Azerbaijan International

Spring 2001 (9.1)
Page 12

Reader's Forum
Our Global World

There are still a few months left before I have to return to Baku after studying as an exchange student here in Saratoga Springs, New York, where I attend Greenwich High School and study Economics nearby at Skidmore College.

I've noted on several occasions that Azerbaijani students have written in your magazine that they are offended when Americans don't know where our country is located. But I think people ask simply because of lack of exposure. I've made presentations to various groups like the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts and the Lions Club, where I've had the chance to speak about our history, ancient cities, traditions and our present position in the world community. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to tell Americans about my culture and, in general, I'd have to say that I've found people curious and interested.

Many have told me that they cannot imagine how we made it through the Soviet years. They admire our drive to gain independence, although they realize it was very tough. A few people even knew about the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918-1920). Naturally, people express their interest in our oil industry as well as the Karabakh conflict.

I was especially touched when one child asked me to check his pronunciation of "Azerbaijan", "Baku" and "Karabakh". He wanted to remember these words "for the future", he told me.

I find that the more I speak about my country, the more interested people become. I'd just like to say it's great to be part of the growing awareness that is creating the global community of today.

Vusal T. Khanlarov, 18
Saratoga Springs, New York

From Azerbaijan International (9.1) Spring 2001.
© Azerbaijan International 2001. All rights reserved.

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