Despite the fact that during the Karabagh war many Azeris of Armenia left for Azerbaijan, there are still many Azeris living in Armenia (perhaps there are some Armenians in Azerbaijan too), some of them professors, coachs, etc. (for instance, Tofig Agaev is a Professor at Yerevan's Theatre Institute, etc). Below is an interesting article from ArmeniaNow.

Grateful to a Nation: Philosophy and sport outweigh nationality for Azeri coach

By Gayane Mkrtchyan
ArmeniaNow reporter
October 29, 2005 | Issue #41(163), October 28, 2005

The blue eyes of Felix Aliyev become bluer when they are filled with tears.
Felix has a table full of awards to show for his long coaching service
Aliyev, 66, is an Azeri by nationality, but he lives and works in Echmiadzin and is a weightlifting trainer at one of Armenia’s most successful sport schools. Tears roll down his cheeks as he speaks about the years of Armenian-Azeri confrontation.

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“I am sorry,” he says in a subdued voice and leaves the room.

Felix’s wife, Julietta Yenokyan, 56, goes on saying: “Children would wait until the training classes finished at the weightlifting school. Then they safely brought Felix home at the end of the day.”

Felix has been working in the village of Geghakert, which is five kilometers away from Echmiadzin, for 34 years. He has 180 sportsmen, age 13-24 in his charge.

Felix comes back to the room and lays magazines, albums, fragments of newspapers, numerous books on the table. His wife adds: “Felix has all the good things.” And she shows diplomas and orders of different years.

“Had my pupils turned their backs on me I would have left. But they supported me strongly,” he says.

Felix reads the records of his private diary. He has mottos to which he has adhered in his life. “A person, despite his nationality, should act for the sake of interests common to all mankind; should be not a nationalist but an internationalist,” he says.

The ancestors of Felix’s father Askar Aliyev immigrated to Armenia from the Iranian province of Khoy. His father lost his parents at the age of seven. Before he came of age he was brought up by Armenians, their neighbors.

“He married my mother Yepraksia Danielyan in 1936. My father played the clarinet perfectly. Everybody knew Maestro Ali in Echmiadzin. He was invited to play to the best wedding parties,” Felix says.

Julietta remembers with a heavy heart how the Armenian-Azeri strife depressed her father-in-law despite the fact that their neighbors and friends said: “Ali jan, be well and don’t worry, not a single hair on your head will be harmed.” And, indeed, nobody bothered him or his family.

Ali died in 1998. Felix says that they feel ashamed instead of their compatriots. The whole family was shocked after the Sumgait events. And when he remembers that an Azeri army officer killed an Armenian army officer at a conference in Budapest two winters ago, his voice becomes subdued.

Felix has relatives in Azerbaijan but he has no contacts with them. Once a relative of his father was taken aback when he learned from one of his acquaintances that they continued to live in Echmiadzin.

“I could not move to Azerbaijan, as my wife and my mother are Armenians. At best we had to move to another country,” he says.

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Felix says he is Christian; his favorite church is Surb Gayane. He says that his purity and philanthropy are the Koran and the Bible.

Felix lives adhering to his own principle: “You should be grateful to the nation that educates you and brings you up.”

He has been a fan of weightlifting since his school years. He graduated from the Institute of Physical Training in 1966. Since 1970 he has been working at the school of Geghakert.

The merited coach brought up 33 masters of sport, two of whom are of the international level. World-famed Yuri Sargsyan, merited master of sport, is also Felix’s pupil. Sargsyan held 14 new world records and in 1982-1983 he became the world champion in his sport. Today Yuri Sargsyan is a deputy head of the Weightlifting Federation of Australia. In 1985 the school of Geghakert was named after him.

Among Aliyev’s pupils are also Vigen Khachatryan, 25, who became the third prize-winner at the World Championships in 2001, and in the same year won the silver medal at the Youth European Championships, and Arkadi Barseghyan, 22, who became the Junior European Champion in 2002.

Felix is sure that he will still give champions to the world. Reading Sigmund Freud he finds the answers to many questions worrying him.

“According to Freud, a person’s nationality depends on his self-consciousness. It is necessary to appreciate in him values common to all mankind.”

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