But the fact that
we gained our independence made us so happy that we will be able
to overcome all of these difficulties. For me the greatest thing
has been gaining our independence. I can't tell you how happy
it made me. It's quite a different thing to be a citizen of an
independent state. The problems are natural. Independence is
worth coping with all of these difficulties. That's why I feel
You can be sure that since the collapse of the Soviet Union I
don't miss all those meetings and gatherings of the Komsomol
that we used to have to attend.
I don't have grandchildren yet. But in the future I'll tell them
about how nearly 20 percent of our lands were occupied by Armenian
nationalists and how our mothers and sisters were held hostage
by them. Then I'll tell them how great it was to see the Azerbaijani
flag raised in front of the UN office  and about Azerbaijan's
joining the Council of Europe . The other thing I would
explain to them is how the communists of yesterday plundered
the wealth of the nation and our natural treasures, all under
the disguise of friendship and statehood.
In my opinion, the most serious problem during the next 10 years
will be related to Karabakh. We must get the land of our forefathers
back. In addition to Karabakh, we need to solve some other serious
problems like illiteracy and unemployment. Even now there's a
high level of unemployment in Azerbaijan. It will take some time
until this problem is solved.
(9.4) Winter 2001.
© Azerbaijan International 2002. All rights reserved.
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