The Nizami Ganjavi museum is one of the most beautiful buildings you can find in Azerbaijan. It is located in the center of the capital of Baku, just a short walk away from Fountains Square and near the entrance of Old City named Icheri Sheher.

There are more than 3000 manuscripts, rare books, illustrations, portraits, sculptures, miniatures, memories of poets and other exhibits.

This is another museum which helped me to change my impression about this Muslim world, because they have had few important women who influenced this country and history. Before entering this museum I didn`t know that so many women have contributed with poems, rhymes, stories in universal literature.

Those times poets have written in three languages – Arabic, Persian and Azerbaijani – because in this way they were able to express their point of view, their thoughts and ideas for many people at the same time.

Mahsati Ganjavi was a 12th-century Azerbaijani poet. She has worked with another poets like Omar Khayyam and Nizami. It is also known that Mahsati was persecuted for her courageous poetry condemning religious obscurantism, fanaticism, and dogmas.

Her least works that have come down to us are philosophical and love quatrains (rubaiyat), glorifying the joy of living and the fullness of love.

“Since there is nothing left for whatever exists, except wind through the hand
Since everything is immutable and has an end
Think that everything that exists, does not exist
And that which does not exist is like it exists”

 

Khurshidbanu Natavan is considered one of the best lyrical poets of Azerbaijan whose poems are in Persian and Azerbaijani, was most notable for her lyrical ghazals.

 

The ghazal is always written from the point of view of the unrequited lover whose beloved is portrayed as unattainable. Most often, either the beloved has not returned the poet’s love or returns it without sincerity or else the societal circumstances do not allow it. The lover is aware and resigned to this fate but continues loving nonetheless.

“I wonder what was the place where I was last night,
All around me were half-slaughtered victims of love, tossing about in agony.
There was a nymph-like beloved with cypress-like form and tulip-like face,
Ruthlessly playing havoc with the hearts of the lovers”

In this world does not matter your religion, your gender, your skin tone, you should just to focus on important things like history, literature, design and the most important on the people around you.

An educated girl means an educated family

For example, Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev was an Azerbaijani national industrial magnate and philanthropist, who was focused on women`s education and he provided money for building schools and then for maintenance of girls, for their food and clothes.

He said: “I love and cherish my nation, its happiness and future existence as much as industry and business, even more so. The one thing that I believe is important for that future is the upbringing and education of my people…”

Women’s education was taken in the first half of the 19th century. Schools and gymnasiums for girls were opened and at the end of the 19th century there were 1,283 girls studying in all the country’s secondary schools.

Taghiyev was concerned about Muslim women’s closed lives and their ignorance of their rights. He believed that an uneducated woman was also an uneducated mother. He was certain that enlightenment should begin with girls, thus the enlightenment of a child results in an educated individual, however, an educated girl means an educated mother and an educated family in the future.

 

Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev’s girls’ school was not simply an educational institution, it was truly a bridge to the assimilation of knowledge of contemporary world culture from religious and national traditions.

Written by: Andreea Nicoleta Soare, Romania
Photos by: Hanna Herehiieva, Ukraine
22 July 2016
Advertisements