A trip to Vienna-Baku-Gakh and fear of being conscienceless

It was 5th of June that I returned from Austria. Recently I have attended 5 international events in consequences and had 12 meetings. This time I did the same, namely making speech on Azerbaijani realities, had heated discussions with Armenian delegation and presentation of Azerbaijan. This is my duty as the citizen of Azerbaijan and I ought to do this as a human rights advocate.

Upon my return from Vienna I could not stay any longer in the city of winds because of scorching heat and my desire to see my lands where I was born. Therefore, several days later I packed my bags and went to Baku International Bus Terminal for heading to Gakh region.

As always my trip to Gakh made my relatives and acquaintances happy. Each day I have been hosted by my relatives and when I put down their invitations they get disappointed. I did my best not to hurt them and accept their invitations as it was indefinite when I would be back to Gakh again. Participating at OSCE general assembly to be held in Warsaw in September and having a series of meetings in Europe were ahead of me.

qaracilar12Taking the opportunity I toured each corners of Gakh, namely Saribash, Ilisu, Gakhbash, Khum, Lekit, Gulluk, Qashqachay, Tasmali, Lalali and others. They way of their hosting me was the manifestation of their hospitality and sincerity.

Beside, sensitive memories of my childhood brought me back to those years. They talked about my grandfather and how I used to walk barefoot when I was a small child. Seeing my kindergarten teacher at the market took me back to my kindergarten years. Together with my teacher we recalled how I used to stay up until late at night at the kindergarten as my mother worked and came to pick me up late. I was looking forward to her coming.

agsaqqalAll these talks made me sensitive and I felt tears come into my eyes. I was so drown into those years that could not make time and deal with cares of Gakh region.

Finally, I am here to take care of problems of Gakh residents. More precisely while passing through the inconvenient roads of rural villages, while filling my glass with muddy water from sink following rain, when electricity goes off because of lightening I get away from those memories and faced today’s realities.

I gradually started to understand those relatives who could hardly answer my question “How are you doing?”. Since I get used to luxury life style of Europe, those experiences I had in Gakh made me dismal.

gorusler4Therefore, I ceased to live with my childhood memories associated with Gakh and embarked on making real steps. I toured villages of Gakh region and held a series of meetings with locals. Instead of my relatives I preferred to meet with residents of Gakh region, shepherds and gypsies and got familiarized with their living circumstances. I took some notes, reached some conclusion based on my observations since this is my job and duty.

All these are a smallest part of what I have experienced within a month in Gakh. If I stayed longer I would presumably see more.

However, it was high time for me to complete a trip to Vienna-Baku-Gakh and I came back.

gorusler2I had to return though it was hard for me to leave those people to their fate; I have to return back to Europe, to the lavish life style.

My job forced me to do it but at the same time my conscious kept me. If I listened to my conscious I would be jobless, still I feared of being conscienceless.

Ahmad Shahidov

Gakh region, Azerbaijan
9 August, 2015

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