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Rebirth of Azerbaijan's cultural capital Shusha - rewinding to historic victory

8 May 2024 00:01 (UTC+04:00)
Rebirth of Azerbaijan's cultural capital Shusha - rewinding to historic victory
Fatime Letifova
Fatime Letifova
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Shusha is one of the important centers of Azerbaijan’s historical, cultural, social, and political life.

However, as a result of the Armenian military aggression against Azerbaijan, Shusha was occupied on May 8, 1992. After occupying Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories, Armenia tried to create a separatist puppet regime on the sovereign territories of Azerbaijan, namely the former Nagorno-Karabakh region, including Shusha, and seven adjacent districts.

During this process over 30,000 ethnic Azerbaijanis were killed and one million others were expelled from their hometowns in a brutal ethnic cleansing policy conducted by Armenia.

Before the Armenian occupation, Shusha hosted many museums, secondary and higher education institutions, schools, and libraries. The occupying forces annihilated all these cultural assets. Because Armenia pursued a policy of destroying the historical and cultural heritage of real owners- Azerbaijanis in the city.

This “cleansing” campaign was part of an overall genocidal strategy destined to sustain the occupiers’ propagandistic discourse and convey an imagined history that expunges the predominant Azerbaijani presence over its territory.

While these vile actions amount to crimes against humanity, the prevailing double standards in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the international justice system have made recourse to those instruments futile.

Almost 30 years later, after the 44-day Patriotic War the Azerbaijani President, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, announced Shusha’s liberation from Armenian occupation. The center of the city hosted Azerbaijan’s tricolor flag.

Shusha’s liberation was the Azerbaijani army’s successful operation, which predetermined the outcome of the Patriotic War. On November 7, Azerbaijani special forces made their way through dense forests and ravines, hard-to-reach mountain passes. Azerbaijan’s brave fighters entered Shusha from several directions, with hand-to-hand fighting ensuing. During the battle, Armenian troops launched a rocket attack on Shusha, firing Iskander missiles targeting the Azerbaijani special forces. Despite Armenia’s resistance, the valiant Azerbaijani army liberated Shusha on November 8.

After Shusha regained its freedom, restoration, construction, and reconstruction work started in the city. Thus, new schools, mosques, hospitals, several important facilities, and residential buildings, are being built.

During this period, Shusha also hosted plenty of local and international events. To support the revival of the cultural life of the city, music festivals, poetry days, and numerous local and international cultural events have been held.

It is worth noting that 2022 was declared the year of Shusha in Azerbaijan. Over the past four years, President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visited Shusha many times and observed the repair, restoration, and reconstruction works carried out there.

With the opinion of the 12th Conference of Ministers of Culture in the Islamic World conference participants, Shusha was declared the capital of the Islamic world for 2024, in Doha, Qatar.

Last month, the lottery was held among the families to be transferred to the city of Shusha at the initial stage. Representatives of the Shusha District Executive Power and the Public Council under the State Committee attended the event.

The families to be relocated to Shusha City will be provided with apartments in multi-apartment buildings. The drawing of lots among the families to be relocated to Shusha City will continue in a phased manner.

The Azerbaijani leadership has proven to be astonishingly adept at handling the intricacies of war and peace.

Nowadays the progress towards the peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia is ongoing. It should not be forgotten that the conclusion of the peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia guarantees development in many areas.

First of all, if there is no war or conflict in the region, there is no need for the mediation of external forces. This means that Azerbaijan and Armenia will not only recognise each other's borders, but will also start cooperating within the framework of the open door principle.

Secondly, Armenia's signing of a peace treaty with Azerbaijan will contribute to its relations with Turkiye, and the borders will open, which will massively affect Armenia's economic structure. On the other hand, Armenia will also benefit from Azerbaijan's giant oil and gas projects as well as its projects, in green energy.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the development of Armenia in the region will undermine the plans of colonialist countries like France to influence the South Caucasus for evil purposes. Yerevan will no longer have to be a toy for other countries and play into the hands of some Western organisations.

Undoubtedly, the signing of the peace treaty in the region will contribute a lot to Armenia as well as Azerbaijan and will maintain long-term security in the South Caucasus.

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