Presentation of Book Translated by Khadija Ismayilova

On Sunday at the headquarters of the party Civil Solidarity there was presentation of the book Children of the Jacaranda Tree by the American writer of Iranian origin Sahar Delijani. The book was translated into Azerbaijani by the jailed journalist Khadija Ismayilova. The event was organized by the movement NIDA.

The author was born in 1983 in Tehran's Evin prison, where her mother was imprisoned by the mullahs' regime. Her father also for political reasons was thrown into prison.

In 1996, the family managed to escape from Iran and move to the US, where Sahar graduated from the University of Berkeley with a degree in comparative literature.

Children of the Jacaranda Tree are the first novel by the author, who immediately brought her fame. The book was translated into 28 languages and published in 75 countries.

In the preface to the book, Dilijani wrote that the translation made by the Azerbaijani journalist impressed her more than others. "First of all, the book was translated by an arrested fighter for freedom. Secondly, Khadija translated the book to my native language," the author writes.

Dilijani’s mother is ethnic Azerbaijani. She was born in Tabriz. In Dilijani’s childhood, when her parents were in prison, she was brought up by the grandmother, who did not know Farsi and talked to her only in Azerbaijani.

"I speak and understand Azerbaijani badly, but this language has always been native to me. It is the language of my family and love, and no other language can replace it in my heart," writes Dilijani.

The presentation was attended by public and political figures, journalists and activists. The book's editor Elnur Astanbeyli read Ismayilova’s letter from prison.

"I chose this book because in non-free societies human tragedies are passed down from generation to generation. The most important thing is that there are aims of the struggle to be transmitted to future generations.

   In contrast to the Evin prison, I am deprived of the opportunity to communicate with other political prisoners. Most people in prison do not share my values and have never fought for them, and they find it difficult to understand me. But we - criminals, thieves and journalists, educated and uneducated, respecting those values or not - have one thing in common: we are living in a country where there is no justice. The trick is not to lose faith in people and the future. I wish you all not to forget the humanity and love. Future is for those who do not lose this love," Ismayilova wrote.

The head of the National Council Jamil Hasanli noted in his speech that Ismayilova even in prison is freer than the not arrested part of the Azerbaijani society. With her free spirit she has created an example of creative work, even in jail," said Hasanli.

The head of the National Center for Strategic Thought Isa Gambar called the translation of the book "the fruit of free human creativity in the dungeon."

PFPA leader Ali Kerimli called Ismayilova "a time phenomenon." "She bravely did what nobody could do today – she investigated the business of Ilham Aliyev’s family, and threats and intimidation could not make Khadija abandon this," said Kerimli.

The leader of the party Musavat Arif Hajili said there are many political prisoners in the country, but Khadija created an example of a fighter for the society.

The Executive Secretary of ReAl Movement Natig Jafarli said the authorities failed to intimidate civil society, condemning Khadija. "The government thought that by arresting her, it would weaken journalism, bring down civil society, but Khadija frustrated these plans with her creativity," said Jafarli.-03D06-

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