This May 8: Shusha is free

For many years, May 8 had been marked as the day of occupation of Shusha, a city of great spiritual importance for the Azerbaijani people and the pearl of Karabakh.

This year, May 8 is a special day for the Azerbaijani people. For the first time after 29 years, May 8 is met without sadness and without tears in eyes. Today Shusha is free. The Azerbaijani Army, under the leadership of Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, liberated the city of Shusha from occupation on November 8, 2020 during the 44-day Patriotic War.

On November 7, 2020, the Special Forces of Azerbaijan climbed the rocks around the city and entered Shusha with light weapons, destroyed the enemy forces. President Ilham Aliyev addressed the nation from the Alley of Martyrs on November 8, announcing that Shusha was liberated from occupation. In that speech, the head of state said: "Dear Shusha, you are free! Dear Shusha, we are back! Dear Shusha, we will revive you!"

The Azerbaijani people will no longer mark the day of the occupation of Shusha city. From now on, 28-year-old sadness will be replaced by a life full of happiness. Just like the gloomy date of May 8 was replaced by a bright one - November 8.

On May 7, 2021, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed a decree declaring Shusha the cultural capital of Azerbaijan. Thus, Shusha entered the stage of independence as the cultural capital of Azerbaijan.

There is no doubt that in the coming years Shusha will become one of the cultural centers not only of Azerbaijan but also of the world. There is great potential and strong will for this.

Upon the relevant order of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the Khari Bulbul music festival will be held in the city of Shusha, the country’s cultural capital.

The festival will be organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.

The Khari Bulbul music festival, named after a flower that is a symbol of Shusha city, was first organized in May 1989 on Jidir plain and was held regularly until the beginning of the first Karabakh war.

Now, the festival will be held on Jidir plain again, after a break of over 30 years, following Azerbaijan's liberation of its lands.

Currently, preparation for the festival is in the final stages.

The musical creativity of different peoples living in Azerbaijan will be presented, a program of folk songs and classical music will be organized within the festival dedicated to "Multiculturalism in Azerbaijani Music".



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