The 'Oxford Project' is the first of it's kind in the UK
Professor Nargiz Pashayeva is also the representative of a newly established Programme at the Oriental Faculty of Oxford University, The Nizami Ganjavi Programme for the study of languages and cultures of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus. This is the first project of its kind in the UK. (http://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/research/nizami-ganjavi/). The idea for the Programme was born in 2013 when Professor Pashayeva first met Professor Robert Hoyland, Professor of Islamic studies at the Oriental institute of Oxford University and they both shared interest in education and research which resulted in a joint decision to work towards the establishment of a Centre in Oxford that could provide resources for students and scholars from all over the world to come together to investigate and discus the pre-modern history and culture of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus. The two professors chose Nizami Ganjavi to represent the Programme, because though he was born in the land of Azerbaijan, his influence and fame reached far beyond it achieving worldwide celebrity.
The first step in realizing the establishment of the Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Centre has been the creation of the Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Programme, which will oversee several important projects both for Azerbaijan and Oxford. These are:
1. The archaeological excavation of Barda in Azerbaijan, which according to ancient sources was the capital of the Christian Kingdom of Caucasian Albania. The first season of these excavations has just started and the report of this mission is expected to be published at the end of October 2015;
2. Translation of major works of Azeri and Russian scholarship into English. The first book that has already been translated and is awaiting publication is E.Bertel’s book: Nizami, the great poet of Azerbaijan. This will be the first English translation and the first re-publication of the book;
3. The Nizami Ganjavi Programme has already awarded two scholars who will start their work on the Programme related subjects;
4. The Nizami Ganjavi Programme held its first workshop in June 2015 entitled: The Eastern Caucasus from Late Antiquity to Early Islam. It was the first workshop of this kind to be held at the Oriental Institute in Oxford where leading specialists on Azerbaijan and the Caucasus from and outside Oxford gathered together for the discussion of their projects and future plans that could be carried out in cooperation;