Russian Paratroopers at an anti-homophobia rally in Moscow (source: Wikimedia) Only 18 months ago the drive for global LGBT
The co-existence of different faiths and ethnicities is increasingly under threat in both the Islamic and Western worlds, now is the time to build new models to bring people together and celebrate what we share: our humanity.
With Europe still mired in the greatest migrant crisis since the Second World War, and the continent's policymakers confounded by Brexit, it is little surprise that few eyes have been focussed on Azerbaijan.
Artists and athletes often claim to be apolitical. But they should remember that in countries such as Azerbaijan, where free speech is at a premium, their silence can be deafening, but their words can be powerful.
In the early hours of Saturday 2 April, a military escalation erupted on the Nagorny Karabakh line of contact, on a scale not seen since 1994. While the breakfast news reported on Palmyra, on who is planning to restore which monuments, the disturbing news broke about this old, yet now new conflict, that overnight saw dozens of people killed.
Over the past few years I've been fortunate enough to travel for work and to visit friends who have moved abroad. On some of the trips, I've found myself thrown in with some of the most diverse and unusual people, all of whom were trying to get along for the sake of everyone's enjoyment.
As the European Games opened in Baku on Friday with Lady Gaga belting out Imagine from behind a grand piano buried in foliage, it was impossible to know for sure how John Lennon would have felt about his iconic protest song being appropriated by one of the most repressive regimes in Europe. You could take an educated guess though.
June 12th 2015, and the Opening Ceremony of the 1st European Games takes place in Azerbaijan, to much excitement - or did
No 'Olympic Truce' for Journalists and Human Rights Defenders in Baku: Barred From Entry and Deported on the Eve of the First European Games
After sending renowned Azerbaijani human rights activists and journalists to prison, the country's authorities have decided to ban foreign journalists and rights groups from the European Games. This latest move highlights the lengths to which Azerbaijan will go to prevent people from seeing what's really going on within its borders.
In just over three months, the streets of Baku, Azerbaijan will welcome athletes from across Europe in the first ever European games. Great Britain will send its largest contingent of athletes since the Beijing Games of 2008.