The Land of Fire boasts a remarkable array of historical and
cultural landmarks. The country’s cultural heritage covers a wide
range of areas including architecture, art, crafts, music, and much
Thanks to its rich cultural heritage, Azerbaijan has received
recognition from international organizations such as the Islamic
World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IСESCO),
which calls for the preservation of cultural heritage and the
development of dialogue between the member states.
Through its membership in ICESCO since 1991, Azerbaijan actively
advocates for the preservation and appreciation of cultural
heritage, fostering intercultural dialogue among nations.
The country is closely cooperating with various organisations,
including the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Islamic
Development Bank, the Islamic Conference of Parliamentary Union,
and the Islamic Conference of Youth Forum.
Moreover, Shusha City was declared the Cultural Capital of the
Islamic World for the upcoming 2024.
Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage was in the spotlight at the 11th
meeting of the Islamic World Heritage Committee (IWHC), operating
under ICECO, Azernews reports.
Ten examples of Azerbaijan’s intangible cultural heritage were
inscripted in the Islamic World Heritage List. Among them are
Yalli, known as the traditional group dances of Nakhchivan;
tradition of making and sharing stuffing, an indicator of cultural
identity; wrestling culture, traditional zorkhana games, sports and
wrestling; Azerbaijani mugham; Lahij copper art, Chovqan –
traditional Garabagh horse game; Azerbaijani ashiq art; traditional
art of making and wearing Kalagayi and its symbolism; the art of
tar performance and the mastery of its preparation; traditional art
of carpet weaving in Azerbaijan.
With this, the number of examples of cultural heritage in the
Islamic World Heritage List of Azerbaijan has reached 13.
In 2019, the Old City (together with the Maiden Tower and the
Shirvanshahs Palace Complex), the historical center of Shaki
(including the Khan’s Palace) and Gobustan rock art were included
in the Islamic World Heritage List.
ICESCO Director-General Salim M. AlMalik presented a certificate
confirming the inclusion of the mentioned elements into the Islamic
World Heritage List based on the nomination files prepared by the
Azerbaijan Culture Ministry, to Azerbaijan’s permanent
representative in this institution Nazim Samadov.
The decision of Islamic World Heritage Committee demonstrates
the significant value of the intangible cultural heritage elements
belonging to the Azerbaijani people.
The verdict underscores the importance of safeguarding,
conserving, and ensuring the sustained existence of this cultural
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on
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