My book “Secrets of Gandzak (Kirovabad) and Northern Artsakh” published in Moscow in 1998 was sent together with a letter to Your father, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. I had irrefutable evidence that on the northern part of historical Artsakh, after the deportation of Armenians in 1988-1992, with the permission of Azerbaijan authorities, all the traces of Armenian cultural heritage, including thousands of graveside stones, khachkars with Armenian characters, churches, monasteries, are being destroyed. Taking into account that they are also the heritage common to all mankind culture, I asked not to allow any vandalism towards these values.
I assure You, that in relation to the protection of the monuments, cultural heritage, our position differs by no means from the order, generally accepted in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Our Charity Foundation, while studying and making a list of 520 monuments of the culture and history of Shoushi town and its surroundings, avoided inter-ethnic differences. You can be ascertained by it in the scientific article of Professor Kertmenjian on the monuments of Islamic culture, which is put in the electronic site of the scientific and popular journal of “Shoushi” Foundation, www.journal.shoushi.am. Moreover, we offer all scientists, irrespective of religious and ethnic belonging, to participate in the publications of our journal. But up to now we receive only oaths and threat of violence. Apparently, the book did not only assisted in the issue of the protection of monuments, but serves as a guide for the elaboration of the methods for the destruction of these monuments. I also sent the book “Heidar Aliev: Who am I?” together with the letter, while asking the president to let us know about his remarks or his opinion. But, as I see, Heidar Aliev didn’t manage to find time to answer my letter.
Unfortunately, up to now, on the whole territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan the destruction of Armenian traces continue, including the monuments of culture and history. Such acts of vandalism are the destruction of the unique cemetery of the Ancient Dgougha in Nakhichevan region as well as other monuments which are best-known by the world community.
Mr. President, such an attitude towards the cultural heritage in Azerbaijan, which is significant to all mankind, accompanied by etching Azeri children of school-age against Armenians, hostility, sense of irreconcilability, doesn’t promise anything good to them and to the future of their country. In this case we have big divergences too. As an example, I can offer my book for the children of school-age “Celestial Nut”, which was published recently in Moscow. In the book, Karabakh and Azeri teenagers, as well as representatives of other countries participate in the game, understand and defend each other, become friends, mutually speak against the war, which was broken by the adults. What will the future of our region look like, will they be able to develop on equal pace with the development of modern civilization or will they be again in captivity of inter-ethnic conflicts and wars? This depends on the way how we bring up and teach our children. Will they treat each other with tolerance or will they continue to fight against each other?
I send this book to You with the hope that You will create conditions for the Azeri children to read it. I am sure that this book and the following stories will serve for the mutual understanding of our nations in the future because the propaganda of the war and hostility between the nations has no future. I also ask for your remarks which I will take into account in the future publications of the serial.
Mr. Ilham Heidarovich, a group of Armenian writers tried in vain (with the help of OSCE) to find a possibility to meet Azeri writers, to mutually create a web-site, publish the stories of Armenian and Azeri writers in 4 languages, to find a common language, to assist in the mutual understanding and rapprochement of our nations. I hope that You will find time to comply with my request and will respond to my letter.
Writer, publicist, manager of the Charity Foundation “Shoushi” Bakour Karapetian.