Declaration of 2021 to be year of Nizami Ganjavi – joyous occasion in Azerbaijan – Co-chair of NGIC
President Ilham Aliyev declared 2021 a year to celebrate the 880th anniversary of his birth, and it is a momentous and joyous occasion in Azerbaijan, Ismail Serageldin, Co-chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC), former Vice-President of the World Bank, Emeritus Librarian of Alexandria wrote in his research on Nizami.
Serageldin said it is also a joyful occasion for all lovers of literature and those who believe in the values and ethics that Nizami espoused and exemplified. It is a happy occasion for all those who value the history of Islamic thought, as Nizami was one of the great exemplars of an open, tolerant and serene understanding of Islamic thought.
“Nizami left an enormous body of works of great cultural significance, but his talents are best exemplified by the five epic poems that constitute the Khamsa, which are a pinnacle of world literature,” he said.
“Today we recognize the multi-faceted personality of Nizami as a scholar, a sage, a mystic, a poet, and a man of great wisdom, but above all as a poet. His work lives on and has inspired artists, musicians, writers, and poets in many parts of the world,” he said.
Serageldin noted that Nizami was above all an Azerbaijani poet, who lived his entire life in Ganja, but whose cultural legacy is one that is a source of pride not just to the citizens of Azerbaijan but also to the entire Turkic, Persian and Muslim World. So it is with great figures who have contributed to the collective consciousness of humanity and the cultural history of our complex and interacting civilizations.
“Nizami’s work is more than a paramount symbol of great Azerbaijani or Persian or Turkic or Arabic or even Muslim literature. It is indeed part of the global heritage of humanity. From his abode in Ganja, his writings have transcended the local boundaries of Azerbaijan and created a world that spoke to all humans. His work is a cultural legacy that, like all great legacies, reached universality through deep-rooted traditions interpreted with great art. It has distilled profound wisdom, espoused lofty values and deployed great insights,” he said.
So Serageldin added it is most appropriate that his works are valued and appreciated everywhere, and that he is celebrated not just in his native Azerbaijan but in the whole world.