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  • Russia extends ban on flights to airports in country's southern and central regions

    The temporary ban on flights to 11 airports in the southern and central part of Russia has been extended until May 13, Report informs referring to Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya).

    Flights to the airports of Anapa, Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Gelendzhik, Krasnodar, Kursk, Lipetsk, Rostov-on-Don, Simferopol and Elista are temporarily restricted. Russian airlines are recommended to organize the transportation of passengers on alternative routes using the airports of Sochi, Volgograd, Mineralnye Vody, Stavropol and Moscow. The rest of the Russian airports are working in their usual mode.

    The ban on flights to airports in the southern and central part of Russia has been in effect since February 24.

  • Date of "Kharibulbul" Festival 2022 revealed

    The date of the "Kharibulbul" International Folklore Festival - the first major event of the "Year of Shusha" - has been determined.

    The Ministry of Culture told Report that the festival would be held on May 12-14 by the Ministry of Culture, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, and the Shusha City State Reserve.

    The next Vagif Poetry Days are planned to be held in Shusha in July, the final stage of the Mugham TV Competition, and the gala concert of the winners in July-August. It is also expected to organize international art festivals "Shusha - 2022" and "4 seasons of Shusha".

    For the first time since the liberation of Shusha from occupation, the "Kharibulbul" festival was held on May 12 and 13, 2021.

  • Azerbaijan, U.S. eye Karabakh rehabilitation, cultural cooperation

    Azerbaijan’s Culture Minister Anar Karimov and relevant senior U.S. officials have met to discuss Karabakh’s rehabilitation and cultural cooperation, the minister wrote on his Twitter account on May 4.

    “Excellent meeting with Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs [U.S. Department of State] to advance our bilateral cultural cooperation with the U.S. Pleased to inform ASS about our efforts to restore cultural heritage in Karabakh and brand new initiative Peace4Culture,” Karimov stressed.

    As a part of his official visit to the country, the Azerbaijani delegation led by Karimov met with a number of relevant U.S. officials, representatives of cultural institutions, as well as attended several cultural events, the Culture Ministry reported on its website.

    “We had a very lively and productive debate with leading U.S. think tanks on Azerbaijan’s cultural diplomacy, our new initiative Peace4Culture, and efforts to rehabilitate cultural heritage in liberated territories of Karabakh. I thank the think tanks for very interesting proposals,” Karimov stressed.

    The minister discussed cultural and scientific cooperation with representatives of the Smithsonian Institute, the world’s largest group of museums and education and research centers, created by the U.S. government for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.

    “Excellent meeting at Smithsonian institute with Kevin Gover and Ambassador Richard Kurin to discuss the perspectives of our cooperation in research, cultural heritage, museums and archaeology. Thankful to Institute for inspiring exchange,” Karimov tweeted about the meeting.

    Furthermore, Karimov met Joan Wicks, the Middle East Department Head of the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington.

    Several meetings were held after the walk to get acquainted with the library. A number of books on Azerbaijan’s rich and colorful history and culture were also presented to Lanisa Kitchiner, Head of Africa and Middle East Department of the Library of Congress, the ministry said.

    The delegation was also informed about the library's Azerbaijani history and culture corner, where the research on Azerbaijan is carried out. Mujgan Nazimova made a presentation on the Azerbaijani collection and catalogues of the Library.

    Expressing gratitude to the management and staff of the library for the wide and interesting presentations, Karimov stressed that close cooperation will be continued between the countries.

    “Delighted to start my visit to the U.S. by visiting the Library of Congress and meeting with officials to discuss our forthcoming projects. Very pleased to donate some books reflecting history, art, culture and heritage of Azerbaijan to Library. There is huge untapped potential for cooperation,” Karimov underlined

    Later, the minister visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum as part of an official visit to the United States.

    After getting acquainted with the exhibits, he discussed a number of issues with U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council Chairman Stuart Eizenstat.

    Speaking about the multicultural values ​​of Azerbaijan, Karimov recalled the Jewish community that has lived and worked in Azerbaijan for centuries.

    The minister said that the Guba Genocide Memorial Complex in Azerbaijan is always remembered with deep respect as a symbol of the genocide committed against Azerbaijanis and Jews. Today, the Holocaust is even mentioned in school textbooks.

    For many years, Azerbaijan has hosted conferences and various events dedicated to the fight against anti-Semitism, he added.

    During the meeting, the importance of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in transmitting the genocide against Jews to future generations was discussed. They also stressed the importance of future cooperation with the Guba Genocide Memorial Complex in this area, the discovery and promotion of archival materials, and the exchange of information.

    “Very good exchange with Chair of the Holocaust Museum Ambassador Eisenstat on Azerbaijan’s experience of peaceful coexistence and our joint efforts against anti-Semitism. We are proud of hosting one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. Impressed by visiting museum’s exhibitions,” Karimov highlighted.

    Afterwards, Karimov attended the concert program of a music group led by famous jazz singer, pianist Amina Figarova.

    “We continue to celebrate International Jazz Day 2022 with a wonderful concert of Azerbaijani jazz musicians at the Meridian International Center in Washington DC. Figarova and her band performed the famous song “Lachin” from Karabakh. Many thanks to the Embassy of Azerbaijan in the U.S. and Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim for this opportunity,” the minister stressed.

    A bust of legendary Azerbaijani dramatist Huseyn Javid was presented to the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC), Karimov wrote on his Twitter page.

    "On the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the outstanding Azerbaijani playwright and hero of the Azerbaijani people Huseyn Javid we presented his bust to the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce," the minister said.

    He said that the sides discussed the necessity of studying Javid's legacy in both Azerbaijan and the United States.

  • Iguazú Falls - world`s most dramatic and monumental waterfalls

    The Iguazú Falls in South America are heralded as the most dramatic and among the most monumental waterfalls in the world, tumbling over the cliffs on the border with the Argentine province of Misiones and Brazilian state of Paraná.

    Iguazu Falls are undoubtedly the most visited place and one of the most imposing natural attractions in Argentina and the world.

    These falls in Argentina and Brazil managed to attract so much attention that almost at the same time they were declared National Parks (1934 in Argentina and 1939 in Brazil).

    UNESCO declared the Iguazu Falls as World Heritage Site in 1984, and reaffirmed as Exceptional Universal Value in 2013.

    Iguazu Falls have allowed the development of local economies, making the city of Puerto Iguazu and Foz de Iguazu grow and improve the quality of life of its inhabitants.

  • Old City through photography

    Baku Photography House has summed up the results of the photo contest.

    The project was co-organized by the Icharishahar State Historical-Architectural Reserve and the Azerbaijan Photographers Union (APU).

    The photo contest was timed to coincide with the International Day of Monuments and Historic Sites.

    The International Day for Monuments and Sites is held on April 18 each year to promote awareness about the need to conserve monuments and sites. 

    Around 50  photographers captured some of the iconic sights of the Old City.

    The jury looked through the 500 photographs taken with a photo camera and a phone camera.

    The jury included the director of the Icharishahar Museum Center Amina Melikova, the head of the Baku Photography House Yusif Abdullayev, members of the  Azerbaijan Photographers Union (APU) Rustam Huseynov, Vugar Ibadov, Konul Suleymanova.

    In the mobilography, the first place went to Natali Gabibova who captured  the Old City's flora and fauna. Leyla Mammadova took second place for her photo inspired by the Old City's life while Zarifa Ibadova came third with her photo work dedicated to the Old City` museums. 

    In the photography category,  Nadezhda Javadova ( the Old City's life) took first place, Gunay Mammadov ( the Old City's flora and fauna) ranked second while Nariman Karimov (the Old City' museums). 

    The winners were awarded certificates and memorable gifts.

    Baku Photography House opened in 2019 in the old Zanjerli Bina mansion with the support of the Icharishahar Historical-Architectural Reserve.

    There are four exhibition halls in the photography house. All expositions are devoted to documentary, national and world photographic art.

    In addition to the regular photographic exhibitions, Baku Photography House holds photography courses, creative evenings, lectures, master classes and photo tours.

    "Inner City" was the name of the first exhibition of Baku Photography House. The project presented a century and a half long dialogue between the city and the photographer.

    The exposition featured the photo collections of two "time travelers" - Sanan Alasgarov and Bahruz Huseynzade.

    The artist and researcher Bahruz Huseynzade has been collecting pictures for 15 years. His collection today includes hundreds of original photographs from the late 19th - early 20th century, as well as an archive of about 20,000 prints and digital copies.

    The collection of photographer Sanan Alaskarov was created in Icharishahar, where he was born and raised.

  • Shusha's musical legacy inspires national artist

    Shusha is known as Azerbaijan's centuries-old musical center. The city became fame as a school of folk music masters in all Caucasus. 

    The city was called "the South Caucasus conservatory" as dozens of outstanding musicians were the natives of Shusha city. 

    Inspired by musical legacy left by Shusha musicians, People's Artist Arif Huseynov has created a series of paintings  "Susha's prominent musical figures".

    The exhibition organized by the Azerbaijan Artists' Union took place at the Baku Slavic University.

    A minute of silence was observed to honor the memory of Karabakh wars martyrs who restored Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.

    Susha's prominent musical figures

    The theme of Karabakh has a special place in Arif Huseynov's art.

    More than 15 beautiful paintings were showcased as part the exhibition.

    Speaking about the exhibition, Arif Huseynov said that Shusha is homeland to a great number of outstanding personalities.

    Through exhibition, students at the Baku Slavic University could learn more about musical legacy left by prominent cultural figures. 

    Arif Huseynov's  art works are dedicated to such eminent figures as Uzeyir Hajibyli, Jabbar Garyagdioghlu, Seyid Shushinsky, Islam Abdullayev, Gurban Pirimov and Mashadi Jamil Amirov, etc.

    Moreover, the artist donated reproductions of his paintings to the university.

    Meanwhile, Arif Huseynov's s brilliantly illustrates both classical and contemporary literary examples.

    His series of paintings on national folklore, tradition, material and cultural examples can be considered as a new and creative look on Azerbaijan's ancient miniatures.

    In his art, Arif Huseynov reflects the rich inner world and traditions of the Azerbaijani people.

    Arif Huseynov's works have been successfully showcased in  Baku, Moscow, Prague, Istanbul, Tokyo.

    His art pieces  are kept in the National Art Museum, the State Art Gallery, the Moscow State Museum of Oriental Art as well as in private collections.

    Over the years, the artist spends part of his time working with the young generation. He is preparing a new generation of talented artists. 

  • Azerbaijani jazz sounds in Bremen

    Baku Jazz Festival has been represented at the Jazzahead International Jazz Trade Fair in Germany.

    Jazzahead is an annual trade fair and festival which serves as a meeting point for the international jazz scene. The trade fair takes place annually at the end of April in Bremen.

    Since 2006, the event has grown to include a culture festival in and around Bremen as well as the four-day trade fair.

    The project offers agencies, labels, artists, media, producers and concert promoters an occasion to make new contacts.

    Azerbaijan at Jazzahead International Jazz Trade Fair

    The Baku Jazz Festival has been participating in the Jazzahead International Jazz Trade Fair since its foundation.

    Azerbaijan was represented at the large-scale event by Afgan Rasul and Diana Hajiyeva. For the first time, the duet was presented on the stage of the Baku Jazz Festival in 2021.

    The duo could create an exciting atmosphere at the concert that won't soon be forgotten.

    Meanwhile, the national pavilion showcased  numerous publications that highlight Azerbaijan's jazz history and acclaimed jazz musicians.

    Famous jazzman and saxophonist, Honored Artist Rain Sultanov also took part in the Jazzahead International Jazz Trade Fair.

    Moreover,  the Baku Jazz Festival  has announced the selection for "I am Jazzman!" International Competition for Young Jazz Musicians.

    The music contest  is open for 14-30 years old musicians. The project aims to reveal young talents among beginner musicians who love jazz music.

    The competition serves as a great platform for future professional jazz music.

    Notably,  the Baku Jazz Festival has become an essential part of the musical life in Azerbaijan.

    The jazz festival was initiated by saxophonist Rain Sultanov to showcase Azerbaijan's long-running attachment to jazz.

    The first ever Baku Jazz Festival was held in 2005 since then it has grown to be widely recognized as one of the country's leading festivals.

    In 2021, Baku Jazz Festival differed from the traditional one as it was held in a club format amid a coronavirus pandemic.

    World-famous musicians from Azerbaijan, the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Turkey, Russia, Israel and Luxembourg performed at the festival.

    By tradition, the festival hosted concerts in different kinds of jazz music from recognized classics to ethno-jazz.

    Leyla Ahmadova's fashion show  turned into a feast of style and music. With their vibrant looks, models on the runway mesmerized both fashionistas and jazz lovers.

  • National artist enjoys global success

    Azerbaijani artist Margarita Karimova-Sokolova continues to enjoy international success.

    The national artist has been awarded with the International Art Prize Caravaggio- Great Master of Art. 

    The artist was invited to take part in the International Prize Caravaggio at the awarding ceremony of the Leonardo da Vinci "Universal Artist" Award. 

    By this time, she had a series of ten works "Dreams about Caravaggio" that the artist decided to submitted to the competition.

    The organizers chose her work "Medusa Gorgon" and Margarita Karimova-Sokolova was presented with the International Art Prize Caravaggio-Great Master of Art for special merits in artistic activity.

    The awarding ceremony  took place in the Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan.

    Earlier, Margarita Karimova-Sokolova received the Leonardo da Vinci "Universal Artist" Award and Olympic Artistic Award 2021.

    "Receiving the international Leonardo da Vinci award means that your art has been recognized at the international level. This is one of the most prestigious international art prizes awarded to artists for their artistic and stylistic research in art," said Margarita Karimova-Sokolova.

    The artist was awarded a prize for the composition - the triptych "Berlin Saga".

    Meanwhile, the Olympic Artistic Award rewards artists, sculptors, photographers, graphic designers, etc. The prize is designed to  bring creative competition back to the Olympics.

    Each honored artist receives a plaque with his name, medal and parchment. In addition, the artist's paintings will be published in the Art Olympic Prize catalog and in the Art International Contemporary Magazine.

    Margarita Karimova-Sokolova was born in Baku. Her great-grandfather was a famous Russian artist Ivan Ivanovich Sokolov. She studied at the art and graphic faculty of the Kuban University and the Academy of Arts named after Repin (St. Petersburg).

    She is a Member of Azerbaijan Union of Artists and the USSR (since 1969). She is also a member of UNESCO International Federation of Artists, member of the International Art Fund of the Russian Academy of Arts, Vice-President of the International Foundation for Aesthetic Development, member of the International Association of Artists.

    Since 1965, Margarita has participated in exhibitions of Soviet and Azerbaijani artists in various cities of the USSR, Algeria, Germany, U.S., France, Cuba, Austria, Poland, and Bulgaria.

    In 1994-1995, she lived and worked in the U.S. (Philadelphia, New York, Chicago). Since 1995, she has been living in the city of Cologne (Germany). Her exhibitions are held with great success in many countries. 

  • Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation hosts festivity for children

    The International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation in Baku has hosted an event "Unity of the children of the Turkic World" to mark the National Sovereignty and Children's Day of Turkiye (April 23).

    President of the Foundation Gunay Afandiyeva addressed the event aimed at further strengthening cultural ties between the foundation and the member states and observers of the organization as well as familiarizing the younger generation with the material and spiritual values of the Turkic world.

    She expressed her gladness to see children - the architects of the future of the Turkic world at the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation.

    "The most valuable asset of every state are children who represent peace, love and hope. On this beautiful day, sharing with you the excitement of this holiday, I invite children from all over the Turkic world - represented by the youth from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkiye, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan gathered here - to spread the message of peace, friendship and brotherhood to the whole world together. We must not forget about the children who wanted to celebrate this holiday, but were faced with war, famine, diseases. Each of us must do everything possible to bring them back into society, to meet their needs. It is extremely important that our children get an education," said Afandiyeva.

    "Today their openness to science and new technologies, reading, research, and interest in innovations is essential. But we, as adults, are obliged to instill in them love of our Homelands, our nations, our history, culture and traditions. We, as the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation, are proud and pleased to fulfill this honorable mission. Because one of our main goals is to pass on the material and cultural values of the Turkic world to future generations. I once again congratulate all the children on the holiday and wish them to celebrate this day next year in Shusha, the Cultural Capital of the Turkic world," she added.

    Speaking at the event, the Ambassador of Turkiye to Azerbaijan Cahit Bagci stressed the importance of the event.

    "It can be said that every week, the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation holds very important events to promote Turkic culture and heritage. April 23 is the day when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk lit the torch of the national struggle. In this sense, national sovereignty is the message of Ataturk, which tells children to own up to their Homeland, their identity, their flag, and therefore it is very valuable," he said.

    Secretary-General of TurkPA Mehmet Sureyya Er, Members of Parliament’s of the Turkic states, ambassadors of the member states and observers of the Foundation and other officials also took part in the event.

    At the festivity, children representing Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkiye, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan performed songs, displayed dances in national costumes, played national musical instruments, and read poems expressing the solidarity of the Turkic world.

    The young talents were presented with certificates and gifts. The event participants also viewed the exhibition of paintings by the young Azerbaijani artist Kovsar Gurban.

    Initiated in 2012, Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation focuses on preservation of Turkic heritage in member countries as well as conducting projects in collaboration with partners in third countries.

    The Foundation provides assistance in the protection, study and promotion of Turkic culture and heritage through supporting and funding various activities, projects and programs. It carries out its activities in cooperation with TURKSOY and the Turkic Academy.

    Cooperation Council of the Turkic Speaking States (CCTSS) is an intergovernmental organization, which aims at promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic Speaking States.

    The organization was established by the Nakhchivan Agreement, which was signed at the Turkic Summit in 2009.

    In order to fulfill the objectives and tasks of the CCTSS, the organization has been divided into the following structures: Council of Heads of States; Council of Foreign Ministers, Senior Officials Committee, Council of Elders, Secretariat, Coordination Committee, Representation Office of the Turkic Council in Budapest.

  • Enjoy deep-rooted traditions of hospitality in Azerbaijan – an inviting Land of Fire

    Azerbaijan - a country where eastern colours combine magnificently with western progress, boasts unique nature, unmatched culture, and centuries-old customs, traditions and cuisine.

    Excellent hospitality, deep-rooted cultural traditions, the friendliness and generosity of the locals – these are the national traditions well preserved in Azerbaijan that are second to none.

    Azerbaijan is world-famous for the warm hospitality of its people.

    Being a compact, sunny and maritime city, Baku – the capital of Azerbaijan has a very cozy and welcoming atmosphere and displays all the peculiarities of a Mediterranean city: it is a dynamic, vivid and open-minded city, which invites its guests to enjoy an unforgettable and relaxing stay.

    There is saying ‘A guest is a flower of the house’. Certainly, the guest is sacred in Azerbaijan and this tradition of respect has been passed down for centuries and is still taken very seriously.

    The national traditions of hospitality mingle naturally with the high standards of service at the convention venues, the accommodation facilities and in the streets of the old quarters of the city where visitors are assured of a heartwarming smile and a memorable welcome.

    A great French novelist Alexandre Dumas wrote about Azerbaijani hospitality and also of the Caucasus peoples: “If you knock on any door in Azerbaijan, or anywhere in the Caucasus, say that you’re a foreigner and have no place to spend the night, the owner of the house will immediately give you his largest room. He and his family will move to the small room. Moreover, during the week, two weeks, or the month that you stay in his house he will take care of you and will not let you want for anything”.

    Azerbaijanis consider it a duty to show infinite respect for a guest. The guest is sacred in Azerbaijan and the tradition of respect is taken very seriously.

    A prominent 12th-century Azerbaijani poet and philosopher, who had a great influence on the literature of the Near Eastern countries - Nizami Ganjavi returned often to the noble custom of hospitality in his work such as “Yeddi Gozel” (The Seven Beauties).