Social Media in Armenia-Azerbaijan Peacebuilding

When Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli, two youth activists in Azerbaijan, were detained on politically motivated charges in July 2009, supporters naturally used social networking sites such as Facebook to campaign for their release. Spreading networks wide in order to disseminate information and updates, there were obviously risks involved, especially as activists could be monitored if privacy was compromised.

For them, however, that didn't matter. The important thing was that Facebook was crucial in the campaign to release the two men. And, as international awareness of their plight increased before their unexpected conditional release in November last year, they were probably right. Despite the inherent risks, there is no doubt that connecting people is something that Facebook excels at.

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Armenia-Azerbaijan peacebuilding kicks off in Tekali

The roads have seen better days and probably so too have the villagers, but if events continue to be held in a small ethnic Azeri village in Georgia that might all change. Situated just 10 kilometers from the Georgian border with Azerbaijan, and 29 kilometers from the crossing with Armenia, those attempting to establish Tekali as a regional peacebuilding center certainly hope so. One of them, Armenian theatrical director turned activist Georgi Vanyan has already called on other NGOs to relocate some of their existing and future regional and cross-border projects there. If that were to happen, much needed investment could be attracted to Tekali as well as the surrounding area and involve wider society in dialogue, discussion and debate.

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As tensions mount, plans for an Armenian-Azerbaijan Peace Building Center

This year will mark the 17th anniversary of the 1994 ceasefire agreement which put the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh on hold. Since then, attempts to find a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict, which claimed around 25,000 lives and forced a million to flee their homes, have faltered. Indeed, following less than conciliatory speeches from the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents at the OSCE Summit in Kazakhstan late last year, and with Baku’s military spending set to hit $3.1 billion in 2011, analysts and international observers are now increasingly talking about the need for conflict prevention rather than resolution.

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Twitter Diplomacy

Can new media help break the Armenia-Azerbaijan information blockade?

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Class Struggle

In a village school in Georgia, Azeri and Armenian students study in peace but share a common problem – poverty. A TOL podcast.

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Cup of Kindness

In Georgia’s ethnically mixed communities, Azeris and Armenians come together over tea. A TOL podcast.

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A people divided

The break-up of the former Soviet Union has given Armenia’s largest minority, the Yezidis, new freedoms. But this has proven to be a mixed blessing.

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Between music and poetry

Mugham is a symbol of Azerbaijan's traditional culture. Much more than music played with traditional instruments following a precise style, it is also poetry, inspiration, and improvisation

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Rocking and rapping in Azerbaijan

Music in all three republics continues to be dominated by those singers and musicians who are subordinate to nationalist or predominant political interests. But rock and rap bands are starting to speak out, especially in Azerbaijan

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