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Posts Tagged ‘Narimanov’

Ever heard of Nariman Narimanov?  I suspect few of you had.  I hadn’t.  But as we drove on this beautiful Sunday past, what is said to be, the most impressive statue in all of Baku, and saw the attention it was getting, I had to get out, snap a few photos, and then ask, “Who was he?”

Narimanov, I learned, was a prominent writer and educator in Baku who, in 1920, embraced the new, revolutionary concept of Bolshevism even as more than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were dying defending against the invading Soviet forces (Vladimir Lenin insisted he needed Baku’s oil).  So why, after the Soviet Union collapsed, did the new Republic of Azerbaijan pull down statues of Lenin, Stalin, and other Communist leaders, yet allow Narimanov to remain standing with such prominence?  His reputation among Azeris, as well as his place in history, was saved by the discovery of a letter he began writing to his son just weeks before his sudden death.  The tone, especially at the time it was written, is pretty fascinating, and provides a glimpse of Azerbaijan life during those first of 70 years under Soviet rule.

That’s your history lesson for today.  Tomorrow, Ilham Hagverdiyev takes us rug shopping!  It’s a video look at some extraordinary craftsmanship; carpets handwoven in wool and silk, displaying unique Azerbaijan designs, and vibrant, natural colors.  I may post order forms as well!

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