Alernative лого
Start лого
South Caucasus


Afet Sariyev
I rephrased a well-known martinetish aphorism and I wish this variant would only be heard from the mouths of people.

If a person is neither a sadist nor a masochist, he ought to admit that every sensible person will give his or her preference to high feelings and not sufferings and blood which are always caused by guns, blast them!

A man should become aware that every gun volley, EVERY VOLLEY is a dead body, hands and legs cut off and detached, “mutilated” lives and seas of sufferings. I wonder how many volleys there will still be heard in order to satisfy the appetite of our and their “patriots”! I wish each of us, who undertakes any steps and actions, be it a remark in the spirit of “genetic incompatibility” or a malicious article about “the neighbours” or militaristic statements of an official, stood before a well-lit looking glass at least for a second of the coming rush hours and looked carefully into his or her eyes and evoked such a valuable charisma (God’s gift) as Conscience from deep of his or her heart and decided for himself or herself who he or she is in reality – a man or a monster? In the South Caucasus the wearisome negotiations, the confrontation of muse and guns, white and black last for years and years. And I am very sorry for the layer of our intellectuals who got accustomed to such instability, whose eyes are full of deep depression. This instability is like a grey haze. They retired into their shells, into their borrows where they can exist only in commercialism, from time to time looking out to define for themselves whether this grey haze became dark or brightened.

But I am lucky and I have found like-minded persons not only in my homeland, but also on the other side of the conflict who help their citizens leave their shells. They are excellent people. Let their parents who have brought them up be honored and glorified! I am talking about Georgi Vanyan and Luiza Poghosyan, whose activity sickens obscurantists. They are looking for the truth in the constant flow of our conflict. They are constantly being under pressure. They are the very shield required for a sensible intellectuals of Armenia.

We have already agreed to work together and do our endeavours to as far as possible decrease the potential of bloodshed. And the joint activity undertaken by our non-government organizations will continue under the conditions of authenticity of the signatures of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia affixed on the documents concerning the obligation and commitment to settle the Karabakh conflict through peaceful ways. (This commitment served as a condition for our countries to become the member of European Council as far as back in the year 2000). Therefore, we are not regarding our actions, directed at the creation of equal relations among the citizens of our countries, to be a certain desire against the desire of the governments of Azerbaijan and Armenia. We are not representing oppositions.

The first step to be undertaken by us will be a struggle against blind aversion, non-recognition and denial of the culture of the neighbouring country. Let our muses speak , instead! Personally, being an ordinary man, the art of the people of Azerbaijan and Armenia is equally valuable because it is the product of the creative work of the people and not otherwise. It is the specialist and not me who can point to subtle differences.

I like some songs and dislike others from the repertoire of both of the republics. The same concerns painting. So is the literature. My opinion is shared by G.Vanyan and Luiza Poghosyan. The reason here lies in the fact that it is the art owing to its proximity and under the conditions of non-politicalization can serve as a tool which can help decrease the blind aversion and non-recognition of the neighbouring people.

My compatriots can object to me by asserting that how we can accept the people who occupied our lands. They say they’d better liberate our lands first and then we will accept them. I want to react to this objection by the following words:

The intensification of the ethnic hatred and the blind aversion and non-recognition of any culture will never advance the days of liberation even for a single moment, it will never make a soldier more disciplined, it will never make a commander more literate, it will not equip the army with more modern armaments. Moreover, this politics does not make a man look more diplomatic and the nation does not become more civilized and rich. It is the soul that exhausts. I seem to have mentioned the main and necessary attributes for military superiority. If, God forbid, “it” starts, then the army without any doubt ought to administer military operations being obligated and based on hatred and without it. If without it, then the captives will be treated in a civilized manner. No barbarity will be applied to them, the barbarity that the captives of early in the 90s already experienced. No violence will be applied to women, children and old people! We have experienced it before! As for a soldier, if taken a prisoner, he will never prefer to detonate himself with a shell, so as not to be cut into pieces. Such things did happen in the past.

Fierce ethnic hatred of people for a specific nationality is needed for others and for other deeds…

The sentence said above is just an expression and is not our wish. We wish the variant of a war would be denied and the territory would be restored by the fact that ordinary, simple people of Karabakh were tempted by economic, social and political benefits. We wish they themselves wanted to live humanly within Azerbaijan and would never be robbed by local officials and never live under bad conditions.

The complaints in respect of what was said above would be groundless, if once again by way of axiom we state the present goal of the government of either republic and resolve the conflict through peaceful ways. And we will be right as far as a similar course is being taught in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of our countries. Otherwise somebody will have to prove that the forcing of the ethnic intolerance is the very path to a peaceful agreement.

You may wonder why I am not disposed in a patriotic manner. As a matter of fact, I differentiate people only on the basis of decency. I have never had and will never have any other criterion. Therefore, I will state the commonplace and banal remark for all the civilized people as a seditious revelation to many of the citizens of our countries. Whenever I meet a decent Armenian, I regard him rather higher than a disreputable and dishonorable Azerbaijanian. I don’t care if I will be hurled with reproaches as to the absence of my patriotism. But I think it is not the one who shows his love for his homeland by singing in the choir about his or her endless love for his nation and makes it fall into the abyss of disaster, but the one who is willing to prevent the blind nationalism in his or her own Homeland in any way.

For it to happen, a deep and global transformation of the national idea is to take place deep inside the soul: the expression “we are better” should be rephrased into “we are not worse”. Secondly, each of us ought to decide for himself or herself what is his own view and conception as to the settlement of the conflict through peaceful ways and through negotiations. Moreover, one should decide if the views expressed by themselves will contribute to the settlement of the problem or not.

For the guns to keep silent finally, we need to eliminate the possibilities of provocations from our today’s unstable reality stirred by our side.

I think if treating the events in our country in an honest way, many people may hesitate as to the fact that dim and obscure events are taking place around them in which they look like “scapegoats”. To determine who of us is an enemy and who of us is a friend is not an easy job! Here is an example of such an action. The events having taken place throughout the frozen conflict, show that there exist internal forces in Azerbaijan and / or Armenia which are directed at the destruction of the attempts made by our leaders to abide by the peaceful decision. The Minister of Defense can be one of such forces.

Everyday bombardments having taken place for over many years in different parts of two hundred kilometer zone of confrontation of the troops on the line of the occupied territories can be accounted for as provocations in respect of the failure and breakdown of the agreement and depreciation of the authority of our countries before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

During bombardments, as a result of which as a matter of fact there are no casualties, but sometimes lasting for hours, the press-centres of the ministries of defense simultaneously blame each other.(you can read the report in the Internet). But we, the common citizens, who are normally the victims of the conflict, consider that the important factor here is not who is to blame or who is right (although it would be better to know this), but what is more important to know is that one of them is EXACTLY an instigator. These are the elements of logic. Thus, in a practical manner the provocation from the direction of the Ministry of Defense is POSSIBLE. In this case it leads to a question: then why can’t other Ministers, for example, the Minister of Culture, Education or Television etc. undertake similar actions?

This is indeed a problem: what does the government have to do to exclude such a possibility, even theoretically? And why can this happen in general if their presidents sign treaties so as not to undertake such actions? (By the way, on daily basis piles of money are being thrown away from the budget of the country, the money which our people are badly in need of. The fact is that each cartridge has a high value.)

In the end I would like to tell about an outstanding teacher and a hero with whom I have recently met. He is the headmaster of one of the Yerevan Schools Ashot Bleyan. He is a man who is doing his best and making all the possible efforts to educate adequate and fully-fledged young people within the school starting from kindergarten ages. Young people are being educated to be decent by carefully-elected educators, then teachers. They are taught to be independent and think deeply and not to depend on the primitive propaganda.

Much could be talked about this magnificent and unique school, but I’ll tell you a short episode I have witnessed myself. He or she who is good at understanding will surely understand it. During the solemn opening of the Days of Azerbaijan, to be more exact, the Days of Azerbaijanians in this school, because the children have seen and talked with Azerbaijanians for the first time in their life, while Georgi Vanyan was delivering his speech before all the pupils, four young “patriots” (future candidates for monsters) rushed into the hall and each of them held out a piece of soap to Georgi Vanyan. Well, this event has been much written about. All are well informed about it.

The newspapers wrote about it on the same day. Georgi Vanyan read to us one of such articles at dinner with a smile on his face. A senior pupil serving us in the canteen and hearing Vanyan reading the article asked in surprise: “Didn’t they understand what was going on at our school?” Well, dear “patriots” living on the either side of the frontier of the conflict. You do not understand what that girl studying in the school of Ashot Bleyan did understand. We dearly thank him for it. Be he honored and praised!

Afet Sariyev