Azerbaijan International

Spring 2002 (10.1)


Montana native and "rogue reporter" Thomas Goltz was one of the first on the scene during Azerbaijan's early days of independence and the Karabakh War. On February 26, 1992, Goltz got wind of a hushed-up rumor about a massacre of Azerbaijanis in Khojali. Determined to learn the truth, he rushed out to see for himself. His gripping, passionate retelling of those days is reprinted here. Goltz is organizing the third annual motorcycle rally this summer, which travels the 1,000-mile route along the proposed pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan) to Turkey, and this year on to Athens. Page 40.
While journalist Kathy Lally was stationed in Moscow for the Baltimore Sun, she wrote a number of fascinating human-interest stories about the people of Azerbaijan. AI readers will remember her story about the Azerbaijanis living in the Talysh Mountains, who are famous for their longevity (AI 9.2, Summer 2001). She has also written about Azerbaijan's artists and refugee populations. Lally is now stateside, as she works in Baltimore as an Editor on the Sun's foreign desk. See her story about the Saatli refugee camp on page 32.

"With each photo I take, I try to capture the feeling of a person or place or thing," says Algerina Perna, photographer for the Baltimore Sun. Accompanying Kathy Lally on a visit to Azerbaijan last year, she vividly portrayed the experience of everyday life in the Saatli refugee camp, where refugees still live in box cars parked along a railroad siding. Especially poignant are her photos of refugees receiving the gift of quilts sewn for them by volunteers in the United States. Page 32.


At first, Azerbaijan didn't look so inviting to Colin Love, Central and Eastern Europe Academic Projects Coordinator for the U.K.'s Nottingham Trent University. He had arrived in Baku in 1993 with the intent of using the business school's expertise to help management students in Azerbaijan. Before long, however, his reservations disappeared and he fell in love with the country and its people. Nine years later, he still remains committed to helping Azerbaijani youth receive high-quality education. Page 50.


Reza Fathollahzadeh, an engineering professor in Sydney who is originally from South Azerbaijan (in Iran), has a dream that one day all Azerbaijanis will be able to read their language in the same alphabet. He has taught himself to read Azeri in the Arabic, Cyrillic and Latin alphabets; Latin, he believes, is the option that makes the most sense in the long term, especially given the recent growth of the "Latin-centric" Internet. As part of an informal movement in the direction of Latin, he has presented papers on the topic and reflects what many Azerbaijanis are feeling today. Page 65.

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