We deserve better
Azeri, NOT a forgotten identity
By Elyar Gizilchi
August 7, 2003
Why does every Iranian think he or she is a politician?
Every one thinks they know all about Iran, its politics and policies,
people and its culture, its past and recent history. But I'm
sorry for the breaking news, "you have no idea."
To begin I have a simple question for our friend here [Azeri
nationalism is Iranian nationalism] criticizing
our other friend [Are
there any questions?] about his pre-mature sense of national pride,
Baraitna, can you tell me what an ethnic group is? Or is it beyond
your level of highly sophisticated mind that analyses twisted
political and racial issues. I wonder...
What makes a group an ethnic one? It can't be only about
the color of skin. An ethnic group is a minority in a society
with a different racial background. For example the Kurds have
always been referred to as an ethnic minority, although they
are much closer to the Persians and they have a sub Persian language.
Where as the Azeris speak a Turkic language, a language that
spoken mostly in south east of Siberia. There are no doubts that
Azeris are a part of a different racial group which is a minority
I totally appreciate your love for the Azeri people by mentioning
a few names. But that does not mean you know the history of the
people and the circumstances under which they had to make decisions.
In Tabriz Sattar Khan's house of the revolutionaries, where
they made decisions, was next to my great grandfather's house,
a good friend of Sattar Khan, by the way. I was not born at the
time but I've been close to people who were. Their reason
for their movement was totally a different thing that what we
read in history books, obviously edited by some Persians. They
Khan and Bagher Khan) both wanted respect, prosperity, fairness
and equality for their people; it just happened that the Persians
shared the benefits.
You read the books and my grandfathers have lived the times.
We lost our lands during the Pishevari movement, labeled capitalists;
my family had to move to Tehran. So I'm not really in favor
of the Soviet backed movement to separate Azerbaijan from Iran,
or Pishevari and his Soviet friends. As I said most of you guys
living outside Iran know only how to talk the talk but you don't
know how to walk the walk.
In some ways I agree with you. But don't forget we the
people of Azerbaijan have the right to read and write in our
follow our customs and habits and have Azeri names for our children,
rights that have been taken away from us for many years now.
Why should we forget who we are? Why should a race of people,
culture and language be sacrificed for another? For a greater
Iran as you put it, especially in a country that the same ethnic
minority is doing all the work.
Do you think that speaking our
own language would make us want to be separated from Iran?
I don't see Azerbaijan being separated from Iran, no never;
we have put so much in these lands to let it all go. But I
see a Greater Azerbaijan all over Iran. As you implied, the
does NOT belong only to the Persians.
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