The novel “Stone dreams” by Azerbaijani writer Akram Aylisli was published in the Russian literary journal “Friendship of the Peoples” (Druzhba Narodov) in 2012. The events described in the novel take place in Baku at the end of 1988 and at the beginning of 1989. Particularly, the massacres of the Armenians in Sumgayit as well as the history of the native village of the author Aylis (Arm.-Agulis) are described. In his interview to review Aylisli noted that official pardon of Ramil Safarov by Azerbaijan in 2012 convicted for the murder of the Armenian army officer in Hungary was the event that pushed him to publish this novel.

 “When I saw the artificial fueling of hatred between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, I decided to publish my novel,” he said.

The publication of the novel “Stone dreams” caused a heated discussion in Armenia and Azerbaijan. The novel was unanimously criticized by Azerbaijani media and government and the writer was accused of being pro-Armenian. The books and portraits of the writer were burnt in the streets of Baku. The president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev ordered to deprive Aylsli of the title of “people’s writer” and the pension provided by the state on February 7. This decision was also approved by the head of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights of Milli Mejlis Rabiyat Aslanova. Mass demonstrations were also held in the native village of the writer Aylis, where people burnt the books of the author shouting “Death to Akram Aylisli”, “Traitor”, “Aylisli is Armenian”. “Modern Musavat” political party made a decision to reward 10 thousand mantas (10 thousand euros) to anyone who would cut off the writer’s ear. This fact became the subject of acute criticism in international press. In particular, medias like ''The Washington post'', ''The Independent'' emphasized once more the fact of defective democracy in Azerbaijan.

Through “Turan” information agency Akram Aylisli applied to law enforcement authorities to ensure his safety otherwise he would have to leave the country with his family.

Armenian media also touched upon the book “Stone dreams” and the critical overview connected with the publication of the book in Azerbaijan. According to Armenian media the book is currently being translated into Armenian.

During the press conference on February 22, French Armenian freedom fighter, specialist in Turkish Studies Sargis Hatspanyan said that “Stone dreams” by Aylisli would be published in one book along with short story “Kirva” by Levon Dzavakhyan. This idea belongs to Turkish writer Ragip Zarakolu, according to him this would be a peace-building step between these two nations.

Akram Aylisli was born in the village Agulis, in 1937. He received his higher education at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow. He has been the editor of different journals in Azerbaijan. In 2005 he was elected to the National Assembly of Azerbaijan (Milli Majlis) as a member of parliament and was the member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Relations and Inter-parliamentary Relations. He is the author of a series of novels, short stories and translations. He was awarded many state prizes for the achievements in the field of literature, in particular "Istiglal" and "Shokhrat" orders.


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