Aaron in Azerbaijan

Just another blog about Azerbaijan.

Posts Tagged ‘Culture

Why Peace Corps is Important: 9/11 and the Third Goal, Ctd.

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Before we move on from the topic, this is just an addendum to my thoughts on how Peace Corps can help heal from days like 9/11 as we slide past the 10th anniversary of the tragedy. Today was my first day back at the bank after the anniversary. While I am cognizant of the tragedy of 9/11 and understanding of the grief it causes for many, I am not so strongly swayed by the memory of that day. However, it was touching today as my colleagues talked about the 9/11 disaster with respect. Multiple expressed to me what a terrible day that was for the world. One even commented that he was surprised when a friend attended a wedding on Sunday, believing that having a celebration on a day of tragedy is inappropriate. A few others expressed how much they dislike Bin Laden and what he and Al Qaeda stand for.

Whether they say these things because I’m there and because I’m American, I can’t know. Yet, it’s still a reminder that there is such a thing as humankind, where we can feel solidarity with one another and understand each other across borders, across oceans, and across cultures. This is an experience I would like for more people to have.


Written by Aaron

September 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm

A Sunday Poem

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This week’s poem is My Tabriz (Təbrizim) by Suleyman Rustam (Süleyman Rüstəm).  It describes the Iranian city of Tabriz, a city with deep historical Azeri Turkish roots:

My Tabriz

I never get tired of looking at your beauty,
My Tabriz, my Tabriz, my gorgeous Tabriz!

I won’t let you embrace strangers,
Let me fling my arms round your neck!
Your brother speaking your language, having your blood,
Your close friend sharing your distress
Has come to your festivity, to your celebration.

You met me with salt and bread,
You met me with flowers from your garden,
You met me with your honest heart,
My Tabriz, my Tabriz, oh, my Tabriz,
Let the mists lift away from above your head, my Tabriz!

Those who have undergone isolation can value you,
Those who have shed tears while parting cherish you,
Those who have lived dark lives can value you,
I picked flowers from your garden, my Tabriz,
My sorrow revived again, my Tabriz!

How beautiful the willows are along the roads,
And boys of courage under the shadow of the willows
Are listening to the advice of their grandfathers,
And their blood boils up, my Tabriz,
These courageous boys are wonderful, my Tabriz!

I’ll cry if you’re crying, I’ll laugh if you’re laughing,
I’ll live if you’re living, I’ll die if you are no more,
I’ll share all I have with you,
Let me kiss you once more, my Tabriz!
Let me scatter flowers around you, my Tabriz!

What do those deep, meaningful looks mean?
What do the rains coming out of your eyes mean?
What do those autumns and winters in your soul mean?
Don’t be downcast like an orphan, my Tabriz!
Don’t be so mournful, my Tabriz!

I beg your flowers!
I beg your tongue to call me “Brother”!
I beg your land and your ground!
I never get tired of looking at your beauty,
My Tabriz, my Tabriz, my gorgeous Tabriz!

Read below for the Azeri version. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Aaron

July 31, 2011 at 1:04 pm