Summer 2004 (12.2)
and Nino" Walking Tour in Baku
by Fuad Akhundov and
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Ali & Nino by Kurban Said
Starting point: Vahid's Statue in Governor's Park on
Niyazi Street below the President Aparat.
Final destination: Baku Opera and Ballet Theater at 95
Duration: About 3 hours.
Prerequisite for greatest enjoyment: Reading the novel:
"Ali and Nino: A Love Story" by Kurban Said [Gurban
Sayid]. New York: [Overland Press] Anchor Books, 2000.
In Baku, purchase "Ali
& Nino" at the office of Azerbaijan International Magazine
at 7 Alizade Street (No. 24 on the Walking Tour). Tel: 498-9353.
Additional copies of this issue of the magazine which includes
the "Ali & Nino Walking Tour" may also be obtained
there, as can the Azeri and Russian versions of the novel "Ali
and Nino". Or you may purchase at AI
There's no better way to sense the glory
and opulence that characterized Baku during the Oil Baron period
(1890s to 1920) than by taking a walking tour of the city. These
were the years when Baku produced more than 50 percent of the
world's supply of oil and the days when the city was exploding
with an enormous building boom, as each wealthy magnate tried
to outdo all others in the luxuriousness and ornateness of the
architecture that they produced. Little did the owners realize
that overnight, the spirit of entrepreneurism would vanish, and
the owners who had lived such privileged lives would either have
to flee or risk being killed. Their world turned upside down
and all private property was confiscated by the central government.
This tour also enables you to catch
a glimpse of the complex and passionate spirit of the Caucasus
as borne out in the magnificent love story between an aristocratic
Azerbaijani khan and a Georgian princess-a Muslim and a Christian-who
fall in love at the most perilous political times on the eve
of the Bolshevik revolution.
The tour includes points of interest within the "Inner City"
(Ichari Shahar), sometimes referred to as the "Old City",
as well as along Baku's most prominent avenues with its most
opulent Oil Baron mansions, many of which figure into the novel's
Above: Fuad Akhundov and
Arzu Aghayeva, Ulviyya Mammadova, Aytan Aliyeva and Farid Alakbarov
also contributed to this article.
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