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The Achievements of the Heart of Free and Independent Artsakh - of Shushi

www.diplomat.am

Just two decades ago in the streets of Shoushi that are now filled with peace, where children play freely, fierce battles were going on. It was from here that Stepanakert was fired. Under the dome of the Ghazanchecoc church in Shushi, where Azerbaijanis kept their stockpiles of ammunition, today people are seak and find peace in their soul. One of the most glorious victories in the Armenian history was created in Shushi.

The liberation of Shushi was the first significant victory in the Artsakh war by Armenian military forces. The battle took place on May 8 in 1992 in the strategically important mountainous town of Shushi.

During the period after the war (1988 - 1994) and the ceasefire following, public’s attention has mainly been directed towards overcoming the social problems and the cultural life was totally neglected. However, in the recent years a lot of work has been carried out to restore and develop Shushi's cultural life.

In 2012, the Ministry of Culture and Youth Affairs moved to Shushi and the country was declared as the ultural capital of Artsakh. In the recent years, the intensification of cultural life in Shushi has an impact on the cultural integration, personal development, re-assessment of Artsakh culture. However, systematic aggression by Azerbaijan does not allow people to more actively integrate into cultural processes, which would reveal their full creative potential.

The work currently carried out by the Ministry of Culture and Youth Affairs is directed towards overcoming these problems. The Ministry has organized numerous contests and events aimed at giving a new impetus to the cultural life, based on the achievements of the past.

That is why cultural activity is combined with promotional activities -  book publishing, literary and artistic creation, organizing international cultural events. In this context, it is noteworthy that Shushi cooperates with Los Angeles, Bourg de Valance and Italian Luca as "sister cities".

The town has its own cultural centers and cultural traditions. In the recent years, one of the most important international events was "Shoushi Art Project" of 2012, which represented a huge exhibition of the artists’ works from both Armenia and the Diaspora. In addition, the most important cultural event named "Jacob Gyurjyan" international sculpture symposium, held under the motto "Peace to Artsakh" with the participation of 15 sculptors from Artsakh, Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Japan and Italy, has already become a tradition.

There are four Museums now in Shoushi: Regional History museum, art museum, stone museum and carpet museum, where the city’s history, traditions and culture are presented. The presence of these spectacular places contributes to the increase in the flow of tourists.

According to the mayor of Shoushi, the tourists are particularly interested in Dziatap (Jdrduz) plateau, Hounot Canyon, museums, the cathedral of St. Saviour Church, Green (St. John the Baptist Church), mosques and Shoushi fortress.

In addition to the acquisitions in the field of culture, the educational sector of Shushi has also reached some significant goals. Last year, the government of Artsakh, founded the "University of Technology of Shushi’’, which will contribute to the necessary technological, engineering, architectural, agricultural areas of higher education and train specialists according to international standards. Besides, the branch of National Agricultural University of Armenia was built in Shushi.

The recovery process of Shushi still continues and the above mentioned are only some small steps, which can bring positive benefits. NKR celebrates 25th anniversary of its independence this year. During these 25 years, the people of Artsakh have earned their right to live in peace, independence and security, which are the first prerequisites and guarantees of the spiritual, cultural and social revival of Artsakh population.

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