Film on Khojaly tragedy premieres in Los Angeles
On February 21, 2017 a documentary film highlighting the 1992 Khojaly Massacre premiered at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
The Khojaly Massacre was committed by the armed forces of Armenia against the Azerbaijani civilians on February 26, 1992 in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Called “the largest massacre in the conflict” between Armenia and Azerbaijan by the Human Rights Watch, the massacre resulted in the murder of 613 Azerbaijani civilians, including over 250 children, women and the elderly. In 2015, the European Court of Human Rights passed a ruling corroborating the facts of the massacre and naming its perpetrators.
Titled “Running from the Darkness”, the documentary was filmed by Los Angeles filmmakers, led by a local organization J-Connect. The premiere screening was hosted at the Museum of Tolerance of the world-famous Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is one of the biggest (400,000 families) and most influential Jewish human rights organizations in the world. The Museum of Tolerance is one of the world’s largest museums dedicated to Holocaust.
The screening was attended by mayors and councilmembers of various cities of the Los Angeles County, other elected officials, consuls general and honorary consuls of various countries, representatives of the U.S. Homeland Security Department, State Department and other federal and state government bodies, renowned faith leaders representing Christianity, Judaism, Islam and other religions, mass media, influential leaders of different ethnic communities (Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Macedonian, Pakistani, Hispanic, Jewish, Iranian, Turkish, etc.) of Los Angeles and others.
Opening the event, Director of the Museum of Tolerance Dr. Liebe Geft said that despite many tragedies the people of Azerbaijan had to endure in its recent history, Azerbaijan has been able to maintain its centuries-old traditions of interfaith tolerance and multiculturalism.
Speaking afterwards, Consul General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev stressed the importance of holding onto the values of interfaith tolerance and harmony in the face of hatred and tragedy, what, in his words, Azerbaijan has been able to do during the last 25 years since the Khojaly Massacre. Describing the film as a story of survival of tolerance against intolerance and stressing the need to educate wider audiences about what happened in Khojaly in 1992 so that similar tragedies do not occur again, the Consul General thanked the filmmakers for masterfully capturing the whole story of this crime against humanity.
Presenting the film, the Board President of J-Connect Josh Kaplan said: “At J-Connect, our organization understands history and the importance of tolerance and cooperation. We react at a base level when we see innocent people and their communities destroyed simply because of their identities. When I learned about the massacre in Khojaly, I knew then that there was an important story that needed to be told. With the world in such turmoil we felt that a story of this complexity, of this emotion and passion was important for the world to hear about in an unbiased and thoughtful manner. We partnered with One Wish Project, a film company whose mission it is to capture powerful stories and bring them to life… The fact that what happened in Khojaly is unknown to most was a huge motivating factor in creating this film. We live in a world that is committed to recognizing and preventing genocide, and yet without recognition and awareness of this tragedy, our world remains at great risk for another Khojaly…”
Then the film was screened. Based on interviews with many survivors of the Khojaly Massacre as well with U.S. elected officials, reporters, academic experts, Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders of Los Angeles and an Armenian human rights advocate, the film vividly tells the horrific story of the tragedy. The documentary also highlights how Azerbaijan, confronted with Khojaly tragedy as well as the illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of around 20% of its sovereign territory by neighboring Armenia in the early 1990s, did not allow the hatred and intolerance to take hold of itself, but on the contrary worked actively to strengthen its age-old identity and traditions of interfaith harmony and tolerance.
Following the well-received screening, Consul General asked the renowned Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders of Los Angeles, namely Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez, Rabbi Yonah Bookstein and Mahomed Khan, to pray for the victims of Khojaly as well as for peace and tolerance. The joint prayer in accordance with the traditions of all three Abrahamic religions was enthusiastically received by the audience.
At the event, the aforementioned faith leaders were presented with Interfaith Tolerance Awards established this year by the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles, honoring the faith leaders’ profound and long-standing engagement in promoting peace, tolerance and harmony among all religions.
The event concluded with the performance of Azerbaijani and European classical music.
- 26.03.2017Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 118 times
- 23.03.2017Azerbaijan’s military leadership visits frontline
- 23.03.2017Armenia continues violating ceasefire with Azerbaijan
- 22.03.2017Armenian armed forces holding military exercises in occupied Azerbaijani lands
- 21.03.2017Armenia continues violating ceasefire with Azerbaijan
- 20.03.2017Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 143 times
- 19.03.2017Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 136 times
- 18.03.2017Armenia lost hopes and lives with depression – Azerbaijani president
- 18.03.2017Colombian Senate passes decision on 25th anniversary of Khojaly genocide
- 17.03.2017Ex-presidents express support for Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform
- 17.03.2017Cultural worker from Ukraine joins Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform
- 17.03.2017PM: April battles – a victorious page of Azerbaijan’s military history
- 17.03.2017Kwasniewski: No chance of progress in Karabakh talks without implementation of UN resolutions
- 17.03.2017Former Kyrgyz PM comments on country’s refusal to sign ECO declaration
- 16.03.2017Moscow says nothing hidden in Karabakh talks
- 16.03.2017Russian political analyst joins Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform
- 16.03.2017Ilham Aliyev: Change in status quo means liberation of occupied Azerbaijan lands
- 15.03.2017PACE members meet with IDPs
- 15.03.2017Putin: Russia continues to assist in resolving Karabakh conflict
- 15.03.2017French president urges progress towards Karabakh conflict settlement
- 15.03.2017Georgian professor joins Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform
- 15.03.2017Books by Lithuanian authors on Armenian aggression presented in Baku
- 15.03.2017Khalaf Khalafov: Armenia encourages relocation of Syrian and Lebanese Armenians to occupied Azerbaijani territories
- 15.03.2017Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity cannot be negotiated
- 15.03.2017French President: “The existing status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is unacceptable”
- 15.03.2017Azerbaijani President: “For the first stage, negotiations should be resumed as soon as possible”
- 14.03.2017Int’l conference on Karabakh conflict underway in Baku
- 14.03.2017Ilham Aliyev urges foreign companies to avoid illegal activity in occupied Azerbaijani lands
- 14.03.2017Russian journalist: Majority of Karabakh Armenians were forcibly “armenianized”
- 14.03.2017“If war erupts in Karabakh, Russia, Georgia and Turkey will be involved in it”
- 14.03.2017Int’l conference on Karabakh conflict kicks off in Baku
- 14.03.2017German MPs adopt Declaration on Khojaly Massacre
- 14.03.2017Russian political analyst calls for Khojaly Genocide recognition
- 14.03.2017Armenian-born researcher: Positive solution to Karabakh conflict is near
- 13.03.2017Meeting of Azerbaijani, Armenian MPs planned to be held in French Senate
- 13.03.2017France respects Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, says senator
- 13.03.2017French senator calls for restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity
- 13.03.2017Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform expresses support for OSCE MG American co-chair
- 12.03.2017Azerbaijani army carries out artillery strike on Armenian strongpoint - VİDEO
- 12.03.2017Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 118 times
- 23.02.2017Photo exhibition commemorating Khojaly Genocide opens in Kazakhstan
- 23.02.2017Anti-pedestrian mine found in Jojuq Marjanli
- 24.02.2017Azerbaijan: European Parliament membership gives no right to violate laws
- 22.02.2017Scottish Parliament passes resolution on Khojaly tragedy
- 22.02.2017Yashar Aliyev: Armenia must realize that military occupation of another state’s territory didn’t represent solution
- 22.02.2017Lavrov: MG co-chairs are not inactive