The Azerbaijan State News Agency


Professor Bettany Hughes: “…Guivami Rahimli - a passionate … historian and archaeologist”

Baku, March 23, AZERTAC

Professor Bettany Hughes is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster. She has written and presented over 50 TV and radio documentaries for the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery, PBS, Channel 4, Netflix, ITV and the History Channel. Her programmes have been viewed by over 250 million people worldwide.

Guivami Rahimli, PhD, Senior Government Affairs Advisor for BP AGT Region, has shared some highlights of Bettany Hughues’ visit to Azerbaijan with AZERTAC.

Professor Hughes travelled to many places in the world, but has never been to Azerbaijan before 2018. Now time has come for one of the next big projects related to Azerbaijan – “the land of fire”, which nourished the ancient world’s oldest theocracy, a Zoroastrian state. Azerbaijan is the first parliamentary republic in the whole East and Islamic world, pioneered an early Muslim-majority democracy in 1918. Bettany’s plan included producing a radio series for BBC Radio 3 about the country’s rich and deep history and culture – from prehistoric times to the present. While in Azerbaijan, she would have an opportunity to look at historical sites, to produce in future a television series that embodies Azerbaijan's history and rich cultural heritage.

To support professor Bettany Hughes’ initiatives, BP CEO Robert Dudley offered the support of the company through the office in Baku. Being in the role of leading BP’s cultural heritage projects, I was delighted to help Bettany on her journey to produce an exciting programme for the BBC, and to promote the history and culture of Azerbaijan.

To start with, I shared some of my publications related to the history and culture of Azerbaijan with Bettany:

• Mysterious Tales of Tabriz

• Power of Cultural Heritage

• The Land We Came From

• BP Promotes Azerbaijan’s Cultural Legacy

It appears that these articles have been an interesting read for Bettany, as in her BBC programme she introduced me to the audience as “a passionate amateur historian and archaeologist”.

BP is very proud to support Azerbaijan’s rich cultural heritage, as part of the social investment programmes. It is exciting to be working on these programmes, and to be involved in projects such as research and book publications, as well sponsoring documentaries on history, archaeology, literature and music. One of the recent examples includes a publication, titled, “Mysterious Tales of Tabriz”, which traces the fundamental stages in the evolution of medieval Azerbaijani miniature painting, dating back to the Middle Ages. The rich legacy of these paintings is exhibited in numerous museums and private collections around the world. This book has been presented as a token of appreciation to VIPs during international events and meetings, such as Holy Father Pope Francis, President of Italy Sergio Mattarella, President of Greece Karolos Papulyas, Prime Minister of Andorra Xavier Espot Zamora, Nobel prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo and many others.

In her BBC programme, Bettany’s investigation of Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage begins in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, with visits to several archaeological sites, trying to reanimate the history of the country that has been at the forefront of the development of civilizations and to the key player in present day geopolitics. She discovered the landscapes of Azerbaijan, the centre of ancient trade on the Silk Road, inspired the poetry of the greatest romantic epic poet of the 12th century Nizami Ganjavi.

It was a great pleasure for me to arrange Bettany Hughes’ trip to the Kerpijlitepe archaeological site, – a “fortress” type monument dating back to the 10-13th centuries that BP discovered during construction of the South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion project.

At the SGC Ministerial meeting in Baku on February 2019, BP AGT Regional President Gary Jones also briefed the international audience about this archaeological discovery: “… our archaeological excavations unearthed a fortress believed to be part of a medieval settlement in the Goranboy district of Azerbaijan. The discovery was recognised as a significant piece of cultural heritage extending back to humanity’s earliest history. When I visited the site together with the Minister of Culture Mr. Garayev I was taken aback by both the scale and quality of the find. To preserve this valuable cultural heritage, we re-routed the pipeline to ensure that we keep the discovery for the future generations”.

The artifacts discovered at the Kerpijlitepe archaeological site were also displayed at the BP exhibition stand during the International Caspian Oil Show in May 2019 and BP’s Gary Jones presented the findings from the site to President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev along with updates of oil and gas developments of the company in the region.

The Kerpijlitepe archaeological site locates close to Ganja city – the birthplace of the world-renowned Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi, which was featured in Bettany’s BBC programme.

On her journey across Azerbaijan, Bettany Hughes also paid a visit to the Sangachal Terminal on her route to the Gobustan, a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. Gobustan has an outstanding universal value for its rock art engravings. It has substantial evidence of collection of rock art images that presents hunting, fauna, flora and lifestyles in pre-historic times.

At Sangachal, Bettany’s crew created a background sound to her talking about the ancient history of oil in Azerbaijan at a modern terminal. The terminal is Azerbaijan’s the most important strategic asset: the biggest BP-operated hydrocarbon live onshore facility worldwide. Here we host high-level delegations from all over the world and I have been privileged to accompany world leaders’ visits to Sangachal, showing the terminal facilities and briefing them about our long-term oil and gas development options which serve in deepening the Azerbaijan-EU cooperation and creating a new energy map of Europe.

I had taken the opportunity of Bettany’s visit to introduce her to another world-renowned figure – my good old friend Reza Deghati - a French photojournalist of Azerbaijani origin, who is also an Explorer of National Geographic. He happened to be in Baku, having an outdoor exhibition in Heydar Aliyev Centre at the time. A great piece of Bettany’s programme promoting Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage refers to Reza’s experience in this region.

Professor Bettany Hughes’ fantastic programme about Azerbaijan on BBC, driven by the stories of its culture – music, poetry, archaeology and history, is available through this link – Tales from the Caspian Sea.

Hopefully, Bettany’s Azerbaijan visit can serve as a basis for producing a similar television series about the rich cultural legacy of the country in future, including historical heritage in the liberated lands from the Armenian occupation in Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

Share news on social media

Follow us on social network

President: We cannot sit and wait seeing how France, India and Greece are weaponizing Armenia against us

Juventus requires a late goal to beat Lazio 3-2 on aggregate and reach the Italian Cup final

Azerbaijani President: Education of the young generation is one of our main priorities

President Ilham Aliyev: We used benefits from oil and gas to tackle issues of unemployment and poverty

President: The potential of the countries of the Southern Caucasus is already known, and we already know in which areas we can work together

President Ilham Aliyev: We never forgot about issue of four villages

President: Absolutely realistic to reach agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia before COP29, at least an agreement on our basic principles

Portuguese expert: Baku-hosted COP29 will serve as an essential platform for addressing global challenges related to climate change

Jeyhun Bayramov sheds light on country's foreign policy priorities while visiting CEVRO Institute of Czech Republic

President Ilham Aliyev: Armenia blocks possibility of building land connection with Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic

President İlham Aliyev: Our cooperation with China is expanding in political and economic areas, as well as in transportation

President of Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation meets with UN Geneva Director-General

President of Azerbaijan: The world will need fossil fuels for many more years

Azerbaijan, Czech Republic explore opportunities for cooperation within COP29

President Ilham Aliyev: We treat our COP29 chairmanship as an opportunity to contribute really to the practical resolution of the most urgent issues on global arena

International forum themed “COP29 and Green Vision for Azerbaijan” was held at ADA University
President Ilham Aliyev attended the forum VIDEO

International “President Cup 2024” regatta ready to welcome competitors from over 20 countries

President of Azerbaijan: Now, we have a common understanding of how the peace agreement should look like

Azerbaijani FM informs Czech counterpart about Azerbaijan-Armenia normalization process

Press release of service of Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev

Azerbaijani President: COP29 will create opportunities for at least consultations among three Southern Caucasian countries, which lead way to future cooperation

President Ilham Aliyev: We want COP29 to be successful from point of view of tackling issues of climate change VIDEO

Azerbaijan, Bahamas Gymnastics Federation embark on cooperation

President: Azerbaijan's economy is actually a self-sufficient economy and it demonstrates sustainable growth even in the period of crisis

President: Azerbaijan has a very close partnership relationship with all countries that are members of Eurasian Union except Armenia VIDEO

Azerbaijani female chess player gets off to a roaring start at European Women's Chess Championship 2024

Slovenia hosts high-level conference of Nizami Ganjavi International Center

Azerbaijan Army’s tanks units hold competition, Defense Ministry VIDEO

President Ilham Aliyev: COP29 is a sign of big respect and support to Azerbaijan from international community

Azerbaijan produces over 7 billion kWh of electricity in Q1 2024

Another 39 families relocated to Fuzuli city get house keys VIDEO

Tunisia, Algeria, Libya agree to advance cooperation

Copernicus report shows year of weather extremes in Europe

® Azercell Telecom launches social campaign "The Way to Go” in collaboration with Azerbaijan Judo Federation

Heydar Aliyev International Airport: the path to development

Azerbaijan, Albania abolish visa regime

Press release of the service of Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev

Oil prices in global markets

Türkiye hosts inaugural event on ocean action, climate crisis

Azerbaijani oil price declines in global markets

4 missing after vessel hit bridge in China's Guangdong

10 killed after 2 Malaysian military helicopters crash

Inter Milan win Italian Serie A title with 5 games left

Joint meeting was held between Azerbaijani and Russian Presidents with railway veterans and workers on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Baikal-Amur Mainline VIDEO

Pakistan-Azerbaijan Economic Integration Model: An Expert Opinion

Azerbaijani FM embarks on official visit to Czech Republic

President Ilham Aliyev concluded his working visit to Russia

Russian peacekeepers leave Karabakh after Yerevan recognizes Baku’s state borders — Peskov

President Ilham Aliyev: The factor of Heydar Aliyev has always played and will continue to play an important role in the interstate relations between Russia and Azerbaijan

President Ilham Aliyev: Vladimir Putin and Heydar Aliyev laid foundation for friendly and neighborly relations between Azerbaijan and Russia

President Ilham Aliyev: We are proud that Azerbaijani specialists took an active part in construction of BAM

President of Russia: BAM shapes global logistics for the entire 21st century

President Vladimir Putin: Heydar Aliyev played a special, immense role in the history of the Baikal-Amur Mainline

Georgia welcomes agreement reached by Azerbaijan-Armenia Border Delimitation Commission

Chair of Georgian Parliament’s committee visits Milli Majlis

Presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia had joint dinner

Georgia ready to contribute to establishment of peace and stability in South Caucasus, says Defense Minister

Cooperation between Azerbaijan and China for mutual benefit: economic, cultural and people-to-people exchanges – Panel session

Jordan welcomes Azerbaijan-Armenia agreement and border demarcation efforts

President Ilham Aliyev held one-on-one meeting with President Vladimir Putin VIDEO

Azerbaijani boxer beats Armenian rival at European Championships in Serbia

® Caspian Investment Forum Bishkek 2024 brings together entrepreneurs from 10 countries

President Ilham Aliyev: We are very pleased with how our ties with Russia are evolving

Egypt reclaims 3,400-year-old stolen statue of King Ramses II

Baku Engineering University teams shine at Robotex Türkiye

President of Azerbaijan: We greatly value the respect that Russian leadership, and public showed toward cherished memory of Heydar Aliyev

Azerbaijan, Georgia discuss cooperation in transport and ICT sectors

Russian President: Heydar Aliyev played a significant role in implementation of BAM project

Algerian MPs pay tribute to Great Leader Heydar Aliyev and Azerbaijani martyrs

There are opportunities for expanding trade and economic relations between Russia and Azerbaijan, says Kremlin spokesman

® Baku Steel Company CJSC represented Azerbaijan at “Tube 2024” exhibition in Germany VIDEO

ANAMA: 452 unexploded ordnances neutralized over past week

Azerbaijani judokas shine at Lignano Junior European Cup 2024

Azerbaijan’s Water Agency and bp to work together on potential water projects

Israeli military intelligence chief resigns over his role in failing to prevent Oct. 7 attack

160 Chinese electric buses to hit the roads in Azerbaijan in 2024

Global defence budget jumps to record high of $2440bn

Conference on Azerbaijan-China relations commences in Baku VIDEO

Georgian parliamentary delegation pays tribute to Great Leader Heydar Aliyev and Azerbaijani martyrs

Türkiye's President Erdogan arrives in Iraq's capital Baghdad for talks

Sun Zhuangzhi: Azerbaijan is of great significance to Chinese people

OIC General Secretariat welcomes agreement reached by Azerbaijan-Armenia Border Delimitation Commission

UN says heavy rains to affect about 770,000 people in Somalia

Air Defense Units conduct live-fire tactical exercise

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev arrived in Russia for working visit VIDEO

N. Korea fires unspecified ballistic missile towards East Sea: S. Korean military

Qatar welcomes agreement between Azerbaijan, Armenia on demarcating borders on lands belonging to four villages

11 missing in Guangdong rainstorm

Azerbaijani Paralympic swimmer secures European gold in Portugal

UK returns looted Ghana treasures on loan in six-year deal

Global oil prices drop

Azerbaijan relocates 39 more families to Fuzuli city VIDEO

UAE welcomes agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia

Real Madrid secure hard-fought 3-2 win against Barcelona

1,300 people evacuated as 1999 NATO bomb removed from Serbian city

Japan PM sends offering to war-linked Yasukuni shrine for spring rite

Ersin Tatar announces upcoming visit to Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan claim bronze in Group 5 Hoops event at Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup VIDEO

Norwegian Foreign Ministry welcomes progress on border delimitation between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Two Japan navy helicopters crash, one body found, 7 missing