“People in Baku keep the history in their hearts and open to the future” - journalist from Al Jazeera Media Network - PHOTOS | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

22 March, Friday


“People in Baku keep the history in their hearts and open to the future” - journalist from Al Jazeera Media Network - PHOTOS

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By Anastasia Lavrina, Eurasia Diary

Palestinian - Jordanian Journalist and Documentary Filmmaker, Head of the Media Advisory Board in Al Jazeera Media Network, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, Montaser Marai came to Azerbaijan as a tourist. Apart from enjoying the sites of the city he paid a visit to the International Eurasia Press Fund (IEPF), international, non-governmental organization with a long experience of collaboration with Al Jazeera Media Network. During his meeting with the president of the IEPF Umud Mirzayev, Montaser Marai was told about the key work directions of the IEPF. As a professional documentary filmmaker, he paid special attention to the short film titled “Children and the Conflict” about the life of children in the frontline regions of Azerbaijan. The film was earlier created at the production studio of the organization and presented at the United Nations office in Geneva. The sides also discussed ways for strengthening the cooperation between the structures in the near future.

In the end of the meeting, Montaser Marai shared with the correspondent of Eurasia Diary his impressions from the visit to Azerbaijan.

“It is my first journey to Azerbaijan. As always in my practice, I did not investigate anything about this country as I want to be excited when I see the things or listen about something for the first time. I came here as a tourist and I enjoyed my stay very much. I feel that every single building and street in Baku has its own story. I enjoy walking in the city and see the contrast between the past and the future. There are many new buildings and old architecture. People in Baku are very hospitable and they still keep the history in the hearts while at the same time they open to the future. So, it is kind of harmony.”

Marai was very much interested in talking with different people, specially, in the old city “Icheri Sheher”.

“As a person who is writing some literature stories about different people, I was very much interested in visiting different antique shops, talking with people, especially in the old city of Baku, because these people live within the history. The sellers are not only interested in selling you items and antiques, but they also like to have a good conversation with the customers that take you to the journey over the history.  

I can remind the story. One of the sellers recognized me in the street a day after I bought an item from him. I was walking indifferently and he recognized me. I promised to meet with him before I go back. It is interesting how people here are very simple and very open to have relations.”

According to Montaser Marai people to people communication will definitely contribute in promotion of Azerbaijan in the Arab world and it is a good reason for him to come back again.

“Of course, few days are not enough to discover Baku city and it is a good reason for me to come back again. What I feel now is that in the Arab world we do not know much about this part of the region and it is our responsibility to put more efforts to get to know each other because we share many values. Our regions are very close but before coming here I could not even imagine how Azerbaijan is close to us.  I feel like there is much work has to be done by the peoples and by the governments to introduce Azerbaijan and in my opinion, more intensive communication between us will definitely contribute into this process.”  

Interviewed by Anastasia Lavrina 

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