A nation is known, recognized and distinguished among the world nations by certain characteristic features. The highest and the greatest of these features is culture.

12.09.2019 10:47
Nasimi's poetry inspires Sami YusufWith over 34 million albums sold to date, Sami Yusuf continues to influence the music world. The British musician of Azerbaijani origin has recently presented new music pieces composed within the “Timeless Spirit of Heritage“ project, organized by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture. The project brilliantly reflects Azerbaijan's ancient culture and history and features nine compositions - “Gobustan“, “Ateshgah“, “Nasimi“, “A Dancing Heart“, “The Garden“, “Shirvanshahs' Palace“, “Novruz“, “Shaki Khan Palace“ and “Azerbaijan”. These works were earlier presented during the 43rd World Heritage Committee session, held in Baku in June-July 2019. In his official YouTube channel, Sami Yusuf delighted music lovers with some of these compositions - “Shirvanshahs' Palace“, “The Garden“ and “Nasimi“. “Nasimi“ has been written by Sami Yusuf based on the Shur mugham (a traditional Azerbaijani music) and performed by an orchestra and two vocalists - Tayyar Bayramova and Samira Aliyeva. The music piece features famous ghazal “Worlds Can Fit Within Me“ by the 14th century Azerbaijani poet and thinker Imadaddin Nasimi. Sami Yusuf considers “Nasimi” as one of his best works as the piece reflects his spiritual beliefs, love and tolerance. This year was declared the Year of Nasimi in Azerbaijan and the 650th anniversary of Imadaddin Nasimi is being widely celebrated across the country. The singer performed his composition “The Garden“ in a duet with honored Azerbaijani musician Sevda Alakbarzade. Sami Yusuf sang in English while Sevda Alakbarzade performed in Azerbaijani. All these pieces are included in Sami Yusuf’s new album “Azerbaijan: A Timeless Presence“, which is already available in all music platforms. The singer will soon present his other music pieces through social media. Throughout his career that spans over 15 years, Sami Yusuf has conveyed divine love, and this love shines through in all his musical endeavors. He believes that all traditions in the world are expressions of the same essential spiritual truth and it is no surprise that the singer turns to traditional music as a means of conveying this message. The positive message of his lyrics gives voice to a collective yearning for peace and harmony, and his use of global rhythms and melodies united by spiritual vision captivates listeners worldwide. Sami Yusuf uses his fame to help people through his humanitarian activities such as the World Food Program. In 2014, The United Nations appointed Sami Yusuf the Global Ambassador against Hunger. In 2015 Sami Yusuf promoted the world’s first interfaith anthem, a song called “The Gift of Love”, to mark the World Interfaith Harmony Week. Through this effort, Sami Yusuf hopes to help people from different traditions recognize that the common values they hold far outweigh their differences and that this understanding can be the starting point for the journey toward a lasting peace.       ..
10.09.2019 09:03
TURKSOY Youth Chamber Orchestra captivates audienceTURKSOY Youth Chamber Orchestra has given a concert on the stage of the Azerbaijan State Academic Philharmonic Hall. The orchestra mesmerized the listeners with their virtuosity. The magnificent performance of the works that make up the musical heritage of the Turkic peoples brought the orchestra fame among its numerous fans worldwide. The concert was attended by prominent public figures, representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in Azerbaijan, workers of science, culture and art, numerous fans of the musical heritage of Turkic peoples and classical music. Before the start of the concert program, TURKSOY Secretary General Dusen Kaseinov noted that the concert was organized as part of a long tour of the band in three countries - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. “The tour is dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the formation of the Turkic Council. The tour began on August 27. Concert programs took place in Kazakhstan - Turkistan, Shymkent, Taraz, – then there was a concert in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), and then again in Kazakhstan - the city of Almaty,” said Kaseinov. In the final concert in Baku, the orchestra performed under the direction of Renat Salavatov (Russia) and Anvar Akbarov (Kazakhstan). During the tour, the orchestra also performed under the direction of the Azerbaijani conductor Mustafa Mehmandarov. It was noted that next year, large-scale tours of the collective are planned in Europe and possibly in the U.S. During the evening, an interesting program was presented to the audience, which featured compositions by Seidaly Medetov (Kyrgyzstan), Turgay Erdener (Turkey), Nury Halmamedov (Turkmenistan), Turkish folk song “Uskudara Gideriken“ and the work of the orchestra soloist, musician and composer Birzhan Mynbaev ( Kazakhstan). Tchaikovsky's “Serenade for Strings“, Vivaldi's “Concert for Four Violins and Orchestra”, Schnittke's “Old Style Suite“ also sounded at the concert. At the end of the evening, the final part from the “String Symphony in Memory of Nizami“ by the Azerbaijani composer, People's Artist of the USSR Fikrat Amirov was performed. The members of TURKSOY Youth Chamber Orchestra are young talents, students of the conservatories of the TURKSOY member countries. Over the past years, about 100 young talents from ten different countries joined the orchestra. Numerous concerts of TURKSOY Youth Chamber Orchestra took place on the stages of various countries, including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Austria, the U.S., Germany, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France and Italy. TURKSOY is an international cultural organization of countries with Turkic populations, whose speaking languages belong to the Turkic language family. The organization has its roots going back to the 1992 meetings in Baku and Istanbul, where the ministers of culture of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan declared their commitment to cooperate in a joint cultural framework. TURKSOY was subsequently established by an agreement signed on July 12, 1993, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. ..
05.09.2019 15:49
Azerbaijani version of poems by Jewish poetess Rachel Bluwstein presentedNational Art Museum has hosted a presentation of the collection of poems by Jewish poetess Rachel Bluwstein (1890-1931) translated into Azerbaijani. Along with the poems, the book features her works in Hebrew. Addressing the event, Deputy Chief of Israel’s diplomatic mission in Azerbaijan Avital Rosenberg noted that the book was translated into Azerbaijani on the initiative of Israeli Embassy in Azerbaijan. She underlined the embassy’s efforts to promote the culture of Israeli people in Azerbaijan. Deputy Chief of the mission said that the Russian version of the poems was used during the translation of the book into Azerbaijani, and hailed the accurate translation. The collection of poems by Rachel Bluwstein was translated into Azerbaijani by a screenwriter, poet and translator Vagif Rasuloglu. ..
05.09.2019 15:46
Melih Yevdayev: Friendly ties between Azerbaijani and Israeli people will last for centuries“Friendly ties between Azerbaijani and Israeli people will last for centuries,” If we look at tolerance and multiculturalism reigning in Azerbaijan, we can see live demonstration of Azerbaijani realities at today’s meeting,” said Head of the Religious Community of Mountain Jews Melih Yevdayev at the presentation of a collection of poems by Jewish poetess Rachel Bluwstein into Azerbaijani. “High-level relations were established with the state of Israel in economic and political areas after Azerbaijan regained its independence. Domestic and foreign policy carried out by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev totally coincides with the position of national minorities living in the country. Therefore, this policy serves both Azerbaijani people and all nations living here, as well as ensures protecting their rights and interests and improve the life style in Azerbaijan,” Melih Yevdayev added. ..
04.09.2019 15:00
Salam Int'l Youth Film Festival kicks offThe opening ceremony of the Salam International Youth Film Festival was held at CinemaPlus Amburan Mall on September 2. Narimanfilm studio organized the event with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan, the Union of Cinematographers of Azerbaijan, Pasha Holding LLC and other organizations. Representatives of culture and art, the Ministry of Culture, youth organizations, diplomatic missions and foreign guests attended the opening ceremony. Honored Culture Worker Nariman Mammadov, who is Narimanfilm Director, Honored Art Worker Jamil Guliyev, who is Deputy Head of the Cinematography Department of the Culture Ministry, and representatives of the diplomatic missions of Hungary and India made speeches at the festival. They noted that the main goal of the Salam Festival is to educate young people in accordance with national and universal spiritual values, establish friendly relations between young people, promote culture, and create positive public opinion about Azerbaijan in other countries through the invited participants of the festival. Boys and girls from 13 to 17 years old from 11 countries, including Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Italy, Germany, Croatia, Macedonia, Pakistan and India, participate in the festival. All adolescents who came from abroad live in Azerbaijani families in order to learn more about the national customs and traditions of Azerbaijani people, to see firsthand their hospitality and establish friendly relations with their local peers. Within the framework of the project, they will watch films of world and Azerbaijani cinema, discuss them with the participation of film professionals and determine the winners by voting as a jury. There will also be screenings of out-of-competition films, master classes, excursions and entertainment programs. The festival will continue until September 5. ..
03.09.2019 09:38
National culture presented in ViennaAn art evening dedicated to Azerbaijan was organized during the cultural week titled “Long Night of Intercultural Dialogue” on September 2 in Vienna, Austria. Leyla Gasimova, the head of Azerbaijani Cultural Center in Vienna, opened the event. The art evening program included samples of modern and traditional national art. Josipa Palac, the President and CEO of the International Cultural Diversity Organization (ICDO), highly appreciated Azerbaijan’s contribution to projects aimed at developing intercultural dialogue. Then, “LOST LAND” video installation by Azerbaijani artist and sculptor Elvin Nabizade was presented to the participants of the event. The documentary “Under the Same Sun,” filmed within framework of the Year of Multiculturalism and dedicated to ethnic groups living in Azerbaijan, was also shown. National dances such as Qarabagh, Naz Eleme, Agh Chicheyim and Sari Gelin, performed by the soloists of the Azerbaijan State Dance Ensemble – Alina Gontareva, Valeriya Konkina, Nurlan Rzazade and Eldar Huseynov, as well as other pieces of Azerbaijani national music aroused great interest among the participants. The “Long Night of Intercultural Dialogue” will wrap up on September 6. The Azerbaijani Cultural Center in Vienna was established in accordance with a Decree of President Ilham Aliyev dated November 16, 2012 to promote Azerbaijani culture in Austria. To provide the Austrian people with the opportunity to become better acquainted with Azerbaijan, the Center conducts various activities promoting the rich culture, art and tourism opportunities of the country. Participants of music evenings, which are held at the Center on a regular basis, have the opportunity to listen to the works of Uzeyir Hajibayli, Gara Garayev, Fikrat Amirov, Arif Malikov and other famous composers as well as to enjoy the Azerbaijani mugham. Exhibitions organized at the Cultural Center attract art lovers with the most interesting examples of Azerbaijani painting, sculpture and folk arts.  One of the main objectives of the Center is to develop cooperation with culture, tourism and media institutions of Austria, establish close ties with the cultural centers of other countries already operating in this country, and contribute to intercultural dialogue. ..
23.08.2019 15:08
Exploring Baku, land of magic carpetsThe Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum reflects the spiritual values of carpet-weaving in this cradle of old civilisation. Azerbaijanis have an old saying, 'My home is where my carpet is spread.' Way before oil and glitzy modernity swept its shores, this former Soviet state was known as the final frontier of carpet weaving. Legend has it that the intricately-crafted, highly intimate rug (often, woven fondly by women of the family) accompanies a person from birth to death, playing a key role in daily life and helping shape an Azeri's aesthetic perception of the world.  “In Azerbaijani culture,“ says Dr Shirin Melikova, director of the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum, “the carpet is more than just an element of home decoration or a part of the festivities and ceremonies. Rather, it reflects the uniqueness of one's character and artistic taste, incorporating many historical epochs and styles.“  Along with the Heydar Aliyev Centre, designed by the world-renowned starchitect Zaha Hadid, the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum looms large as a cultural landmark on Baku's gleaming skyline. Some call the Azeri capital 'Paris of the Caspian' and it's easy to see why.  Adding to the city's charm are the Soviet-era blocks flanked alongside post-modern architecture, the cultural bridge of the past paving the way to the future. It's pretty remarkable how the medieval and modern co-exist so peacefully here.  First established in 1967 to preserve the centuries-old tradition of carpet-weaving, the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum was the first of its kind in the world. More than five decades later, it is housed in a strikingly-designed building that resembles - no prized rug for guessing - a flying carpet. Its collection includes tens of thousands of items, mostly carpets of all hues and kinds, but also embroideries, traditional costumes and rich jewellery worn by both men and women from the Middle Ages. Apparently, there is no place in Azerbaijan where carpets are not woven, insists Dr Melikova, as she takes our small group of visitors on a guided tour of the carpet museum. Boasting dozens of compositions, every region differs in its design, which is composed of ornaments connected with people's faith and belief. “No design is ever repeated,“ one guide chips in, proudly.  More than a hundred different compositions of carpets are woven all across the nation, including in Baku, Shirvan, Tabriz, Guba, Ganja and Qazakh. Both technique as well as subject matter vary from region to region. Guba carpets, for example, are woven from soft, shiny wool with rhythmically alternating cross-shaped images, highlighting geometric, floral, animal and bird motifs. On the other hand, carpets from the Tabriz region draw from classical literature, historical characters and religious themes.  Visit any Azeri home and you will find the rug not only prominently displayed on the floor but also hung on the walls as an artwork. Elsewhere, they will show up as curtains or tablecloth and tents. Known for their asymmetric nature and geometric patterns, Azerbaijani carpet designs are inspired by nature, local folklores, culture and literature.  Visitors are free to marvel at the museum's rare treasures, which include a 17th-century Ajdahali (dragon) carpet, a late 17th-century Shamakhi carpet, a late 17th-century Karabakh group Nakhchivan carpet and a 19th-century Baku group Khila-Buta and Guba group Sirt-Chichi carpets. The late 17th-century Karabakh Dragon carpets, for instance, are remarkable for their unusual 'tree of life' motif. Its khatai (an indigenous Azeri tribe) composition represents one of the most interesting branches of Azerbaijani carpet weaving. Due to their popularity abroad, they were said to have been exported widely during the Safavid dynasty. Thus, fewer remained in its country of origin.  Unlike the ancient Zoroastrian tradition where a dragon would often symbolise evil, in Central Asia, the creature was associated with heaven, virility and fertility. Dr Melikova singles out the zili carpets bearing the symbols of Absheron, which extol “the sacred land, at the crossroads of four elements of the universe, where the remains of ancient temples are found, where the land breathes fire and a powerful wind stirs the waters of the Caspian Sea“.  “On this carpet, one can see the image of a peacock - a symbol of fire,“ she adds. One of my personal favourites from the museum display was an astonishing rug based on the classic star-crossed fictional romance of Layla and Majnun. It's vividly panoramic, depicting the love-struck Majnun handcuffed against scenes of a bustling street life as Layla awaits his return.  The Azerbaijani carpets are produced by women at home who take inspiration from their everyday lives and local culture and weave them into their creations. An Azeri bride makes her own rug as a dowry, goes one popular saying, and her husband's family cherishes her creation more than any other possession. Dr Melikova weighs in, “Azerbaijani carpets differ from the rest primarily with their turkbaf technique, symmetrical knot, designs closely related to the cultural and geographical background of the region, wool quality (nine of the 13 Caucasian breeds of sheep are, in fact, cultivated in Azerbaijan), pile height, as well as a variety of natural dyes. Our carpets reflect all stages of the history of Azerbaijan, its folklore, literature and beliefs associated with tribes living in this territory.“  “The carpet,“ she concludes, “has become the chronicle of our entire history, the quintessence of its spiritual incarnation.“  ..
20.08.2019 11:12
Azerbaijani opera singer to perform at Bolshoi Theater in MoscowHonorary Artist of Azerbaijan Elchin Azizov will perform in the “Iolanta”, a lyric opera in one act by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, which will be staged at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on October 5-6. He will play Ibn Hakia. Born in Baku, Elchin Azizov graduated from the Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Art with the profession of film director. Azerbaijan's opera singer possesses a charming baritone. In August 2005, he enrolled at the Summer Academy of the Mozarteum University (Salzburg, Richard Miller’s class). From 2006-2007, he studied with Alessandro Misciasci. In 2005-2007, he did a special course at the Opera studio attached to the Baku Academy of Music where he studied under Azad Aliyev. ..
16.08.2019 11:19
Registration for 6th Baku International Book Fair is availableThe 6th Baku International Book Fair will be held on September 27-29, 2019. The organizer of the event is the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan. During the fair the participants will be able to demonstrate or sell their publications, they also will have an opportunity to negotiate and sign contracts with the national and foreign publishing houses, authors. The fair stands (up to 6 sq.m.) and equipment will be free of charge for the participants. The Organizing Committee will provide assistance for participants concerning the organizational issues, but all expenses (travel, accommodation, meal etc.) will be paid by the participants. Preliminary information about participation should be confirmed at least till          August 19, 2019 and application-contract form should be sent till August 31, 2019 to the Organizing Committee (e-mail: nrtis@mct.gov.az) The application-contract (PDF format) can be downloaded from here. ..