Spring 1999 (7.1)
Stalin's Oppression - "The Morning of That Night" by Anar, page 38.
"The Morning of that Night" has the makings of a thriller right out of Hollywood. except that the plot line is based on the real fear that paralyzed Soviet citizens during Stalin's rule when hundreds of thousands of them were sent into exile or executed. Azerbaijan's masterful storyteller Anar describes what happens when a black car pulls up outside the apartment complex at 2 o'clock in the morning. What is each person thinking as he lies in bed straining to hear the sound of those dreaded footsteps climbing the stairs?
World War II - Children's Play by Magsud Ibrahimbeyov (48) & Yusif Samadoglu (51).
Kids have been playing war throughout the world and throughout all ages. Some of the most poignant stories about the impact World War II had on Azerbaijan were written about children's play. See Magsud Ibrahimbeyov & Yusif Samadoglu.
Bakhtiyar Vahabzade - Profile of a Dissident, page 65.
Bakhtiyar Vahabzade is probably the closest thing to a dissident poet that Azerbaijan produced during the mid-20th century since, unlike Moscow, there was no American Embassy in Baku, and, therefore, little chance to smuggle works out. Therefore, Vahabzade had to deal with the censors if he wanted to get his works published. Here's how he did it.
Independence Period (1991- ), page 71.
"It's an owl - but can it fly?" wonders sculptor Fazil Najafov. The same thing can be asked about the new Independence period of Azerbaijan. Can this country truly secure its self-rule and self-determination? The literary works of this period suggest that it won't be an easy job.
"Don't Call Me Refugee" by Lamiya Safarova, page 78.
"It feels like I don't exist in the world. I'm just a migrant bird far away from my home," writes Lamiya about her experience when enemy soldiers forced everyone to evacuate her village of Jabrayil in 1993. When kids at her new school in Baku started calling her names, the pain cut too deeply. She went home and wrote a poem, "Don't Call Me Refugee." She hasn't stopped writing since.
From Azerbaijan International (7.1) Spring 1999.
© Azerbaijan International 1999. All rights reserved.