For many, that invokes visions of artists, musicians and poets in Shusha, the city known as “the conservatory of the Caucasus.”

Azerbaijanis’ homecoming to Nagorno-Karabakh following Azerbaijan’s recent victory in a six-week war with Armenia has a Jewish side. Azerbaijan has been home to Jews for centuries, while Israel and Azerbaijan have enjoyed flourishing ties for decades, preceding the past year’s rising tide of normalization between Israel and other Muslim-majority countries.

But the Jewish angle to the decades-long Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the Azerbaijani homecoming to previously occupied territories in Karabakh (“Nagorno” simply means “mountainous”) is about more than a country known for positive Muslim-Jewish relations. It involves the predicament of homecoming and the emotions surrounding cultural patrimony-sentiments that are familiar throughout Jewish history.

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