Summer 2004 (12.2)
The Ali and Nino Walking Tour
by Betty Blair and Fuad
to Ali & Nino Walking Tour Index
three-storied residence occupies an entire block and opens up
to an inner courtyard, which is typical of much of the architecture
built during the Oil Baron period in Baku. Teymur Ashurbeyov
constructed the house as a marriage gift in 1904 to his son Bala
Bey and daughter-in-law Ismat Khanim, who were the parents of
the late Sara Ashurbeyli. Joseph V. Goslavski was the architect.
When the Bolsheviks stormed Baku in 1920, the Ashurbeyov property
was confiscated. The family fled to Turkey via Georgia on the
Black Sea. For six years, they lived off the sale of diamonds,
which Ismat had managed to smuggle out with her when they escaped.
The parents sacrificed everything to provide an education for
their six children in Istanbul. Homesick Bela Bey decided thought
in 1926 it must safe to return with his family to Baku. It was
a tragic decision that led to his death 10 years later when Stalin
arrested tens of thousands of people. Bala Bey was found guilt
of being a "nobleman, landowner and oil-industrialist"
and was imprisoned and eventually executed. His wife and children
were left to struggle in a one-room apartment.
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