Days of Shusha have been successfully held in Uzbekistan in connection with the declaration of Shusha as the 2023 Cultural Capital of the Turkic World.
The anticipated event was held under the auspices of the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation and on the basis of a joint project with the Heydar Aliyev Azerbaijan Cultural Center in Uzbekistan, Azernews reports.
The Minister of Culture and Tourism of Uzbekistan Ozodbek Nazarbekov, President of the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation Gunay Afandiyeva, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Uzbekistan Huseyn Guliyev, Secretary-General of TURKPA Mehmet Sureyya Er, head of the Cultural Heritage Agency of Uzbekistan Bahadur Abdukarimov, ambassadors of Turkic states accredited in Tashkent, deputies, state officials, and media representatives took part in the opening ceremony held at Heydar Aliyev Azerbaijan Cultural Center in Uzbekistan.
The event program included a screening of a documentary about Shusha’s culture, literature, art and history, an exhibition of photographs and books, a fashion show dedicated to Karabakh national costumes, artistic and poetic compositions and gala concerts.
At the beginning of the event, the guests laid wreaths and flowers by the bust of National Leader Heydar Aliyev at the Cultural Center, as well as in front of the Martyrs and Victory memorial complex.
In the hall of the Azerbaijan Culture Center, a photo and publication exhibition called “Free and Prosperous Shusha” was presented to the guests.
The event continued in the large conference hall of the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center. Director of the center Samir Abbasov welcomed the guests of the event.
He called the Days of Shusha held for the first time in Uzbekistan a major event not only for the Azerbaijani culture, but also for the cultural and social life of Uzbekistan.
Speaking about the exceptional role of the city of Shusha in Azerbaijani culture, music, poetry, he emphasized that as a result of the 44-day Patriotic War, the Azerbaijani ancestral lands were liberated and by order of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev the city was declared the Cultural Capital of Azerbaijan, and TURKSOY made a decision to declare it the Cultural Capital of the Turkic World for 2023.
The Azerbaijani Ambassador to Uzbekistan Huseyn Guliyev stressed that Shusha has a special place for the Azerbaijani state and people. He noted that the city, which had been under the occupation of Armenians for a long time, was destroyed, and historical monuments were desecrated.
The ambassador called the liberation of the city of Shusha from the Armenian occupation a significant historical event and noted that the construction work and important international events currently being held in the city make every Azerbaijani feel proud.
President of the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation, Gunay Afandiyeva, called the opening ceremony of the Days of Shusha in the Azerbaijan Cultural Center named after the Great Son of the Turkic world Heydar Aliyev, whose centenary is celebrated this year, a historic event.
She stressed that in connection with the announcement of the city of Shusha as the Cultural Capital of the Turkic world, the organization she leads provides for the holding of Days of Shusha in various countries.
Gunay Afandiyeva outlined that the first event within the project took place last year in the Turkish city of Bursa, and this year it continues in Uzbekistan.
Emphasizing the contribution of the city of Shusha to Azerbaijani culture, literature, music, she noted the importance of bringing the rich cultural heritage of the city to the whole world.
The President of the Foundation assessed the holding of the Days of Shusha as a fusion of cultures of peoples with common roots, values, traditions, calling the city a new place of rapprochement, which laid the foundation for a new era in the Turkic world.
In his remarks, the Minister of Culture and Tourism of Uzbekistan Ozodbek Nazarbekov touched upon the intensively developing political ties between the Turkic countries in recent years and emphasized the high level of cultural ties between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.
Highly appreciating the Days of Shusha held in Tashkent under the auspices of the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation, the minister noted that this is an important and significant event not only for Azerbaijani culture, but also for the culture of all Uzbekistan.
Calling Shusha the heart of Azerbaijan, Ozodbek Nazarbekov expressed particular interest in the city and admiration for its rich cultural heritage.
The minister said that the announcement of the city of Shusha as the Cultural Capital of the Turkic world is a source of pride and a great event for all brotherly Turkic states.
Secretary-General of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic States Mehmet Sureyya Er and Director of the Cultural Heritage Agency of Uzbekistan Bahodir Abdukarimov emphasized the importance of cooperation with the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation.
They stressed that this project will contribute to the development of solidarity and cooperation between the countries of the Turkic world. The speakers emphasized that the historical Shusha, distinguished by high architecture and urban planning, has become a new symbol of unity and solidarity of the entire Turkic world.
Furthermore, a documentary film on Khurshidbanu Natavan was presented to the guests of the opening ceremony. The film, prepared by the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation, featured both documentary and artistic scenes about the life and work of the famous representative of Azerbaijani literature, poetess Khurshidbanu Natavan.
The film scripts was written by Ulviyya Heydarova, and directed by Zahra Guliyeva. The lead role was played by People’s Artist of Azerbaijan Mehriban Zaki.
The artistic part of the event brought together People’s Artist of Uzbekistan, the artistic director of the Yalla ensemble Farrukh Zakirov, a mugham trio consisting of Azerbaijani musicians Nisbat Sardayeva, Rustam Muslimov, Elnur Salakhov, Azerbaijan Gizlary dance ensemble as well as world-famous musical dance group “Ozbegim yoshlari”. Azerbaijani and Uzbek songs and dancers were met with much enthusiasm.
At the end of the ceremony, President of the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation Gunay Afandiyeva presented souvenirs dedicated to Shusha to the official guests and organizers.