“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” – Muhammad Ali
A house belonging to an Armenian family pillaged by Azeris in Sumgait in 1988
STEPANAKERT—The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Foreign Ministry issued an announcement on Wednesday draws attention to the unpunished pogroms committed against the Armenian population of Sumgait 25 years ago.
“Sumgait became the first victims of Azerbaijan’s policy of terror aimed at the Armenians of Karabakh who in the preceding week had officially declared their intention to exercise their right to self-determination,” said the announcement.
Below is the translated text of the announcement provided by the Foreign Ministry of Artsakh:
Mass murders and pogroms of Armenians took place from 27 to 29 February, 1988 in Sumgait, a city located less than 30 kilometers away from the Azerbaijani capital Baku. For three days, upon the silent agreement of the authorities and complete inaction of the law enforcement agencies people were being murdered, raped and maimed for the mere reason of being Armenian. Dozens of killed, hundreds of maimed and thousands of Armenians expelled from Sumgait became the first victims of Azerbaijan’s policy of terror aimed at the Armenians of Karabakh who in the preceding week had officially declared their intention to exercise their right to self-determination. In spite of the peaceful and legitimate nature of those manifestations in Nagorno Karabakh, Azerbaijan from the very beginning rejected dialogue, resorted to the language of threats and intimidation and pursued policy of violent oppression of the free will of the people of Artsakh.
Unfortunately, the Sumgait massacre has not received an adequate political and legal assessment of the international community yet. Moreover, silencing the truth about the Sumgait tragedy, concealing its true causes, and the impunity granted to its masterminds paved the way for ethnic cleansing carried out throughout Azerbaijan. It reached its climax during the bloody massacres and mass deportations of Armenians of Baku in January 1990, which later led to a full-scale military aggression against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
The tragic events in Sumgait laid the fertile ground and contributed to the further development of the zealous hatred towards Armenians and anything Armenian continuously and successively implanted in Azerbaijan and its society.
In today’s Azerbaijan, despite the international community’s calls to prepare its population for peace instead of war, xenophobia, intolerance and belligerence are being spread. Anyone in Azerbaijan, who stands for building any bridges to Armenians is severely intimidated and ostracized by the Government. At the same time, the Azerbaijani army officer, who was convicted in Hungary to a life sentence for the brutal Sumgait-type murder of the fellow Armenian classmate, is being glorified as a national hero and role model for youth.
25 years later we pay tribute to the innocent victims of the Sumgait tragedy, and call on the international community to express its firm and unambiguous position in relation to that crime against humanity. A clear and unequivocal assessment of those mass murders and pogroms and condemnation of the forces behind them will both prevent the recurrence of such crimes and contribute to the moral improvement of the Azerbaijani society.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
This is as beautiful to my heart as any song of worship, for it is directed to a lesser known god of the Armenian pantheon predating Christianity. Tir or Deer (truthfully, I’ve always wondered if the Armenian Der doesn’t come from this god’s name) was the God of literature, science and art, but is also believed to have had a place at the very top of the pantheon. Tir was an attendant incorporeal spirit, also known as Krogh (“writer”), whom Aramazd sent to earth to watch men and record in a book their good and evil deeds. After death, human souls were conducted by Tir to Aramazd, who used the information ascribed by the god to determine what should happen after death. In a village near Vargharshapat, there was a temple for Tir where the priests interpreted dreams after consulting his oracle.
The influence of Tir was great in Armenia, for he was a personification of hope and fear. There are traces of the cult of this god in the Armenian language. You can still hear, used as a curse, the expression, “May Krogh take you!”
For any culture to move forward, I believe they need to know only acknowledge but embrace their history, the past that has shaped them and the legends on which their current religion and culture are based upon. Once the root has been forgotten or demolished, it is rather easy to extinguish a whole race.
Greek Orthodox Abbot of the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, Archimandrite Claudius, looks at a car sprayed with anti-Christian graffiti reading ‘price tag’ and slashed tires outside his monastery on December 12, 2012
JERUSALEM—Vandals sprayed anti-Christian graffiti on Jerusalem’s Monastery of the Cross and at an Armenian cemetery overnight, Agence France Presse reported.
Father Claudius, the monastery’s abbot, said he had noticed the graffiti at 4:30 am local time when he got up to pray.
Vandals spray-painted “Death to Christianity” and “Jesus, son of a whore” on the Greek Orthodox monastery in Jerusalem.
The attacks drew a strong condemnation from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who expressed “disgust” over the incidents, his office said.
Outside the Monastery of the Cross near the Israeli parliament, vandals also slashed the tires of three cars belonging to staff, and wrote “price tag” and “Happy Hanukkah” the Jewish holiday now being observed.
“This is the seventh time this has happened,” he told reporters at the scene, saying that if the vandals had simply knocked on the door he would have invited them in for tea to talk to them about his faith.
“The Jewish values by which we were raised, and by which we raise our children, firmly reject such actions,” Netanyahu said in the statement. “Freedom of worship for all religions in Israel will be preserved and we will take legal action against the immoral people who committed these crimes.”