Taghi Shahbazi

“An outstanding writer, the author of sweet and gentle stories, my dear and friendly friend Taghi Shahbazi, has rendered invaluable services to the people of Azerbaijan and its culture, both through his literary creativity and social and political activities.”

Dear Sharif

State Lomonosov adma Moscow

University professor

Taghi Shahbazi, one of the well-known representatives of Azerbaijani literary and social opinion, worked tirelessly on the path of culture and education in accordance with the meaning of his literary pseudonym Simurgh.

In addition to his artistic and journalistic creativity, he was also known as an active organizer, and he spared no effort in the way of public education, science, and health care.

Taghi Abbas oglu Shahbazi was born on July 2, 1892 in Baku. He received his primary education in the mollakhana, and in 1902-1905 he continued his education in the first Russian-Tatar school headed by Habib Bey Mahmudbeyov. After completing his secondary education, in 1913 he entered the medical department of Kharkiv University in Ukraine. Student life is spent in the conditions of intense revolutionary events.

Taghi Shahbazi, a member of the “Hummat” organization, chaired the “Hummat” Muslim Bureau under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine in 1919. At the same time, he is active in the “South Turkish-Tatar worker” movement in Kharkiv.

T. Shahbazi, who believed in a hopeful future after Sovietization, was appointed secretary of the Transcaucasian Muslims Department of the People’s Commissariat of National Affairs of the USSR. He also went down in history as the Deputy Commissar of People’s Education of the Azerbaijan SSR, the editor of the “Education and Culture” magazine, the secretary of the Central Executive Committee of the republic, and the first Azerbaijani rector of the Azerbaijan State University (now BSU) from 1926 to 1929. Then he worked as a teacher at the Medical Institute, from 1930 to 1937 as a deputy commissar of public health, and this was his last job.

Taghi Shahbazi manages to make a number of fateful decisions during his activity. Thus, by the decision of the joint meeting of the Political and Organizational Bureaus of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan held on November 30, 1920, the need to create an administrative center in the remaining part of Zangezur region, which was divided into two parts (one part was given to Armenia) in Azerbaijan, arose . It is decided to establish the regional center in the area between the present Lachin and Abdallar villages. When choosing the name of the district, T. Shahbazi, who took into account the local relief and the character of the population, took the initiative and proposed the name of Lachin to the administrative area.

In 1930, Lachin was given the status of a district.

Taghi Shahbazi began to appear in the literary landscape of the time with his artistic creations under the pseudonym “Simürgh” in addition to his active social and pedagogical activities, and appeared in the press with publicist articles.

He started artistic creation from a young age. In his narratives and stories, he described the problems of religious fanaticism, women’s freedom, and spirituality. The themes of building a new life and women’s freedom occupy the main place in the works of the Soviet period. “Master’s Maid” (1926), “Crime for Freedom” (1928), “False Hope” (1926), “Fear of Doom” (1926), “Selected Works” (1983), etc. was the author of books.

“Free as Birds”, “Milk Girl”, “Hungry”, “World of Injustice”, “Haji Salman”, “The Master’s Maid”, “Unhappiness in the House of Mashadi Gadim”, “Crime for Freedom” “Zarifa”, “A windy evening” and others. Real life events are written in his stories. The author presented these examples to the readers in simple language, which reflect the problems of formation and enlightenment of the people’s worldview.

Taghi Shahbazi was appointed rector of Baku State University in 1926. Only now, the opportunity to prepare national personnel has been seized. In the early days, he faced many problems. The university has been experiencing crisis years since its opening. The troubles of the seven were piled on top of each other.

In the conditions of the large number of people and scientists of other nations (Russian, Jewish, Armenian, Lezgi, Georgian…), moving to full national staff required a delicate political process. Shahbazi would not have known this. But he was firm in his opinion. In his first meeting with the multinational team of the university, IL said without hesitation and in a loud voice: “After all, one can’t Turkify only one decision by order.” To make his point more precise, he continued his speech “…Turkification, that is, it is possible if there are suitable workers to teach this or that subject. The truth of the proverb is that we do not have this power. That is why one of the main issues before us is training scientific personnel related to Turkification”.

However, Taghi Shahbaz was a scholar-intellectual who put importance to internationalism and valued inter-ethnic communication and benefits from it. In order to improve the quality of teaching at the university, he used everything, including those of other nations, primarily Russian scientists-pedagogues (N.Y. Narr, V.V. Bartold, I.I. Meshanin, A.N. Samoyl, etc.). He even attracted them on preferential terms.

Taghi Shahbazi always attached special importance to inter-ethnic communication, not wanting to isolate his nation. Russian language was needed not for today, but also for tomorrow. Shahbazi once explained this idea as follows: “We must learn the Russian language. Because it was necessary for students to use scientific centers with books and teaching materials”.

Taghi Shahbazi attended the “school of organization” from a young age. The years he studied and worked in Russia gave him a lot. Therefore, in nationalizing the university, he focused on quality as well as quantity. Most of the initiatives took place. It was on this eve that the university was named Azerbaijan State University and was welcomed by the public.

It was not necessary to get the name, it was necessary to protect it. The activities of the scientific council and scientific societies were revived. In order to increase their scientific potential, various qualified scientists, young and old, were invited to the university: professor J. A. Kazimov, prof. E. BChobanzadeh, Assoc. B. A. Hasanzadeh, Assoc. C. Nagiyev, Assoc. B. B. Hasanbayov, Assoc. B. A. Talybli, Assoc. R.M. Malikov, A.Z. Vazirzadeh, H.A. Dadashov, F. A. Rzabeyli, A. A. Hagverdiyev, H. B. Shakhtakhtinsky, J. A. Akhundzade, V. M. Khuluflu… joined the cooperation both in teaching work and in the field of scientific research.

He was also close to the public health-health issues. It was not worth talking about the situation. There were many reasons. The most important was the shortage of personnel. In most regions, there were not enough doctors and even medical workers.

Personnel training for health care was carried out at the medical and biological faculty of the university. Apart from his importance, T. Shahbazi also had additional opportunities to revive the activity of the faculty. He called on scientists who had graduated from the medical faculty of Russian universities at the same time, in parallel, or a little later, a little earlier, to help. Among them – M. M. Mirgasimov, M. A. Topchubashov, A. T. Garayev, H. K. Aliyev, A. R. Talishinski, M. D. Kajlayev, M.M. Hajigasimov, U. S. Musabayova, C. Y. Huseynov, M. A. Efendiyev, C. M. Jahangirov, J. M. Orujov, G. R. Gurbanov, M. M. Malikov, B. M. Aliyev, A. V. Geibullayev, B. M. Mahmudbayov, F. A. Efendiyev, M.R. Nazirov, G.A. Agabayev, J.M. Ismayilzade, G.T. Alekbarov, A.A. Atayev…

A new breath came to the faculty. They are assistants, coordinators, laboratory assistants, scientific workers, etc. were hired for positions. Over the years, those thousands of minor officials rose to the positions of candidates of sciences, doctors of sciences, professors, and academicians, and among them there were those who represented our republic in international conferences in their fields.

Taghi Shahbazi led the university for five years. During these years, our only science center started a rapid development from revival. Taghi Shahbazi’s rectorship was a bright page in the history of the university. This is not a beautiful word, but the actual work itself. If five years ago, most of the lessons were conducted in Russian, five years later, on the contrary, most of them were directed to the Azerbaijani language. Apart from staff training for this. Textbooks, textbooks and programs were prepared in Azerbaijani language. Historians called this five-year period “unified period” in university life. And they tied it with the name of the famous statesman, doctor-writer Taghi Shahbazi.

Although the last ten years (1920-30) were not a big historical break, Azerbaijan State University played an invaluable role in the history of our science and development. Its significance is also that teaching and research in various directions were founded in this scientific center. In other words, there is a possibility that in the near future new research and teaching centers will be established from the “Mother University”.

It is so. Azerbaijan State University was closed by the relevant decision of the state. Four independent institutes were opened on its basis. Trade Cooperative Institute Pedagogical Institute, Soviet Construction and Legal Institute and Tibl Institute. We did not lose our science and education. It is interesting that the sudden closure of the University, without giving any reason, was not without reason.

… After the temporary collapse of the Azerbaijan State University, the flame of Taghi Shahbazi’s political and social activity was extinguished. It is true that he continued his teaching work in institutes and spoke in the press. In order to neutralize him somewhat, to completely remove him from the political scene, he was appointed deputy commissioner of public health. In the meantime, they completely “quieted” him by sending him to an improvement course in Moscow (1931-1933).

He also had a lot of work to do in the Health Commissariat. However, the most successful and heartwarming thing was his work together with his soulmates and common destinies. First, he had the pleasure of working with Movsum Gadirli (1930-1935), and then with Museyib Huseynov (1935-1937). The difference between minister and deputy was not heard. Whoever came up with the proposal related to the problem of health care, he was the one who said the implementation. Because all three of them were people with the same beliefs, the same fate, the same heart, and even the same tragedy. All three were victims of the “troika” and all three were victims of red terror.

Taghi Shahbazi was an outstanding statesman and healthcare founder-historian, as well as a talented writer. He wrote a critical article and a satirical story, doctor’s advice and a healthy lifestyle, dramatic works and a column, a clash of political views and a human tragedy… Taghi Shahbazi introduced himself to the public as a journalist with his speeches in mass media from his student years. It was due to this acquaintance that he held a responsible position in a number of newspapers and magazines.

Taghi Shahbazi was a patriotic intellectual. This was reflected in his critical articles and journalistic writings. However, he didn’t dare to criticize or correct the corruption in the society. The author could be subjected to violence and insults.

Taghi Shahbazi’s work is conventionally divided into two periods: pre-Soviet period and post-Soviet period. However, it was not so different from one another in terms of subject matter or form. If, in the first period, people’s desires for freedom and the oppressed and admonished (“Free as birds”, “Two worlds”); if he talks about the lifestyle of simple working people (“Milk girl”, “Sugarly shepherd”), situations that disfigure human relationships (“Aleksandr Eynych”), he did not change his beliefs in the later period of his creativity.

Taghi Shahbazi was fully active as a creative person. He was remembered for translating, organizing publishing and printing houses, giving advice and guidance to young writers. From this point of view, his periods of activity in the Writers’ Union, “Azameshr”, newspapers and magazines he edited are more typical. He is a historical figure who gained completeness with his incomplete life.

Taghi Shahbazi was arrested on July 11, 1937, and his investigation continued for 174 days. Sometimes “interrogation” was carried out 2-3 times a day. Each time, the plaintiffs responded to the allegations with “I refuse”. Near the end of the questioning, they used the “number three” method of investigation. Each time, after the investigation, a “doctor’s examination” was conducted. He said the word “I refuse” not with his tongue, but with his eyes.

He was already “ready” for everything. Say the slanders and slanders yourself, hear them yourself, and “confirm” them yourself. This is a bloody day in our history: January 2, 1938, the day Taghi Shahbazi was shot in Baku.



Najafgulu Rafieva,56 



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