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I am Javanshir


Javanshir Islamzadeh

One-off, energetic, stubborn

I carry the name of one of the ancient kings of Caucasian Albania*. Perhaps that’s what gives me such a passion for my country’s history and heritage. Broken down literally, Javanshir means young (javan) lion (shir) so, hopefully, my guests won’t find the name too hard to remember, even if it is far from easy to pronounce correctly. Like Baku itself, my interests combine a lot that’s contemporary with all that’s historic. I love modernism and revel in the futuristic new buildings that keep rising here, while layer upon architectural layer expresses Baku’s deeper essence making me fall in love with my city over and over again. I also enjoy quirkier corners and delight in finding the stories associated with abandoned old buildings as much as admiring gleaming new constructions. Just in Ichari Shahar (the medieval city core) I can wander from dawn to dusk, thinking about past and future, never getting bored as I feel the spirit of antique Baku. I’d love to share my mental pictures of how Shahs once ruled Azerbaijan, how merchants from the Orient and Middle East came to Baku to trade goods, theories of how the Maiden Tower was built and so much more. But you’ll have to come with me: as the Azerbaijani proverb says: “It’s better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.”

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