Mirza Khazar

Mirza Khazar
Mirza Khazar

Mirza Khazar
Born Mirza Kerim oglu Mikayilov
October 29, 1947 (1947-10-29) (age 64)
AzerbaijanGöyçay, Azerbaijan
Residence  Germany
Citizenship  USA
Religion Mountain Jew

Mirza Kerim oglu Mikayilov (Azerbaijani: Mirzə Kərim oğlu Mikayılov), known as Mirza Khazar (Azerbaijani: Mirzə Xəzər) (born October 29, 1947, Göyçay, Azerbaijan SSR, USSR), is an eminent Azerbaijani author, political analyst, legendary anchorman, radio journalist, publisher, and translator. Mirza Khazar is a Mountain Jew. He also is known as Mirza Michaeli.[1]


Early life

In July 1973, Mirza Khazar completed his graduation at the law faculty at the Azerbaijan State University. From August 1973 to January 1974, he worked as a lawyer in Sumgait.[1] In June 1974, he immigrated to Israel and attended special courses for lawyers from the USSR at Tel-Aviv University. From June 1975 to January 1976, he served in the Israel Defense Forces.

Bible translation

The first Azerbaijani translation by Mirza Farrukh and Feliks Zaręnba was the Gospel of Matthew, published in 1842 in London by Basel Missionary Society. The complete New Testament was fully translated and published in 1878 in London and the Old Testament in 1891.

At the request of the Stockholm Institute for Bible Translation, Mirza Khazar translated the Bible – the New Testament and Old Testament – into the Azerbaijani language. Mirza Khazar started translation of the entire Bible in 1975 and finished in 1984. In 1982, the Institute for Bible Translation in Stockholm, Sweden, released Mirza Khazar's new modern Azerbaijani language translation of the New Testament, which currently is used in Azerbaijan. The first edition was printed in Zagreb, Croatia. Mirza Khazar's translation of the New Testament was reprinted five times in subsequent years. Mirza Khazar completed translation of the Old Testament in 1984, but the translation has not been printed yet.


From August 1976 to October 1985, Mirza Khazar worked as deputy editor-in-chief of the Azerbaijani Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany. In October 1985, he was invited to Washington, D.C. to be editor-in-chief of the Azerbaijani Service of Radio Voice of America. In February 1987, Mirza Khazar returned to Munich to lead the Azerbaijani Service at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty,[1] and he worked there until September 2003. In January 2004, he founded the Voice of Mirza Khazar (Mirzə Xəzərin Səsi) newspaper in Baku. Mirza Khazar, and he currently runs the online newspaper The Voice of Mirza Khazar in three languages: Azerbaijani, English, and Russian.[2] From September to October 2005, Mirza Khazar was host of Azadlig TV (Freedom TV), the first independent station to broadcast from a foreign country to Azerbaijan.[3] In December 2005, he launched an Internet radio program, The Voice of Mirza Khazar, where visitors can listen to prerecorded audio items.[4]


Mirza Kazar's articles pertaining to the political and economic situation in Azerbaijan and other former Soviet states were published in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Czech Republic, and other countries. Mirza Khazar's The Formation of the Popular Front in Azerbaijan (Dec 28, 1988) was the first research paper about attempts of local intellectuals and patriots to launch a national-democratic movement in Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani Popular Front was created officially in 1989. In August 1989, his Birlik Society in the Azerbaijani Democratic Movement was published.

1990 Black January

During the Black January crackdown, the Soviets managed to suppress all efforts to disseminate news from Azerbaijan to the local population and the international community. On the eve of the Soviet military invasion in Baku, an energy supply source to Azerbaijani TV and State Radio was blown up by intelligence officers in order to cut off the population from any source of information. TV and radio was silent and all print media was banned.[5] But Mirza Khazar and his staff at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty succeeded in broadcasting daily reports from Baku,[6] making it the only source of news to Azerbaijanis within and outside of the country for several days. The Kremlin leadership tried hard to keep the outside world and the population inside Azerbaijan unaware of the military invasion, but Mirza Khazar and his staff foiled this attempt. Thanks to Mirza Khazar and his staff at Radio Liberty, Azerbaijanis in and outside Azerbaijan, as well as the international community, learned about the Soviet invasion and gained a chance to organize protest actions. Shocked by this "surprising" development, the government of the USSR complained officially to the United States about Radio Liberty's[7] coverage of the military invasion of Azerbaijan. The January 20, 1990 broadcasts turned Mirza Khazar into a legend among Azerbaijanis in and outside Azerbaijan. Melahet Agacankizi, a well-known Azerbaijani poetess and writer, described Mirza Khazar's appearance on radio at the time of the Soviet military invasion as follows: "On January 20, Mirza Khazar with his God-given divine voice, gave hope to the dying Azerbaijani people."[8] His distinctive voice and his name are familiar to Azerbaijanis inside and outside Azerbaijan.


Mirza Khazar's name was included into the book "100 Great Azerbaijanis", prepared by the prominent Azerbaijani researcher and writer Alisa Nijat and published in Baku in 1999. In 1990, The Popular Front of Azerbaijan awarded Mirza Khazar the Mammed Amin Rasulzade prize for his role in the national-democratic movement in Azerbaijan. Mammed Amin Rasulzade was one of the founders of the first independent Azerbaijani Republic in 1918. Sabir Rustamkhanly, a prominent Azerbaijani writer and politician, called Mirza Khazar "a symbol of our national struggle" in his interview with the newspaper "Cumhuriyet" in September 2003.[9]

Mirza Khazar currently lives in Munich, Germany.

Audio archive

Articles in English


External links

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