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Those fans of Nizami that missed our opening exhibition of Nizami Ganjavi's manuscripts and miniatures from 14th-18th century, have another opportunity to view it tomorrow, together with former Kyrgyz President Dr. Roza Otunbayeva, at 11am in KF office on 1128 16th St NW in Washington DC.

A Private Viewing of the Exhibition
Nizami Ganjavi:
Legacy of a 12th-Century Poet from Azerbaijan


With Roza Otunbayeva, Former President of the Kyrgyz Republic
And Founding Member of the Board of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center

Saturday, December 15, 2012
11:00 a.m.
1128 16th Street, Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20036

Business attire
Light refreshments
Street parking is very limited.


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Nizami Ganjavi (1141-1209) was the greatest poet of Azerbaijan, born and living his entire life in Ganja, one of the largest cities in the Great Atabeg State of Azerbaijan, part of the Great Seljuk Empire (1037-1225).

Tomorrow, December 3, the Karabakh Foundation, the Library of Alexandria, and the Nizami Ganjavi International Center are proud to bring a world-class exhibition of about 50 original manuscripts and rare miniatures from 14th through 18th centuries for the first time in U.S. history to the Josephine Butler Parks Center in Washington, D.C. "Nizami Ganjavi: Legacy of a 12th-Century Poet from Azerbaijan" will be on display December 3, 2012, from 6:00pm until 8pm. A reception with refreshments will be served. To RSVP, email:


Azerbaijan`s first lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva and head of International Relations Desk-Cabinet of the Mayor of Rome Serena Forni unveiled a monument to great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi in Villa Borghese park in the Italian capital.

They laid a wreath at the monument, AzerTAj reports. Supported by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the ceremony was organized in collaboration with Azerbaijan`s Embassy to Italy. The monument was erected in accordance with President Ilham Aliyev`s executive order on celebration of Nizami Ganjavi`s ...

The monument to great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi was held in Rome, Italy.

Nizami Ganjavi’s monument erected in Rome Saturday, April 21, 2012 The monument to great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi was held in Rome, Italy. One of the authors of the monument, people’s artist Salhab Mammadov, who is on a visit in Rome, told APA that President of the Heydar...

Monument to great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi is being built in Rome, Italy.

Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture and Tourism told APA that the necessary work is carried out by the ministry under auspices of Heydar Aliyev Foundation and with close participation of Azerbaijani embassy in Italy. The authors of the monument are popular Azerbaijani artists Salhab Mammadov and Ali I...

Very little online, and most of the books are out of print. Unfortunately

"But he also goes on to say what language he does not want the poet to use — apparently alluding to Mahmmúd of Gazna's legendary cheapness in the matter of Ferdawsi:

torki sefät vafá-ye má nist torkána sokhan sazá-ye má nist

Not in the Turkish way do we keep a promise so writing in the Turkish manner doesn't suit us


This couplet seems to indicate that the Sharvanshah could have asked Nizami to write in Turkish and that the poet could have done this. But alas — or fortunately, depending on your point of view — the ruler preferred Persian. So a vastly influential tale was born, and the first complete Turkish version of the story had to wait for almost three hundred years."

Kamran Talattof and Jerome W. Clinton. The Poetry of Nizami Ganjavi: Knowledge, Love, and Rhetoric. Palgrave Macmillan, 2001. ISBN: 978-0-312-22810-1, Chapter "Layli Grows Up: Nizami's Layla and Majnun "in the Turkish Manner". Walter Andrews & Mahmet Kalpakli

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Since Nizami needed the money and lived a very simple life (despite the Atabeks giving him 4 villages as payment for one of the epic poems), and spent months or years writing his poems, to collect the payment he needed to be very polite and showering his patron with compliments. What a better way than sending your own son, who is of the right age to travel alone and can see the world, learn smth, make friends and connections, and bring back home some $$$. It's surprizing that anyone familiar with Oriental poetry would try to use this instance as "evidence" of Nizami being Iranian -- especially when Akhsitan was a half-Arab/half-Georgian ruler of Eastern Azerbaijan, and a VASSAL of the Great Atabeks of Azerbaijan!!!

The opinion about Leili ve Majnun is not mine, but of many scholars, whose opinion is far more valuable and authoritative than a pair to anonymous Internet propagandists. They also interpret a verse in the same poem as Nizami lamenting that he is forced to write his poem in Farsi, and not in Turki (more on this next).

On the last line from Leili ve Majnun: "And give him victory over all his enemies; And Nezami also entrusts his son to the son of Shirvanshah."

First off, Niza...mi has dozens such lines about giving victory over all enemies for Turkic rulers. Secondly, this is an obvious pathos and metaphor, he is simply sending his son to HAND-DELIVER the poem to Shirvanshah Akhsitan AND TO COLLECT THE PAYMENT!!! In ancient, medieval and even as of recently, it was a rule of good manners for poets to write in such manner: "I am your eternal slave", "Your wish is my command", "You are brighter than the Sun, more majestic than the Moon", etc., etc. whenever you wanted any favor.

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You need at least 5 Azeri Turkic words that Nizami used in his poems? Sure, I can give you much more than that, but let's limit to 5: alachag, ushag, qirmizi, yatag, and koynek.

The claim that "Azerbaijan at that time was speaking an Iranian language" (that is, at the time of Nizami, Azerbaijan spoke an Iranic language) is untrue and unsubstantiated. The ruling dynasty of Great Atabeks was Turkic (by the way, unlike what your Persian friend claims, "Atabek" is not just some t...itle, but a rare title that was given to the CARETAKERS of the Seljuk princes -- that is until those princes grow up and assume full power, that power over the entire empire was with atabeks -- and especially the Azerbaijani Atabeks who were the only one with the title Atabakan-e-Azam (Great Atabeks)) , the country was the Turkic Great Atabek State of Azerbaijan, the empire was a Turkic Great Seljuk Empire. So most people of Azerbaijan spoke Azeri Turkic language which is indeed an Oghuz Turkic language.

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No, once again, the article about Nizami in Britannica says clearly that he was just a Persian-language poet, not Persian. And all the other articles in EB when saying "Persian poet" do not ever mean him as ethnically Persian, as that's simply impossible and there is no such evidence whatsoever.

The subject of this discussion and page is Ninzami, not Babak, Zoroaster, etc. But both of the latter were also sons of Azerbaijan, and all Azerbaijanis have full right to call them ...their own, irrespective of which alpahbet they wrote in or which language they spoke in those times. Neither their language, nor their alphabet are "alive" today, they are all languages that only historians and scholars know, so none of the Persians or Armenians or anyone else for that matter can tell Azerbaijanis on what and whom to consider as such and such. Nizami, like Babak, Zoroaster, Khaqani, Tabrizi, etc., are all sons of Azerbaijan and are all relevant primarily to Azerbaijani history, heritage,&people.

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anyway, this can be an endless discussion, but it detracts from the main purpose of this group - for all to appreciate and know the poetry of the great son of Azerbaijan, Nizami Ganjavi. Only propagandists would be interested in bringing their ridiculous propaganda here, and the fact that of all people the propagandist happens to be Armenian, is very telling. BTW, read your own greatest poet, Mariyetta Shaginyan, who always said that Nizami - is the great Azerbaijani poet. That's it, nothing else to add to these great words!

Turks and other Turkic people have read, studied, cited and liked Shahname well after 19th century as well -- all of us studied Shahname in schools, we sell those books in bookstores, they are available in libraries, and our historians refer to it all the time. So please don't make weird allegations about Turks supposedly hating Shahname. We always respect all great works, unlike some. And also, unlike some, we respect the ethno-national identity of those poets. Which is why we consider Ferdowsi Perso-Tajik poet.

Togan and Mathee are entitled to their opinion, but again, none of it is a fact, all a speculation of family roots in at least the 8th degree!!! A countless other historians and scholars all consider Safavids Azerbaijani and Turkic. And of course Shah Ismail Khatai proved it best by writing 99% of his poems in Azerbaijani Turkic. So there you go Vahe, if you define poets by their language, like you try to do with Nizami, then Khatai is DEFINITELY Turkic and Azerbaijani.

Your friend should know about Leili and Majnun, from the ending chapter addressed to Shirvanshah, where Nizami ends with a bayt: "You, a vigilant shah, who knows his business, become (now), IF YOU CAN, a vigilant Turk". Note the condescending "if you can" -- i.e., if you can ever become as good as a Turk.

Nope, Nizami used Turkic words in Azerbaijani spelling/pronunciation. He used way too many of those words, unlike others. And of course, we are here writing in English, that doesn't mean we are English.

Meanwhile, Britannica is using what is considered to be precise in the West -- Persian-language poet for Nizami, because he wrote in Persian language, and because as you said nation-states did not exist at the time.

Nope, the only valid and important article about Nizami in Britannica is the one about Nizami which I cited. All the one's you are fervently searching for are not about Nizami, but about other subjects. And of course, "Persian poet" DOES NOT mean that the person is ethnically Persian. It is an older, outdated classification of anyone who wrote in Persian as a "Persian poet". Many non-Persians were classified as such -- for example, a Turk poet Amir Khosrou Dehlevi. is not famous, is not known and is not an expert. He is a paid mouthpiece by Armenians. If you can prove that he is a qualified scholar, please do, bu you will fail.

Meanwhile, Dyakonov is an expert on ANCIENT history of Urartu, not on Nizami, not on medieval history, not on Azerbaijan. Hence, the reference that your friend is referring to was written by Dyakonov in his last book, which was his memoirs, not an academic/scholarly book. So it is not very valuable.

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