The government will always support you
25th of August, 2018, was another memorable day for Azerbaijani carpet masters. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the head of the government, took part in the opening ceremony of the Ismayilli branch of "Azerkhalcha" Open Joint Stock Company on that day. Every visit of the country leader turns into the most unforgettable day in the lives of carpet makers. They know that the art they have been protecting has survived and is being developed thanks to Mr. Ilham Aliyev. Each meeting with the president opens new perspectives for further development of this field. In his speeches during the opening ceremonies of the branches of "Azerkhalcha," the president highly values the work of carpet makers and the successful fulfillment of the assignments.
At the opening ceremony of the Khachmaz branch on May 4, 2018, President Ilham Aliyev talked about the achievement of several goals, adding that the work done at Ismayilli branch by the entity is pleasing, "The carpet weaving has great history and future. The establishment of the ‘Azerkhalcha’ company was aimed at this goal. The tasks and duties I have set up are being fulfilled and the carpet-weaving factory in Ismayilli is demonstrating this again."
Certainly, great state care for carpet weaving, real work, concrete results and hard work stand behind these valuable words.
The care given to the carpet weaving has given this ancient art a second life in Azerbaijan, the homeland of carpet weaving.
Why does carpet weaving receive so much attention? Why so much investment is allocated to this field? The president evaluated the importance of the work done in this field, "Carpet weaving is our national art and national wealth. The people of Azerbaijan have been giving this art new life for centuries. Our carpets are exhibited in the leading museums of the world, and by this, we show the world how talented the Azerbaijani people are."
The work done to develop carpet weaving is of great importance, because carpet weaving is a bridge between the past and today; it's a treasure to study not only the history of our culture, but also the history of our country.
Artificial hindrances were created in the Soviet era in the field of investigating the carpet art and carpet production employing national designs because of their close ties with the history and life of the Azerbaijani people. Carpets are one of the essential tools in learning the history of our people. The ornaments used on carpets provide valuable information about the lifestyle of the time they are related to. Despite issues in this area, great leader Heydar Aliyev took important steps in the development of carpet weaving. In the 70's of the 20th century, the Carpet Museum was launched in Azerbaijan, and the necessary conditions were established for the researchers and carpet makers involved in this area. Similar to other national values at that time, the development of the carpet weaving was one of the important steps taken by our national leader to build an independent state, because the carpet weaving had become an important instrument on the road to independence for our people. Giving life to our ancient history and rich statehood traditions in carpet patterns encouraged nationalistic feelings in the younger generation.
Special attention was given to the development of carpet weaving after gaining independence for the second time and Heydar Aliyev's return to political power.
One of the most memorable moments of President Ilham Aliyev's work in this field, who is successfully pursuing the path of our national leader, is the establishment of the "Azerkhalcha" Open Joint Stock Company in 2016. The "Azerkhalcha," established at the initiative of the president, the author of the idea, contributed to the realization of several strategic goals. One of the most important tasks facing the society is to develop the national carpet weaving, and the other is to contribute to the export potential of the country. This required the creation of a wide network of carpet weaving. "Azerbaijan is the homeland of carpet weaving, our national values such as mugham and architectural monuments," said President Ilham Aliyev, who created a vast network of carpet weaving in the country by ensuring the improvement of this art.
It was planned to establish the branches of the "Azerkhalcha" in Fuzuli (Horadiz), Agdam (Guzanli), Tovuz, Agstafa, Gazakh, Shamkir, Guba, Ismayilli, Khachmaz and Gabala districts at the initial stage. The construction of these buildings was completed in 2016-2017 and the branches started operating in these districts. With the participation of Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the opening ceremony was held in the Fuzuli branch of the "Azerkhalcha" on November 12, 2016; in Shamkir branch on August 20, 2017, in Guba branch on December 7, and Khachmaz branch on May 4, 2018, and Ismayilli branch on August 25.
The construction of carpet-making workshops and the establishment of infrastructure in Baku and Nakhchivan cities, Absheron, Lankaran, Bilasuvar, Kurdamir, Gobustan, Shabran, Goranboy and Tartar districts are well under way. By the instruction of the president of the country, 10 more carpet production workshops will be set up in 2019.
One issue should be specifically emphasized. Historically, precious and richly designed carpets have been woven in Karabakh district. The Armenians, who have occupied the historic Azerbaijani lands, present Azerbaijani carpets as their own artistic works. However, the truth that the whole world is aware of is that Azerbaijan is the homeland of the carpet weaving and these carpets are woven using ancient designs created by our people.
Among the people who became IDPs after the occupation of Azerbaijani lands, there are professional carpet weavers, painters, dyers, merchants, and people who dedicated their lives to this art. By the instruction of the president, to give life to the Azerbaijani carpets of the Karabakh group and create jobs for these people, the construction of carpet workshops in the cities and districts of the border regions, where IDPs settled, was given the priority. It is no coincidence that the first branch of "Azerkhalcha" was established in Horadiz settlement of Fuzuli district. Later a carpet workshop was opened in Guzanli settlement of Agdam district. A carpet factory operated in Agdam, the city that is under occupation currently. Most of the workers in the Gumanli settlement are the women who worked in the carpet production factory in Agdam.
This year, a carpet workshop is being built for the residents of the Jabrayil district, who are settled in Bilasuvar district. This process will continue in 2019. Next year, the Khojali branch of "Azerkhalcha" will be established in Agjakend settlement of Goranboy district and the Lachin branch will be set up in Takhtakorpu settlement of Agjabadi district.
One of the important tasks set by the President of Azerbaijan is the manufacture of raw materials for the production of carpets in our country. Therefore, the wool-spinning and dye factory of "Azerkhalcha" is being built in Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park. 1500 tons of unclean wool will be processed in the factory every year and wool yarns will be produced. The wool dyeing will also be implemented here. 100 people will be employed at this factory to reduce dependence on imports. To supply the factory with raw materials, the stations for the supply of regional wool and dyeing plants are being created in Nakhchivan city, Barda, Gobustan, Sabirabad and Shabran districts. On average, 300 tons of unclean wool will be taken in at each station.
The "State Program for the Protection and Development of Carpet Art in the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2018-2022" was approved by Presidential Decree of 28 February 2018 to ensure the complex development of carpet weaving and accelerate the work done in this field. This State Program reflects the prospects for the development of carpet weaving in the next five years. Important tasks have been set for relevant state bodies in the program. Some of the tasks set out in the State Program have already been implemented by the "Azerkhalcha."
With the adoption of this program, a new stage began in the carpet weaving. The State Program adopted by the President of Azerbaijan with a great vision will contribute to the development of carpet weaving, the widespread promotion of our national culture and the carpet weaving as one of the main driving forces of our country's economic development.
Speaking about the economic implication of carpet weaving, the President of Azerbaijan said, "The Azerbaijani carpets are of a very high quality and their sales prices are also high. Accordingly, carpets sold both domestically and abroad will contribute to the economy of Azerbaijan, currency will flow into our country and our non-oil sector will also grow."
It appears that, the president has a lot of expectations for carpet weaving. Carpet weaving is the only field that promotes the values, history and culture of our country and attracts currency. The "Azerkhalcha" is expanding international relations to achieve massive export of Azerbaijani carpets. Relations are set with international organizations, companies, as well as authoritative publications on carpet making.
The first products of "Azerkhalcha" were presented at the traditional DOMOTEX International Carpet Exhibition held in Hannover, Germany, in 2017 and 2018; at the Rug Show in New York, USA, on September 10-13 last year. Since its 190th issue, the "HALI" magazine, published in London, has highlighted the work of the "Azerkhalcha" as the repairer and promoter of the traditional carpet weaving techniques, mass-producer of hand-woven carpets, and as a bearer of carpet weaving traditions in the South Caucasus. Moreover, the products of the "Azerkhalcha" are advertised in the influential "Carpet XL" magazine published in Germany.
In order to ensure the trade of carpets produced in the carpet workshops in the world market, negotiations were made with the companies operating in the United States and Japan and the initial agreement was reached.
This is a fact that carpet weaving does not receive so much attention anywhere in the world. Allocating this much amount to carpet weaving requires enormous courage. Only a brilliant and courageous statesman like Ilham Aliyev who gives great importance to the survival of national values could do this. The investment spent on carpet weaving comes back in ten years. The development of carpet weaving in Azerbaijan has been premeditated for a great historical period.
Therefore, the work of "Azerkhalcha" is expanded and the number of branches is increased. In his meeting with the carpet masters, the president stated that he will always stand beside them, and once again declared that he would always care for the Azerbaijani carpets and our national values. His words at the opening ceremony of the Ismayilli branch - "The government will always support you" point to the future development of this field and the massive work to be completed. "We take very serious steps in the development of carpet weaving. Creating carpet factories in the regions is part of this work. This is the fifth factory opened recently. Five more factories will be opened by the end of the year. In general, it is assumed that 30 carpet-weaving factories will be established in our country, and thousands of people, especially women, will be employed. Employees in these factories are women. We create jobs for women, as well. The carpets manufactured here will be sold both inside and outside the country, and Azerbaijan will present its export products to the world in a broader way. Your hard work and your talent play a key role in the future survival of carpet weaving. According to the information I received, about 150 people have been employed at this factory. If things go well in the future, this factory can involve more women. "
This was pleasing news for carpet weavers about the creation of more carpet production shops in the in one district in the future. It is also a serious message for the enemies of the country. Azerbaijan is capable of protecting national values, historical traditions, and creating such factories, so that women in every village have a job. One day after the opening of the Ismayilli branch of the "Azerkhalcha," the president delivered good news for Ismayilli carpet weavers. By the order of the president, another carpet production workshop will be established in Ismayilli. This gives rise to the fact that the carpet weaving of independent Azerbaijan will conquer new horizons in the future.