On the occasion of the 880th anniversary of the great poet and mastermind, the founder of the great classical literary school Nizami Ganjavi, on January 5, President of Azerbaijan Republic Ilham Aliyev declared 2021 the “Year of Nizami Ganjavi” in the country.
In the literal translation from Farsi, Nizami means “Stringing words”, and the real name of the poet was Ilyas ibn Yusuf. He lived and worked in the XII century in the city of Ganja, which was one of the cultural centers of that time.
Nizami Ganjavi was born in 1141 in a family of theologians and received a comprehensive education. He was well versed in philosophy, in addition to his native Azerbaijani language, he knew several languages, including Arabic and Farsi, was fond of mathematics, algebra, geometry, history, astronomy, logic and medicine.
The works of the founder of the Eastern Renaissance Nizami Ganjavi are immortal and they are a universal heritage, from the creativity of Nizami originates the Eastern poetry. Nizami Ganjavi served the highest ideas of humanism and justice. He considered moral wealth above all else in the world.
Nizami’s main poetical work, for which he is best known, is a set of five long narrative poems known as the Khamsa or Panj Ganj (“Five Treasures”). The literature creations of Nizami have become an inspiration for poets for many centuries, and today the works of the master occupy an honorable place in the world cultural treasury. For example, the plot of the poem “Seven Beauties” formed the basis of the famous “Turandot” opera by Giacomo Puccini.
Special attention is paid to the study and popularization of the genius of Nizami both in Azerbaijan and around the world. Nizami’s mausoleum is located in his native city Ganja, and monuments to the poet are installed in Baku, St. Petersburg, Tashkent, and Rome. The Institute of Literature of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan and the National Museum of Azerbaijani Literature are named after Nizami Ganjavi. In 2012, the Nizami Ganjavi International Center was established in Azerbaijan, whose branch has been successfully operating at the University of Oxford since 2018.
It is no exaggeration to say that Nizami occupies a well-deserved place among the great poets of mankind and his works will always be a source of inspiration, both for us and for future generations. That is why the First Baku Light Festival based its concept on the works of an ageless classic.