European Jewish Association

Aynur Bashirova Herischi

“I was born in Azerbaijan. I moved to Belgium in 2005 as part of my studies. Currently, I am a PhD student at the ULB, writing my thesis on the development of Israel’s partnership with Azerbaijan since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 until 2018. My research experiences involve fellowships in several institutes, including Rubin Center affiliated with IDC Herzliya, where I spent one month. On many occasions, I also had opportunities to work with media and press, attending programs as a speaker. I have written several articles on Israel and Azerbaijan. I speak Azerbaijani, Russian, Turkish, English, and French.

There is a vibrant Jewish community in Azerbaijan, with Quba region being home to the last surviving shtetl, Red Settlement. I grew up in the capital Baku and had many Jewish friends around me. I always felt close to this nation. This is the reason why I chose these two countries as a case study for my PhD thesis. I paired these two together because there is limited amount of objective information about the reality of both countries. This way, I wanted to bring more clarity about their existence through presentation of dynamics of their cooperation. Through breaking the tradition and focusing on their positive, peaceful, and cooperative aspects toward each other, rather than their individual issues in other spheres.

I have always been combatting anti-Semitism and informing people about the history of modern Israel and its reality. I am delighted to be part of the DC. I met many amazing people here. I am confident that together with the network of so many bright and knowledgeable people we can do and achieve many things.”