Introducing Mirze Alekber Sabir to Britain

Mirze Alekber Sabir

(Shamakhi 30.05.1862 – Shamakhi 15.07.1911)

During his life, Mirze Alekber Sabir made and sold soap to earn a living. However, he was the founder of humourous poetry and revolutionary satire in Azerbaijan, as well as in Near Eastern Literature. His radically democratic poetry, with its social realism, nationalistic character, and modernist outlook, played a big part in the progress of Azeri culture and political thought. Indeed, Alekber Tahirzade from the region of Shirvan came to hold positions of honour after his death. Sabir was his nickname meaning “patience” or “patiently”. This is telling, when we remember that his father was a devote muslim, who had a little grocer shop in Shamakhi city, and wanted his son to be a confessor. That’s why, he sent the young Sabir to an ecclesiastical Moslem school, when he was eight. Now, the first duty of pupils at this school was to learn reading the Koran. Yet, he hadn’t finished reading the Koran, before he learned writing. Due to this, he was badly beaten by his mullah.

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