The master of the lake
Zohrab Zulfugarov was born in the town of Göychay, the administrative center of the district of the same name in Azerbaijan (a 3 and 1/2 hour drive from Baku). Majoring in electrical engineering, Zohrab always loved nature and has always tried to be close to it. He had an orchard with fruit trees and a vegetable garden in Göychay. In 1990, he became involved in juice production in Shekili village.
Scanning out the surrounding forests in search of fruit Zohrab came across a place that he felt ideal to be converted into an artificial lake. He contacted a construction company, and soon, a new business facility was ready for operation.
Initially he had to pay fee to the state. Then, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Zulfugarov managed to privatize, as he put it, his recreational area. In his words, local officials tried to deprive Zohrab Zulfugarov of his lake on a number of occasions. However, despite their lofty promises and threats, he has not given it up.
He built a house, planted fruit trees and set up a greenhouse there. Zohrab says proudly that his tomatoes, eggplants and paprika are “of local varieties, different from those available at the market.” He does not sell vegetables and fruits. They are for his family and the recreational area clients.
The clients can get a good meal here, fish or just relax from the city life. There is a face scanner here: the host prefers trustworthy, family-oriented people. Whereas those who he does not like will not be provided services.
Of course, his next of kin also visit him. Zohrab has two sons and a daughter, as well as five grandchildren. His eldest son runs a business in Dubai. His youngest son helps his father and his daughter lives in Baku. He cannot stand even a couple of days in the city. He is too attached to silence, quietness, fresh air and his favorite occupation.