Posted on 16 April 2003
If you ask the officials of the Abu Dhabi based Cultural Foundation to invite an Armenian cultural team, they will look on you with frightened eyes. In December 2002, the Cultural Foundation sponsored the stay of an Armenian cultural group compromised of 50 persons, out of which 23 were administrative officers, who had very little in common with the cultural group (obviously they knew that the UAE was a tourist destination).
In contrast, the Azerbaijani Fidan and Huraman Kasimova soprano sisters and their pianist who performed in 29 March 2003 in the Cultural Foundation did not exhaust the budget of the Foundation (only 3 artists, with no administrators). This event was able to attract 340 attendants (almost close to the number of the attendants of the Armenian event, although we claim that we have many friends, contacts and circles of influence).
On the diplomatic level about 15 Ambassadors attended the Azerbaijani concert (including those of US and many EU member countries), while the Armenian event was attended by 3 Ambassadors (2 of them left earlier without anybody noticing their departure).
Note that the Azerbaijani event took place on 29 March 2003, exactly 9 days after the eruption of war in neighboring Iraq. We wonder, if the Armenians were planning for such an event, the only reaction that we would have adopted after the beginning of the war would have been to cancel the event and ask the artists to stay home. And if someone would have suggested to go ahead with the event (together with a symbolic dedication of donations to the Iraqi people, just like the Azerbaijani organizer did and won the sympathy of the Arab people), we are sure our officials would have said – with words of wisdom: “better be cautious and stay away from politics”.