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Home Authors Articles by Durdane Agayeva

Durdane Agayeva

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Durdane Aghayeva is a Muslim woman from Azerbaijan with a special connection to Jewish communities across the world, particularly here in Los Angeles. Durdane is a survivor of torture and a passionate advocate for peace. She works tirelessly for the empowerment of all survivors, to help others to find strength and healing through the unifying process of sharing. She can be reached at: [email protected] She tweets at: @KhojalySurvivor

Khojaly: 30 Years Later, Yet Never Again 

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This year marks the 30th anniversary of the most tragic and transformational experience of my life, an event that ended the lives of so...

Azerbaijan helps repair fire-damaged Chabad Synagogue in California

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A newly constructed Chabad House-Almaden Valley synagogue in San Jose, California was utterly destroyed in a fire on December 23, 2021. I learned about...

Azerbaijan’s Unbreakable Solidarity with Jewish Communities Across the World

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My heart has been pounding with ache for the stress and worry my Jewish brothers and sisters have endured - from New York City...

Israeli Eye Doctors Help Wounded Azerbaijani Soldiers

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Israel and Azerbaijan are two allies in regions overwhelmed by conflict and violence, and we share in many things and weather similar storms. We...

Facing Denial of War Crimes in California

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It is difficult for me to describe how I felt when I read the letter distributed to members of the California State Legislature by...

Protesting is Democratic Until it Turns Violent

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Across the world, we watched in disbelief as the news unfolded, and took in live video of the protesters, as they breached the Congress...

Israel’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Shares How He Could Not Keep His Promise

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On November 16, 2020, George Deek, Israel’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan posted a thread on Twitter: “I am Israel’s ambassador to Azerbaijan. I’ve been a...

Armenia’s deadly attacks on Azerbaijani civilians must stop

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It is difficult to put into words how I am feeling today, a day that follows several weeks of indiscriminate shelling of bullets and...

Karabakh: 30 Years of Occupation and Displacement

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It has been 28 years since I was captured by the invaders, held captive and brutalized in the worst ways imaginable in a torture...

All Hate Crimes Must Be Strongly Condemned. Without Exception.

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Such hate crimes have no place in a city as diverse and multicultural as Los Angeles.

War in the Time of COVID-19: Armenia attacks Azerbaijan. Again.

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It has been almost 30 years, but the pain and suffering I endured at the hands of my captives and torturers is something I...

Forcibly Displaced: Story of Perseverance and Hope

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The last time I saw my hometown Khojaly in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region was the night of February 25/26, 1992. As we were fleeing the...

From Khojaly Massacre Survivor to AJC: Thank You!

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Last week, the American Jewish Committee (AJC), one of the world’s oldest Jewish advocacy organizations, posted the following on its Twitter page: “This week, we...

To Nessah and Beyond: You Are Not Alone

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My heart sank to the floor when I read the news last Saturday that Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills had been horribly vandalized during...

Delegation of Karabakh Survivors Embraced in Los Angeles

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This past week has been a whirlwind of experience and emotion. On November 10, I traveled from Baku to Los Angeles for one week,...

Led by majority-Muslim Azerbaijan, the Council of Europe resolves to preserve Jewish heritage

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We are used to hearing a lot of bad news, especially during the last decade or two, regarding the relations among various religions. Much...

Celebrating 100 Years of Voting Rights for Women in Azerbaijan

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This world has never been a simple place for women. For centuries we have been held back, across the globe, and limited in the...

Colossal Loss: Unnoticed Cultural Cleansing in the Caucasus

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In an effort to justify ethnic cleansing, forces in the Caucasus are removing all evidence of a once thriving culture. Since the early 1990s...

The Khojaly Massacre: 27 Years Later is Change on the Horizon?

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This year we face the 27th anniversary of the Khojaly Massacre, a horrific tragedy for many, and which for me personally, involved being captured...

The Miracle of Light: Happy Hanukkah from Azerbaijan

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  Hanukkah is such a special time of year. It is a reminder of so much, and although as a Muslim it is not my...

If you educate a woman, you educate a whole nation

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  I just finished reading “Malala’s Magic Pencil”, an autobiographical picture book, written by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, together with my daughter, who...

The Arrest of the Former Armenian President Kocharyan and the Khojaly Genocide

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  Two weeks ago I was positively surprised to learn about the arrest of Armenia’s former President Robert Kocharyan - one of the main perpetrators...

Azerbaijan’s Unique Appreciation and Celebration of Women’s Empowerment

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  On March 8, we celebrate International Women's Day across the world. Considering the state of the world we live in today, I am especially...

Surviving Khojaly: Painful to Remember, Impossible to Forget

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  Over the years, I’ve had repeated surgeries on my spine, which was badly damaged by torture. I’ve also traveled around the world to share...

Words of Hope in Honor of Azerbaijan’s ‘Black January’ tragedy

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  At this time last year, I wrote a piece as a dedication to a young Jewish woman named Vera, who was murdered by Soviet...
CNN celebrity host Anthony Bourdain in Azerbaijan's occupied Karabakh region

CNN should not endorse occupation and crimes against humanity

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I like CNN. Especially its coverage of international affairs has been providing audiences around the globe with much needed information in order to clearly...

A Special Father’s Day “Staycation” in Baku

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My friends in Los Angeles and throughout the United States will celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday. Father’s day is a special day and it...

Denial of War Crimes: The Perspective of a Survivor

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Last February was certainly one of the most difficult times in my life as a survivor. It was 25 years ago in February that...

Bruised but Unbroken: Remembering Khojaly

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(The featured image is from my interview in the new documentary Running From the Darkness) I can still feel their hands as they grab my arm and...

A Letter to my Jewish Sister on the Anniversary of Azerbaijan’s ‘Black January’

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A Muslim Woman and Survivor Shares a Deep Bond with her Fellow Slain Jewish Countrywoman Dearest Vera*, 27 years ago, we both stood at the precipice...
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