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Home » The War-Torn History of Crimea—My Home: Emine Dzhaparova (Transcript)

The War-Torn History of Crimea—My Home: Emine Dzhaparova (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Emine Dzhaparova’s talk titled “The War-Torn History of Crimea—My Home” at TEDxAthens conference.

Emine Dzhaparova, a 40-year-old Ukrainian diplomat and mother of two, delivers a deeply personal and moving speech titled “The War-Torn History of Crimea—My Home.” She shares her story as an ethnic Crimean Tatar, discussing the centuries-long oppression and colonization of her people, and the ongoing struggle of Ukraine to maintain its independence amid the bloodiest war in modern European history.

Emine narrates her family’s painful history, including the forced deportation of Crimean Tatars by Stalin in 1944, and her own displacement following the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. Despite her high-ranking official status, she chooses to speak from the heart, sharing the impact of war on her family, particularly the emotional toll on her daughters.

Her speech also highlights the resilience of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar peoples, their fight for freedom, and the importance of preserving their homeland’s history and culture. Emine’s commitment to her country and her people’s cause is evident as she talks about her involvement in the International Crimea Platform, aiming to diplomatically reclaim Crimea. Her poignant narrative underscores the universal longing for home and the devastating effects of political conflicts on individual lives and national identities.

Listen to the audio version here:

TRANSCRIPT:

Hello, everyone. I’m so happy to be here, and thank you for your applause; it really supports me. My name is Emine Dzhaparova. I’m 40 years old. I’m a Ukrainian diplomat, an ethnic Ukrainian Tatar, and a mother of two beautiful daughters. And I have a confession to make.

When I was preparing for my speech, I felt very puzzled. What story should I tell you? Either to speak about my Crimean Tatar people, an under-discovered nation that went through oppressions and colonization for centuries, an indigenous people of Crimea that was born out of a mixture of all tribes and peoples ever inhabited the peninsula, or to speak about my hero country, Ukraine, the country that manifested three revolutions within three decades of its independence, Ukraine that is now going through the bloodiest war in Europe in order to preserve its freedom, its independence, and its right to live.

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