Ophthalmologist Kamala Aliyeva living in Nakhchivan. She is also one of the thousands of people displaced from their homeland as a result of the occupation policy of the hated enemy. She married and moved to Nakhchivan. Every time I talked to her about Aghdam, her eyes filled with tears, she spoke with a burning heart about her childhood in Aghdam and the events she witnessed during the years of occupation. Our meeting this time is different. This time we are not talking about the anniversary of the occupation of Aghdam, but about the liberation of Aghdam. Our hearts beat with pride, our eyes fill with tears of joy. We congratulate each other and thank the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the Azerbaijani Army, who gave us this happiness.
My interviewee talks about Aghdam
I was born in 1981 in the city of Aghdam. I also received my secondary education there. I was 11 years old when Aghdam was torn from us. I often close my eyes and dream of Aghdam. The first thing I miss is its fresh air. Then fruit trees, mountains, rivers. There was a forest strip called “Huru’s forest” in Aghdam. Walnut trees were planted from head to toe. You know, there were a lot of green areas in Aghdam. There were not many wild trees and plants in the forests. More willow, walnut and hazelnut trees were grown. The relief of the region was mainly plain and partly mountainous, so it was very suitable for agriculture and cattle breeding. The Gargar and Khachin rivers flow through its territory. The fauna and flora are very rich. I would like to note the fact that Kharibulbula could be found not only in Shusha, but also in Agdam. There is a forest of the same name in Abdal Gulabli village of the region. Here, as you can see, Haribulbul finished. In every village and every street of Aghdam you could find a historical monument, an example of architecture and art. “Monument to Uzerliktepe”, “Dome of Gutlu Sari Musa oglu”, the building of Karabakh khan Panahali khan in Aghdam, the tombs of Khan gizi Natava and her son, “Shahbulag fortress” are a small part of the rich history here. Aghdam was also the cradle of religion and culture. The Besikdash Church, the Gavurgala Church, the Kichan Monastery, the famous Aghdam Friday Mosque, and the Papravand Mosque built here allow us to say that there was respect for people of all faiths. Religious discrimination was never tolerated. Aghdam was such a place.
The horror of the war I saw in Aghdam
Aghdam was the first center of the military aggression launched by Armenia in February 1988 to occupy Nagorno-Karabakh. Although the occupation of Aghdam ended on July 23, 1993, the region fought hard for about 5 years. We went to school under the sound of gunfire and bombs. We had no intention of leaving the district. Therefore, we did not bring a single item from our house or property. Aghdam not only fought for its freedom, but also tried to protect the residents of the neighboring region who took refuge here. The image of the victims of the 1992 Khojaly genocide is still in front of my eyes. I remember that after the genocide, Khojaly residents flocked to Agdam. There were barefoot women, crying children and wounded soldiers along the way. For days, my uncles and relatives transported Khojaly residents and wounded to the city. The car seats were covered in blood. The wounded were taken to hospital and the bodies to Aghdam mosque. At that time, my mother brought home a little girl from Khojaly who had lost both parents. Later, we were able to find his surviving relatives. Since 1992, the war in Aghdam has intensified. Life was already very dangerous. Every hour a house and a settlement were bombed. My two sisters and I were sent to our relatives in Baku. But, unfortunately, patriotism was not enough to protect Aghdam. The hated enemy was armed from head to toe. We confronted them with simple firearms. Thus, the war intensified in May 1993, and on July 23, Aghdam was occupied.
For me, Aghdam was also a father’s grave that I had never seen
There is a grave of my father in Aghdam, which I could never pray to. My martyred relatives remained. We lived with the dream of Aghdam for 27 years. Over the years, we have never lost hope. Every time I saw in my dream that we had returned to Agdam, our house, the white tongues of the piano I had just begun to learn. So, some dreams came true … As a child, I remember very well that people walked on the enemy with an ax in their hands, women fought to the last breath, and set themselves on fire to avoid falling into the hands of the enemy. This nation is invincible, powerful and strong-willed. Of course, we would drive the enemy out of our native lands. At the expense of their patrons, in the darkness of the night, in the storm of winter, we took back the lands that had been treacherously occupied by women, the elderly and children, at the cost of our own strength, the lives and blood of our sons. We showed courage on the battlefield, fought hand in hand when necessary, and used modern weapons when necessary. We showed the location of the enemy. Under the leadership of our Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Azerbaijan has written a new history. Our victory was born of our unity. The whole world has seen that this nation is able to get what it deserves. He has a strong army, a determined Supreme Commander-in-Chief and an invincible people.
“20” – Victory number …
Mr. President, Mr. Supreme Commander-in-Chief, in the 44-day Patriotic War, he taught the enemy a lesson that they will never forget as long as the world stands still. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, who brought our victory on the battlefield to the diplomatic level, forced Armenia to sign an act of surrender. According to the agreement, the Armenians were forced to evacuate my ancestral homeland of Agdam by November 20. I will never forget this date. I will always remember November 20, 2020 as the day when Aghdam was liberated from Armenian occupation. For several days, Armenians have been burning Kalbajar and Agdam before moving. They can do this easily because the land belongs to someone else, not to them. Thanks to these vandal acts, Armenians are exposing themselves. How can a man burn his land to ashes? So, you are a stranger to these places. You have occupied Aghdam, Kalbajar and other ancestral lands. The enemy who destroys homes, schools, forests, and even farm animals must know that we are coming to build those places. As they say, riding on someone else’s horse falls quickly. Azerbaijan has once again demonstrated a policy of humanism against the Armenians of the world. Today, they can easily return to Armenia without being subjected to any aggression or genocide. But in the 90s of the last century, they did not show us this humanism. They did not even feel sorry for pregnant women, the elderly and children. But we … Long story short. Aghdam also says “Karabakh is Azerbaijan”. The white days of Aghdam begin after that. I returned to my homeland. I express my deep gratitude to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief and the army formed by him for giving us this joy. We also had an end to our patience. This patience turned into an iron fist and struck the enemy on the head.
I lived in Nakhchivan as an Aghdam native
Fate led me to move to Nakhchivan because I was married. Today I live in Khalilli village of Babek region and work as an ophthalmologist at the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Hospital. During these years, Nakhchivan has become very close to me. Thanks to the hospitality and kindness of people, I have never felt like I was in a strange place. In short, I mingled with the people and became united with Nakhchivan. Hoping to go from Nakhchivan to Agdam by land soon …
Author: Lala ALLAHVERDIYEVA
Translator: Emin Gulmammadov