Autumn 2005 (13.3)
Of Worthy Note
Of Interest to the International Community
Famous Sons of Azerbaijan
The biographies in this book feature celebrated Azerbaijani scientists,
poets, artists, calligraphists, musicians, theologians, statesmen
and commanders. This is the first time such biographies of historical
Azerbaijanis are available in English.
The book is organized in chronological order, starting with
Zoroaster (6th-9th centuries B.C.) and ending with Mirza Shafi
(19th century). It spans a wide geographic expanse, not being
confined to the present day boundaries of Azerbaijan. Individuals
featured lived in Baku, Ganja, Shamakhi, Barda, Nakhchivan, Karabakh,
and present-day Iran (Tabriz and Ardabil).
Some of the famous personalities featured include: Atropates,
Tusi, Nizami Ganjavi, Nasimi, Maraghi, Shah Ismayil, Fuzuli,
Shah Abbas, Javanshir, Shirvani and Vagif. The word "sons"
in the title is figurative because a few women are presented
as well, such as Tomris, the Amazons, and Mahsati Ganjavi.
"Famous Sons of Azerbaijan" is lavishly illustrated
with photos and paintings of the individuals featured, ancient
monuments, archeological finds and manuscripts. The book deserves
serious consideration just for its incredible collection of illustrations
"Famous Sons of Ancient and Medieval Azerbaijan" by
Chingiz Gajar. 2004. In English.392 pages. Hard Bound. Available
for purchase at AI Store at AZER.com. Highly recommended.
Azerbaijan Beckons Me
This book includes 58 poems dedicated to the Southern Azerbaijani
people who live in northwestern Iran. It was written by Debra
Nourazer, an American married to an Azerbaijani from that region.
Some of the poems are dedicated to specific Azerbaijan individuals
while others laud the regional Azerbaijani people as a whole.
Some poems were inspired by listening to Rahman Asadollahi's
performances on the traditional musical instrument garmon.
"Azerbaijan Beckons Me" by Debra Nourazar. Watermark
Press: Owings Mills, Maryland 2005. Paperback, 112 pages. ISBN
0-7951-0911-3. For copies, contact the author: Debra Nourazar,
Box 6052, Concord, California 94524.
Women in Azerbaijan's Music
Women have had a prominent role in music especially with the
encouragement of Uzeyir Hajibeyov (1885-1948). Early ensembles
included women performers such as the First State Oriental Turkic
Women Orchestra (1920s) and the Women's Choir (1930s).
Biographical information is given about many of Azerbaijan's
women composers, singers, and musicians.
Some of the most famous include: vocalist Shovkat Mammadova (1897-1981)
who was the first woman to perform on stage, Hagigat Rezayeva
(1907-1969), who performed in some of the Hajibeyov's first operas
at the beginning of the last century, ballerina Gamar Almaszade
(1915-), Amina Dilbazi (1919-), beloved singer Shovkat Alakbarova
(1922-1993), opera composer Shafiga Akhundova (1924-), musicologist
Adila Huseinzade (1916-2005).
The book also features outstanding pianist Bella Davidovitch
(1928- ), pianist and composer Elmira Nazirova (1928- ), musicologist
Elmira Abasova (1932-), singer Rubaba Muradova (1933-1983), composer
Firangiz Alizade (1947-), and sister opera singers Fidan Gasimova
(1947-) and Khuraman Gasimova (1951-). The book includes a fascinating
selection of historical photos.
"Women in Azerbaijan's Music" (Qadinlar Azerbaycanin
Musigi Hayatinda) is compiled and edited by Alla Bayramova, Director
of the State Museum of Azerbaijani Musical Culture. Bilingual
in English and Azeri. 116 pages. Baku, 2004.
Contact Alla Bayramova in Baku. Tel: (994-12) 431-5176. Highly
recommended. The first book to our knowledge, which offers biographical
material in English about Azerbaijani women in music.
Story of a Marriage - Short Stories
This book - "Story of a Marriage" [Istoriya Odnoy Svadbi]
- is an anthology of short stories in the Russian language by
well-known Azerbaijani writers such as Chingiz Abdullayev, Gunel
Anargizi, Natig Rasulzade, Victor Tatarenko, Aytan Aghshingizi,
Hasan Guliyev, Marina Yanayeva, and Gulshan Tofiggizi.
"Istoriya Odnoy Svadbi" is compiled by Hasan Guliyev.
Nurlan Publishing House: Baku, 2005. Paperback, 140 pages.
Arshin Mal Alan - Music Scores
In commemoration of the 120th Jubilee of Azerbaijani composer
Uzeyir Hajibeyov (1885-1948), we include this book in our listings
as well although it was first published in 2002. "Arshin
Mal Alan" [Cloth Peddler] was one of Hajibeyov's most famous
This romantic comedy challenges the traditional norms of the
day, suggesting that young people - both men and women - themselves,
not their parents, should choose their life partners.
This book includes the entire piano score of the musical comedy
with text in both Azeri (Latin script) and English.
There is a short sketch of Hajibeyov's life, a small glossary
of terms and several photos from the 1945 version which featured
Rashid Behbudov. The book is dedicated to the memory of Uzeyir
Hajibeyov and the 90th Jubilee of "Arshin Mal Alan"
Cloth Peddler [Arshin Mal Alan] by Composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov.
Translation of the libretto from Azeri into English was done
by Seyran Aghabeyov. Azerbaijan University Publishers: Baku,
2002, 159 pages. Available at AI Store at AZER.com.
Folklore and Ethnography [Folklore va Etnografiya] is the only
folklore journal ever to be published in Azerbaijan. It is now
completing its second year of publication. It is the brainchild
of folklorist Maharram Gasimli who serves as editor. The goal
of the journal is to stimulate folklore research in Azerbaijan
and to attract foreign interest and collaboration. Most of the
articles are published in Azeri. Occasionally, the journal includes
articles in Russian but these days more priority is given to
English. The contents are listed in both Azeri and English, and
often short English summaries are provided for the Azeri articles.
The current issue, Volume 2:4, includes the lengthy article in
Azeri about Sufi Hamid Cemetery by Betty Blair and Farid Alakbarli
which was featured in the Spring issue of Azerbaijan International
(AI 13.1). Search at AZER.com for the English version. "Folklor
va Etnografiya." Baku: Ughur Publishing House. Contact the
editor Maharram Gasimli: Tel: (994-12) 448-2521, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author of the book Felix Tsertisivadze (1942-), is of Georgian,
Jewish and Russian ancestry. He was born in Shamkir, Azerbaijan
Republic. This book is his response to what he considers to be
the many disingenuous authors of a multitude of non-objective
publications in the Russian language immigrant mass media on
the subject of the Azerbaijanian-Armenian conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
From his perspective, the reason why Azerbaijanis are generally
depicted in a negative light is because they are Muslim.
"Forgotten Genocide" is dedicated to the memory of
the innocent victims of the genocide committed against the Azerbaijani
people between 1987-1994. The book severely criticizes Gorbachev
for his duplicity in Azerbaijan. It describes the events of January
1990 (often referred to as "Black January"), including
what is commonly known in the international press as the Sumgayit
Massacres against Armenians. Tsertisivadze insists that there
is another side to the story that didn't make it into the international
media. He insists those attacks were a calculated political setup
by Moscow to give the Soviet military an excuse to attack Azerbaijanis
"The Forgotten Genocide" by Felix Tsertisivadze. Translated
into English from Russian by Nicholas A. Ohotin. Adegi Press:
New York, 2005, 128 pages. ISBN: 978-0-9741857-7-4.
Hans Christian Anderson
"Ole Lukoye va Bashga Naghillar" (Ole-Lukoye and Other
Tales) was written to commemorate the 200th Jubilee of the beloved
Danish children's writer Hans Christian Anderson (1805-1875).
The book includes three of his fanciful tales in Azeri translation:
"Ole-Luk-Oie" (1842), "The Storm Shakes the Shield"
(1865), and "The Brave Tin Soldier" (1838). Beautifully
and imaginatively illustrated in watercolor paintings by Azerbaijani
veteran artist Nusrat.
This work is the brainchild of Tarlan Gorchu, Director of Tutu
Publishing House, who is passionately committed to producing
high quality, world-class literary works for children in the
new Azeri Latin script.
"Ole-Lukoye and Other Tales" [Ole Lukoye ve bashga
naghillar] by H. C. Anderson. Baku: Tutu Publishing House: Baku,
2005. Paperback, 28 pages. ISBN 9952-410-09-8. Contact TUTUBOOKS.az.
OSI Assistance Foundation [Soros] and UNESCO provided support
for this artistic and literary project.
"Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline: Oil Window to the West"
edited by S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell describes
the implications of the recently inaugurated BTC pipeline. Chapter
4, "Implications for Azerbaijan," is by Svante Cornnell
and Fariz Ismailzade. Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk
Road Studies Program: Washington, DC. $15. 150 pages. Free (PDF)
Cornnell also edits the Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst (CACIANALYST.org),
an excellent English language resource analysing current issues
of the Central Asia-Caucasus region. Sponsored by the Central
Asia-Caucasus Institute, Johns Hopkins University-SAIS. To join
the distribution list, contact: email@example.com. Free.
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AI 13.3 (Autumn 2005)
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