Azerbaijan State Economic University - Setting For Novel Ali and Nino

Setting For Novel Ali and Nino

Kurban Said's landmark novel, Ali and Nino, opens in a classroom in the Economics University building in Baku. Ali Khan, the protagonist, took his final graduation exams in that building, which is located on one of Baku's most prestigious streets - Independence (Istiglaliyyat), though at the time of the novel, it was called Nikolay Street, named after the Russian czar Nicholas II. Nino's school, now Public School No. 132, was located across the street.

Curiously, both Yusif Vazir (Chamanzaminli) (1887-1943), the Core Author of Ali and Nino, as well as Essad Bey / Lev Nussimbaum (1905-1942) both attended this school. Vazirov attended Baku Realni High School (having transferred in as a refugee from Shusha) beginning in 1906 and he graduated in 1909.

Lev Nussimbaum attended Men's Gymnasium No. 2, which at that time ( 1914-1920) was housed inside Baku Realni. Though Nussimbaum was often absent due to sickness and political unrest, he was enrolled from Junior Preparatory to the beginning of Fourth Grade when he fled the Bolshevik takeover of the Baku government (1920). This school offered classes through Eighth Grade. Documents indicate that Nussimbaum failed his Azeri class in 1919, the only time records exist showing that he had enrolled in Azeri.

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