By | Republic Underground
Interview by Irina Tsukerman
December 20, 2020
Hello Samia, please introduce yourself.
My name is Samia Khamis, and I live in Amman, capital of Jordan. My father met my mother when he was a student at Azerbaijan Medical University, they got married, and then moved to Amman. My mother is the head of the Azerbaijani Diaspora in Jordan. I speak and write fluently in six languages and I am currently studying at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Jordan.
Tell us about your meetings and memories with HRH Princess Basma bint Talal at the annual diplomatic bazaar?
We have known Her Highness Princess Basma bint Talal for a long time. I have been representing Azerbaijan in the annual diplomatic bazaar under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Basma bint Talal for many years. Her Highness is a very educated and wise woman.
Every time we meet, she is interested in our studies, health and problems, and surely would approach our stand where we put Azerbaijani souvenirs and food on display and her highness would ask questions about Azerbaijani culture and cuisine. I would like to add that I also met with the Crown Prince of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Al-Hussein bin Abdullah, at the World Youth Forum in Egypt, he is also a very nice person.
Please tell us more about the influential organizations you have worked and volunteered with?
I am a member in several Jordanian NGOs and have worked and volunteered with many international organizations such as: UN, FIFA, AFC and Wikipedia. One of the activities that I did was when the first FIFA Women’s under 16 World Cup was held in the Middle East in Jordan in 2016. While the role of women in sport was regarded as controversial due to cultural and religious conservatism in some countries of the Middle East, this tournament was the first female world cup in the region. I am very proud to have worked in the World Cup, it was very inspiring and empowering.
I also write and create content on Wikipedia in many languages and because I speak and write fluently in Azerbaijani language, I translated a number of Azerbaijani Wikipedia articles into Arabic at the initiative of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.
How do you feel as a child of an Azerbaijani mother and a Jordanian father, living in unity between these two cultures? What inspired you to learn all these languages?
I consider myself a Jordanian-Azerbaijani citizen. My mother always tried to create an Azerbaijani atmosphere in our house, Azerbaijani cuisine, culture, language and even proverbs are an integral part of our life. She raised us up on the Azerbaijani values. My mother is fluent in 5 languages, therefore, we communicate in many languages on a daily basis.
What kind of events do you organize in Jordan that promote Azerbaijani culture and history?
Although Azerbaijanis in Jordan aren’t that many people, we are still very active. We inform the local Jordanian population about the ongoing political and economic changes in Azerbaijan. We were holding many activities before the pandemic, but we are still trying our best. We prepare a lot for the Novruz holiday every year.
My mother sprouts barley and prepares holiday desserts with the other diaspora ladies. Our local and foreign friends definitely join our holidays and celebrations. We also pay special attention to the tragedies of January 20 and the Khojaly massacre, which are the bloody history of Azerbaijan. When our lands were occupied for 30 years, we often discussed these issues, presented facts and discussed Armenian vandalism throughout the years.
Today we are very happy and proud that Karabakh is liberated from occupation. This victory is due to the wise policy of President Ilham Aliyev and the strong army of Azerbaijan. It is without a doubt one of the greatest victories in history.
On the day of the Shusha liberation, we saw that the most famous hotel in Amman was covered by our flag. Tell us about it, please.
Yes, on that day, at the initiative of the Azerbaijani Diaspora living in Jordan, the tricolor flag of Azerbaijan was displayed on the Le Royal Hotel in Amman, Jordan. It was a very beautiful sight. We held two events on that day, we visited Heydar Aliyev Square in Amman, we walked with our flags on our shoulders. Unfortunately, coronavirus restrictions have prevented us from holding larger celebrations with more people, but despite it all, we were able to gather our friends around us and celebrated our victory.