After nearly 19 years of communicating online, I finally managed to meet Thomas Goltz, the American writer and war correspondent best known for his Azerbaijan Diary, Chechnya Diary, and Georgia Diary books. I also managed to interview him for the BBC’s Azerbaijan Service on his latest project, On Aggregate: Champions Without a Home, the story of Azerbaijan’s Qarabagh-Aghdam football team which has been unable to play home games since 1993 when their city was captured by Armenian forces during the conflict over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh.
Interestingly, Thomas Goltz had discovered the team after communicating with Artur Huizinga, co-author of Offside: Football in Exile, the story not only of Qarabagh-Aghdam, but also its ethnic Armenian counterpart in Stepanakert. I interviewed Huizinga about Offside in 2012.
Monochrome portrait © Onnik James Krikorian 2016