Azerbaijan International

Summer 2004 (12.2)


Elin Suleymanov doubted that anybody could tell him anything new or interesting about the place where he had grown up-his beloved city of Baku - but then he opened the pages of "Ali & Nino: A Love Story" by Kurban Said. For him, this book describes the complexity, passion and pain of the Caucasian soul more than any other book he has ever read. See Elin's Book Review on page 40. Elin just graduated from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, Massachusetts, this May. He's the first Azerbaijani to do so. He's now on his way back to Baku.

If you really want to visualize the history of 20th century Azerbaijan, Nina Fisheva is the expert you want to meet. She's been working in Azerbaijan's National Photo Archives since 1959 - a total of 45 years! Nina has a passion for photography and knows the contents of the archives like the "back of her hand". In this issue, she helped us identify some of the major architectural landmarks from the Oil Baron period. See "Photo Essay: Then and Now", pages 28-39.

He's at it again. Fuad Akhundov, who modestly dubs himself as "amateur historian", has once again found a way to make the architectural landmarks of the Oil Baron period (1880s to 1920) accessible to foreigners. This time, he's designed "The Ali & Nino Walking Tour" which takes approximately 3 hours. We can't think of a better introduction to the city, which provided more than half of the world's supply of oil at the turn of last century. Page 44.


Much of the beauty of Baku's downtown can be traced to the opulent Oil Baron period. Using old photos from the National Photo Archives as his guide, Elman Gurbanov tried to find the same camera angles of those same buildings nearly a hundred years later. The major difference between then and now? The traffic. It's nearly impossible to take a photo without cars. Page 28.

The Old City has always been a favorite haunt for Baku's artists, but now with independence, Orkhan Huseinov doesn't feel compelled to portray it through the lens of any political ideology. His canvases tend to be peopled with scenes of daily life and invariably there's a keen sense of humor. For more samples of Orkhan's work, visit Contact him at: Tel: (994-12) 61-17-28 or Mobile: (994-55) 776-1519. Orkhan speaks English. See art work on page 22.

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