Autumn 2002 (10.3)
and Nino" - Rediscovered
by Ismail Kafescioglu in
and Nino Covers: Novel is Published in 33 Languages
Betty Blair (AI 12.3)
Inside the Soul of a Caucasian Elin Suleymanov (AI
The World of "Ali and Nino" It's Our World too!
Betty Blair (AI 12.2)
City Tour: "Ali and Nino" Walking Tour - Fuad Akhundov
and Blair (AI 12.2)
Essay: Then & Now: Baku 100 Years Ago at the Peak of Oil
Baron Period (AI 12.2)
How to Collect Kurban Said's Novel "Ali and Nino"
Blair (AI 12.3)
to Editor: Copyright - Leela Ehrenfels (AI 12.4)
When I saw the book "Ali and Nino" by Kurban Said (Gurban
Sayid) advertised in the recent issue of Azerbaijan International
10.2, Summer 2002), I was so excited. I've been looking for
that book for years. I first came across this wonderful novel
about 20-25 years ago while staying at the guesthouse of NIOC
(National Iraqi Oil Company) in Baghdad. At that time, I was
on business related to purchasing oil from Iraq as General Manager
of Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO).
The plot of "Ali and Nino" truly fascinated me because
it brought to mind my own roots. My paternal grandmother was
Circassian whose parents, too, were forced to abandon everything
they owned in the beautiful mountains of the northern Caucasus
after their 'nation' lost the 100-year-old war against the invading
Russians. They fled to what was then the Ottoman Empire (now
My grandmother told me that toward the end of their long trek,
some of their horses disappeared, which made traveling ever so
slow and exhausting. It meant that the women and small children
had to take turns, riding the few remaining horses. For the last
part of their journey, her father (my great-grandfather) carried
her on his shoulders. Family members from my paternal side were
also refugees from Crete, Greece.
On my return trip to Baghdad in those years, when I checked at
the NIOC guesthouse's small "library" for the Ali and
Nino book again, it seems the book had been "borrowed".
In the ensuing years, I never set eyes on that book again.
I remembered that it had originally been printed in London, but
when I wrote the publisher, I never received a response. Who
knows? So I gave up searching. You guys gave me the world when
you offered "Ali and Nino" through the Azerbaijan International
Web Store [AZER.com]. Many thanks from the bottom of my heart.
Editor's Note: The book "Ali and Nino - A Love
Story" by Kurban Said was translated from German by Jenia
Graman in 1970 and republished by Anchor Books, New York. This
fast-paced, charming love story is set in Baku on the eve of
the Bolshevik takeover around 1920, but it also includes some
episodes of the couple's escape to Iran.
ISBN 0-385-72949-8 (paperback), English, 282 pages, 2000.
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AI 10.3 (Autumn 2002)
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