LOS ANGELES, NEW YORK - On this day, 19 years ago, Armenian armed forces occupied the city of Shusha, a predominantly Azerbaijani-populated town in the Mountainous Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.
Established in the 18th century by Panah-Ali Khan Javanshir Ziyadoglu as a capital of the independent Karabakh khanate, Shusha became a cradle of Azerbaijani Turkic culture, literature and, especially, music. In 1870s, master Sadigjan developed the first Azeri tar (lute) in Shusha. City's rich musical tradition also greatly influenced Uzeyir Hajibeyov, the patriarch of Azerbaijani classical music and opera, first of its kind in the Muslim world. Many other prominent figures, including Bül-Bül (founder of Azerbaijani opera vocal); Jabbar Garyaghdy oglu (Azerbaijani Mugham Art virtuoso); singer Rashid Behbudov; composers Ashraf Abbasov, Suleyman Alasgarov, Fikret Amirov, Farhad Badalbeyli, Seyid and Khan Shushinski; writers Abdurrehim bey Hagverdiyev, Mirmohsum Navvab, Najaf bey Vezirov; 19-th century poetess Khurshudbanu Natavan; and one of the prominent public figures of Turkish Republic, Ahmet Agaoglu, also originated from Shusha.