Like many Azerbaijanis, Elnura Jivazade, a resident of the Baku suburb of Khirdalan, is watching Egypt’s political upheaval closely. But unlike most Azerbaijanis, Jivazade sees Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak each morning. His statue, a symbol of Azerbaijani-Egyptian friendship, stands in a Khirdalan park that she passes each weekday on her way to work.
“I always wondered why this monument is standing here, and what will happen to it if the dictatorship falls in Egypt,” she said. “Now, Mubarak’s regime is falling, but he is still sitting here in the park with such confidence.”
The question of how Azerbaijanis will or should interpret Egyptian protestors’ ongoing struggle against President Mubarak appears to be gaining increasing currency among critics of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and many young Azerbaijanis.
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Khadija Ismayilova is freelance journalist based in Baku. She hosts a daily program on current affairs broadcast by the Azeri Service of RFE/RL.