Excerpt 2 from the Nectar of Passion by Nazila Isgandarova

2013-02-07 16:32:00

    “I warn you, Gunel,” scolded Asmar, “Never ever dare to date that young man again. If your dad  hears about it, he will really be very mad. ” Asmar had to reiterate her demand but at the same time she was worried about her daughter. She has always been protective of her independent daughter. Since Grade 6, Gunel had learned how to be independent, make her own decisions, and become friends with non-Muslim girls who encouraged her to watch odd love movies. Asmar had a reason to be cautious. In her community, these kind of things were considered satanic and corrupting the morality of young kids.     Asmar could not handle the problem on her own. Habil, her husband, was of little help in raising the kids. Like many immigrants who could not find a job in their line, he was a taxi driver and worked until midnight. He usually woke up early in the morning. He was a doctor back home in Azerbaijan, and came to Canada before his family. In Toronto it seemed most of the taxi drivers were immigrants, whose only dream was to work hard so that at least their children could be successful.  Habil worked hard. He wanted a better life for his family. This was the only reason he humbled himself to work as a cabbie. Like many other immigrants, his relatives back home did not even know how he made money. He was ashamed to tell the truth.  Sometimes that feeling of shame invoked humiliation and mortification in him. He would feel worthless, unlovable, unredeemable, or cut-off from humanity when he was ashamed.  It evoked strong feelings of pain and rage.    After Habil was granted permane... Devamı

Excerpt from The Nectar of Passion by Nazila Isgandarova

2013-01-29 17:28:00

  Adir’s parents were both Jews from Georgia and spoke Qivruli, or Judeo-Georgian, which included a number of Hebrew words. They had later moved to Russia for a better life. They did not know Hebrew well and had a few customs, which were different from the Jews in Israel. Adir grew up as a secular Jewish boy, but deep down he always felt he was Jewish. However, his family was not practicing Judaism, since in the former Soviet Union Jews usually hid their true identity to avoid persecution.    Since his childhood Adir had heard many stories of how the Jewish culture was annihilated in Georgia and Russia. Many Jews took refuge in Israel, especially after the 1970s. Love and yearning for Israel had always been strong among Georgian and Russian Jews. Some Jews, especially old ones wanted to die and be buried in the Holy Land. But only a few rich men could afford to go to the Holy land and live there. Those who remained in Georgia and Russia were usually poor people. But no Jew in Tiflis or Moscow begged for bread. They worked hard to be prosperous, they studied well - especially medicine - and got good jobs. Some were also successful in commerce and earned high salaries. Those who were rich supported those who were less well off with charity and employment.    Although Adir never saw his family celebrating the Jewish holidays, except Yom Kippur, he learned an important Jewish greeting: “May we meet again in the Holy City of Jerusalem."    His family was less interested in emigration and decided to remain in Georgia but when the armed conflict started between Abkhazia and Ossetia and Georgia, they moved to Moscow. Elioz, Adir’s father, strongly believed that Russia was behind the conflict and war in the Caucasus, which Russia treated as its own backyard; they did not want the Americans to control it. Russia took revenge on Azerbaijan and occupied Nagorno Garabagh, then gave it to Armenia fo... Devamı

The Nectar of Passion: A New Novel about Love, Tolerance, Immigr

2013-01-29 17:02:00

   "The Nectar of Passion" describes the challenges of Gunel, who is a first-year university student from Azerbaijan. She considers her first day as a special day; however, the first day of the semester begins with an intense and emotional rivalry with Sheila. Nevertheless, she also has a powerful support from Adir, a Jewish boy wearing a kippah.  If they will fall in love, how their families will react? Will their love survive obstacles of religion and culture?                The book also describes the challenges faced by immigrants in Canada, including settlement and adjustment. It gives a detailed description of their experience in renting a home, maintaining a western style house, or managing a budget. The culture shock is also presented as one of the challenges, especially in areas where cultural diversity is not welcome.               In Habil and Elioz’s experience, the writer emphasizes with feelings of immigrant parents who experience unemployment, discrimination, and social isolation. The writer tries to present the picture of the life style of immigrant in poverty, language barriers and feelings of marginalization that reduce the quality of life of many immigrant families. These problems become the major source of stress of the immigrant families and disrupt the traditional roles and patterns of interaction. The families try to seek the new ways to deal with their children who gradually lose their cultural heritage.               Nazila also uses a creative approach and freedom of expression to promote democracy and respect for human rights in Azerbaijan. She wants to ensure that a wider Canadian and international audi... Devamı

What it means to be a child in Palestine

2012-12-21 15:30:00

  by Nazila Isgandarova* http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?newsId=300558 9 December 2012   A few days ago, the behavior of a little Palestinian girl joined by other children in her village was caught on video and went viral. The video demonstrated how this little girl was trying to bait Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. She was seen screaming at them and calling them “traitors,” expressing her wish to “smash their heads.” This video drew the attention of millions around the world.   Many comments on the video called this little girl a “brave young lady.” A senior Israel Defense Forces (IDF) official commented that the video was purposefully arranged to damage the reputation of the IDF. However, that minutes-long video also illustrated an anger mixed with fear and the psychological exploitation of children in Palestine. While watching the video, I kept asking why these children exhibit such extreme anger toward the Israeli soldiers. Why are they engaged in an “adult” type of communication? What prevents them from having a healthy childhood? The answer to these questions is the stress and anxiety the children are subjected to daily due to violence, terrorism and the threat of war in Palestine. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) reported that since the beginning of the last six-day crisis between Israel and Hamas, at least 26 children were killed and more than 400 injured, some gravely, by Israeli attacks on Gaza. According to the CRC, on Nov. 18, for example, 7-year-old Sara, 6-year-old Jamal, 4-year-old Yusef and 2-year-old Ibrahim all died in an attack against the suspected home of a Hamas militant, which killed at least eight members of the same family. In southern Israel, 14 Israeli children were injured by shellfire launched by Hamas. UNICEF had also drawn attention to the fact that, due... Devamı

Don’t Ban Abortion in Turkey

2012-09-01 16:35:00

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/141121/don’t-ban-abortion-in-turkey.html   by Dr. Nazila Isgandarova, Contributor “Criminalizing or removing access to safe abortions is inappropriate and counter-productive... and very often force women to either risk their health with unregistered and unsafe practitioners in the backstreets, or to seek help abroad, restricting safe abortions to wealthy women,” Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, wrote for Today’s Zaman. The suggestion offered by the author resonates well in the midst of the debates about the right of abortion for women in Turkey and invites the authorities to answer to these questions: What should be done? What should we do? What is right? What is good? When two values are in conflict, how do we reconcile them and/or move forward? What is the ethical Islamic point of view in regard to abortion? If it is haram (forbidden), what about the women who were subjects of rape? Who decides in the ethical decision making process?  The drafts for an abortion ban in Turkey and the recent legislation on abortion raised many questions about whether abortion is a state issue or individual choice. Does the Turkish government have a right to ban it or keep it legal, as it has over the past forty years?  Turkey is a Muslim country and the majority of Muslims turn to Islamic sources for advice. It is a well-known fact that Islam allows for abortion during the first 40 or 120 days of pregnancy. However, if a woman knows of her pregnancy only after 40 or 120 days, what would happen to this woman in society, where birth out of marriage is not supported? Or what about women who were subjects of rape? Many Muslim countries struggled to answer these questions for decades. The 1994 war in Bosnia especially triggered debates about ab... Devamı