Posts Tagged ‘Ismailiyya building’

 450px-ismailiyya2If all goes as planned…

…on Saturday evening, November 15, one black Mercedes-Benz after another will deliver ambassadors from Poland, Georgia, Turkey, and the United States, among other countries, to the entrance of the historic Ismailiyya building, one of Baku’s most beautiful.  It was built at the turn of the 20th century by Musa Naghiyev, Azerbaijan’s wealthiest oil barons, in memory of his late son, Ismail.  Bolshevik-supported Armenians nearly destroyed the building during the 1918 revolution. imgp27441The Soviet Union restored it, preserving the Venetian Gothic architecture, but replacing Muslim symbols on the facade with those from the Communist Party.  For decades, the Ismailiyya building served as the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences, and it retains a scientific function today.   image067The Ismailiyya building also will be the location of the first ADA Majlis!  The acoustics inside will be challenging, to say the least.  However, the completion date for our permanent ADA site, promised by our Turkish architect, has come and gone, and we had to scramble.  We have spent the past week surveying alternate sites; museums, hotels, restaurants. We visited a dozen furniture (mebel) stores searching for Ismailiyya-appropriate sofas and chairs of European classical design.


We also worked the phones assembling panels of program participants from among the energy ministers, analysts, and journalists who will be in Baku for this week’s multi-national energy summit.  The ambassadors will be among the select audience members invited to witness taping of the broadcast.  Scheduled air date on the Azerbaijan Public Television Network is Sunday evening. 

imgp2747It is cold and rainy in Baku, as it has been for most of the week.  I tried to turn on the heat in my apartment, only to be told the heat won’t make its debut in this building for another week.  And I thought Baku was flush with affordable energy!




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