President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin presents the “Pushkin” Medal to Leyla Aliyeva
On February 22, the premiere of the play “When the almond-tree blossoms” in connection with the 26th anniversary of the Khojaly Tragedy took place at the Azerbaijan National Drama Theatre.
The event was attended by head of the youth policy and sports affairs department of the Presidential Administration Yusuf Mammadaliyev, Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, initiator of the campaign “Justice for Khojaly” Leyla Aliyeva, representatives of foreign countries in Azerbaijan, and representatives of youth organizations.
Before the start of the play, information was given about the Khojaly genocide, as well as the territories of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia. It was noted that on the night from the 25th to the 26th February 1992, Armenian armed forces committed a genocide against the civilians of Khojaly. In this bloody killing, 613 people, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly, were killed, 1275 having been taken hostage, and so far no information is available about the fates of 150 people. As a result of the tragedy, 487 Khojaly residents, including 76 children became invalid, 26 children having lost both their parents.
Then, the play started.
The play “When the almond-tree blossoms” has been made in the framework of the campaign “Justice for Khojaly”, with organizational support from the Youth Foundation under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The play has been produced on the basis of recollections of people exiled from Khojaly. Khojaly residents, who had been leading their peaceful lives, were savagely killed within a night, having been subjected to a true genocide by Armenian armed forces.
The play has been made by the creative team of the Young Spectators Theatre on the scene of the Academic National Drama Theatre. Along with the acting staff of the Young Spectators Theatre, students of the Azerbaijan State Economics University too participated in the mass scenes of the play “When the almond-tree blossoms”.
The name of the play - “When the almond-tree blossoms” - is no coincidence, as the almond-tree is the first tree to start blossoming. Almond flower depicted on the logo of the campaign “Justice for Khojaly” reflects the hope of people that justice in relation to the genocide committed by Armenians in Khojaly – one of the ancient settlements of Azerbaijan’s Daghlyg Garabagh region - on the night from the 25th to the 26th February 1992 will be ensured, and that such cruel acts will never recur.
Main characters in the play, produced by director Gulnar Hajiyeva, were performed by actors/actresses Karam Hadizadeh, Zemfira Abdulsamad, Mirzagha Mirzayev, Elnur Karimov, Asya Atakishiyeva, Gushvar Sharifova, Mehriban Huseynova, Zulfiyya Alhuseynova, Elshan Shykhaliyev, and Manaf Dadashov.
After the play finished, Leyla Aliyeva met with actors/actresses, and had a short conversation with them.
At the end, they were photographed.