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Haji Zeynalabdin tagiyev and School for Girls.

  • Subject: Religion
  • Category: Islam
  • Essay Topic: Muslim
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 858
  • Published: 28 August 2018
  • Downloads: 41
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One of the most famous, and respected philanthropist in Azerbaijan, Russia, and in all Muslim world was Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev. He was called the “Father of the Nation”. He was bor in 1821, and rose in shoemaker family in Baku. He started learning masonry to help provide for his family of 7 sisters after his mother's death. At 18th, he was already a contractor, and his dedication to work ensured quick professional advancement. He purchased land near the oil-booming town of Bibi-Heybat, which was expected to be rich in oil, by mid-1873 along with two companions.

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However all their attempts were in vain, the intention was to discover oil. Tagiyev's companions sold their share to him, after a while. It did not take long time, and the oil gushed forth from one of the wells in 1877 leading to Tagiyev's instantly becoming one of the richest men. This was just a beginning. He invested the money in the most profitable business in the 1870-90s – oil, he managed to save. He was one of the first Azerbaijani oil entrepreneurs to establish a basis for the development of non-oil business from oil profits. He was the founder of the Baku Merchant Bank, and dealt in real estate. His interests covered every sector of Azerbaijan’s economy; he invested in metallurgy, shipbuilding, energy, cotton, fishing, wine-making, and communications, he owned large woodlands. He was also a great public figure, not only a successful entrepreneur.

Muslim, Russian, and Jewish charity societies of Baku elected him the honorary chairman. He was elected to the Baku Duma, and was involved in many civic projects, particularly in financing the construction of a horse-drawn tramline, and the Baku-Shollar water pipeline to solve the water crisis. He constructed the first theatre building in Baku, in 1883 known as Tagiyev's Theater. Later it become the Azerbaijan State Theatre of Musical Comedy, and helped to repair it after reactionists burned it down in 1909. In 1911, he covered all the expenses for the construction of what would later become the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera, and Ballet Theatre. In Baku, Ganja, Shamakhi, and Nakhchivan as well as beyond the borders – in Tiflis, Derbend, Vladikavkaz, and other cities Tagiyev sponsored the founding of educational institutions. He was honorary supervisor of the Muslim School in Tiflis and the owner of Baku’s secondary technical school, the School of Commerce, and the Mariinsky Women’s Gymnasium. He arranged for the construction of a mosque, and evening self-education courses for the employees of the textile factory, a school for their children, a pharmacy, a first-aid post, and a mill. Altogether this projects cost Tagiyev more than 6 million golden rubles. He sold his oil business interest to Anglo-Russian Oil Company for 5 million rubles. In two, and half years, they had earned more than 7.5 million rubles in net profit. It should be mentioned that in order to diversify into other industries of the Caucasus's economy Tagiyev sold his oil companies. He accumulated shares in the Oleum Company established on the basis of these enterprises to the amount of 16 million rubles, which allowed him to continue accumulating capital created in the oil sector. Tagiyev invested significant sums into the textile, food, construction, and shipbuilding industries, as well as in fishery, during this period.

Later, in 1890, Tagiyev bought the Caspian Steamship Company, renovated it, and created a fleet of 10 steamboats. He provided scholarships for many Azerbaijani youths who strived to sudy in prestigious Russian and European universities. Some of them later became well known, such as writer Mammed Said Ordubadi, politicians Nariman Narimanov, and Aziz Aliyev, professor Khudadat bey Malik-Aslanov, and opera singer Shovkat Mammadova. Tagiyev was a proponent of academic enlightenment for the young generations of Azerbaijanis, though illiterate himself. While the clergy created obstacles for the publishing of secularism-oriented literature such as that by Seyid Azim Shirvani, Tagiyev would assist in getting it printed in his private publishing house in Tehran. Tagiyev was in favor of translating the Koran into Azerbaijani, as a devout Muslim. This was vehemently opposed by the local clergy who believed the content of Koran was holy, and of divine origin and therefore, no one had the right to translate it.

Tagiyev then sent a mullah (religious person) envoy to Baghdad who came back with an official permission from a board of Muslim scholars to translate the Koran. Tagiyev ordered the necessary equipment from Leipzig and sponsored the translation, and the publishing. After Azerbaijan's Sovietization in 1920 the country's wealthy people suffered severe repressions from the Bolshevik government, resulting in the emigration of many of them.

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Tagiyev's house and his other possessions were therefore confiscated. He was given the option to choose a place of residence for himself, due to his past contributions and generosity. Tagiyev chose to stay in his summer cottage in the village of Mardakan, not far from Baku. He died there 4 years later, on 1 September 1924 of pneumonia. After his death, the summer cottage was confiscated and Tagiyev's family members were driven out of it. His wife Sona, once a wealthy, educated and charitable noblewoman of the Caucasus, died in misery on the streets of Baku in 1938.

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