Molla Panah Vagif (1717-1797)

About Shusha

Vagif was born in 1717 in the village of Salahli near Gazakh. In 1759 his family had to move to the Karabakh khanate.

Panah was well educated. He was fluent in Persian and Arabic and had extensive knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, music and poetry. Shortly after arriving in Karabakh, Vagif moved from Tartarbasar to Shusha and opened a school there.

Vagif's works, such as "Badi-saba, tell me something", "If you go to the prayer tomorrow's song", "It's a holiday", "Your eyes are the executioner, the oil of your eyes", "Cranes", "I was amazed" and other poems have become very famous.

After Vagif's death, the manuscripts of his poems were destroyed and looted. Nevertheless, a number of poems he wrote about ashug poetry have been preserved. Today dozens manuscripts of great Vagif can be found in the Writers' Union of Azerbaijan and the National Museum of Azerbaijani Literature named after Nizami Ganjavi.

While in Shusha in 1967, Heydar Aliyev wanted to visit Vagif's grave, but could not find it. At his request, a grave was found and Aliyev visited the destroyed tomb, which was not in good condition. In one of his speeches, he said that "this grave is not worthy of Vagif."

The construction of the museum-mausoleum complex of Molla Panah Vagif was started in 1977 on the basis of the project of architects A.V. Salamzade and E.I. Kanukov. The complex was built on the tomb of the poet near the Jidir Plain, a prominent place in Shusha. It was exhibited here in about 80 exhibits belonging to the period reflecting the life of Molla Panah Vagif in Shusha.

In January 1982, the mausoleum of Molla Panah Vagif was inaugurated with the participation of National Leader Heydar Aliyev. 

In 1982, along with the mausoleum of the poet in Shusha, Heydar Aliyev also took part in the opening of the Shusha Poetry House and the "Days of Vagif Poetry" held there. Since that date, "Vagif Poetry Days" are held every August annually.

It is included in the "Program of anniversaries of outstanding personalities and significant events for 2016-2017" within the framework of the anniversary program of UNESCO in 2016-2017. On January 12, 2017, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed an order to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Molla Panah Vagif.

On May 8, 1992, the mausoleum was destroyed by the Armenian occupiers.

After the liberation of Shusha on November 8, 2021, on August 29, on the instructions of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the museum-mausoleum complex of Vagif was opened in Shusha after reconstruction. Vagif Poetry Days were reorganized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation on August 30, 2021.

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