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    In presence and under patronage of Azerbaijani President, celebration of Shusha, Culture Capital in Islamic World kicks off

    11 May 2024

    The celebration of Shusha, Culture Capital in the Islamic World for 2024, kicked off on Saturday (11 May 2024), under the patronage and in the presence of H.E. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in a major ceremony organized by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), within the framework of the Organization’s Programme of Culture Capitals in the Islamic World.

    The ceremony, which coincided with the opening of the Kharibulbul International Music Festival, bringing together artistic groups from several countries, witnessed a high-level presence of officials in the Azerbaijani government, a number of ambassadors, representatives of diplomatic missions, public figures, writers, thinkers and artists.

    In his address during the ceremony, President Aliyev thanked ICESCO for celebrating Shusha as the Culture Capital in the Islamic World, which is an opportunity to publicize the Azerbaijani culture in the Islamic world and beyond, noting that visitors of Shusha can clearly discover the Azerbaijani spirit and identity in every corner of the city.

    He added that Azerbaijan is actively working to restore the historical image of the city through the restoration of its historical and religious landmarks, most notably the reconstruction of four ancient mosques and the restoration of others, lauding the unique cultural status of Shusha as a symbol of victory and peace.

    At the outset of his address, Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General (DG), stressed that Shusha today is deservedly celebrated once again in 2024 as Culture Capital in the Islamic World after being Celebrated in 2022 as Capital of Azerbaijani Culture, and Culture Capital of the Turkic World in 2023, adding that Shusha indisputably possesses great potential and significance, as evidenced by the title of culture capital for three consecutive years.

    The ICESCO DG also indicated that Shusha has always been known for its transcendence and exaltation, as its intellectuals proudly manifested its Islamic identity, commending the efforts exerted by Heydar Aliyev Foundation, headed by the First Lady Ms. Mehriban Aliyeva, Vice President, ICESCO Goodwill Ambassador, to renew and modernize the city of Shusha, and the challenge of comprehensive development, which is being carefully and rationally led by President Ilham Aliyev.

    Dr. AlMalik underscored that the Organization has been true to its promise, proud of President Aliyev’s patronage of its nationwide plans and programs, as evidenced by the first expert mission dispatched to the liberated territories.

    After that, the artistic concert started with music and dance performances representing the traditional arts and folklores of Azerbaijan and a number of countries of the Islamic world, mainly Morocco, Qatar, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan.

    The celebration of Shusha, Culture Capital in the Islamic World, includes many diverse cultural and artistic activities throughout 2024 in Shusha and other Azerbaijani cities.

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