Friendship! This word itself is associated in people's minds with the strength of bonds and relations that cannot be broken and cannot be rejected. Friendship means both unity of views and fidelity in a relationship, as well as reckless desire to help a friend in his hour of need and support him, being the shoulder.
I need this brief preamble to tell about my friend, the international association AzIz, which proudly, sincerely, honestly and faithfully serves a real friendship - friendship between Azerbaijan and Israel. With the full support and assistance of the association and its general director Lev Spivak, my novel 'Black Snowdrops', created in co-authorship with Leila Begim, as well as 'Karabakh Stories' by Gunel Anarqizi were translated into Czech and published in Prague.
With the support of the Azerbaijani Embassy in the Czech Republic, the international association AzIz prepared and conducted a presentation of the book in the Marble Hall of the Lucerna Palace, the cradle of the Barrandov studios. It was a Khojaly tragedy commemorative evening.
The presentation aroused great interest among representatives of diplomatic missions, journalists, representatives of the artistic community of the Czech Republic and numerous immigrants from Azerbaijan.
The chairman of the Writers' Union of Azerbaijan, writer Anar left Baku only to attend the presentation of the book.
The ambassador of Azerbaijan to the Czech Republic Farid Shafiyev addressed the audience. He noted the importance of publishing such a collection in Czech translation. "We are sure that this book will provide an even greater understanding between our peoples and strengthen friendship between the three countries," the ambassador said. Mr. Shafiyev shared with the audience the new idea of the authors of novel 'Black Snowdrops' - Yefim Abramov and Leila Begim. "The idea is to create a feature film based on the novel. Implementing such a film project can become a significant cultural cinematographic event in both the Czech Republic and Azerbaijan. We will take an active part in promoting this project and hopefully will be able to implement it together with the Barrandov studios," he said.
The writer Anar spoke about tragic events, about people's pain and memory, about zero-tolerance with regard to such things in the future. He thanked the authors, expressed gratitude to the general director of AzIz, the embassy of Azerbaijan and the audience for the attention, for the excellent book, for the interest in the history of Azerbaijan and promised to work with Israeli writers on the pages of literary publications more closely.
The head of the Israeli delegation, Lev Spivak, spoke about the friendship between the Israeli and Czech military pilots, which arose in the earliest days of the state of Israel and grew stronger every year. On behalf of the delegation, he thanked Eldar Valiev for the excellent translation from Russian and Azerbaijani languages into the Czech language.
Theatrical actor Kristopher Nohynek read an excerpt from the novel 'Black Snowdrops' and 'Letter to the Father' from 'Karabakh Stories'. His heartfelt and emotional performance made a strong impression on the audience and was greeted with prolonged applause.
There was a great performance of the student of the Prague Conservatory Eva Ashumova in the Marble Hall of the Lucerna Palace. The pianist performed 'Claire de Lune' by Claude Debussy, 'March' by the Azerbaijani composer Vagif Mustafazade and 'Elegy' of her own composition.
The next day the Israeli delegation visited Terezin - Terezin ghetto. It is located along the Ohře River, a few kilometers from the town of Litoměřice. During the war, about 140,000 people (including 15,000 children) got into this camp, of which about 33 thousand died there, about 88,000 inhabitants were deported to Auschwitz and other extermination camps and killed. Most of these people were Jews. Terezin was liberated by Soviet troops on May 9, 1945.
We, members of the delegation, were standing at numerous graves for several minutes, near Magen David, at the entrance, where they charge entrance fees, at the ice walls of the concentration camp and were silent. We were standing in the February frosty wind, depressed and confused. We, adults who raised children and helped our children raise their own children, did not know the words that could somehow express our feelings. And not even feelings, but emptiness inside and inexplicable pain. Pain that cannot be realized and understood, that cannot fit in the universal consciousness of the whole world!
We have been tied with invisible stitches of pain at the tragic events of the 1940s and the pain at the terrible February night of 1992
We will remember! We will never forget and will not allow this to happen in the future!
We will remember you always!