Washington Post covers Khinalig village
By Laman Ismayilova
The Washington Post has published an article about impressions of a traveler journalist James Patterson, who is based in Portugal, following his visit to Khinalig village.
In his article, James Patterson speaks about picturesque Guba region.
"Northern Azerbaijan is a part of the world defined by isolation. The Caucasus Mountains are high and terrible, and they are full of caves for gnomic tribes and nomads to hide in. It was an unconquerable land and remains divided into pockets of separate and singular cultures. In an area roughly the size of West Virginia, there are some two dozen languages, most of them unique to villages that spent centuries isolated from the rest of the country and each other. Not only Khinalig but also the settlements of Buduq, Qriz, Cek, Tsakhur and Nij, to name but a few, speak their own language. The world, however, always finds a way in," the author wrote.
The author of the article focuses on the developed transport and tourism infrastructure of these places.
"Now UNESCO World Heritage status looms for Khinalig, and the Azerbaijani tourism sector is rapidly promoting it as one of the country’s many hidden gems. Some worry that the creeping modernism threatens the historical essence of these villages, that they were better off isolated at the end of an impassable road," he wrote.
Notably, Khinalig has a population of about 2,000, who speak the Khinalig language. This language is classified as "severely endangered" by UNESCO's Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger.
In 2020, the Khinalig State Cultural-Architectural and Ethnographic Reserve was included in UNESCO's Tentative List.
The document was submitted to the organization by Azerbaijan's National Commission for UNESCO.
According to the rules set by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, State Parties should submit their Tentative Lists, properties which they consider to be cultural and/or natural heritage of outstanding universal value and therefore suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List.
They prepare their Tentative Lists with the participation of a wide variety of stakeholders, including site managers, local and regional governments, local communities, NGOs and other interested parties and partners.
In 2020, Khinalig was included in the preliminary list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites called "medieval mountain village".
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