On September 3, 2023, at 18:00, an event titled "Journey to the Ethno-Cultural Landscape of West Azerbaijan" was organized by the Ministry of Culture in front of the Heydar Aliyev Center. The aim of the event is to present the ethno-cultural atmosphere of West Azerbaijan and highlight its intangible cultural heritage.
At the event the national attire and culinary stand of West Azerbaijan, household items used in everyday life, and 3D replicas of historical monuments were displayed.
A concert program took place at the event, during which songs celebrating the motherland, as well as traditional Ashug songs of West Azerbaijan, were performed. The event was attended by deputies of the Milli Majlis, media representatives, residents of the capital, and foreign guests.
Aziz Alakbarli, Chairman of the Board of the West Azerbaijan Community and member of the Milli Majlis, highlighted the significance of the event in his statement to AZERTAG: "Our primary mission as the West Azerbaijan Community is to preserve the Azerbaijani cultural heritage in our historic lands and share it with the world community. This event is one of many steps in this direction. We intend to continue organizing such exhibitions. Several more are planned in the country by the end of September, and we also have plans to hold similar exhibitions abroad. In dealing with enemies like Armenia, who resort to deception and manipulation, we must present them with e facts, documents, evidence, and sources. This approach will help dispel the lies and falsehoods that Armenians have been spreading for centuries and ensure the acceptance of the truths about West Azerbaijan.
Deputy Minister of Culture Saadat Yusifova stressed that the purpose of the event is to recreate the ethno-cultural ambience of West Azerbaijan, including the revival of the festive spirit that once graced these lands, districts, and meadows. She emphasized the symbolic nature of holding the event in front of the Heydar Aliyev Center, named after the national leader Heydar Aliyev, as part of the centenary celebrations. It is of great significance as the National Leader firmly believed in the eventual restoration of justice, which would enable the return of Western Azerbaijanis to their homeland.
Emphasizing the return of former IDPs to Karabakh and East Zangezur after the glorious victory of the Patriotic War, the Deputy Minister said: "After the glorious victory, there is hope among the Western Azerbaijanis to return to their ancestral homes. The statements made by our head of state in his speeches, in which he assured the return of Western Azerbaijanis to their homeland, indicate that the day is approaching when our hopes and dreams will become reality. This opportunity will come after the signing of a peace agreement. A time will come when we will be able to return to our native lands, where we will contribute to the growth and prosperity of Azerbaijani culture”.
Hikmet Babaoghlu, Deputy Chairman of the West Azerbaijan Community and member of the Milli Majlis, emphasized the importance of this exhibition in the current context, stating: "The cultural and historical artifacts presented here, which reflect the ethno-cultural essence of West Azerbaijan, once again show that West Azerbaijan is one of the geographies of the national-cultural development of our people. Despite the tragic history of genocide and ethnic cleansing inflicted by the Armenians on the Western Azerbaijanis, their current fervent demand for their rights is rooted in the strength derived from our culture, history, and national memory. International organizations, including the UN, do not turn a blind eye to the pleas of the Western Azerbaijanis. Sooner or later, Pashinyan will have to respond to these appeals. Western Azerbaijanis will return to their homeland with dignity and continue to foster the rich cultural heritage they have cultivated over generations”.
It is worth noting that a comprehensive and systematic effort is currently underway to rectify the decades-long violation of the rights of Western Azerbaijanis and facilitate their return to their ancestral homeland. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev played a key role in advancing this cause when he met with a delegation of West Azerbaijani intellectuals on December 24, coinciding with his birthday. This meeting laid the groundwork for more organized and coordinated efforts in this direction. The community, which serves as an advocate for the rights of Western Azerbaijanis that have been violated for decades, has taken a leading role in these efforts. It actively informs the world community about Armenia's destruction of the historical and cultural heritage of our people and tirelessly works for the repatriation of tens of thousands of Western Azerbaijanis to their native lands.