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South Caucasus
Days of Azerbaijan in Armenia


Opening ceremony
Opening ceremony, December 17, 2007
Georgi Vanyan
Georgi Vanyan
Project director
Luiza Poghosyan
Luiza Poghosyan
PR manager
Afet Sariyev
Afet Sariyev
Seymur Baijan
Seymur Baijan
Jiansha Omarov
Jiansha Omarov
Sahib Babayev
Sahib Babayev
Khamis Masimov
Khamis Masimov
A creative competition was held in Mkhitar Sebastatsi educational complex in Yerevan city, from December 10th to December 20th of the year 2007. The jury selected and awarded prizes. Meetings and discussions, the screening of a documentary film, lessons on human rights protection were held. All these events were entitled “Days of Azerbaijan”.


The reason is that the creative competition was announced on the subjects: Azerbaijan in my imagination, a Letter to my contemporary from Azerbaijan, Armenia – Azerbaijan: what is our future to be like? Azerbaijan (free subject).

The reason is that the school was attended by the guests from Baku, Mingechaura, Gyandji and Kazakh from December 16th to 20th. The guests assisted in the operations of the jury and awarded prizes to the winners. They also participated in the meetings and discussions with teachers, conducted lessons in the school of human rights activists and for school journalists and watched and discussed the film “Open up borders!”.

The reasons is that a non-governmental organization named “Caucasus Center of Peace-making Initiatives” is operating in Armenia,

- which has been exerting its efforts to establish a civil dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which has big experience in collaborating with many secondary educational institutions in Armenia, which brought to life many projects concerning the human right protection in school and informative and educational programs for senior schoolchildren.

- which, within the frameworks of “Peace-Making Team” held in 10 regions of Armenia during the public meetings and discussions on the past, present and future of Armenian-Azerbaijanian relations, has a chance of discussing the problems related to education and upbringing as to the overcoming of the consequences of the war and participation of the youth in peace-making activities with teachers, senior pupils, students of all the regions of Armenia,

- which having generalized all the existing problems, potential possibilities and the necessity, has worked out and is presently accomplishing a long-dated programs entitled “Human rights defenders' school” and “Step to a dialogue: Azerbaijan-Armenia-Turkey”.

- which has found a partner and a consumer of the program “Human rights defenders' school” – “Mkhitar Sebastatsi” educational complex, and proposed them that “Days of Azerbaijan” be held at school.


The reason is that peacemaking activities, the participation in a civil dialogue is a part of a human rights education and upbringing.

The goal of holding Days of Azerbaijan was to attract the attention of Armenian pupils to the problems existing between our peoples and enable them to socialize with interesting people from Azerbaijan, offer them an opportunity to take lessons from professional lawyers and human rights activists and professional journalists from Azerbaijan, and allow them to put forward their ideas and make participants of the dialogue.

During the Days of Azerbaijan a writer and publicist Seymur Baijan was a guest of journalists’ school. During the Days of Azerbaijan, the first training course of the school of human rights defenders was launched which had been worked out on basis of the lectures by Marek Novitski. The part of the course was held by the human rights activists and lawyers from Azerbaijan Djiansha Omarov and Sahib Babaev. A partner of the Caucasus Center of Peace-Making Initiatives, a chairman of “Consensus” non-governmental organization Afet Sariev began teaching the course of logic at the School of Human Rights Activists. Presently, he is continuing this course with pupils by correspondence, via the Internet. The guests from Azerbaijan familiarized themselves with 37 written works of the pupils, teachers and students of pedagogic college. The works had been written before they arrived in Yerevan. The compositions, which had been selected by the Azerbaijan jury, are presently published in the website. You can also find one work selected by the Caucasus Center of Peace - making Initiatives and one work selected by the sponsor of the project, the Embassy of Great Britain in Armenia.

The subjects of the creative competition which were thoroughly thought over by the organizers-peacemakers and approved by the school management and frequently occurred, are mysteriously forgotten and the jury as a result received a series of compositions on the subject: “Azerbaijan: Enemy of Friend?”. There was another variant, too, entitled: “Azerbaijan: enemy or friend?”

Why really? (!)
Afet Sariev, course of logic
Afet Sariev, course of logic
Compositions and letters
Days of Azerbaijan in Armenia


Days of Azerbaijan in Armenian school
The television and the press took an active participation in the discussion of our project, and this event was commented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Minister of Education of Armenia and the Minister on Youth Affairs of Azerbaijan, the chairman of European Union in the South Caucuses and the US ambassador in Azerbaijan, dozens of deputies of the parliament of both sides, political scientists and public figures. But the discussion at best was held about the project, but basically it went round it.


In the evening of December 13th, 2007 a journalist from Regnum Agency telephoned and introduced herself as Yana. I am a coordinator of the project and was very pleasantly surprised: a reporter from Regnum (!) is establishing an immediate (!) contact with those she is intending to write about before providing a material. The first thought that occurred to me was that the world is indeed changing for the better. Not this time.


The reason is that everything happened the way it should be.

Yana asked me:
- Is the information accurate that you are organizing Days of Azerbaijan in Armenia?

I asked:
- Where did you learn about it?

She answered that she had learnt about it through her friends or acquaintances.

I said:
- Oh, it is a good job that you contacted me and I can be of help to you. The matter here concerns not about the Days of Azerbaijan in Armenia. Just imagine an article entitled “The revolution in some Yerevan school!” - it is indeed not the same as “The Revolution in Armenia”, is it? We are facing the same situation. Do you see the difference? She answered me back:
- Yeah, I do understand. But how can I get more detailed information?

Then I answered:
- Please give me your e-mail and I will send you the schedule of the project and you will be able to come and prepare a material on any events at any time.

She said:
- Thank you, I will give preliminary information and then I will come to your project.

The next day the Regnum News Agency published the following information, “The Azerbaijanian delegation is to arrive in Yerevan” which was followed by a parenthetical clause “Days of Azerbaijan are to be held from December 17 to 20 in Yerevan within the Step to Dialogue: Armenia-Azerbaijan-Turkey”.

That was only the beginning, but unlike Yana, none of the journalists writing in such a manner sounded a question like “Is it right that…?” Though it is not important, anyway, I would also have to bring an example about the revolution in the school. And, besides, they would never understand the difference or they would refuse to understand.


The reason is that “journalism is a business and a journalist ought to meet the needs of an editor and readers”. These words do not belong to me, but Susanna Margaryan from “Azg” newspaper when the pupils asked her why her articles depicting the Days of Azerbaijan in the school was entitled “Armenian and Azerbaijan flirt based on Bleyan-rules and British money.”

The pupils had no objection and complaints about the content of the article. The journalist did not lie, simply she mocked in some places and it is her right. But the kids still wonder why the article was entitled in such a manner which seemed to be humiliating for all the participants of the project. I wonder if the matter really concerns the satisfaction of the needs of the readers?

The advertising campaign around the Days of Azerbaijan brought together:

A. Four people who for some reason identified themselves as “Armenian bloggers”. One can assume that they were Armenians who kept their own internet diaries – blogs. They brought a TV team with them.

B. A Student’s Union of Dashnaktutyun Party “Nikol Aghbalyan” and “Mitk” Analytical Centre which in the course of the project conducted a prompt inquiry, on the basis of which they wrote an appeal to the public and the authorities of Armenia so that they would be more considerate to the project initiated by the Caucasus Center of Peace-Making Initiatives (CCPMI).


I have no idea. But I can state exactly that none of the above-mentioned people have even the slightest idea of how those days were held in the school and what was the exact subject of the discussion and what exactly was discussed at the lessons and about the meetings with schoolchildren.


The reason is that what they were interested in was the project itself. They simply decided that it was high to dispute with CCPMI the laurels of “the most tolerant Armenians on the world scale”. The formers (A) declared that they had nothing against the Azerbaijanians arriving in Yerevan (!), instead, they presented a soap to the organizer of the trip.

The latters (B) expressed their concern about the fact that “Azerbaijanian guests arriving in Armenia hear not a single opinion about Armenian people, but the opinion of separate individuals and at best the views of some organization which equally well can coincide or contradict the opinion of wide layers of the society”. They resolved to remind us about the fact that “although a number of regions of Historical Armenia continue being under occupation, the authorities of Azerbaijan at the highest level keep displaying militant statements about the decision of Artsakh question through a military way. Baku does not consider the fact that based on the results of the recent Karabakh war it is thought to be a losing side. That is the reason why under the present circumstances we are certain that the Armenian side does not have any problems seeking ways of reconciliation with Azerbaijan people”. (end of quotation)

But as I assume, in the process of writing this appeal, probably at the advice of “Mitk” (“Thought”) Analytical Centre, our volunteers suddenly remember about the European factor, to be more exact, about the reaction of Peter Semneby to our project.

Thus, remembering about the European factor they added: “It would be more correct if the Days of Armenia were held in Azerbaijan. Only under the similar mood would it be possible to sign an Armenia-Azerbaijan Treaty on Reconciliation.” (end of quotation)

The Student’s Union of Dashnaktutyun Party “Nikol Aghbalyan” and “Mitk” Analytical Centre becoming “closely linked” with CCPMI ended their statements with an appeal “to the initiators, as well as the wide public circles – scientific and state institutions, various public and youth organizations so that they would make the subject of discussion sound as national tasks and participate in further activity of Caucasus Center of Peace - Making Initiatives." (end of quotation).
Interview about Azerbaijanis
What about Azerbaijanis?
Azerbaijan + Armenia = ?

Six commandments by Seymur Baijan

Guys, i will state honestly!

Our conflict is not of interest to anybody
Khazar Ibrahim
Khazar Ibrahim
Spokesperson of the MFA of Azerbaijan

Spokesperson of Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan Khazar Ibragim commented on the conduction of the week of Azerbaijan in Armenia.

"As Armenian politicians disseminate false information, misleading their society, familiarization of the Armenian society with the truth, presented by the Azerbaijani citizens, will promote the development of the correct idea on the issue".

Vladimir Karapetyan
Vladimir Karapetyan
Spokesperson of the MFA of Armenia

We would like to know the official position of the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the conduct of the week of Azerbaijan in Armenia, APA asked RA MFA Spokesperson Vladimir Karapetyan.

“We are positively disposed towards any initiative aimed at launching dialogue in the South Caucasus. We think this initiative is a vivid proof of our loyalty to dialogue and peace, something our Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian said in Madrid in an interview with APA. Such arrangements, which are not an end in itself, must have their continuation in all countries involved in the program. Through public diplomacy and social contacts it is possible to promote the peace talks on the Karabakh issue,” Vladimir Karapetyan said.

18 - 12 - 2007
Peter Semneby
Peter Semneby
EU Special Representative

"I support the initiative of holding a Week of Azerbaijan In Armenia", Peter Semneby, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus said to the Azerbaijan Press Agency.

He called the establishment of such relations between the representatives of Azerbaijani and Armenian community a positive step. "Azerbaijani and Armenian communities have been estranged from each other for a long time. Therefore, they should get informed about each other. I also support holding a Week of Armenia in Azerbaijan", he added.

Days of Azerbaijan in Armenia


action in the schoolyard
"We need to eliminate our fear and raise our culture",- said Tigran Parsilyan, a school teacher and IT specialist, after he had watched the film “Open up the frontiers!”. To eliminate fear and raise our culture to me is the most exact definition of the process of peacemaking activities and the most exact indicator and scale for the activity claiming to carry out peacemaking and claiming to establish the process of a dialogue.

The subjects for compositions were thought out very carefully by the Caucasus Center of Peace-making Initiatives. “We don’t know what to write…” – the first reaction of the schoolchildren was not a surprise. That is the reason why it is difficult to write about facts you are unaware of. It is indeed difficult to write when as early as yesterday there was nothing to write about and nothing was needed to do so, but today it is pretty important to have your opinion. The difficult factor of this initially lies in the subjects. And each person in his or her own way has overpassed this problem, some wrote something in the manner of peace-to-peace, some by way of habit simply wrote something about Armenia, and the majority wrote nothing. The jury gave its preference to those works which to some extent were distinguished from standard school compositions. The prizes were awarded for their sincerity, openness and independence which could be read through lines (Soviet School is still alive!)

Here is the composition of one of the sixth-form boys (the appearance and the style of the author is preserved).

1. An open letter

Hello, dear stupid Azerbaijanian, I don’t want you not to come to Armenia because once you arrive, you will be hauled over the coals! Oh, come on, I am just kidding, you can come so that we will beat you and occupy Masis (“Ararat” – editor.)

2. Azerbaijan in my imagination

In my own imagination Azerbaijan is a dirty and untidy country of the fool.

3. Armenia-Azerbaijan: what is the future to be like?

The future of Armenia and Azerbaijan is to be proposed like this: Armenians have to kill Azerbaijanians and occupy the whole Azerbaijan.


Is there anything to think about? Or there is nothing extraordinary in that?

The boy can be met and talked to. Our guests from Azerbaijan also could have an opportunity of meeting him, the headmaster of the school Ashot Bleyan, Georgi Vanyan, teachers, and I could have met him, too. But none of us has done it and talked to him so far. Why?

We are not ready to eliminate fear and raise the culture. We are not ready to talk to this boy.

A new subject entitled “Azerbaijan: enemy or friend?” was born (thanks to pedagogues) while other compositions were being handed in. Who is the author of this idea? It is not important. It is quite clear that he had clear and good intentions directed at making the problem easy and executing the plan in return. But it failed to happen. Among the prize winners, two of them having written on this subject and both of the authors dispute a similar arrangement of the question. There is something to learn from the kids.

A School of Human Rights Defenders was opened during the “Days of Azerbaijan”. The first lessons at school were conducted by Jiansha Omarov (Right and Freedom. Constitution as a basic law) and Sahib Babaev (Ban on torture, Presumption of guilt). Later, three days on end our future human rights defenders were becoming familiar with the ABC of the logic at the lessons conducted by Afet Sariev. “They treat us as ordinary children…” is the view of one of the schoolboys expressed in the lobby, i.e. during the break. The lessons were participated by the schoolchildren of various ages, their number amounted from 30 to 40 people. What brought them here? As it turned out later, most of them were curious and some of them were inquisitive. Some of them work at the School of Human Rights Defenders. They learn, think, recomprehend. They have already made their first attempt to establish dialogue... with teachers. The course they are dealing with has been worked out on basis of Marek Novicki’s lectures. The School of Human Rights Defenders has already a number of achievements and worked out future plans. Should everything goes on according to our plans, I hope that the sixth-form pupil will come to this school.

What events were indeed taking place during the Days of Azerbaijan?

Nothing new. The same events which were taking place during other tens of projects and meetings held, being held and to be held in the future, because there are corresponding directions issued by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs (states) which destroy and negatively contribute to the holding of such projects and the corresponding wish of the international community supporting similar projects. Young and adult Armenians and Azerbaijanians have met, meet and will meet with one another for the first time or not for the first time and they will socialize with one another and speak about different matters, “proof the loyalty to dialogue” and “convey the truth”, raise toasts for friendship and peace and talk about the need to arrange meetings on regular basis and meet again and again in order to go over the same circle but desirably in a well-known company.

No news. The kids have seen the Azerbaijanians for the first time. The Azerbaijanians have visited Armenian schools for the first time. All of them agreed to the fact that we were alike, that we are ordinary people. Both of them showed hospitality and thanked for it. And wished peace to our nations.

And something new The kids have seen the Azerbaijanians for the first time. The Azerbaijanians have visited Armenian schools for the first time. All of them agreed to the fact that we were alike, that we are ordinary people. Both of them showed hospitality and thanked for it. And wished peace to our nations.

Something new. Afet Sariev proposed establishing intercourse with schoolchildren and in future introducing its course of logic by correspondence for senor pupils. He can as well arrive and deliver lectures on annual basis.

Something new. Something new. Seymur Baijan wrote “Four romantic stories”, which had nothing to do with the project.

The Caucasus Center of Peace-making Initiatives continues working at school. There is a chance of turning the one-time project into a long-term program. Armenia-Azerbaijan: Fear and absence of culture or the absence of fear and culture: what is our future to be like?

We dearly thank the pupils of cinema and photography school of “Mkhitar Sebastatsi” Educational Complex for the photos used on the pages of the website.

Luiza Pogosyan
At the lesson
At the lesson