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Talk by Professor Dr. Ambassador Hasan Hasanov, on Tradition of Novruz: Historical Perspective from Azerbaijan

last modified Apr 30, 2021 09:44 AM

Talk by Professor Dr Ambassador Hasanov, Azerbaijan on 23 April 2021

Cambridge Central Asia Forum in collaboration with the Centre of Development Studies Paper 400 and GCRF COMPASS Project, University of Cambridge organised a talk by Professor Dr. Ambassador Hasan Hasanov of Azerbaijan on the Tradition of Novruz: Historical Perspective from Azerbaijan on 23rd April 2021. 


Moderator: Dr. S.S. Saxena, Director, Cambridge Central Asia Forum, Jesus College & Co-I GCRF COMPASS.


Welcome note: His Excellency Mr Tahir Taghizadeh, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the UK introduced the speaker.


Discussant: Jakub Csabay, University of Cambridge 

About the event: The event, chaired by Dr. Siddharth Saxena, Director of the Cambridge Central Asia Forum, was opened by H.E. Tahir Taghizadeh, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the United Kingdom, who highlighted the extensive career of Prof Hasan Hasanov in both his public service and academic life of Azerbaijan. Subsequently, Prof Hasanov and his colleagues outlined in detail their interpretation of the ancient roots of the tradition of Novruz celebration in Azerbaijan, including the origin of the eight festive days, drawing from a range of sources and stressing a diverse heritage. The lecture was a followed by Q&A, during which Prof Hasanov engaged with multiple questions from the audience, comprised of both senior academics and young researchers from the University of Cambridge, including Mrs. Prajakti Kalra, Ms. Callie Berman and Mr. Jakub Csabay, as well as scholars from regional and international academic institutions, notably Prof Rahilya Geybullayeva, Dr. Gullu Yologlu and Dr. Galina Wood. 


Biography: Professor Dr. Ambassador Hasan Hasanov has held important political and government roles in Soviet and independent Azerbaijan. He was the head of a district of the capital city of Baku as well as the cities of Sumgayit and Ganja, followed by senior positions in science, education, and industry. In January 1990, Prof Hasanov took up the position of Prime Minister of Soviet Azerbaijan, becoming the last Prime Minister of Soviet Azerbaijan and the first Prime Minister of independent Azerbaijan. In 1992, he served as the Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the United Nations (New York). Between 1993 and 1998, he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan. He served as the Ambassador of Azerbaijan in Hungary and Poland between 2004 and 2021. Apart from his extensive political and government career, Prof Hasanov has been engaged in academic research and he is Dr. Hab in History. He has authored several historical monographs and academic studies such as "On the Road towards the First Republic of Azerbaijan" and "The Early Period of the Second Republic of Azerbaijan". He conducted a research study on "Maiden Tower" located in the ancient part of Baku, which was published under the patronage of UNESCO. His research revealed that Baku was first established as a complex of idol worship and eventually became a city. Prof Hasanov has also authored a series of publications on the theme of Novruz-Bayrami and Zoroastrianism. His research has been published in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia as well as in Hungary, Poland, Germany, and Italy.