By | Leyla Sarabi
March 3, 2021
Image credit: Leyla Sarabi as she appears in the broadcast which she has shared with Republic Underground for fair use redistribution.
The following is the transcript associated with the footage of Aghdam’s destruction during the Karabakh war. Azerbaijani journalist Leyla Sarabi bravely ventured into Aghdam to see what had become of the city so closely associated now in international minds with the events of the Khojaly massacre in 1992.
Transcript of Leyla Sarabi’s coverage as follows:
Who said it is not possible to turn back the clock? Today the time itself is going to return to its childhood with me. It is not a miracle. It is my story.
This is Aghdam – my homeland which I was forcibly separated from years ago when I was 3 years old and now hurry to be embraced.
On July 23rd, 1993 my hometown was occupied by the Armenian army. On November 20th, 2020 according to the terms of the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces entered the city of Aghdam. And I got rid of the internally displaced person status.
For many years I have lived in European cities and I assure you that in the place of this ruined view you see, there was once the city of Aghdam, which did not differ from the most beautiful cities in Europe. And this is the second bread museum in the world that was devastated by Armenians.
This video footage of Agdam was provided courtesy of journalist Leyla Sarabi.
The first thing I do in all the cities I traveled to, is to see historical monuments. When I say historical monuments, I also mean religious temples. During my time in Strasbourg, I regularly visited the city’s largest cathedral. Because for us Azerbaijanis the symbols on the religious temple do not have importance. The main thing for us is that it is the house of God. It should be loved equally. This is Aghdam Mosque. The Armenian occupants who had turned the whole city into Hiroshima had destroyed the houses did not touch only this museum to keep pigs here and insult our religion.
During the Second Karabakh War, I was talking to Mr. Jan Peren, who was the first French ambassador to Azerbaijan. Mr. Peran revealed several influential facts about the Karabakh war. He said that in 1994, several foreign diplomats, as well as a UN delegation left for Karabakh. They hoped to meet with Armenians to present the four UN resolutions to them.
However, Armenians fire not only Azerbaijani soldiers, but also foreign diplomats and the UN delegation. Mr. Peren also asked me to send him some photos of the liberated territories of Karabakh. When my mother was internally displaced from Karabakh, she was only 29. And over these years her biggest dream was to return to her homeland. My mother had told me to bring her Aghdam soil if our motherland was liberated from the occupation. I will honor her wish. I had promised my mother to bring her Aghdam soil.
My mother passed away from severe cancer 4 years ago. Thousands of Karabakh people like her lived their lives incomplete far from their homes and hometowns. Armenian terror has shattered the hopes and future of each of the 1 million Karabakh people expelled from Karabakh 30 years ago. Therefore, as our President said, Azerbaijan saved the Caucasus from fascism by liberating its territory from occupation. Because sooner or later justice must be served. Because Karabakh is Azerbaijan.