In the region of Nakhijevan, in Aylis, there once lived people who were equal to gods. They channeled water, established gardens, and carved stones.
These were Armenians, who traveled through and around hundreds of foreign cities and villages, earning pennies only to transform every inch of their small Agulis into a true paradise.
If a candle was lit for each Armenian violently killed, the glow of these candles would be brighter than the moonlight.
The Armenians endured everything, but they never agreed to change their faith. This nation grew weary and languished from violence, but they never stopped building their churches, writing their books, and, raising their hands to the sky, calling out to their God.
After the Turks left at the end of the nineteenth year, leaving Aylis in ruins, the Muslim population is still searching for gold in the ruins of Armenian houses.
Even when they till the soil for sowing, they expect that red gold will appear from beneath their feet. The very gold with which the Armenians extracted water from the ground, carved carriage roads in the mountains from all sides.
They built a dam. Along the riverbank, they erected a parapet made of hewn river stones. All the streets were paved with selected river cobblestones. Thanks to this gold, twelve magnificent churches were once built in Aylis.
Akram Aylisli, Azerbaijani writer and playwright, Requiem Novel “Stone Dreams”, 2012, Chapter Four.
Translated by Vigen Avetisyan
Akram Aylisli is a renowned Azerbaijani writer and playwright who, in his novel “Stone Dreams” (2012), delves into the complex historical and cultural relations between Armenians and Azerbaijanis.
In this excerpt, the author paints a vivid picture of the Armenian population of the Nakhijevan region, their culture, faith, and perseverance. Aylisli praises the diligence and aspiration of the Armenians towards beauty, their ability to transform their land, despite challenges and confrontations.
The provided text also emphasizes the tragedies experienced by the Armenian people and their unwavering faith. The candles lit in memory of the deceased symbolize remembrance and the immortality of the soul.
Aylisli also touches upon the ironic notion of gold, which the Muslim population sought in the ruins of Armenian homes. This motif symbolizes the cultural and spiritual wealth possessed by the Armenians, as well as their drive for progress and creating beauty around them.
The novel “Stone Dreams” sparked numerous discussions and debates due to its candid and honest portrayal of historical events. However, it remains a significant work that sheds light on the intricate relations between the two nations.