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What Azerbaijani youth think about recent escalations?

Sorry guys, my blog was down for a while, my archive was gone but I am repairing it. So, it’s my first blog after months. You probably didn’t know that recent escalations forced Azerbaijanis to question their ‘humanism’. As in all countries, we also had warmongers and pacifists. But from outside, Azerbaijan looks quite solid. It would seem that we are savage, dirty butchers. So I decided to make a little interview with random people on Twitter.

I chose people randomly from likers of this tweet:

My questions were:

  1. What’s your family background?
  2. How’s your education situation?
  3. What you think about recent escalations in Karabakh? Azerbaijani society was divided into pro and anti-war ideas. On which side did you stand?
  4. Do you consider yourself religious?
  5. Do you consider yourself a patriot?
  6. Which foreign language(s) you know?
  7. What’s your purpose for future?

All interviews were made either by Twitter Direct Messages or Facebook Chat. I was not personally friends with most of respondents. See for yourself.

  • Middle class family. My mom is not conservative, but my dad is.
  • Highschool education.
  • I am definitely against any war. I’ve read somewhere that in war, there are no victors, only losers. I don’t think war has any benefit for us. People is more important than land.
  • No, I am not religious since 8th grade.
  • No, patriotism sounds awful for me. My homeland is Planet Earth.
  • Russian, English (intermediate) and Turkish (little)
  • Upper middle class, somewhat conservative and religious.
  • Currently in graduate school.
  • I am one of those who wants Karabakh back. I don’t have any hatred against anyone who doesn’t have anything to do about the conflict. My agression is for people who argue that Karabakh is an Armenian land. But to sum up the whole question, in time of a legit Karabakh war, I would volunteer.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Turkish, English, Russian (little)
  • I want to be in a position where I can actually help Azerbaijani people – especially youth. Government, non-gov doesn’t matter. It could be head of a department, school, college.
  • My family was middle class, generic muslim family. Right now it’s only mum and me. We get along with different political and religious views.
  • I am a bachelors degree student, currently trying for masters degree.
  • I took no side. I was just pissed off that why people who won’t ever fight in army decides their fate for them. Who the f*ck are you?
  • I was once religious. I was child. My brain was analysing what’s around me. Then I watched sky and understood reality.
  • No. In case of war, I would join. I would read about Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918) and may be even get sentimental about it. “Ali and Nino” is my favorite novel but I can’t say I am a patriot. May be this word just lost it’s meaning?
  • English – I understand but have problems with speaking. Russian – I can speak to girls in VKontakte. Persian: Can read but little understand. And Turkish obviously.
    I wanted to be an archeologist when I was a child. I wanted to be many things. But now, I get that most important is to be yourself. I have serious problems with dreaming. I one of guys who believe I was born in wrong time, wrong country.
  • My family is middle class modern family. You can feel traces of religion and patriotism though. Everyone is Russian speaking except me.
  • I study in Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, bachelors degree.
  • As for this question, I’d like to comment on people’s reaction to what’s going on Line of Contact. During those days we understood that no matter you are intellectual or normal guy, most of people are nothing but chauvinists who understand humanism with their asses. What pissed me off were guys who urged everyone to take up arms and to go to front saying we owe something to ‘Motherland’.
  • I don’t consider myself religious but I am interested in history of religions.
  • I can’t really tell I am a patriot, I mean, fuck the concept of ‘Homeland’.
  • Intermediate Russian and Advanced English.
  • I wish I had more time for myself. Marriage and children not included. I will also migrate on first chance.
  • Poor and radically religious shiite family.
  • Somewhat highschool.
  • Since childhood, school, we’ve been taught poems about war and being martyr. There were theatre scenes about it. I never liked it though. There was too much propaganda that I wanted to puke. Pro-government people’s stance were clear. But modern opposition failed me. People who were always writing about humanism suddenly felt awesome because of 1 or 2 hills. They called us “pacifist demagogs” when we warned about Russian manipulation, forced military conscription of ’97-born kids who were not able to give 3000 AZN bribe.I never went to army for 4 or 5 years ever since. I didn’t have money, but I just didn’t went when they called me. I don’t care if I am arrested. Let them protect their own motherland.When they are in trouble, they tell us ‘this country is for all of us’, but when they split up the budget they say ‘we are the state, we know the best’. ‘Motherland’ belongs to people who govern these territories, so let them protect it. I don’t care who is in charge – Armenian, Nakhchivanian, Kurd, Yeraz (Azeri from Armenia) or Talysh. Armenian and Azerbaijani systems of governance is same. Let Armenians come and invade. So what? I don’t even have 1 are land. I live in a rotten building given us by USSR.These lands changed hands for centuries – Mongols, Turks, Persians, British, Russian – but we are still living here. I don’t care for land or government and I doubt if nationalists are sane. They want to fight for land which doesn’t belong them. They don’t even have property if you ask, they live in rent.
  • I am a radical atheist, still poor though.
  • I don’t consider myself a patriot. Homeland is like morals. Anyone can give a meaning to it. My homeland is Planet Earth.
  • I speak Russian and English a little. I know 4 or 5 programming languages.
  • It’s hard to find a job in this country. They give you 300-400 AZNs for doing 4-5 guys’ job. My colleague’s salary in other parts of world is at least 100.000$
  • My family is middle class semi-modern, semi-conservative.
  • Master’s degree student.
  • I was pro-war at first but then I changed my opinion because soldier casualties were getting higher. I was at least 70% pro-truce.
  • I don’t have any religious affiliation.
  • Not a hardcore, but yes am a patriot. I just love my country.
  • Turkish, English and Russian
  • I wanted to be a diplomat, emissary.
  • I always considered my family as middle class, they found solutions for every problem ever since. They were always pro-education. They were quite modern in some matters whilst most of Azeris were conservative. Of course every parent is protective for some degree.
  • I am an undergraduate student.
  • I don’t really have much opinion on this matter. At first I was for just war but then I realized it’s just a game, to inspire population. It didn’t feel natural. So many dead people. It was a weird feeling.
  • I am not religious, no.
  • I am a patriot, but depends on matter.
  • English, French, Russian and Norwegian (beginner)
  • I wanted to achieve success in movie industry since I was a child. It may be related to patriotism because I want my country’s dead film sector back. At least I want to give world a message that ‘yeah, Azerbaijani people have some potential’.
  • Poor family.
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • I am against any war.
  • Not religious.
  • Not patriot.
  • English.
  • Famous sports expert
  • Middle class, somewhat modern.
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • I am against war.
  • I am interested in religions but I am not a believer of them.
  • I think it’s meaningless to be proud of what you have not achieved by yourself.
  • Russian, English.
  • I am not a planning guy. I just have wishes about future. I want to be a graphic designer, travel a lot, learn languages, achieve skills like cooking, dancing.
  • Middle class, modern family. My mother is quite conservative though.
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • I was one of who opposed aggression.
  • No, I am not religious.
  • No, I am not patriot but I feel some love towards the country I was born and raised in, naturally.
  • English.
  • I want to be a developer.
  • Middle class, conservative family.
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • I was against potential war, because our poor country would be more poorer and additionally simple folk would die.
  • I am a believer, but it’s just it. I am not religious.
  • I am not patriot as much as to use hate speech or join rallies against Armenians. But when I hear Azerbaijan’s name in worldwide achievement or when our soldiers supposedly achieved victory back then, I feel patriotic.
  • Turkish, English and Russian.
  • I work as economist but I’d love to have my very own restaurant, to cook my own meal and serve.
  • Middle class and modern
  • Bachelor’s degree (continuing)
  • I was pro-war. I will explain why: I also disappointed with casualties but we didn’t see any positive outcome from 23 years of peace. Moreover we lost many soldiers during ceasefire. I would like to see all territories regained peacefully, borders changed and everything go back to normal or go to war. Because I want to see Karabakh as much as other internally displaced people.I am from Karabakh, but we were not IDP, my parents willingly moved to Sumgayit in 70s. I was born there. But I’d still like to see there, but of course soldiers shouldn’t die just because I wanted to see there. And I believe they wanted to fight and regain territories themselves, everyone was fed up.Nevertheless, if political situation remains unchanged this problem won’t be solved ever. Russia should not be around.
  • I am not religious whatsoever.
  • Yes, I am a patriot.
  • English, Turkish and Russian (advanced), French, Italian and Lithuanian (not that good)
  • My search continues. I am not really into education. I feel closer to art, however – actress or singer; or both. My life plans can change radically, because I am not a stable person.
  • Middle class and democratic family.
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • I’m peaceful person. I will never ever fight against anybody. But if someone attacks me I’ll definitely defend myself. Same applies to this subject. I don’t want to see my country in war. But if another country attacks we should stop them.
  • I’m a deist.
  • I love people all around world. I respect my motherland. Just because of my good childhood memories I feel warmhearted when they talk about Azerbaijan. Especially when you live abroad you appreciate all inches of your land. It’s culture, music, dance, cuisine, nature…
  • English, Russian, Turkish – advanced. Spanish – beginner. Azerbaijani – native.
  • At first I want to graduate major filmmaking in UCLA. And then to live and work as an actress in Los Angeles.
  • Poor or may be middle class.
  • Master’s degree.
  • I don’t want war, because I won’t fight. I can’t ask people to fight for me, it’s injustice.
  • I practice some religious rituals, but I am not sure if I am religious actually.
  • I don’t know, but I want best for my country. I don’t like pathos.
  • Russian and English
  • I want to have a child with the man I love and raise him/her as democratic, humanist and tolerant person.
  • Upper class, modern.
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • If you consider that Azerbaijan is your home, in this case you should protect it. But I don’t feel it, it’s not like home. Therefore it’s not important than my own life. Whoever wants to protect it, they are free to join army, kill or get killed. It’s not my business.
  • My father is a pilgrim, I am an atheist.
  • I am not a patriot.
  • Russian, English and currently studying German.
  • My dream is to study psychology, philosophy or sociology in Germany. If it doesn’t work out I will move to a country where marijuana is legal, acquire a license to grow it and use.

I guess it’s time for myself. I am from upper middle class, evolving conservative family. I’ve changed three universities so far, may be even fourth or who knows I might be a bachelor’s degree student till I die. I was against war for several reasons:

  • I am an individualistic anarchist, I can’t possibly support a war, where the state is involved in.
  • Sitting in Ankara and warmongering would be ethically wrong.
  • I am in favor of peaceful resolution and civil diplomacy. In my opinion, Karabakh could be a perfect place to create a confederation with Azerbaijani, Armenian and Kurdish native population. It should be under no juristiction of neither Azerbaijan nor Armenia but there should be a ‘No Visa’ policy too for both countries.
  • I am against forced military conscription.

I am an apatheist, I don’t care if there is God or not. I simply live as I please. I was a racist when I was teen, now I am not a patriot in any case. Actually, I despise patriotism now, it feels disgusting. It should not be mistaken for anti-racism though. I am anti-nationalist, I wouldn’t stand silent if someone discriminates against me just because of my ethnicity. I speak English and Turkish, I also partly speak in Norwegian and Russian. I don’t really know what I want to be in future. My greatest desire is to travel the world with woman I love. Or may be sweet embrace of death, I am not sure.

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Müstəqil tədqiqatçı, jurnalist, yazıçı, Artur Şopenhauerin "Eristik Dialektika" kitabını Azərbaycan dilinə ilk tərcüməçisidir. Bakı Araşdırmalar İnstitutunun üzvüdür və Eurasianet, BNE Intellinews, OC Media, France24, Amerikanın Səsi və digər nəşrlərdə çıxış edib.

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