Mosques in Karabakh Repaired


STEPANAKERT (RFE/RL)–Five Azerbaijani mosques and other religious sites located in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic have been repaired in recent years as part of a government effort to preserve the heritage of its old Islamic minority, a senior Karabakh Republic official said on Wednesday.

Sergey Shahverdian, the head of Karabakh’s tourism department, was quoted by RFE/RL’s Armenian service saying that the government in Stepanakert has spent 30 million drams ($83,000) for that purpose since 2008 and plans to finance more restoration work next year.

“All the cultural heritage preserved in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is the property of the Karabakh people,” said Shahverdian. “Accordingly, in restoring monuments, we don’t differentiate with Armenian and Muslim architectural sites.”

In his words, two of the three Shia mosques as well as an Islamic “madrasa” building mostly repaired by the Karabakh authorities are located in Shushi.

Shahverdian added that the repairs there were also sponsored Arshbishop Pargev Martirosian, the Shushi-based head of the Artsakh (Karabakh) diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church. But he gave no details of that assistance.

Town residents, many of them former Armenian refugees from Baku and other parts of Azerbaijan, seemed divided in their assessment of the restoration effort. “I agree so long as they remain only historical monuments,” one woman said, according to RFE/RL.

“If the Azerbaijanis destroyed our cemeteries and churches, why are we restoring their mosques?” said another.

Also repaired was a mosque in Aghdam. It is one of the town’s few structures that were not destroyed during and after the Armenian-Azerbaijani war.


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  1. Norin Radd said:

    Once again Armenians have proved to be civilized even toward those that wanted to destroy us. In 1990s our villages were attacked on our own historic lands, we fought and gained our independence as Armenians and as Christians. Our “civil” Azeri neighbors then proceeded to destroy our historic cemeteries in Azeri controlled Nakhichevan proving themselves to be the animals which Armenians have long proclaimed they are.

    Now, though as undeserving as it may be, let the world bask at Armenian civility even towards those that would not have extended the same towards us. Bow your heads in shame Azeris, we crushed you on the battlefield, and now we are crushing you in the arena of civility, your 100 year history has a long way to go to catch up with 5000 years of Armenian civil society.

    In the end though, even with this is a wasted effort, you cannot teach civility to animals. I would have much rather seen these funds going to school children in Arstakh and more Armenian infrastructure than these decrepit mosques. We’ve walked the “high road” long enough fellow Armenians, it’s time we start thinking of ourselves, gestures such as these only will lead to our enemies strengthening themselves again only to try and attack us again.

  2. facts said:

    I disagree with these actions and such spending at this time.. the money should had been spent for refuge families and education of children..

  3. Abbe said:

    “If the Azerbaijanis destroyed our cemeteries and churches, why are we restoring their mosques?”
    A very good question but is is fantastic that at least we aremenians know what that is heritage and what is politics we don’t go around destroying other historical monuments as OTHERS!!
    So let them look and be ashamed of themselves because if the truth must be revield i don’t like the idea of restoring azerbajani monuments as the destroyed a great monument of ours. But since it is about preserving the beautiful buildings for the future and show the world that some people just don’t have the brain to think I like it.
    Bravo Armenia and Kharabagh/Artsakh (With all its terretories which is Kharabagh/Artsakh btw but to make it clear :P)

    • KRIKOR said:

      I TOTALY AGREE, instead we should even distroy it like they do, why we have to be mr nice and for how long? why spending money at this time on restoring a mosque instead we should spent that money on Artsakhtsis.

  4. Serge said:

    Glad to see Asbarez finally including Aghdam as part of Karabakh and not referring it to “east of Karabakh” or “outside of Karabakh”. Bravo.

  5. Rita Hosepian said:

    Good job Artsakh

    BTW it doesn’t matter what Azeri’s do, Armenian’s should not determine what we do based on what others do, we should do the right thing either way

  6. Alex said:

    Just a comment on everyone’s comments here!
    An animal(istic) mind has no sense of shame!

  7. hayrenaser said:

    i don’t know if i would go as far as repairing an azeri abandoned bld., specially now that we need every luma available to rebuilt artsakh… but at least i would not blow it out of existence, like they did with the cemeteries in nakhijevan, after all these times of hostilities will cease someday and we have to face each other, at least we wouldn’t be the once ashamed of our barbaric acts

  8. Aram said:

    Good that Armenians are rebuilding mosques it shows that we are light years ahead of the “Azeris.” However, there is a gross error here by RFE/RL since when these mosques were built there was no such people as “Azerbaijanis” to build an “Azerbaijan” mosque. These are Persian mosques and they were built by Persian khans not “Azerbaijanis.”

    The term “Azerbaijani” was only invented in 1918 for the newly established country that never existed north of the Arax river (it is a name of an ancient country in Iran SOUTH of Arax river). This was done by the Pan-Turkists to later stake aclaim not only on native Armenian territory as well as on Iranian territories south of Arax river as part of “Azerbaijan.” The name Armenia is marked on the very first surviving map from Babylon from Sixth Century BC, all the way to modern times, the same can never be said for the said country of “Azerbaijan” which once again NEVER existed north of Arax river prior to 1918.

    This historical inaccuracy was and is done on purpose and should always be pointed out. The “Azeris” prior to 1918 were simply known as TATARS OF CAUCASUS, they have changed their self-designative name, yet once again it has nothing to do with the genuine history of the country of Atropatena-Atrapatakan-Azarbaijan which has never included the territory of the country that has usurped the name that from the outset was inhabited by Armenians and by Medes. The Altaic invaders started to arrive here only starting in the 11th century, with most in fact crossing Central Asia and arriving in these areas much later in the 14th-15th centuries.

  9. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    We have the genes to build
    Never to destroy,
    We do our duity
    We don’t expect others to do their duity.

    This photo of repaired mosque
    Should be distributed to every newspaper
    specially to the Islamic countries.

  10. Z said:

    Now I really don’t get this. Who needs a mosque there now?? We don’t!!
    They should better repair the water pipelines and build decent housing for our people there, in stead of buidling mosques where moslims cook fundamentalists!!!
    I don’t get it.

  11. ed said:

    WHO said these are “Five Azerbaijani mosques “ ???

    Why spending so much money, when Azerbijani can use Photo shop ?
    Since Azerbaijani is perfect in “photo montage” (se maybe we could use there advance technology of “photo montage” and repair with much less money and resources the “sites” and present the sites already “repaired” , offering the them the repaired building as “photo”

  12. Gabriel Bagratyan said:

    Dear Lusine,
    Thanks for information, but let me tell You, that not “Five Azerbaijani mosques”, but “five muslim mosques, and most part of them are Iranian, and there is no connection with nowdays Azerbaijani turks.

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