Tbilisi streets named after prominent Azerbaijanis: Many of these names exist on map only
Tbilisi’s new mayor, Kakha Kaladze, earlier announced that old street name boards will soon be replaced by new ones, noting that work in this regard is underway.
Considering there being a number of streets in Tbilisi named after renowned Azerbaijanis, this statement should sound like good news to Azerbaijani society.
APA’s correspondent in Georgia has learned, however, that the names of most of these streets can only be seen on map.
An ancient area in Tbilisi, called Abanotubani, has four streets carrying the names of Mirza Shafi Vazeh, Mirza Fatali Akhundov, Ibrahim Isfahanli and Nizami Ganjavi for more than two decades. The lives and works of these personalities, with the exception of the last one, were closely linked to Tbilisi.
Over the past eight years, large-scale demolition work has been carried out on Mirza Shafi Vazeh Street, with the old houses having been demolished and the boards showing the street’s name taken down.
Recently, the Tbilisi Mayor’s Office authorized an Israeli company to construct a hotel in the area. The construction, once completed, will give a new view to Mirza Shafi Vazeh Street. Let us hope that new boards will be placed showing who the street was named after.
Despite there being narrow streets carrying Akhundov’s name, these boards have rusted over the past 20 years, making the name hardly visible.
The most surprising thing is about the street named after Ibrahim Isfahanli, a well-known Azerbaijani actor and producer as well as Georgian people’s artist who is best known for his role as “Yarmammad” in the film “Boyuk Dayag”.
He was born in Tbilisi and played an exceptional role in the creation of the Azerbaijani theater in Georgia. According to the decision of the Georgia’s Culture Ministry, in 1997, Isfahanli’s name was given to the forth side of the Vakhtang Gorgasali Street in Tbilisi on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the actor. Although the preparation of a street name board was assigned to the Tbilisi Mayor’s Office, the street has been known by its previous name for 20 years. You can see old and relatively new boards with the name of Vakhtang Gorgasali on them.
Although there is a small street in Tbilisi named after Nizami Ganjavi, there is no appropriate board. Information about where this street is located can be seen only on the map of Tbilisi. During the conversation with the residents it becomes clear that they know this street as Nizami. According to them, boards with the name of the street were available on in Soviet times, but they were out of order after years.
In course of monitoring, a street in the Abanotubani district drew attention.
This is the street named after Mirhasan Vazirov, who was one of the 26 Baku commissars. He was born in the Azerbaijani city of Shusha. Monuments in honor of the 26 Baku commissars have long been dismantled in Azerbaijan’s capital, but you can still meet them in Tbilisi.
Ahmad Javad Street is located in Tbilisi’s Isani district. The street was named after famous Azerbaijani poet Ahmad Javad in 2011, when some of the unnamed streets of the city were named after translators of the poem of Shota Rustaveli “The knight in the tiger's skin”. Javad translated the famous poem of the classic of Georgian literature into Azerbaijani in 1930.
Although the name board of the street is relatively new, an error was made in the spelling of Javad’s last name in English. As seen in the photo, the poet’s last name is spelled as “Djavadan” in English. The poet’s first and last names are spelled correctly in Georgian. .
It is necessary to mention one more point in this article. Rashid Behbudov, a well-known Azerbaijani singer, People’s Artist of the USSR and Honored Art Worker of the Georgian SSR, was born in Georgia. Tbilisi residents often say that they are proud of being compatriots of Rashid Behbudov. The memory of unique singer Rashid Behbudov is not immortalized in the Georgian capital. For example, renaming the street named after M. Vazirov, one of the 26 Baku commissars, after Rashid Behbudov would be an example of great respect for the memory of the famous singer. The Azerbaijani community in Georgia and well-known Azerbaijani intellectuals in Tbilisi can take such an initiative.
Recall that in 2014 one of the streets in the 7th microdistrict of Gldani district of Tbilisi was named after Khudu Borchali, Georgia’s national hero of Azerbaijani origin.
Apparently, the situation around Tbilisi streets named after prominent Azerbaijanis is not heartwarming. Hopefully, according to the development strategy of the capital, during the preparation and installation of new street name boards in line with the development strategy of the capital, streets bearing the names of prominent Azerbaijanis will not be overlooked.
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