By Laman Ismayilova
World-famous mugham singers Alim Gasimov and Farghana Gasimova have released the first music video shot in Shusha after liberation.
The video "??hidl?r ölm?z, V?t?n bölünm?z!" was filmed with the participation of People's Artist of Azerbaijan Nuraddin Mehtikhanli and other famous cultural and art workers to the composition of Chingiz Mustafayev "Man ??hid oldum"
Shot by Fire Land Production, the video features the song "V?t?n yax??d?r" performed by the 22-year-old warrant officer Khudayar Yusifzade two days before his heroic death and call to prayer (azan) from the Yukhar Gevkhar-agha mosque in Shusha.
The symbol of the video clip is the flower of Khari Bulbul, which is installed at the entrance to the city of Shusha.
Being the symbol of Karabakh, Khari Bulbul symbolizes the patriotic spirit and courage of the Azerbaijani people.
Khari Bulbul grows only in Shusha city. This flower has a unique appearance which makes it look like a nightingale or bulbul in Azerbaijani.
The word "Khari" means "thorny". Two petals of the flower resemble wings, while another one looks like a bird's head.
Many legends, poems and songs are associated with this beautiful flower.
The legend says that once upon a time there was a nightingale that fell in love with a flower. The nightingale loved and protected the flower and was warbling for her all day.
One day a bee saw the flower and wanted to taste its nectar. When the nightingale saw the bee flying toward the flower, it prevented it with his breast. They clashed in the air and the bee stung the nightingale. But the bird did not die. His love and courage changed him into another flower, together with the bee that wanted to sting him.”
Another legend about the flower concerns the Khan of Karabakh and his daughter. After the khan's daughter was married to an Iranian king, she began to miss her homeland of Karabakh.
To help her cope with her yearning for home, the shah built a garden that included all the different flowers of Karabakh. Despite his best intentions, the Khari Bulbul never grew there.
As part of their visit to Shusha, mugham singers enjoyed a fascinating view of the heart of Azerbaijan's Karabakh region.
For this opportunity, Alim Gasimov expressed deep gratitude to the President of Azerbaijan, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev and the Azerbaijani army.
Shusha was occupied by Armenian forces on May 8, 1992, and was the last of Azerbaijan’s cities to be liberated from the Armenian occupation in the war that lasted from September 27 to November 10, 2020.
One of the world’s truly gifted singers, Alim discovered the world of mugham as a child, when he began singing for his own enjoyment. He grew up in the town of Shamakhi, 100 km northwest of Baku. "I had no idea that I would become a singer," he recalls.
Gasimov continues to play an important role in promotion of the Azerbaijani culture, especially mugham around the world.
He was awarded the International Music Council-UNESCO Music Prize, one of the highest international accolades for music in 1999.
For that achievement, he was quoted by the New York Times as simply one of the greatest singers alive, with a searing spontaneity that conjures passion and devotion, contemplation and incantation.
Also known as an artist of supreme versatility, Gasimov has collaborated and performed with some of the world’s leading musicians, including Yo-Yo Ma, Kronos Quartet and Jeff Buckley.
People's Artist of Azerbaijan Alim Gasimov was one of four Azerbaijanis among the 500 most influential Muslims in the world, chosen by competition, conducted by the Center for Strategic Studies and the famous American Georgetown University in Jordan.
The daughter of the mugham master Alim Gasimov, followed in her father's footsteps.
Her amazing talent was discovered in 1995, when at the age of sixteen, she joined father in a concert tour in Germany.
Over the years, Farghana Gasimova, along with her father and teacher Alim Gasimov, has successfully represented Azerbaijan in the international arena, making a significant contribution to the development and promotion of mugham.