By Azer HASRET, firstname.lastname@example.org
Just to compare. I am compiling a piece where would like to show if Azerbaijan is really dangerous for people of Armenian origin to come and enjoy a trip to this most tolerant country of the world.
Why am I touching upon this issue must be clear. Just the world is discussing – arguing around a footballer of Armenian decent – Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who plays for London`s Arsenal. Arsenal is due to come to Azerbaijan – Baku, to play Europa League Final 2019 against another English team – Chelsea.
While these two teams were defined to beat for the Final, the speculations arose why the UEFA takes these English players to so far distance of 4 thousands km? Teams and their supporters believe that they could play the game in London and it would be good for Arsenal and Chelsea fans. But UEFA explained that while two years ago the decision was made, no one knew that both finalists will be English ones.
So if the decision was made some two years ago and no one knew which teams will be at the Final, speculations in regard to host city are baseless. One can say one of the teams could be from Azerbaijan as well…
Now let`s go back to Henrikh Mkhitaryan`s issue. He claims that it is unsafe for an Armenian to come to Baku, Azerbaijan. He fears for his safety and took the decision not to come to play for Arsenal. As was stated by the Arsenal and Mkhitaryan himself the decision was taken together and is personal choose of the player. We respect this decision and would count on understanding of supporters of Arsenal and Mkhitaryan. But unfortunately we see that some people and some circles have staged very wide campaign, claiming that Azerbaijan is not allowing an Armenian player to come. Because he is just Armenian…
Is that true? Not of course. The government of Azerbaijan and AFFA – Azerbaijan Football Federations Association officially stated that Mkhitaryan`s safety will be assured in very high level. Plus, official written letter was submitted to UEFA and Arsenal assuring the issue. But still a lot of people, most of whom are Armenians, are continuing an ugly campaign to accuse Azerbaijan even for being “racist”.
We feel a need to answer these stupid – baseless claims and attacks on Azerbaijan. Because while one side continuously lies and spreads ugly propaganda the world becomes a tool on the hands of that side. Our obligation is to enlighten people and tell the truth.
Is Azerbaijan really dangerous for the people of Armenian decent? Not at all. Instead of Armenia`s occupation of about 20% of Azerbaijani lands, the people of Azerbaijan and the government as well do not hate Armenians. That`s why some 30 thousands Armenians still live in Baku, Ganja and other cities of Azerbaijan side by side with other Azerbaijanis. I mean they are equal citizens of Azerbaijan like other ethnic and national minorities and enjoy the same rights as anyone else.
One more point in regard to Armenians` safety in Azerbaijan. Still alive is a great sporty show while Azerbaijan hosted The 1st European Games in 2015. Some Armenian sportsmen also were among competitors and even one of them had won the 2nd place. In a video below we are showing what happened to that Armenian sportsman in the Baku Olympic Stadium.
One can see, that while the name of Armenian sportsman is announced the people are booing him, the President of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev raises his hands and the people calm down, applauds the sportsman. That must be enough for those who is staging an ugly campaign against Azerbaijan with groundless anti-Armenian claims.
Or we have one more, very recent video footage depicting two young Armenians who right now are in Baku. They are sister and brother. Gymnastics sportsmen. Duhik and Garsevan Janazyan are competing at the European Championship of Sports Aerobics in Baku. Two days ago they arrived to Azerbaijan and were interviewed by local journalists. We are adding a short video footage where they express happiness for being in Azerbaijan adding that sports are different from politics.
Now if Mkhitaryan and his campaigner-supporters still are accusing Azerbaijan for being hostile to any Armenian on the world, that must be their problem, not Azerbaijan`s. We are tolerant, multicultural nation. We are not hostile towards any nation, including Armenians of the world. We have a problem with only Armenia which is still keeping under occupation Azerbaijani lands expelling around 1 million (some 250 thousands from Armenia and 750 thousands from occupied Azerbaijani lands) people from their homes.
And at the end I`d like to stress out that the case of Mkhitaryan once more shows the ugly face of Armenian nationalism which uses any opportunity to blackmail Turks, including Azerbaijani ones. But we, as a nation dedicated to multiculturalism and tolerance, will pass through this stage and once more will approve that we are a nation of sport and we understand the distance between sport and politics.
P.S. It is time for Arsenal to dismiss Henrikh Mkhitaryan at all as he caused so much noise just making such a sport game dirty for his nationalist claims…