President and First Lady in Aghdam: Azerbaijan’s Hiroshima in new period of prosperity
Azerbaijan’s Hiroshima - Aghdam was known also as a ghost town since it was occupied by Armenian forces in the First Karabakh War in July 1993. Founded in the 18th century, it was granted city status in 1828 and grew considerably during the Soviet period. Aghdam lies 26 km (16 miles) from Azerbaijan’s Kahnkendi at the eastern foot of the Karabakh Range, on the outskirts of the Karabakh plain.
By the time it was occupied and ruined by Armenian separatists, Aghdam had been famous for its butter, wine and brandy, machine, and silk factories, an airport and two railway stations functioned there. Today, this city, which looks like a ghost town, was once the home of 23,100 Azerbaijani Turks, and after 1989, the city was gradually abandoned as a result of provocations by Armenian separatists. The heavy fighting forced the city's population to flee eastwards, and upon the seizure, Armenian forces sacked the town. Until 2020, it was almost entirely ruined and uninhabited.
As part of an agreement that ended the 2020 Second Karabakh War (known as also The Patriotic War), the town and its surrounding district came under Azerbaijani control on 20 November 2020.
Today, Aghdam replaces its former ghost town name with the status of a rebuilt, flourishing Aghdam and enters a new era of its development. This was clearly reflected by the participation of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva in the groundbreaking ceremonies of a number of large-scale infrastructure works during their recent visit to Aghdam.
First up, the President laid a foundation stone for the Digital Management Center and Training-Education Complex owned by "Azerishig" OJSC in the city of Aghdam.
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva then laid the foundation stone for the Aghdam Mugham Center, the 2nd and 3rd residential quarters to be built in the city of Aghdam, and an administrative building in the city center.
The head of state also viewed the progress of construction of the Barda-Aghdam railway line.
New Digital Management Center, Training-Education Complex of Azerishig in Aghdam was founded by President Ilham Aliyev.
As informed by Chairman of "Azerishig" OJSC Vugar Ahmadov to the President at the groundbreaking ceremony, the Digital Management Center will meet the electricity needs of the city's multi-purpose infrastructure.
It is noteworthy that the Training-Education Complex will be enabled to host international events with necessary conditions to be created soon. Besides, according to Ahmadov, the Regional Training Center of the complex will consist of a training hall and a training ground.
Azerbaijani President was also informed of the works done by "Azerishig" OJSC in order to build the electric power distribution network in the liberated territories.
It should also be mentioned that Karabakh is the cradle of culture. Mugham is also an integral cultural gem of Azerbaijan. A number of important steps taken by Azerbaijan's Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva in the direction of keeping mugham alive are also of particular importance. In this regard, the opening of the new mugham center in Aghdam is a symbol of the great concern for the development of mugham art.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva have attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the Aghdam Mugham Center during the visit.
Noting that special Representative of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the liberated territories of the Karabakh Economic Region (except Shusha district) Emin Huseynov briefed the President and First Lady on the project.
Having a café, cinema, library on its first floor, the Center will comprise 637-seat concert hall and two dancing halls. With its administrative rooms projected on its second floor, the center will also have 15 classrooms, an exhibition hall, convention hall, rooms for teachers and managers and a large open-air amphitheater.
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva laid the foundation stone for the Aghdam Mugham Center as well.
Aghdam is no longer a ghost town, Aghdam is being rebuilt to become the most prosperous and most beloved abode of new residents. Yes, the 2nd and 3rd residential quarters to be built in Aghdam and the groundbreaking ceremony was held in the presence of the head of state and his wife, were for the realization of this goal.
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva have attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the 2nd residential quarter to be built in the city of Aghdam.
As the President and the First Lady were informed of the new construction, a large part of the territory of the residential quarter, which occupies a total area of 14 hectares, will consist of a green zone. The quarter will be built on the central street of Aghdam. A total of 1,268 apartments comprised of 114 one-room, 464 two-room, 536 three-room, and 154 four-room will be built in the residential quarter. The Azerbaijani President and the First lady also attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the 3rd residential quarter to be built in the city of Aghdam.
The President and the First Lady were informed of the construction progress of a new building of the 960-seat Aghdam city school No1. It is worth to note that the foundation stone for the school was laid by President Ilham Aliyev on May 28, 2021. The school, which was founded in 1883, is the oldest educational institution in the Karabakh region.
As regards the construction of the residential area, the quarter occupies an area of about 17 hectares. Besides, a total of 1,239 apartments comprised of 25 one-room, 396 two-room, 533 three-room, and 285 four-room are planned be built in the residential quarter.
Laying the construction of a robust and multifaceted administrative building
With its five-storey building Aghdam’s newly constructed administrative building will occupy a total area of 24,500 square meters. This was reported by Special Representative of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the liberated territories of the Karabakh Economic Region (except Shusha district) Emin Huseynov to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva as attended the building’s groundbreaking ceremony in the city of Aghdam.
The building will house a parking lot, technical rooms, a kitchen, auditorium, the district statistical office, the district department of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, the local department of the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport, the district culture office, the DOST Center, meeting rooms, a secretariat, the headquarters of the special representative office of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, a banquet hall, offices and other rooms.
A parade square, a park with an area of 17,500 square meters and a town square will be built in front of the administrative building.
Firm steel rails that will extend to Aghdam
Aghdam will no longer be separated from the districts of Azerbaijan. The strong steel rails connecting it will extend to many regions as well.
Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev viewed the construction progress of the Barda-Aghdam railway line in his recent visit to Aghdam.
As he was informed, the construction of the railway line is scheduled to be finished in 2023. The single-track railway is 47.1 kilometers long. The area along the railway line was cleared of mines.
The Barda-Tazakend and Tazakend-Aghdam sections of the railway are 80% and 71% complete respectively.
President Ilham Aliyev was also briefed about the Aghdam city railway and bus terminal complex. The railway and bus terminals are scheduled to handle respectively 1000 and up to 1500 passengers daily.
All this once again shows that it is not a problem for Azerbaijan to bring any destroyed areas back to life. Armenia turned every place it occupied into ruins, and made Agdam and other areas like it uninhabitable. However, Azerbaijan's determination and optimistic view of the future put an end to all this black page. Long live Aghdam, long live Azerbaijan!
Elnur Enveroglu is AzerNews’ deputy editor-in-chief, follow him on @ElnurMammadli1
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