New Project: ADA Writes History

New Project: ADA Writes History

ADA Writes History

About the project

I used to live in Gandja. As all people see, there was an explosion in there and our house is near from where the rocket exploded. Our house was badly damaged. For this reason, we just moved to Baku. Now we live in two small rooms and we are six people. We rented the house without any plans and we did not have another choice because many people have moved and there is no home for rent. There is not place for me sitting in front of computer and studying online.”


This is the opening paragraph of a short story by Javidan Guliyev, who studies at School of Business at ADA. But this is not just a story. This is a history.


You are living through an unrepeatable and unique moment in the history of our nation. It is unique not only because of the war and the pandemic COVID-19, but also because of a new page in the Azerbaijani process of nation building. I was reading a twitter post of our Mehriban xanim Aliyeva this morning: “These days, the whole world community is witnessing the invincible will, determination, unity and solidarity of Azerbaijani people, their loyalty to the Motherland”. Our national values re-emerge with new vigor.

Years from now, historians will study from the experiences of people who went through it – people like you, your families, friends, neighbors, teachers. These are the days that cry out to be documented.


History is not only about dates and facts but also, as Betty Blair, a dear friend of Azerbaijan says, it is about narratives and testimonies that create so much empathy with readers.


That is why we invite you to be part of The ADA Writes History Initiative. Many of you mentioned in your recent emails that you are overwhelmed with emotion and that these emotions prevent you from focusing on anything except your Motherland and those who are fighting for it.


Many of you have brothers, cousins uncles and close friends, who are sacrificing their lives for Karabakh. Some of you have parents who are doctors, saving the lives of those soldiers. Others have parents who spend sleepless nights helping the government return our lands.


Millions of Azerbaijanis all over the world are now united as never before to help soldiers and their families with donations, to help Azerbaijan’s voice to be heard in every corner of the globe. Some of you live in the cities that have been attacked like Ganja, Ter-Ter, Barda, Mingechevir, Goranboy, Agjabedi. Or you have relatives or friends living there.


Your stories are history. The time is perfect to document them for future generations of Azerbaijan and the world.


This project is also to provide platform for Azerbaijani youth to develop multiple skills – exploration, examination, articulation, creativity, cooperation- that are at the core of our ADA mission.


Who can participate?


We invite all ADA affiliates -students, graduate students, staff, faculty and alumni - to contribute to history!


You can contribute:

1) by yourself individually, in pairs or in groups

2) with parents, siblings, cousins, classmates, friends and teachers.


We begin this project as ADA Writes History.  Your involvement will make it a valuable contribution of Azerbaijanis Write History!


How can you participate?

  1. The deadline for the first call of submissions is November 2. The deadline for the second call of submissions will be November 17.


  1. Submit your story to the following email address: 


  1. Include your First Name, Last Name, year of admission (such as 2020), school (such as School of Business) and program (such as Business Administration). If you are an ADA High School student, indicate your grade (such as 10) and class (such as B1).


Note: Please, indicate all participants if you are working as a team.


What can you write about?

Your story must be true. Here are some suggestions: 


  1. Stories / Essays / Narratives (minimum 500 words)


Share your observations, examinations, reflections, discoveries, feelings, emotions. Write about what has impacted you the most since the war started. Why has it impacted you? Why do you want to share it? What will others learn from your story? What will foreigners learn from your story?

These can be stories that witness or heard about that you would want to tell to your kids or grandkids.


  1. Interview (minimum 300 words)
  • A relative who is, or was a soldier fighting for Karabakh
  • Parents of those soldiers
  • People from the cities have been attacked by Armenia
  • Those who witnessed the Karabakh war back in 1988 and early 1990s. How is the war these days similar or different from 27 years ago?
  • Another person deeply involved with the war


  1. Photo story (one picture and maximum 50 words)

Take or share a photo which tells a story by itself! They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words!” Be sure to ask the photographer’s permission if you use someone else’s photos.


I saw this truck other day while I was leaving campus. A big smile erupted on my face. This has been time of unity, strength and standing together. This has been time of rewriting the history of the Azerbaijani nation. This is history being written by us Azerbaijanis as we witness it and experience it everyday!”


  1. A story about an Azerbaijani Hero (minimum 300 words)

For some of you, heroes are those who are fight on battleground sacrificing their lives for our lands. For others, heroes are doctors saving their lives. But a hero can also be old man donating his engagement ring to help soldiers. Write your story of Azerbaijani hero in the 2020 War for Karabakh. Include their biographies.


  1. A Poem or a Song

There are many of you who are talented in expressing your feelings through poems or songs. Use your talent as a creative means to convey the history!


  1. Documentary (minimum 500 words)

If you are in the regions being attacked or regions close to the frontline, document what has been happening there, how people feel, the difficulties and problems they are experiencing.


  1. A Social Network Story (minimum 200 words excluding texts in posts)

Keep a record of memorable social network posts. Organize them in a creative story thread. You may add pictures. However, don’t forget to ask for permission if you use other people’s’ posts in your story.


  1. Computer Graphics or a Poster (maximum 50 words)

Since ths is the age of technology and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, use computer graphics to illustrate an important idea about the war or you can draw / paint a poster.


  1. Dealing with Rumors

Rumors are an important part of documenting history. It often takes time to sort out the lies and discover the truth. For example, there are often rumors about whether certain town have been captured – like Shusha. Or, there have been rumors about an explosion in one of the schools in Baku being carried out by Armenian terrorists? Focus on one of these rumors and show how it reflects the fears and concerns that people have. Show what happened to convince people of the truth.


  1. My Dream Karabakh (minimum 500 words)

Dream about what you would like to see developing in Karabakh after it is returned to Azerbaijan. What changes and developments do you dream of seeing there? How can you be a part of those changes? This can be your business plan, policy paper or social responsibility project.


In what language should you submit your story?

Since one of the purposes of this project is to make our voices heard all over the world, English language is the preferred language to use.


But, the Azerbaijani language is also welcome since another purpose of the project is to compile oral histories.


How long should my submission be?

Word limit for each type is provided. However, keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity. Your story needs to be complete, unified, coherent and credible. It should not tell the reader what happened. It should show the reader what happened.


What will happen to your story?

  • Your story will be evaluated by the Project Review Committee comprised of Faculty members and external experts.
  • Many stories will be featured in the relevant category in our blog: ADA Writes History.
  • The best stories will be published in a physical book / journal.
  • Authors of the best stories in each of these categories will be recognized by Rector Pashayev at a special Awards Ceremony.
  • Students participating in this project will receive a maximum participation grade in the following courses: History of Azerbaijan, Academic Writing, Leadership and Communication in Teams.
  • The authors of the selected stories will be waived from midterm assignment in the same courses
  • Other bonuses and types of recognition may be assigned separately by individual faculty members at their own discretion.


How will your story be evaluated?

  1. Originality of the narrated piece - the degree of personalization of the content and main thoughts and conclusions 
  2. Clear indication of the sources of information used
  3. Clarity of reasoning and validity of conclusions 
  4. Convincing writing style and artistic qualities of the text
  5. Ability to present the controversy of the story and the events in dynamics - in combination with a view of the future development of the situation and the perception of the details of history over the passing time


Can you receive support in writing the story?

  • Regular information sessions will be provided to address your questions regarding the project. The first session will be Tuesday, October 20th, at 4 pm at the following link.
  • Faculty will be available to look at your drafts and advise you. To summon their assistance, email with the subject line: Writing Support.
  • In your email, clearly indicate type of support you need. We will direct your inquiry to a relevant faculty member to help you.
  • Online writing workshops will also be provided to help you to develop writing. Check your emails and social networks for the exact dates and times of these workshops.

Category: University