Azerbaijani Diasporan student in the Netherlands delivers powerful speech

By | Rachel Brooks

March 12, 2021 

Images courtesy of the Azerbaijani Diasporan Community, fair use.

The Dutch-language news service Leo Middelse reported on March 5 that, on March 8, a competition was to be held hosted by the OSG Piter Jelles school. The contestants of the speech competition are attending a bilingual studies programs. They were set to deliver their speeches in English. The speech theme was “a story that moved me.”

The contestant pool was selected from second and third grade students who were winners of HAVO contests all over the Netherlands.  For Montesseri High School in the  Netherlands, the finalists were Aïda Gasjimova and Sam van Balen.

Gasjimova delivered remarks with a powerful message regarding the displaced people of the Karabakh conflict. Her speech was entitled “One-Sided News” and recalled the biases in western media regarding the Karabakh conflict.

Speech transcript 

War, it’s something that almost every country had or even

Is experiencing. In this speech, I’m going to talk about the war that has been going on between Azerbaijan and Armenia in a place that is called Nagorno-Karabach, Karabach is a province that is in Azerbaijan, where both folks lived together. 

On February 26th, 1992 the Armenians commited genocide in a province called Khojaly against the Azeri’s, with the help of Russia. After that they took over Karabach and seven other provinces, they burned people’s houses down and forced them to leave within one hour, my dad’s house also got burned down during this.

 In total, one million people had to leave their house. You wouldn’t want to know what horrible stuff Armenians did to children, mothers, fathers, elders, and even newborns. Till this day on Armenians still live in Karabach. On November nine 2020 Russia Armenia and Azerbaijan declared a weapon stoppage. 

The Armenians and Azerbaijan people are going to live together in Karabach and those one million people can return to their own house. I hope and believe that after this there is going to be peace and no more war. Enough talking about history, the Dutch media also has a role in this because it’s one-sided. The Dutch media shows to be on Armenia’s side by taking interviews from Armenian people who live in the Netherlands to even an Armenian doctor who works here in the Netherlands who told them awful stuff about Azerbaijan, but they don’t ask people from Azerbaijan who lives in the Netherlands.

 My dad who is into informing people about this has his foundation called the Azerbaijaanse Cultural House. It’s like a club and an online page with information filled about this subject. My dad of course wants to share his side and perspective because he has experienced the war himself when he lived in Azerbaijan. He has emailed news programs, newspapers, and anything you can think of, but not one person has helped him further in this and has just ignored him. This is not acceptable, journalist and tv programs can not give out one-sided information about a serious topic. Not only will there be false information spread, but will the image of Azerbaijan be completely different and will we be seen as the bad guy. 

If you search up this topic online there will be news articles online about Armenians and their territory and Armenians this and that. Imagine this: when I’m an adult and I happen to get into a car crash and I immediately need to go to the hospital and the doctor happens to be an Armenian, can you imagine that I would be scared and wonder what would happen to me? 

When I grow up I want to become a journalist to prevent false or one-sided information from being spread and my main message to everyone is that no matter which news program gives out information (even when it’s from nos) don’t always directly believe it. Thank you for listening.