“Ali and Nino”- because love knows no boundaries.

Hello, my dears,

tomorrow, February 14, is Valentine’s Day.

I spent almost 3 years in Azerbaijan, in its capital Baku and the city of Lankeran in the south. During this time I was able to enjoy the generous hospitality everywhere and got to know and appreciate the country and its people. It was a wonderful time, full of impressions and experiences that I do not want to miss.

Here is my reading and film advice for you, which fits well to Valentine’s Day: “Ali and Nino”.

The famous romance novel is set in Azerbaijan, the crossroads between East and West and in the capital Baku, the city where Orient and Occident converge.

It is about the love between the young aristocrat Ali Khan Shirvanshir, the first born of an important Muslim family, and the Georgian Christian princess Nino Kipiani, who also comes from a famous family. Ali falls in love with Nino from the very first moment. Although they belong to different religions, they overcome all difficulties and marry. The romance takes place against the background of the First World War and the Russian Revolution in Azerbaijan.

The film impresses with wonderful shots, with incredibly beautiful landscapes and a great, gorgeous romance.

The famous love story “Ali and Nino” was written by Kurban Said, a stage name which probably conceals two people: the publicist Baroness Elfriede von Ehrenfels, born von Bodmershof, and the Viennese coffee house writer Lev Nussimbaum, born in Baku in 1905. The novel’s intensity is probably due to Nussimbaum’s life story. He converted to Islam as a Jew and is said to have taken the name Essad Bey after his convert.

When the novel first appeared in Vienna in 1937, it quickly became a bestseller. Because of the forbidden topic ‘love across ethnic borders’, its success at that time was almost a scandal. The novel only reappeared in the seventies, as a translation into English.

The novel was translated into 33 languages. It was filmed in 2015 and premiered in early 2016.
The filming took place at different locations like Baku, Gobustan, Khynalyg, Ganja and Gadabey.
In Azerbaijan, the book “Ali and Nino” is equivalent to a national epic.

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