Our today’s interlocutor is Ahmad Shahidov, leading human rights advocate who was born in Gakh region and who represents Azerbaijan in Europe.
Mr. Shahidov, you are just recently returned from Europe and headed directly to Gakh. What was the purpose of your visit?
There is no special reason for my direct trip to Gakh following completing my official visit which I paid to Austria. I just wanted to be in Gakh where I was born and raised, to spend time with my relatives. I wanted to step on lands where I grow up and drink water from springs.
In comparison with you previous visits to Gakh this time you had fruitful meetings and they were highlighted by mass media.
As a human rights advocate I intended to familiarize myself with cares of my countrymen and render my legal assistance to them. I also sought to evaluate economic and social situation in Gakh. In this way I wanted to get Gakh residents problems highlighted by mass media.
Based on your own observation, what are cares of Gakh’s residents? What observations you have made during the meetings you had?
Gakh possesses fascinating nature. Unfortunately, we could not manage to promote this beauty and allure tourist. As for instance, Gakh is not highly developed as Gabala did, however, Gakh has more beatiful nature. What we need is to pay more attention in terms of promoting this nature. Main and rural roads are in poor condition and are not satisfactory. Residents have problems with drinkable water. In the course of held meetings I have recived concerns over the cultivation of lands, loans, pension issue, addressed social assistance, youth employment, education and empowerment issues. I have also received deep concerns from Georgian-ingiloys in relation to absence of priest to observe their religious festive.
What is your approach towards the concerns you have been conveyed? As a human rights advocate and young Gakh resident which measures will be carried out by you?
At first I will prepare proposal package including challenges that Gakh residents face and submit to the relevant bodies. I will also give a raise to Gakh potentials during upcoming international conferences and events with the purpose of appealing international investors to Gakh. I intend to negotiate with appropriate circles both in Georgia and Azerbaijan on providing priest to Church of Saint Gregory.
Mr. Shahidov, you do not have any political affiliation. In order to solve existing problems in Gakh you will need political support. Wouldn’t it be difficult?
Although, I do not have any political affiliation and I am with the residents of Gakh region. Their support is vitally important for me. I do believe that using my personal contacts I will be able to contribute to the solution of problems that Gakh. I am sure that they will feel these improvements in their daily life.