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  • Eight-part series about philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev to be shot

    Azerbaijan`s Ministry of Culture, Baku Media Center and several other organizations will shoot the eight-part series about famous Baku millionaire, philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev.

    The 200th anniversary of Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev will be celebrated in 2023. The 200th anniversary of the philanthropist was also included in the UNESCO anniversaries program for 2023.

  • Lavash – Traditional culture of baking and sharing thin flatbread in Azerbaijan recognized by UNESCO

    Used by every family in Azerbaijan, lavash is a soft, thin unleavened flatbread made of flour and water.

    The word “lavash” is repeatedly found in early Turkic written sources. While in other countries, these flat cakes are called “katyrma”, “zhupka” or “yufka”, however, their composition and taste is almost the same, like the way of baking.

    Worldwide known “Dīvānu Luğāti-t-Türk” dictionary of 1072-1074 years, one of the first unique scientific written monuments of the Turkic peoples written by outstanding scientist and thinker of Turkic world Mahmud Kashgari, contains information that at that time in Azerbaijan was prepared thin bread.

    The flatbread was also highlighted in ancient book - Kitabi-Dada Gorgud” epos, the written Azerbaijani antique monument and Oghuz-Turkic legend, under the name “Bozlamadzh”. The Azerbaijani literature provides essential information about lavash by the greatest poets and writers, including Nizami Ganjavi, Mahsati Ganjavi, Khagani Shirvani.

    In Azerbaijan, lavash is baked not only in traditional ovens which is tandir (an earth or stone oven in the ground), but also in saj – a large convex pan, under which fires if made.

    In Azerbaijan, you can buy fresh, tasty bread of various kinds, even flatbread lavash in bakeries and supermarkets.

    Lavash is also used for cooking different Azerbaijani national dishes and the name lavash can be found in various culinary recipes. This is an indication of Azerbaijani people's rich imagination. In many regions of the country, lavash is dried and kept in storage for long periods.

    Baking lavash is a collective activity; all members of the family, as well as neighbours and friends in some settlements and villages, participate in the process. During communal work joking prevails, a jovial mood and friendships, and hospitality traditions are strengthened. Perhaps this is why lavash has become a symbol of tradition with deep roots in Azerbaijan.

    Lavash is cut during many important events - in weddings, marriage ceremonies, and mourning rituals.

    The tradition of preparing and cutting lavash is the basis of Azerbaijan cuisine. In archaeological excavations carried out in the country’s territory, artefacts used for the preparation of lavash and belonging to the Bronze Age have been found.

    All of this shows that the method of preparing lavash has remained unchanged over the centuries. And this fact is the embodiment of the Azerbaijani people's commitment to their centuries-old tradition.

    Each people have their own customs associated with lavash. In Azerbaijan and Iran, it is put on the bride’s shoulders or crumbled over her head to wish the couple prosperity while in Turkey it is given to the couple’s neighbours.

    Bread has been a symbol of abundance and prosperity for centuries. The lavash bread making has been highly respected and preserved tradition that passed down from generation to generation. The Aghdam Bread Museum is a clear evidence in this regard.

    Since the first bread museum was established in Zurich in 1940, many others have opened around the world, including in Azerbaijan. In addition to the display of about 2,800 exhibits, the museum provided information about bread and bakery products, agricultural tools and their history.

    Unfortunately, however, the Museum of Bread in Aghdam, like much of this once blossoming town, was destroyed during the first Karabakh War and remained in the Armenian-occupied zone of Karabakh region for almost three decades.

    After the Second Karabakh War, the city of Aghdam was liberated and under the instructions of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, restoration work of the city, including the improvement of historical, architectural and cultural monuments have begun.

    Lavash, together with Katirma, Yupka, Yufka - the preparation, meaning and appearance of traditional bread as an expression of culture, jointly presented by Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, at Azerbaijan’s initiative, was included in UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage at the 11th Session of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, held from November 28 to December 2, 2016, in the capital city Addis-Ababa of Ethiopia.

  • Azerbaijan at UNESCO shares post on Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev

    "Just recently, the statue of the well-known philanthropist of Azerbaijan, founder of the 1st secular school, Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev, was inaugurated in Baku.

    "And next year we will be celebrating his 200th birthday at UNESCO HQs as part of the UNESCO Anniversaries List," Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan to UNESCO tweeted, Report informs.

    The anniversaries of the philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev are included in the anniversary list of UNESCO. The decision was made at the UNESCO General Conference held in Paris, France, on November 9-24 last year.

  • State Art Gallery opens virtual exhibition

    The State Art Gallery has launched a virtual exhibition dedicated to the 32nd anniversary of the Black January.

    The exhibition includes works from the gallery's collection. Among them are art pieces by prominent artists Nazim Rakhmanov, Rafael Muradov, Faig Ahmadov, Ayyub Huseynov, Namig Zeynalov, Beyim Hajizade, Eldar Babazade, Rashid Heydarzade, Nazim Rakhmanov and others.

    The exhibition is available on the gallery's social networks.

    On January 20, 1990, hundreds of civilians were crushed or injured by the Soviet troops in Baku, upon an order from the USSR leadership that was trying to maintain the Communist regime in Azerbaijan and strangle the national liberation movement.

    The invasion was launched at midnight and was committed with brutality. Some 137 people were killed, 611 were wounded, 841 were illegally arrested, and five went missing as a result of the intrusion of troops into Baku and other regions of the country.

    Founded in 1975, Azerbaijan State Art Gallery displays more than 14,000 paintings, graphics, sculptures, decorative and applied arts and contemporary art examples. 

    The main activities of the gallery include preservation and restoration of Azerbaijan's cultural heritage, research on the current situation and prospects of the fine arts and decorative-applied arts and much more. 

    The majority of exhibitions in Azerbaijan and abroad are mainly composed of the works stored in the gallery. 

    The State Art Gallery regularly successfully holds various art projects, lectures and other events.

  • President Aliyev attends opening of monument to Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev

    On January 18, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the opening of a monument to philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev in Baku, Report informs, referring to the press service of the President of Azerbaijan.

  • Direct flights launched between Moscow and Azerbaijan's Gabala

    New regular flights are launched between Azerbaijan’s Gabala and Russia’s Moscow as part of a new route network for 2022, Report informs, citing the press service of Azerbaijan Airlines.

    Nordwind Airlines performed the first flight from Sheremetyevo International Airport to Gabala on Boeing 737-800, which can carry up to 189 passengers. The total flight time was three hours.

    A regular flight on the Moscow-Gabala-Moscow route will be operated once a week - on Sundays. At 4:10 local time (GMT +4), the plane lands in Gabala, at 5:20 it returns to the capital of Russia.

    The Gabala International Airport meets all international requirements and standards and is able to accommodate aircraft of any type.

  • Gold prices rise slightly

    Gold prices rose slightly on January 17 morning, Report informs.

    The price of February futures for gold on the New York Comex exchange increased by 0.18%, or by $3.25, to $1,819.8 per troy ounce.

    Investors’ attention is focused on the further actions of the Fed, which is likely to raise the discount rate already at the next meeting.

    The Wall Street Journal reports that recent comments by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, which signaled a very measured course of action in the fight against inflation, imply that the rate can rise only slightly, which means that the precious metal has room for a rise in price.

  • Oil prices increase moderately on rising demand

    Global oil prices rose, albeit weakly, on January 17 morning due to increased global demand, according to trading data, Report informs citing Prime.

    As of 8:50 a.m. (GMT+4), the price of March futures for Brent rose by 0.05% to $86.1 per barrel, March futures for WTI grew in price by 0.18% to $83.44 per barrel.

    According to ANZ analysts quoted by the Wall Street Journal, global oil demand was higher than expected as the omicron strain of the coronavirus appears to be milder than others.

    Strong global demand has helped ease concerns about China, where the anti-COVID strategy has led to increased restrictions, the experts added.

  • Lahij – Azerbaijani village of copper craftsmanship, a UNESCO protected art form

    In the North of Azerbaijan lies one of the country`s oldest villages – Lahij, that was once the copper mining hub producing copperware exported across the Middle East.

    Copper craftsmanship of Lahij is the traditional practice of making and using copperware.

    Located on the left bank of the Girdimanchay River in the country’s Ismayilli district at an altitude of 1,375 meters above sea level, Lahij has long been famous for weapons and utensils, which are made of copper. The dishes and weapons made by the coppersmiths of Lahij were famous in the Caucasus and willingly sold out.

    Local craftsmen still continue the work of their ancestors: they are copper workers, tanneries, potters, blacksmiths, masters of hats, wood carvers. The village is also known for its masters producing carpets, souvenirs and national clothes. The larger community of people using the copperware in daily life is scattered in many regions of Azerbaijan.

    For Lahij copper masters, the process of making copperware consists of several stages: buying copper from local copper-producing wholesalers (or recycling), managing the making process and selling final copperware directly from their workshops (‘misgerkhana’). The process of copperware making in Lahij (depending on the types of copperware) generally consists in smelting the copper, shaping copper sheets, soldering and polishing. The most important final stage requires most of masters’ time and effort and consists in ornamental decorative engraving of the polished copperware with different vegetative patterns reflecting craftsmen’s traditional views and knowledge about their environment and cultural values.

    Today, copper tableware made in Lahij is on display in some of the world’s most famous museums, including the Louvre in Paris and it's highly valued locally too.

    Lahic, as historical-cultural reserve, has also been inscribed in the Great Silk Road international tourist route.

    The Lahij copper craftsmanship was included in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity at the 10th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage held in the Namibian capital of Windhoek on from November 30 to December 4, 2015.

  • Relax at incredible public bathhouse in Baku

    The tradition of bathing is considered an integral part of the Azerbaijani culture. The country is famous for its beautiful old bath-houses (hammams).

    The hammams became a place not just to cleanse oneself, but became a social element of city life.

    This was Baku residents' favorite spot to discuss recent events or to get ready for wedding ceremonies.

    The bathhouses also known as hammams are under state protection as one of the country's most remarkable architectural monuments.

    With its majestic architectural wonders, the Old City hides numerous bathhouses including the famous Gasim-bay hammam.

    The bathhouse was constructed in the 17th century by millionaire and philanthropist Gasim-bay near the Salyan door (gate).

    It is often called "Shirin" (sweet) as the tea here was given together with sweets and pastries.

    The hammam was built in all the traditions of Shirvan-Absheron architecture. The exterior consists of domes located on a low-rise building.

    The main domes located above the central part of the bath have the shape of an octagon. Inside there is a vestibule, followed by dressing rooms and baths with a cruciform dome and cameras in the corners.

    There is also a swimming pool and a stove. In addition, a corridor was created by combining both corner cells into a single space.

    Water supply and heating were ensured using ceramic pipes located in the walls and under the floor.

    The bath is included in the list of protected by the state monuments of history and culture located on the territory of Azerbaijan. It is considered to be the second most famous bathhouse in Baku.

    Due to their importance in preparing for prayer, bathhouses were often built in close proximity to mosques. Therefore, Gasim-bay built a hammam next to his mosque.

    Over the past 30 years, the bathhouse has been closed to visitors. Restoration work will be carried out in the bathhouse in near future.