Azerbaijan Cultural Garden
The Azerbaijan Garden was dedicated on May 12, 2008. Khanlar Gasimov's sculpture, "Hearth," stands at the center of the Garden. Made of polished stainless steel, the bowl-shaped sculpture allows viewers to see the reflection of the earth and sky in its exterior and interior curves. The "Hearth" was inspired by the 12th century Azerbaijani poet Ganjavi and the 14th Century Azerbaijani philosopher Imadeddin Nasimi. The sculpture embodies contradictions. According to Gasimov, "its physical form, with its defnitive height and diameter, represent limits, containment, and finite, while the circles represent boundlessness, openness."
When the garden was dedicated, Karl Turner wrote for The Plain Dealer that "A chorus of 'Wow' resounded when the white canvas fell away and a giant stainless-steel bowl shimmered on the wet green grass. The seventh grade boys from University School had come to Rockefeller Park to witness a Cleveland ethnic tradition -- the dedication of a cultural garden. Among the Azerbaijani-Americans gathered for the noon ceremony, the response was something softer and more powerful -- a collective breath, followed by smiles that lit up a rainy Monday."
"'It's a great honor to see our symbol here,' Dr. Dilara Seyidova Khoshknabi explained. The Cleveland Clinic brought her from Azerbaijan, in western Asia, eight years ago for medical research. Now she and her husband, Mohammad Khoshknabi, call the city home. 'I feel like it's a piece of my land here in Cleveland,' she said. The Cleveland Cultural Gardens have bestowed that gift of belonging upon generations of immigrants, often people from small, emerging nations who badly want the world to know who they are. The moments of recognition do not come as often anymore. But Monday's ceremony proved that the 92-year-old garden chain still stirs emotion and pride."