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Shusha is to the Azerbaijani is like New York City is to Americans

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German scholar and author Michael Reinhard Hess told aze.media “Shusha belongs to the Azerbaijani people not only in terms of international law and politics, but also in terms of literature, culture and ethnographic heritage.”

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Azerbaijani political commentator Fuad Alakborav once stated, “Shusha is the cradle of Azerbaijani music.” Indeed, Shusha’s rich musical tradition is so great that it is sometimes referred to as “the conservatoire of the Caucuses.”  

This is because Uzeyir Hajibeyli, who is considered the Founding Father of Azerbaijani classical music, and Murtuza Rza Oghlu Mammadov, the acclaimed opera tenor, were from Shusha, amongst many other poets, musicians, writers and artists. 

For many Azerbaijanis, Shusha is close to their heart, as it is the Azerbaijani cultural capital city. Shusha to the Azerbaijani is like New York City is to the average American or Tel Aviv is to the average Israeli. It was a great tragedy for the Azerbaijani people that the city lay in ruins following almost thirty years of Armenian occupation.  

When I visited Shusha, I saw a palace that belonged to Azerbaijani poet Kurshidbanu Natavan, which was completely destroyed. The destruction that I witnessed to that palace was reminiscent of what ISIS did to Palmyra and Nimrud. The Armenians destroyed such a great cultural landmark and world heritage site in complete violation of international law, yet UNESCO and the rest of the international community remained silent.

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For this reason, German historian Michael Reinhard Hess just published a book in the German language titled The Legacy of Shusha: The History and Path of Development of Azerbaijan’s Cultural Capital. This book is pivotal reading in the West, where many believe the myths spread by the Armenian lobby that Shusha is part of their homeland that was invaded by Azerbaijan during the Second Karabakh War. It speaks about the cultural and literary history of Azerbaijan in Shusha, and demonstrates that Shusha is as Azerbaijani as Tel Aviv, Haifa and Netanya are Israeli, a fact that has been recognized by four UN Security Council resolutions.

Hess told Azerbaijani media: “The “cultural capital of Azerbaijan”, also called its “pearl” and the “cradle of culture”, Shusha has produced many famous Azerbaijani poets, writers, musicians and other people of arts and culture. Ninety-five poets and writers, 38 khanendes, 22 musicians and 19 calligraphers lived and worked in Shusha and Karabakh at the end of the 19th century.”

He continued, “The book presents scientific evidence that the heritage of Shusha comes from the national and spiritual values of the Azerbaijani people based on works of some of these creators: Molla Panah Vagif, Aghabeyim agha Aghabaji, Ashig Peri, Khurshidbanu Natavan, historians Mirza Adigozalbey, Mirza Jamal Javanshir Karabaghi, as well as other intellectuals, such as Mir Movsum Navvab, Fatma Khanum Kamina, Uzeyir Hajibekov, Zulfugar Hajibekov, Jeyhun Bey Hajibekov and Abdurrahim Bey Hagverdiyev.”

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According to Hess, “The most important conclusion is that Shusha and Karabakh, which belong to Azerbaijan in terms of international law and politics, belong to the Azerbaijani people by virtue of their literary, cultural and ethnographic heritage, because of the centuries-old contribution of Azerbaijani writers, musicians and other numerous intellectuals. This is why we titled one of the subsections of the book “Musical Shusha—Azerbaijani Vienna”. Because of its invaluable role in the history of Azerbaijani culture, Shusha has also been compared to Weimar, the birthplace of the great Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and other German authors.”

“During the 28 years and 6 months of Shusha’s occupation, many unbelievable and absurd attempts were made to erase and distort this heritage and tear it away from the Azerbaijani people.“ Hess declared that “The Legacy of Shusha presents scientific evidence against the occupiers’ ridiculous attempts to erase, distort and disprove this heritage and thus fabricate a picture of the history of Shusha and Karabakh that is virtually detached from the Azerbaijani contribution.”

Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights.  She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings at the American, Israeli and Arab Media.”  

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

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Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

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