Spring 2001 (9.1)
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
T. Khanlarov, 18
Saratoga Springs, New York
(9.1) Spring 2001.
© Azerbaijan International 2001. All rights reserved.
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