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Azerbaijan

Republic of Azerbaijan Middle East Baku 9,686,210 inhabitants 86,600 sq km 111.85 inhabitants/sq km Azerbaijani manats (AZN) population evolution

Famous people from Azerbaijan

Here is a list of famous people from Azerbaijan. Curious if anybody from Azerbaijan made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.

Garry Kasparov

Chess Player

Garry Kimovich Kasparov is a Russian chess grandmaster, a former World Chess Champion, writer and political activist, considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time. Kasparov became the youngest ever undisputed World Chess Champion in 1985 at the age of 22 by defeating then-champion Anatoly Karpov. He held the official FIDE world title until 1993, when a dispute with FIDE led him to set up a rival organization, the Professional Chess Association. He continued to hold the "Classical" World Chess Championship until his defeat by Vladimir Kramnik in 2000. He was the first world champion to lose a match to a computer under standard time controls, when he lost to Deep Blue in 1997. Kasparov's ratings achievements include being rated world No. 1 according to Elo rating almost continuously from 1986 until his retirement in 2005. He achieved a peak rating of 2851, which was the highest recorded until 2013. He was the world No. 1 ranked player for 255 months, nearly three times as long as his closest rival, Anatoly Karpov. Kasparov also holds records for consecutive tournament victories and Chess Oscars.

Mstislav Rostropovich

Cellist

Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich, KBE, was a Soviet and Russian cellist and conductor. He is considered by many to have been the greatest cellist of the second half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest of all time. In addition to his outstanding interpretations and technique, he was well known for both inspiring and commissioning new works, which enlarged the cello repertoire more than any cellist before or since. He gave the premieres of over 100 pieces, forming long-standing friendships and artistic partnerships with composers including Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, Henri Dutilleux, Witold Lutoslawski, Olivier Messiaen, Luciano Berio, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alfred Schnittke, Norbert Moret, Andreas Makris and especially Benjamin Britten. Rostropovich was internationally recognized as a staunch advocate of human rights, and was awarded the 1974 Award of the International League of Human Rights. He was married to the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya and had two daughters, Olga and Elena Rostropovich.

Ilham Aliyev

Politician

Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev is the President of Azerbaijan, since 2003. He also functions as the Chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party and the head of the National Olympic Committee. Apart from his native Azerbaijani, he speaks English and Russian. Ilham Aliyev is the son of Heydar Aliyev, who was Azerbaijan's president from 1993–2003. Ilham Aliyev's image remains largely controversial. He has been criticized for his authoritarian rule and often described as a dictator by analysts and political commentators. Aliyev's government has been listed as one of the most corrupt in the world by Transparency International. In 2009, following his reelection as president, Aliyev passed a referendum which removed the presidential consecutive term limit, thereby allowing him to run for president as many times as he wishes. Opposition claimed this to be a violation of the Azerbaijani constitution and the European convention on human rights. Aliyev frequently makes aggressive statements towards neighboring country Armenia. He has called all Armenian people in the entire world the enemies of Azerbaijan and regularly threatens to take over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the entire Armenian Republic through military force. His aggressive comments have led the Civic Chamber of Russia to consider him a contributor to the Independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, stating "It's Aliyev who exposes Azerbaijan as an unpredictable aggressor in the eyes of the international community, while glorifying murderers and threatening to cut a writer's ear."

Lev Landau

Physicist

Lev Davidovich Landau was a prominent Soviet physicist who made fundamental contributions to many areas of theoretical physics. His accomplishments include the independent co-discovery of the density matrix method in quantum mechanics, the quantum mechanical theory of diamagnetism, the theory of superfluidity, the theory of second-order phase transitions, the Ginzburg–Landau theory of superconductivity, the theory of Fermi liquid, the explanation of Landau damping in plasma physics, the Landau pole in quantum electrodynamics, the two-component theory of neutrinos, and Landau's equations for S matrix singularities. He received the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physics for his development of a mathematical theory of superfluidity that accounts for the properties of liquid helium II at a temperature below 2.17 K.

Zecharia Sitchin

Man

Zecharia Sitchin was an Azerbaijani-born American author of books proposing an explanation for human origins involving ancient astronauts. Sitchin attributes the creation of the ancient Sumerian culture to the Anunnaki, which he states was a race of extraterrestrials from a planet beyond Neptune called Nibiru. He believed this hypothetical planet of Nibiru to be in an elongated, elliptical orbit in the Earth's own Solar System, asserting that Sumerian mythology reflects this view. Sitchin's books have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 25 languages. Sitchin's ideas have been rejected by scientists and academics, who dismiss his work as pseudoscience and pseudohistory. His work has been criticized for flawed methodology and mistranslations of ancient texts as well as for incorrect astronomical and scientific claims.

Yura Movsisyan

Soccer

Yura Movsisyan is an Armenian football player who currently plays forward for the Armenian national team and for Spartak Moscow in the Russian Premier League.

Nizami Ganjavi

Poet

Nizami Ganjavi, Nizami Ganje'i, Nizami, or Nezāmi, whose formal name was Jamal ad-Dīn Abū Muḥammad Ilyās ibn-Yūsuf ibn-Zakkī, was a 12th-century Persian poet. Nezāmi is considered the greatest romantic epic poet in Persian literature, who brought a colloquial and realistic style to the Persian epic. His heritage is widely appreciated and shared by Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kurdistan region and Tajikistan.

Muslim Magomayev

Pop Artist

Muslim Mahammad oglu Magomayev, dubbed the "King of Songs" and the "Soviet Sinatra" was a Soviet and Azerbaijani baritone operatic and pop singer of the 1960s and 1970s. He achieved iconic status in Russia and the post-Soviet countries, including his native Azerbaijan, for his vocal talent and charisma. Magomayev was awarded several honors including People's Artist of Azerbaijan, People's Artists of the USSR, Order of Honour, Order of the Red Banner of Labour, Order of Friendship of Peoples, Istiglal Order, and Order of "Heart of Darko." He became the art director of the Azerbaijan State Bandstand-Symphonic Orchestra in 1975 and toured in France, Bulgaria, Finland, and Canada.

Richard Sorge

Military Person

Richard Sorge was a German communist and a key Soviet spy at the time of the Second World War. He worked as a journalist in both Germany and Japan, where he was imprisoned for spying and ultimately hanged. His GRU codename was "Ramsay".

Larisa Dolina

Pop Artist

Larisa Dolina is an actor.

Mehriban Aliyeva

Woman

Mehriban Arif qizi Aliyeva is the head of Azerbaijan's Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the wife of its current president Ilham Aliyev. The Sunday Times, writing in 2005 about Aliyeva's decision to run for the Azerbaijani parliament, described her as already wielding "considerable influence," and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation as "a powerful and wealthy institution set up to safeguard the late president’s legacy and support a number of educational and charitable projects." According to the Los Angeles Times, Mehriban Aliyeva is widely considered to be in line to succeed her husband as President of Azerbaijan.

Uzeyir Hajibeyov

Playwright

Uzeyir bey Abdul Huseyn oglu Hajibeyov was an Azerbaijani and Soviet composer, conductor, publicist, playwright, teacher, translator, and social figure from Azerbaijan. He is recognized as the father of Azerbaijani composed classical music and opera. Uzeyir Hajibeyov composed the music of the national anthem of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. He also composed the anthem used by Azerbaijan during the Soviet period. He was the first composer of an opera in the Islamic world.

Aysel Teymurzadeh

Pop Artist

Aysel Teymurzadeh is an Azerbaijani pop and R&B singer.

Safura Alizadeh

Pop Artist

Safura Alizadeh is an Azerbaijani singer and saxophonist. Alizadeh took part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010, where she brought Azerbaijan on 5th place, with the song "Drip Drop". She later released her debut album, It's My War, which made its way into several European countries. Her second debut single "March On" was released in September.

Rustam Ibragimbekov

Playwright

Rustam Mammad Ibrahim oglu Ibrahimbeyov, also spelled Ibragimbekov is a Soviet, Azerbaijani screenwriter, dramatist and producer, well known beyond his home Azerbaijan and the former Soviet Union. He is the chair of the Cinematographers' Union of Azerbaijan and director of the Ibrus Theatre.

Isa Gambar

Politician

Isa Yunis oglu Qambar, also known as Isa Gambar or Isa Qambar, is an Azerbaijani politician and leader of Equality Party, the largest opposition block in Azerbaijan.

Ivan Bagramyan

Military Person

Ivan Khristoforovich Bagramyan, was a Soviet military commander and Marshal of the Soviet Union. During World War II, Bagramyan was the first non-Slavic military officer to become a commander of a Front. He was among several Armenians in the Soviet Army who held the highest proportion of high-ranking officers in the Soviet military during the war. Bagramyan's experience in military planning as a chief of staff allowed him to distinguish himself as a capable commander in the early stages of the Soviet counter-offensives against Nazi Germany. He was given his first command of a unit in 1942, and in November 1943 received his most prestigious command as the commander of the 1st Baltic Front. As commander of the Baltic Front, he participated in the offensives which pushed German forces out of the Baltic republics. He did not immediately join the Communist Party after the consolidation of the October Revolution, becoming a member only in 1941, a move atypical for a Soviet military officer. After the war, he served as a deputy member of the Supreme Soviets of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic and Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic and was a regular attendee of the Party Congresses. In 1952, he became a candidate for entry into the Central Committee and, in 1961, was inducted as a full member. For his contributions during the war, he was widely regarded as a national hero in the Soviet Union, and continues to hold such esteemed status among Armenians.

Garegin Nzhdeh

Military Commander

Garegin Ter-Harutyunyan better known by his nome de guerre Garegin Nzhdeh was an Armenian statesman. As a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, he was involved in revolutionary activities in the First Balkan War, World War I and in the First Republic of Armenia. In 1921, he instrumented the establishment of the Republic of Mountainous Armenia, an anti-Soviet state that lead to the inclusion of Zangezur within Soviet Armenia. He is considered a national hero by Armenians.

Lotfi A. Zadeh

Mathematician

Lotfali Askar Zadeh, better known as Lotfi A. Zadeh, is a mathematician, electrical engineer, computer scientist, artificial intelligence researcher and professor emeritus of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Pavel Florensky

Philosopher

Pavel Alexandrovich Florensky was a Russian Orthodox theologian, priest, philosopher, mathematician, physicist, electrical engineer, inventor and Neomartyr.

Vladimir Menshov

Film Director

Vladimir Valentinovich Menshov is a Soviet and Russian actor and film director. He is noted for depicting the Russian everyman and working class life in his films. Like many other Russian filmmakers, he studied acting and directing at the state film school VGIK, the world's oldest educational institution in cinematography. Although his output as an actor outnumbers his output as a director, he is best known for the five films he directed, the most famous of which is the 1979 melodrama Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Actress Vera Alentova, who starred in the film, is the mother of Vladimir Menshov's daughter Yuliya Menshova.

Vagit Alekperov

Businessperson

Vagit Alekperov, 52, was born in 1950 in Baku, Azerbaijan, one of the earliest centers of the international petroleum industry. His father worked in the oil fields all his life and inspired Alekperov to follow in his footsteps. He was 18 when he landed his first job in the industry. Alekperov attended Azerbaijan Institute of Oil and Chemistry, then trained as an engineer to work in the nearby Caspian Sea oil fields. In 1979, he was sent to western Siberia, where he would later become general director of local oil and gas producer Kogalymneftgaz, a position he held until 1990. By 1991, Alekperov had established himself as an industry expert, winning an appointment as first deputy minister of fuel and energy, then as acting minister. He used his newly attained power to lobby for the consolidation of Russia's three oil producers into one company -- then assumed presidency of the new company. His nicknames, the General, Alek the First and the Don, are indicative of his indisputable authority at LUKoil, whose name came from the first letters of the three companies that consolidated-- Langepas, Urai and Kogalym. Today LUKoil is among the world's most powerful oil companies, with reserves second only to Exxon. Like many other oligarchs, Alekperov has moved into banking and media.

Jiloan Hamad

Soccer Midfielder

Jiloan Hamad is a Swedish footballer currently playing for Malmö FF and the Sweden national team, he also serves as team captain for Malmö FF. Hamad will transfer to German Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on 1 January 2014.

Aziza Mustafa Zadeh

Jazz fusion Artist

Aziza Mustafa Zadeh, also known as "The Princess of Jazz", "Die Prinzessin des Jazz", or as "Jazziza", is an Azerbaijani singer, pianist, and composer who plays a fusion of jazz and mugam with classical and Avant-garde influences. Reviewers have said that her style also shows some influence from Keith Jarrett. She currently resides in Mainz, Germany, with her mother, Eliza Mustafa Zadeh, who is also her manager. Her two favorite leisure activities, she says, are painting and sleeping. She is a vegetarian. She believes in God even though she does not consider herself as belonging to any religion.

Imadaddin Nasimi

Author

‘Alī ‘Imādu d-Dīn Nasīmī, often known as Nesimi, –1417 skinned alive in Aleppo was a 14th-century Azerbaijani or Iraqi Turkmen Ḥurūfī poet. Known mostly by his pen name of Nesîmî, he composed one divan in Azerbaijani, one in Persian, and a number of poems in Arabic. He is considered one of the greatest Turkic mystical poets of the late 14th and early 15th centuries and one of the most prominent early divan masters in Turkic literary history.

Mammad Amin Rasulzade

Politician

Mammad Amin Rasulzade was an Azerbaijani statesman, scholar, public figure and the first and only president of Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan. His expression "Bir kərə yüksələn bayraq, bir daha enməz!" has become the motto of the independence movement in Azerbaijan in the 20th century.

Ramil Safarov

Military officer

Ramil Sahib oglu Safarov is an officer of the Azerbaijani Army who was convicted of the 2004 murder of Armenian Army Lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan. During a NATO-sponsored training seminar in Budapest, Safarov broke into Margaryan's dormitory room at night and beheaded him with an axe. In 2006, Safarov was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in Hungary with a minimum incarceration period of 30 years. After his request under the Strasbourg Convention, he was extradited on August 31, 2012 to Azerbaijan, where he was greeted as a hero, pardoned by Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev despite contrary assurances made to Hungary, promoted to the rank of major and given an apartment and over eight years of back pay. According to Azerbaijani authorities, Safarov was pardoned in compliance with Article 12 of the convention. Following Safarov's pardon, Armenia severed diplomatic relations with Hungary and immediate protests broke out in Yerevan.

Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi

Philosopher

"Shahāb ad-Dīn" Yahya ibn Habash as-Suhrawardī was a Persian philosopher, a Sufi and founder of the Illuminationist philosophy, an important school in Islamic mysticism that drew upon Zoroastrian and Platonic ideas. The "Orient" of his "Oriental Theosophy" symbolises spiritual light and knowledge. He is sometimes given the honorific title Shaikh al-Ishraq or "Master of Illumination" and sometimes is called Shaikh al-Maqtul, the "Murdered Sheikh", referring to his execution for heresy. Mulla Sadra, the Persian sage of the Safavid era has termed Suhrawardi as "the Reviver of the Traces of the Pahlavi Sages" and Suhrawardi, in his Magnum opus titled "Oriental Theosophy" thought of himself as a reviver or resusicator of ancient Persian wisdom tradition.

Teimour Radjabov

Chess Player

Teimour Radjabov is an Azerbaijani chess Grandmaster and former chess prodigy. On the October 2012 FIDE list Radjabov has an Elo rating of 2793, making him No. 1 in Azerbaijan and fourth in the world. Radjabov earned the title of Grandmaster in March 2001 at the age of 14, making him the second-youngest grandmaster in history at the time. In Linares 2003, not yet 16 years old, he became the first player in seven years to beat Garry Kasparov with the black pieces in a rated game, a feat no one repeated before Kasparov's retirement two years later. During Radjabov's earlier career, his playing style was described as attacking and tactical. He advocated the King's Indian Defence, as well as various dynamic openings against 1.e4, such as the Sicilian Sveshnikov or the Sicilian Dragon. Later Radjabov developed into a more universal player, focused on gaining a small but decisive edge with white, while keeping his trademark dynamism with black.

Nigar Jamal

Ballad Artist

Nigar "Nikki" Jamal is an Azerbaijani singer who has been living in London since 2005. Jamal's singing genres include R&B, soul and pop music. She won the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 with Eldar Gasimov when they performed under the pseudonym Ell & Nikki.

Isabel dos Santos

Politician

Isabel dos Santos is the daughter of Angola's President José Eduardo dos Santos by his first wife. She is an Angolan investor. She is considered by Forbes to be the richest woman in Africa and the most powerful and richest woman in her country. In 2013, according to research by Forbes, her net worth had reached more than three billion US Dollars, making her Africa’s first woman billionaire.

Yevgeny Petrosyan

Man

Yevgeny Vaganovich Petrosyan is a Soviet/Russian comedian of Armenian and Jewish descents. He was named in 2005 among the most influential figures in contemporary Russia, in a survey conducted by independent polling agency The Levada Centre. Popular since the days of the USSR, Petrosyan was the host of TV variety show Crooked Mirror.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Chess Player

Shakhriyar Hamid oglu Mammadyarov, also known as Shah and Shak, is an Azerbaijani chess Grandmaster. On the September 2010 FIDE rating list he was ranked number nine in the world with an Elo rating of 2756. He is the World Rapid Chess Champion.

Telman Ismailov

Businessperson

Telman Ismailov is a Russian entrepreneur and businessman of Azerbaijani descent. He is chairman of the Russian AST Group of companies, which is active in many countries.

Aygun Kazimova

Pop Artist

Aygun Alasgar qizi Kazimova is an Azerbaijani singer, songwriter, pop musician, actress, and a six-time winner of the Grand Music Award for best concert, videoclip and song. She is considered Azerbaijan's leading pop star, and is seen as a cultural icon for the South Caucasian nation in fast transition from post-Soviet state to a boom country. She has spoken passionately on many causes, such as the prevention of HIV/AIDS to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in which she claims to have once taken up arms against separatist Armenian forces.

Mir Jafar Baghirov

Politician

Mir Jafar Baghirov Abbas oglu was the communist leader of Azerbaijan SSR from 1932 till 1953, under the Soviet leadership of Joseph Stalin.

Ayaz Mutallibov

Politician

Ayaz Niyazi oglu Mutallibov was the last leader of Soviet Azerbaijan, and the first President of independent Azerbaijan from October 1991 till May 1992.

Tofiq Bahramov

Soccer

Tofiq Bahramov, commonly known as the Russian linesman in England, was a Soviet footballer and football referee from Azerbaijan notable for being the linesman who helped to award a goal for England in the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final against West Germany. He was later rumoured to have been presented with a golden whistle by Queen Elizabeth II for his "services to England". As a referee earlier in the tournament, he drew attention for denying a Swiss goal in a first round game between Switzerland and Spain.

Alim Qasimov

Singer

Alim Qasimov is an Azerbaijani musician and one of the foremost mugham singers in Azerbaijan. He was awarded the International Music Council-UNESCO Music Prize in 1999, one of the highest international accolades for music. His music is characterized by his vocal improvisation and represents a move away from the traditional style of mugham. Qasimov has recorded nine albums, three of which are mugham albums with his daughter, Ferghana Qasimova. According to The New York Times, "Alim Qasimov is simply one of the greatest singers alive, with a searing spontaneity that conjures passion and devotion, contemplation and incantation." He joined fellow Azerbaijani, Sabina Babayeva on stage at the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku to sing back vocals for her entry, "When the Music Dies." Additionally, Qasimov was featured as part of the opening act of the Grand Final.

Vagif Javadov

Footballer

Vagif Javadov is an Azerbaijani footballer who has been playing as a striker for Azerbaijan Premier League club Inter Baku. He was voted Azerbaijani Footballer of the Year in 2009. Javadov started playing football at age 7 and attended one of the local football schools under Vagif Pashayev. He joined CSKA’s youth system at 11, playing for the club’s youth and reserve teams as a striker. In 2007 he left CSKA Moscow and joined Qarabağ.

Polad Bülbüloğlu

Folk Artist

Polad Bülbüloğlu is a Soviet and Azerbaijani singer, actor, politician, and diplomat. Bülbüloğlu became famous in whole Soviet Union with composing jazz-influenced pop songs which has heavy Azeri folk feelings in Russian and Azerbaijani languages. He also sang his own songs. Three of his songs became Songs of the Year and he received numerous prestigious awards in the Soviet Union. Bülbüloğlu is a lyrical tenor. In the 1990s, despite having a huge success with a new version of his old song Gəl Ey Səhər in Turkey and sold out concerts in Russia, Bülbüloğlu started a political career. He became the Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan and is currently the Azerbaijani ambassador to Russia.

Max Black

Philosopher

Max Black was a British-American philosopher, who was a leading influential figure in analytic philosophy in the first half of the twentieth century. He made contributions to the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mathematics and science, and the philosophy of art, also publishing studies of the work of philosophers such as Frege. His translation of Frege's published philosophical writing is a classic text.

Artur Rasizade

Politician

Artur Tahir oğlu Rasizadeh, often spelled as Artur Rasizade, is the Prime Minister of Azerbaijan. Rasizade was a long-time Communist Party member during the Azerbaijan SSR period. He was Prime Minister from July 20, 1996 until August 4, 2003, when he resigned, ostensibly due to health reasons, enabling President Heydar Aliyev's son Ilham Aliyev to assume the office. Rasizade continued to act as Prime Minister for Ilham Aliyev, however, and he formally returned to the post on November 4, after Ilham Aliyev was elected as president.

Mirza Fatali Akhundov

Playwright

Mirza Fatali Akhundov, former – Akhundzade, was a celebrated Azerbaijani author, playwright, philosopher, and founder of modern literary criticism, "who acquired fame primarily as the writer of European-inspired plays in the Azeri Turkic language". Akhundov singlehandedly opened a new stage of development of Azerbaijani literature and is also considered one of the founders of modern Iranian literature. He was also the founder of materialism and atheism movement in Azerbaijan and one of forerunners of modern Iranian nationalism.

Andrey Lugovoy

Businessperson

Andrey Konstantinovich Lugovoy is a Russian politician and businessman and deputy of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament for the LDPR. He is a former KGB bodyguard and the ex-head of the security firm "Ninth Wave". He is wanted by British police on suspicion of the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. Russia has rejected the request for his extradition.

Eldar Gasimov

Ballad Artist

Eldar "Ell" Gasimov is an Azerbaijani singer who successfully represented Azerbaijan at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in the music duo Eldar & Nigar with Nigar Jamal. He co-hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 held in Baku, Azerbaijan with Leyla Aliyeva and Nargiz Birk-Petersen.

Samed Vurgun

Poet

Samad Vurgun was an Azerbaijani and Soviet poet, dramatist, public figure, first People’s Artist of the Azerbaijan SSR, academician of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, laureate of two USSR State Prizes of second degree, and member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union since 1940. The Azerbaijan State Russian Dramatic Theatre and streets in Baku and Moscow, and formerly the city of Hovk in Armenia, are named after him.

Rafiq Tağı

Journalist

Rafiq Tağı, born Rafig Nazir oglu Taghiyev was an Azerbaijani journalist who worked for Sanat newspaper until police arrested him and Sanat editor Samir Sadagatoglu for "Europe and Us", an article that was deemed to be critical of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. He was considered to be inciting racial hatred. and sentenced to three years in prison. Released on a presidential pardon some months later he was assassinated in a car park.

Alihan Samedov

Musical Artist

Alihan Samedov is a musician known for playing wind instruments and Azerbaijan folk instruments. Alihan Samedov was born in Sumqayıt, Azeri SSR in 1964. Descending from a musician family, he completed his first and secondary education between the years 1971 and 1979. He received his music education at the Samad Vurghun and Nariman Narimanov music school. In 1986 he entered the applied teaching school of Azerbaijan State Pedagogy University and graduated from the same in 1990. He is the master player of wind instruments and Azerbaijan regional folk instruments. He is a chess master. He is currently teaching chess at Erenkoy First School and he is the Music Directors of Kadıköy Folklore Education Centre. Folk Dances Department of Eyuboglu Educational Institutions. Istanbul Caucasus Dance Company as well as the person in charge of Azerbaijani Music at Samanyolu TV's Music and Entertainment Programs. In his albums Samedov presents the instrument the balaban with his own interpretation. The album, titled Balaban, is released by Mega Music.

Zeynab Khanlarova

Folk Artist

Zeynab Yahya qizi Khanlarova - is a Soviet and Azerbaijani singer, People's Artist of Azerbaijan.

Gurban Gurbanov

Soccer Forward

Gurban Gurbanov is a retired Azerbaijani international footballer, is a currently manager of Qarabağ. He played in the Forward position. Starting out with local club Kur in 1988, Gurbanov had a decorated 18-year professional career. He scored 178 goals in 399 league matches.

Vagif Mustafazade

Jazz Artist

Vagif Mustafazadeh, also known as Vagif Mustafa Zadeh, was an Azerbaijani jazz pianist and composer, acclaimed for fusing jazz and traditional Azerbaijani folk music known as mugham. According to many world famous jazz musicians, Mustafazadeh is one of the pioneers and "the architect of jazz in Azerbaijan".

Kamran Agayev

Footballer

Kamran Agayev is an Azerbaijani goalkeeper playing currently for FC Baku.

Georgy Poltavchenko

Politician

Georgy Sergeyevich Poltavchenko was the Russian Presidential Envoy to the Central Federal District. He was assigned acting governor of Saint Petersburg in August 2011.

Mubariz Mansimov

Entrepreneur

Mubariz Mansimov is an Azerbaijani entrepreneur and the founder of Palmali Group of Companies, a major shipping company, as well of the Azerbaijani football club Khazar Lankaran. He is currently listed on Forbes list of billionaires, the youngest billionaire in Turkey as of March 1, 2009. Also he has a milk company named PALSUD.

Yuli Gusman

Film Director

Yuli Solomonovich Gusman is a Soviet, Russian and Azerbaijani film director and actor. He is the founder and CEO of the prestigious Nika Award.

Rafael Aghayev

Man

Rafael Aghayev is a leading Azerbaijani Karate competitor and is four times World, eight times European champion.

Ruslan Abishov

Soccer Midfielder

Ruslan Abishov is an Azerbaijani footballer who has been playing as a defender for Russian Premier League club Rubin Kazan. He was voted Azerbaijani Footballer of the Year in 2012.

Chingiz Abdullayev

Author

Chingiz Akif oglu Abdullayev is Azerbaijani writer, Secretary of the Union of Azerbaijani Writers. Each book he writes now earns him more than $ 200,000 within two or three years.

Sergei Khudyakov

Military Person

Sergei Alexandrovich Khudyakov, born Armenak Artem Khanferiants, was a Soviet Armenian Marshal of Aviation.

Aras Agalarov

Man

Aras Agalarov is an Azerbaijan-born Russian businessman, developer, public figure and author of Russia: Reflections on the Way to the Market. Born in Baku, he was educated at the Azerbaijan Polytechnical Institute. He moved with his family to Moscow in 1998, where he founded Crocus International, which specialises in trade fairs, where he still makes most of his money. Agalarov then opened the first Crocus Inter store, which became a retail business that includes malls offering housewares. This moved him into property development, where he built the Crocus City Mall, the largest shopping centre in Moscow. Adjacent to this he then built the largest trade centre in Russia on the out skirts of Moscow, Crocus Expo, and has since developed a luxury housing development. Married with two children, his eldest son Emin Agalarov is a businessman and singer/song writer. Emin is married to Leyla Aliyeva, the daughter of the current President of Azerbaijan, Ilkham Aliyev; she edits the London-based Baku magazine, published by Crocus International.

Fikret Amirov

Composer

Fikret Mashadi Jamil oghlu Amirov was a prominent Azerbaijani composer of the Soviet period. Fikret Amirov grew up in an atmosphere of Azerbaijani folk music. His father, Mashadi Jamil Amirov, was a famous mugam singer from Shusha, who played tar and composed, including the 1915 opera Seyfal mulk. During his childhood and early adolescence, Fikret began composing pieces for the piano. Upon his graduation from the Ganja Music College, Amirov entered the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire, now known as the Baku Music Academy, where he was a student of Boris Zeidman and Uzeyir Hajibeyov. In 1941, when Nazi Germany attacked the USSR, Amirov, 19 at the time, was drafted to the Soviet army. He was wounded near Voronezh, hospitalized and demobilized from the military service, returning to Baku to continue his studies at the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire. Amirov's music was strongly influenced by Azeri folk melodies. He created a new genre called symphonic mugam. Amirov's symphonic mugams were based on classical folk pieces and were performed by many renowned symphony orchestras throughout the world, such as the Houston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski.

Araz Abdullayev

Soccer Midfielder

Araz Abdulla oğlu Abdullayev is an Azerbaijani footballer who plays for Neftchi Baku and the Azerbaijan national team. He primarily plays as a winger capable of playing on either side, but can also be utilized as a striker.

Elnur Mammadli

Olympic Judo Athlete

Elnur Mammadli is an Azerbaijani judoka. He won the gold medal during the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the -73 kg division. In the final he beat the favorite Wang Ki-Chun. However, Wang suffered ribcage fracture when Brazil's Leandro Guilheiro hit him with an elbow in the quarterfinal.

Rashad Sadygov

Soccer Defender

Rashad Sadygov is an Azerbaijani footballer and the national team captain. He plays for the Azerbaijani club side FK Qarabağ. In 2006, as a result of missing the registration deadline for the Azerbaijani football club side Neftchi Baku, Sadygov played basketball for local club BK NTD.

Vugar Gashimov

Chess Player

Vugar Gashimov is one of the leading chess players from Azerbaijan. He is a noted player of blitz chess and three times Azerbaijani national chess champion. He won at Athens 2005. He was winner of the Cappelle-la-Grande open 2008. In 2010/11 he tied for first with Francisco Vallejo Pons at Reggio Emilia and won the event on tie-break.

Ramil Guliyev

Athlete

Ramil Guliyev is an Azerbaijani-born Turkish sprint athlete. He competes in the 100 meters and 200 meters events. He competed at the 2009 European Athletics Junior Championships, winning a silver medal in the 100 m and a gold medal in the 200 m. He holds the national and national junior records in both events. He is also the 200 m European junior record holder and national junior record holder in the 60 metres. His 200 m time is the second fastest by a junior athlete, after Usain Bolt's 19.93 sec. He came second in the men's European Athletics Rising Star of the Year Award for his achievements in 2009. He is the 2nd fastest junior in the 200m of all time after Usain Bolt.

Edward Topol

Author

Edward Vladimirovich Topol, real name Topelberg is a Russian novelist.

Albert Azaryan

Olympic athlete

Albert Azaryan is a former Soviet Armenian artistic gymnast who competed internationally representing the Soviet Union. He is the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Champion on the still rings. Azaryan is the first ever gymnast to become an Olympic Champion in Rings twice, a feat that Akinori Nakayama would accomplish twelve years later and that no one else has matched ever since. He is the first person to do one of the rings most famous exercises called the Azaryan Cross in an international competition. An artistic gymnastics tournament, the Albert Azaryan Cup, is named after Azaryan and hosted in Yerevan, Armenia. Azaryan was voted the top Armenian athlete of the 20th century by journalists from the Armenian Sport Journalists Federation.

Hazi Aslanov

Military Person

Hazi Aslanov was an Azerbaijani Major-General of the Soviet armoured troops during World War II. Aslanov was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title twice.

David Ayrapetyan

Professional Boxer

David Valeryevich Ayrapetyan is an Armenian-Russian amateur boxer. He is a six-time Champion of Russia, European Champion, World and Olympic medalist. Ayrapetyan was awarded the Honored Master of Sports of Russia title in 2009.

Ruşen Bayramov

Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestler

Rovshan Bayramov is an Azerbaijani wrestler. He is a European and world champion in Greco-Roman wrestling. Moreover, he is a two-time Olympic silver medalist. In the 2011 World Wrestling Championship held in Istanbul, he was a world champion adding a gold medal to the combination of the silver and bronze medals obtained in the previous world championships. In addition, Bayramov holds two European titles.

Elvin Mammadov

Soccer Midfielder

Elvin Mammadov is an Azerbaijani footballer playing currently for FC Baku and Azerbaijan's national football team. He made his national debut on August 20, 2008.

Tadj ol-Molouk of Iran

Noble person

Tadj ol-Molouk of Iran was Queen of Iran as the wife of Reza Shah, founder of the Pahlavi dynasty and Shah of Iran between 1915 and 1941. The title she was given after becoming queen means "Crown of the King" in the Persian language. She was the daughter of General Teymūr Khan Ayromlou. Her family were Ayrums; a sub-ethnic group of Azerbaijanis from the Caucasus who arrived in Iran in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Soon after arriving in Iran, some Ayrums became Iranian generals, notably her first cousin General Muhammad-Husayn Ayrom, but most others were to settle as nobility. A few Ayrum women, namely herself and Noushafarin Ayromlou, were to become royalty.

Zeynalabdin Taghiyev

Man

Hajji Zeynalabdin Taghi oglu Taghiyev was an Azeri national industrial magnate and philanthropist.

Rauf Aliyev

Soccer Forward

Rauf Aliyev is an Azerbaijani football striker. He currently plays for the Azerbaijan Premier League side FC Baku and Azerbaijan national football team. He made his national debut in an away friendly match against Jordan on 25 February 2010.

Bella Davidovich

Pianist

Bella Mikhaylovna Davidovich is a Jewish Soviet-born American pianist. Davidovich was born in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR, into a family of musicians and began studying piano when she was six. Three years later, she was the soloist for a performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1. In 1939, she moved to Moscow to continue her musical education. At the age of 18 she entered the Moscow Conservatory where she studied with Konstantin Igumnov and Yakov Flier. In 1949, she shared the first prize with Halina Czerny-Stefańska at the 4th International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition. This launched her on a very successful career in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, in which she appeared with every major Russian conductor and performed as a soloist with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra for 28 consecutive seasons. She also taught at the Moscow Conservatory for sixteen years. Bella Davidovich was one of the Soviet Union's pre-eminent artists as well as one of the few women to be admitted to the inner circle of Russian cultural life. She was married to violinist Julian Sitkovetsky. Their son, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, is a violinist and conductor.

Kara Karayev

Composer

Gara Abulfaz oghlu Garayev, also spelled as Qara Qarayev or Kara [Abulfazovich] Karayev, was a prominent Azerbaijani composer of the Soviet period. Garayev wrote nearly 110 musical pieces, including ballets, operas, symphonic and chamber pieces, solos for piano, cantatas, songs, and marches, and rose to prominence not only in Azerbaijan SSR but also in the rest of the Soviet Union and worldwide.

Anatoliy Banishevskiy

Soccer

Anatoliy Andreyevich Banishevskiy was a Soviet footballer of Russian descent from Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. Most of his playing and coaching career, Banishevskiy committed to his native club Neftchi Baku. He played for the USSR national football team, winning 51 caps and scoring 19 goals. Banishevskiy played for the Soviet side in the 1966 FIFA World Cup. His club team was PFC Neftchi, and he scored 136 goals in Soviet Top League competition. The striker was unofficially named Azerbaijan's Player of the Year three times—in 1966, 1967, and 1978. In November 2003, as part of the celebration of UEFA's Jubilee, he was selected as the Golden Player for Azerbaijan by the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan as the country's most outstanding player over the past 50 years.

Hamazasp Babadzhanian

Military Person

Hamazasp Khachaturovich Babadzhanian was Chief Marshal of the Mechanized Forces of the USSR and a Hero of the Soviet Union.

Surat Huseynov

Man

Surat or Suret Davud oglu Huseynov is an Azerbaijani colonel and ex-Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, who rose to prominence during the Nagorno-Karabakh War. His military successes led, in 1993, to his rise to Prime Minister and later prison term.

Shirali Muslimov

Deceased Person

Shirali Farzali oglu Muslimov was a Talysh shepherd from the village of Barzavu in the Lerik region of Azerbaijan, a mountainous area near the Iranian border. He was claiming to be the oldest person who ever lived when he died on September 2, 1973 at the alleged age of 168. This is 46 years older than French woman Jeanne Calment, who has had the longest confirmed lifespan in history at 122.

Togrul Narimanbekov

Painting Artist

Togrul Farman oglu Narimanbekov was one of the prominent modern Azerbaijani artists. Narimbanbeyov was born in Baku. His father, Farman Narimanbeyov, who hailed from Shusha, studied in Toulouse; in 1929 he came back to Baku and participated in the construction of Mingachevir Hydro Power Plant, but in the 1930s was sentenced to imprisonment. His wife Irma, a Frenchwoman, was exiled to Uzbekistan and stayed there till 1961. Toghrul Narimanbeyov studied at Azerbaijan Art School named after Azim Azimzade, then, from 1950 to 1955, at Lithuania Institute of Fine Arts. He is the laureate of the USSR State Prize and People's Artist of Azerbaijan. At present he lives in Paris and has a French citizenship. He assumed that, it is necessary for arts to return to origins of national culture. He described his creativity as a combination of abstract and figurative arts. Esmer Nerimanbeyova his daughter from the first marriage is Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan and associate professor of Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts. François Narimanbekov his son born May 24, 2001 of his second wife: Sevil Narimanbekova. Besides artistic activity, Narimanbeyov had excellent voice and he performed various arias of Azerbaijani and foreign composers in his youth. In August 2010, he was awarded the Order of the Badge of Honour of Azerbaijan. He died, aged 82, in Paris.

Abdul Madzhid

Rebel

Ilgar Mollachiev, better known as Emir Abdul Madzhid, was the militant leader of the Shariat Jamaat of the Caucasian Front in the Second Chechen War, in the volatile southern Russian republic of Dagestan. He was the deputy of Rappani Khalilov until Khalilov's death in September 2007. He was then appointed the new leader of the Shariat Jamaat by the orders of Dokka Umarov. His nationality was Tsakhur. According to Kavkaz Center, Abdul Madzhid began his wartime career fighting in volunteer units under Aslan Maskhadov and other separatist commanders at the onset of the Second Chechen war. Although the precise time is not known Abdul Madzhid did train in camps run by Ibn al-Khattab; this helped him legitimize himself as a rebel leader in Dagestan with both Chechen separatist and foreign mujahideen leaders. After fighting many battles in Chechnya and gaining the support of top rebel leaders, he decided to go back to Dagestan to fight the Russians in his homeland and lend local rebels his training and tactics. In 2005 he joined Shariat Jamaat where he became good friends with Rappani Khalilov and where he quickly gained popularity in the rebel ranks as a charismatic commander and an expert in guerrilla warfare.

Tahir Mamedov

Man

Tahir Mamedov is a TV host, entertainer, actor, comedian and singer. He's the ex-resident of Comedy Club Russia which airs on Russian TV channel ТНТ.

Ashot Nadanian

Chess Player

Ashot Nadanian is an Armenian chess International Master, chess theoretician and chess coach. His highest achievements have been in opening theory and coaching. Two opening variations are named after him: the Nadanian Variation in the Grünfeld Defence and the Nadanian Attack in the Queen's Pawn Opening. He began coaching at the age of 22 and has brought up three grandmasters. He has coached the national teams of Kuwait and Singapore and was awarded the titles Honoured Coach of Armenia in 1998 and FIDE Trainer in 2007. Since 2011, he has been a permanent second of Levon Aronian. Although a strong player who competed in the 1996 Chess Olympiad and narrowly failed to qualify for the 1999 FIDE World Chess Championship, he has never fulfilled his potential. According to Valery Chekhov, Nadanian "possesses enormous chess potential, but he was not able to find enough time to work professionally on his chess." Levon Aronian said that due to the situation in Armenia, Nadanian "was not able to display even one-tenth of his playing talent." Due to his imaginative attacking style, Nadanian has been described as a "brilliant eccentric", the "Armenian Tal" and "Kasparov's half-brother". The sixth chapter of Tibor Karolyi's 2009 book Genius in the Background is devoted to Nadanian.

Mirza Alakbar Sabir

Author

Mirza Alakbar Sabir, born Alakbar Zeynalabdin oglu Tahirzadeh. Sabir was a public figure, philosopher, teacher and a poet-innovator. He set up an inspiring attitude to classical traditions, rejecting well-trodden ways in poetry. Never before did the people’s attitude to the world, the voice of Azeri people find so splendid and complete an embodiment, devoid of stylization, as in Sabir’s writings. The artistic thought of the Azerbaijani people found its fullest epic completeness and perfection in Fuzûlî's works. They have been examples of the lyric to this day, and the satirical trend in Azerbaijani literature, and especially in poetry. All of this is inseparable from the name of Sabir – the true symbol of Azeri realistic poetry. Sabir was brought up in a patriarchal-religious atmosphere. But when he was twelve years old, young Alakbar managed to enter the school of Seyid Azim Shirvani, a brilliant poet and teacher. Personal contacts with this man greatly influenced formation of Sabir as a poet.Encouraged by Seyid Azim, Sabir began translating Persian poetry and wrote poems in Azeri. Throughout all his life poverty was Sabir’s curse. He was bound to take care of his family’s welfare, barely earning a living for himself and his household. No time was left for literary activity, the more so as the spectre of poverty took a more and more distinct shape. Sabir tried to become a merchant, but the poet’s spirit was badly suited for this job and he did not succeed. Instead, he traveled a lot about Central Asia and the Middle East. It seems that his traveling about the Moslem East strengthened his desire to write satirical works, since he saw the appalling situation of the people, their backwardness and stagnant life.

Teymur Mammadov

Professional Boxer

Teymur Mammadov is an amateur Heavyweight boxer from Azerbaijan. He is a tall southpaw. He who won silver at the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships, losing to Oleksandr Usyk and gold at the 2011 European Amateur Boxing Championships. At the London 2012 Olympic Games Mammadov won a Bronze Medal after a controversial decision to award him a victory over Siarhei Karneyeu. He had already defeated Jai Opetaia but lost to Clemente Russo in the semi-final.

Dmitry Sitkovetsky

Violinist

Dmitry Sitkovetsky is a Soviet-Russian born classical violinist and conductor.

Magomedrasul Medzhidov

Professional Boxer

Magomedrasul Medzhidov is an athlete.

Fatali Khan Khoyski

Politician

Fatali Khan Khoyski Isgender oglu was an attorney, a member of the Second State Duma of the Russian Empire, Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Defense and, later the first Prime Minister of the independent Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.

Toghrul Asgarov

Olympic Freestyle wrestler

Toghrul Asgarov is an Azerbaijani wrestler. He is an Olympic and European champion in Freestyle wrestling. In 2012 Summer Olympics Toghrul Asgarov won Olympic wrestling gold medal in men's 60-kilogram freestyle, beating Besik Kudukhov of Russia by a score of.

Eduard Markarov

Soccer

Eduard Artyomovich Markarov is an Armenian football manager and former player. He managed the Armenia national team from 1992 to 1994. He also played for the USSR national team, earning 3 caps and participated in the 1966 FIFA World Cup.

Anar Rzayev

Playwright

Anar Rasul oghlu Rzayev, known as Anar, is Azerbaijani writer, dramatist, film director, and the Chairman of the Writers' Union of Azerbaijan. Anar is primarily a novelist and short-story writer although in the past, he has also authored screenplays and directed films as well as acted in a film.