Azerbaijan International

Autumn 2005 (13.3)
Pages 92-93

Of Worthy Note

Of Interest to the International Community

Famous Sons of Azerbaijan, Books about Azerbaijan, Chingiz GajarFamous 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 alone.

"Famous Sons of Ancient and Medieval Azerbaijan" by Chingiz Gajar. 2004. In English.392 pages. Hard Bound. Available for purchase at AI Store at Highly recommended.

Azerbaijan Beckons Me, poems dedicated to Southern Azerbaijani people, Debra Nourazer
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 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
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.


The Cloth Peddler, Azerbaijani music scores, Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Arshin Mal Alan
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 music comedies.

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" (1913).

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

Folklore Journal, Folklore Magazine, Folklor Jurnali
Folklore Journal
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 for the English version. "Folklor va Etnografiya." Baku: Ughur Publishing House. Contact the editor Maharram Gasimli: Tel: (994-12) 448-2521, E-mail:

Forgotten Genocide, Genocide against Azerbaijani people, Black January, Felix Tsertisivadze
Forgotten Genocide
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 in Baku.

"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, Danish tales in Azeri
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 OSI Assistance Foundation [Soros] and UNESCO provided support for this artistic and literary project.

BTC Pipeline, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline
BTC Pipeline
"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) at

Cornnell also edits the Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst (, 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: Free.

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