Professor Nargiz Pashayeva: The first democratic republic in the east, in the Muslim world was established in Azerbaijan

Rector of Baku branch of Moscow State University, co-chair of the Anglo-Azerbaijani Society, head of Nizami Ganjavi Scientific Centre at the University of Oxford on behalf of Azerbaijan professor Nargiz Pashayeva and Lord German, member of the House of Lords of the British Parliament, co-chairman of the society on behalf of the UK, have held a joint round table.

Participants in the event included public and political figures, scientists, Bettany Hughes, an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, who has devoted the last 25 years to the vibrant communication of the past, and members of the House of Lords Lord Green, Baroness Andrews, Baroness O'Cathain, head of Nizami Ganjavi Scientific Centre on behalf of UK, professor of Islamic History Robert Hoyland.

Bettany Hughes`s specialty is ancient and mediaeval history and culture. She has taught at Oxford and Cambridge universities and lectured at Cornell, Bristol, UCL, Maastricht, Utrecht and Manchester. She is a Tutor for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education and a Research Fellow of King's College London.

Her first book Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore has been translated into ten languages. Her second, The Hemlock Cup, Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life was a New York Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Writer’s Guild Award. She has written and presented over 50 TV and radio documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, PBS, The History Channel, National Geographic, Discovery, BBC World and ITV. Her programmes have now been seen by over 250 million worldwide. In 2010, she was awarded the Naomi Sargent Education Prize for Broadcast Excellence and was given a Special Award for services to Hellenic Culture and Heritage. In 2014 she was awarded the Distinguished Friend of Oxford Award for her contribution to the academic life of the University.

Baroness Andrews is a British Labour politician and life peer. She was Chair of English Heritage from July 2009 to July 2013. She was created a life peer as Baroness Andrews, of Southover in the County of East Sussex on 9 May 2000. She received the Order of the British Empire in 1998.

Lord Green is a British Conservative politician, former Minister of State for Trade and Investment, and former Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings plc. Some of his prior directorships included The Bank of Bermuda Limited, HSBC Mexico, SA and The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited. He was also Chairman of HSBC Private Banking Holdings (Suisse) SA and HSBC North America Holdings Inc., Deputy Chairman of HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG and was a board member of HSBC France. In 2005 he was appointed a Trustee of the British Museum. In 2014 he was appointed a Trustee of the Natural History Museum by the Prime Minister David Cameron for a period of four years, and was elected Chair by the Board of Trustees.

Baroness O'Cathain serves currently on the European Union Committee, chairing the Sub-Committee on Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment. Baroness O'Cathain was awarded the Order of Friendship by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in 2010.

Lord German highlighted the aim of the meeting. Co-chair of the Anglo-Azerbaijani Society, professor Nargiz Pashayeva provided an insight into the history of Azerbaijan. She said the first democratic republic in the east, in the Muslim world was established in Azerbaijan. Although short-lived, only 23 months, this democratic republic became the quintessence of national heroism of the people of Azerbaijan, she said. Professor Pashayeva said that under Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, a multi-party parliament was established, equal rights for women and men, women`s suffrage, freedom of speech and thought were ensured.

Robert Hoyland stressed the role of the Caucasus region and the importance of Azerbaijan in establishing the Silk Road.

Professor Nargiz Pashayeva demonstrated a version of Molla Nasraddin satirical magazine, which was read across the Muslim world from Morocco to Iran, as well as the books reflecting the architectural view of Baku in the beginning of the century.

They exchanged views on Archaeological Exploration of Barda Project. The exploration aims to chart the development of the late Antique and medieval city of Barda', a provincial capital between the 5th and the 11th centuries CE.

On March 4-5, Professor Nargiz Pashayeva visited the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and met its Principal Hilary Boulding, Director of Music John Cranmer, employee of the international desk Louisa Johns, as well as students of the College. Professor Nargiz Pashayeva presented books and CDs on performing arts and musical culture of Azerbaijan to the library of the College.

Professor Nargiz Pashayeva and Principal Hilary Boulding exchanged views on opportunities for Azerbaijani students to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

The College was established in 1949 as Cardiff College of Music at Cardiff Castle, but has since moved to purpose-built accommodation within the castle grounds of Bute Park near Cardiff University. It later changed its name to the Welsh College of Music and Drama before being awarded its Royal title in The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002, making it the fifth conservatoire to be awarded this title.

From its opening, the College's degrees were awarded by the University of Wales and in 2004 the College became part of the federal university. In 2007, it left the university and became a limited company under the University of South Wales Group, with its degrees now awarded by the University of South Wales.

The college provides education and training in the performing arts, with approximately two-thirds of its 550 students studying music-related courses and the rest studying drama-related courses. It was the first and is only one of two All-Steinway conservatoires in the UK, along with Leeds College of Music.

The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama is one of the UK’s leading drama school. The College was ranked as the top institution in the UK for drama training by the Guardian University Guide twice in the last three years.

Currently in its fifth year, the one-year full time MA Musical Theatre programme has quickly become one of the College's flagship courses, attracting attention and support from some of the biggest names in the industry. Building on the success of the College's well established acting and vocal programmes, the course also benefits from close collaborations with the music, production and design departments, placing it at the very centre of the College's creatively diverse community.

Professor Nargiz Pashayeva watched a jazz concert performed by students of the College.

Orkhan Ismayilov
AZERTAC’s Special Correspondent

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