November 10, 2017

President Ilham Aliyev attends the inauguration of the Mirza Shafi Vazeh Museum constructed with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Ganja

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the inauguration of the Mirza Shafi Museum constructed with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Ganja, November 10.


Works being carried out in connection with preservation and propagation of the historical and cultural heritage in Ganja following the instruction given by President Ilham Aliyev have been continued in 2017. To this end, a museum named after Mirza Shafi Vazeh - an eminent representative of the Azerbaijani literature of the 19th century, great poet and renowned educationalist - was created in Ganja. Mirza Shafi Vazeh was born on 14 June 1794 in Ganja. Showing great interest towards poetry since early ages, Mirza Shafi Vazeh studied basics of religion, and having finished his education here, seriously engaged in studying the Arab and Farsi literature, works by Azerbaijani and Russian classics, as well as the Sufism philosophy. Having learned the Arab and Farsi languages, he made himself closely familiarized with the creativity of a number of classics of the Orient. Shafi, teaching at Javad Khan’s daughter Pusta khanum, later writing poems in the Azerbaijani and Farsi languages under the pseudonym of Vazeh, has developed the poetic traditions of these languages. In his works, the poet praised such values as greatness of the human spirit, affection, love for life, and beauty. Vazeh was one of the first authors of the textbook of the Azerbaijani language named “Kitabi-turki”. Later, the poet continued his creativity in Tbilisi. He restored in Tbilisi his “Divani-Hikmat” literary assembly, which he had created in 1820s in Ganja. Most of the renowned poets, writers and philosophers of the time, including Mirza Shafi Vazeh’s disciple and follower Mirza Fatali Akhundzadeh, would often gather in this assembly. German poet and orientalist Friedrich von Bodenstedt, who had back then visited the Caucasus, used to come to the assembly of “Divani-Hikmat”, which was in the true meaning of the word the hub of culture and literature, combining the poetry of the Western Europe, Russia and Azerbaijan, to take lessons of Farsi and Azerbaijani. After returning to Germany, having taken lessons on Oriental languages from Vazeh, he translated Vazeh’s poems and got them published. In his translations, poems of Mirza Shafi Vazeh became world-renowned. In one word, the creativity of Mirza Shafi Vazeh, a classic of our national poetry, has its significant place in the development of the literary and cultural relations between Azerbaijan and Europe.


The Head of the State was given information about the works done in the museum, mentioning that construction of the museum, located in the city’s “Gulustan” area, started in March 2016, construction works been completed in November 2017. A park named after Mirza Shafi Vazeh was created around the museum, constructed in the national architecture style.


It was brought to attention that various panels and documents dedicated to the life and creativity of the thinker-poet, as well as his ghazals, mukhammasses (five-line poem), masnavis (couplets) and rubaiyats were collected. Here are also demonstrated the Order signed by national leader Heydar Aliyev on 8 June 1981 on strengthening the study of Mirza Shafi Vazeh’s creative legacy, and the Resolution, dated 3 February 2014, signed by President Ilham Aliyev on “Celebrating the 220th anniversary of Mirza Shafi Vazeh”. A special corner related to the literary assembly “Divani Hikmat”- with its special place in the poet’s creativity – has been created in the museum. It should be noted that among the members of this literary-philosophical assembly were Abbasgulu Agha Bakikhanov, Mirza Fatali Akhundzadeh, Molla Abdulla, Mirza Mehdi Naji, Mirza Yusif Vidadi, from educationalists, Eristavi, Chavchavadze, Grigoryev, as well as German orientalist Bodenstedt, Adolf Berge etc. Literary-Irfani-philosophical disputes, analyses used to be conducted at such assemblies, contests held on writing good poems, imitations written to any remarkable poem, and new ideas formed. Vazeh conducted “Divani-Hikmat” assemblies in the form of live philosophical discussions.


It was informed that exhibition and conference halls, as well as administrative rooms have been created in the two-floor building of the museum. Here are displayed publications of the poet’s poems, research and literary works dedicated to the poet’s life and creativity, as well as Ganja publications associated with the thinker’s 220th anniversary.


The Heydar Aliyev Foundation, which has always attached special importance to the promotion of the Azerbaijani culture and art, published various books in 2007-2015 in connection with Mirza Shafi Vazeh. The President was informed that books of Mirza Shafi Vazeh printed in the period from 1850 to 1924 were brought to Azerbaijan, at the initiative and with the support of the Ganja City Executive Authority, in 2014. These books are displayed at the museum.


All these testifies that Vazeh has immortalized the Oriental poetry’s centuries-long traditions and created a remarkable legacy personifying high humanism and moral beauty, worth attention. His creativity has its own special place in the development of literary and cultural relations between  Azerbaijan and Europe. The personality and creativity of Mirza Shafi Vazeh give every ground to consider him one of the brilliant representatives of the Oriental poetry’s pleiad of classics. Interest shown towards the eminent poet, pedagogue and educationalist-philosopher’s life and creativity, the unusual destiny of his poetic legacy - combining the wisdom of the western and eastern civilizations - never diminished.


It was informed that the area where the museum is located is 2 hectares. At the entrance of the park has been built an arch – 7 metre high, 17 metre long – decorated with marble facing, embodying elements of contemporary and classic architecture. Greenery has been laid out in the park’s territory, decorative shrubs planted, and 2 fountains built. In one word, all necessary conditions have been created in the part for recreation of citizens and visitors of the city. Those visiting the park will have a chance to receive comprehensive information about eminent educationalist Mirza Shafi Vazeh. The poet’s statue has been erected in the park. On the wall behind the statue, pictures of Mirza Shafi Vazeh and his contemporaries Friedrich Bodenstedt, Abbasgulu Agha Bakikhanov, Qasym bey Zakir, Mirza Fatali Akhundov, as well as a number of other historical personalities are engraved with a plot, applying inlaid working.