Literary evening and book presentation organised by the Embassy of Azerbaijan

By Pietro Andrea Podda

pietro.podda@pragueforum.cz

On 14th December, the Embassy of Azerbaijan organised the Literary Evening dedicated to the 880th anniversary of the birth of the great Azerbaijani poet and thinker Nizami Ganjavi. The event has been chaired by H.E. Adish Mammadov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan in the Czech Republic and has taken place at the President Hotel, in the center of Prague. This specific commemoration of Nizami has been attended by a public composed mostly of diplomats, Czech intellectuals and representatives of the Azerbaijani community.

Nizami has been a great author of well-known and well-read poems which are very popular in the Caucasus as well as in the greater geography where the Persian has historically been a literary language. He lived his whole life in Ganja (nowadays the second largest city in Azerbaijan)  and refused to be a poet in the courthouse, which was customary at that time. Nizami left an enormous body of works of great cultural significance, but his talents are best exemplified by the five epic poems that constitute the Khamsa meaning “Five” in Arabic, which is the collection of his literary-esthetic, public-philosophical ideas. These poems are “Makhzanul Asrar” “Khosrov and Shirin”, “Leyli and Majnun”, “Seven Beauties” and “ Iskandarnama” .  These poems have been translated into several languages.  It was mentioned that Nizami heritage contributed to the development of the Azerbaijani cultural identity and many Azerbaijani artists have been inspired by him, creating works of art such as poems, music compositions and operas. The President of Azerbaijan also proclaimed the year 2021 as Year of Nizami Ganjavi.

 

A selection of texts from the poet has been read during the event, and a book dedicated to him “Great Azerbaijani poet Nizami”, written by Y. Berthels,  that had been translated into Czech by the Embassy initiative has been presented to the public. Intense Azerbaijani musical melodies have accompanied the event for the pleasure of the guests.

A generous buffet, offered by the Embassy, has led the guests into enjoying delicious Azerbaijani food and wine.

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