The Liberation of Our Occupied Lands Brought Us Unspeakable Joy!

The Liberation of Our Occupied Lands Brought Us Unspeakable Joy!

By Tomris Azeri

Rich with pride and patriotism, Azerbaijan’s national anthem has the power to unite our people, no matter where we live.

Azerbaycan! Azerbaycan!

Ey qehreman övladın şanlı Veteni!

Sendən ötrü can vermeye cümlə hazırız!

Azerbaijan! Azerbaijan!

Cherished land of brave people,

We are ready to give our heart and life for you.

Make no mistake, No matter where we live, in our hearts we love, devoted to, and are deeply attached to our homeland. Karabakh is our homeland too.  We can never forget that. When an occupying force invaded our lands over 30 years ago, forcing nearly one million Azerbaijanis out of their ancestral homelands in Karabakh, the seven surrounding territories and as well as Armenia where many thousands of Azerbaijani families lived for centuries, it broke our hearts.  Naturally, the recent liberation of occupied lands brought us unspeakable joy.  We did not think we would live to see this great day; we are still in shock, euphoric, dazzled by this sudden turn of events in our favor.  Our determination to liberate our lands was always very high. Azerbaijan and its government has spent the past few decades maintaining alliances with strategic partners like Turkey, Russia and Israel, while building a strong and capable military, strong enough and ready to liberate our lands. We are very proud, and we honor the memories of those who made the great sacrifice for the love of homeland.

We will always support  our homeland.  The Azerbaijani-American Diaspora community is united to more effectively advocate for Azerbaijan and its perspective. The mobilization of Diaspora Azerbaijanis was conspicuous; we’ve lobbied our governments for support for Azerbaijan, we were very active organizing demonstrations and collecting humanitarian aid for wounded soldiers and their families. Many organizations and individuals collected large amounts of funds to send back to needy families. This was never seen before. Our youth were very active on social media; they connected and engaged in conversations in support of their homeland, a most important task.

Diaspora Azerbaijanis can be found in many countries all over the world, from California to Australia, Europe to Georgia. Nearly all of us have left our homeland in search of opportunity, as with most Diaspora communities, and we endeavor to adapt to our new countries, like all immigrants everywhere. Our organization, the Azerbaijan Society of America, established in 1957, is the oldest Diaspora Organization representing Azerbaijani Americans. For 34 years prior to the restoration of Azerbaijan’s independence in 1991, the Azerbaijani Diaspora community of America was able to keep our identity, raise our flag, proudly recite Azerbaijan’s national anthem,  preserve our language and cultural heritage while we lived in America.  Today. numbers of our Diaspora community and organizations are growing here in the USA. We are getting more active and more involved.

We are proud Azerbaijanis, never forgetting that Karabakh is Azerbaijan, and we are Azerbaijanis, no matter where we venture forth.  We carry Azerbaijan in our hearts  with us wherever we are and Karabakh is a part of that, always was and always will be.