The people of Shusha made it the pearl of the Caucasus, the cradle of our culture, the mugham-singing heart of Azerbaijan
Karim bey (Abdulkarim) Mustafa bey oghlu Mehmandarov (2 December 1854, Shusha-20 December 1929, Shusha) was a medical doctor. He was one of the first ethnic Azerbaijanis to graduate from the Medico-Surgical Academy in St. Petersburg. He was also one of the leaders of the Shusha educational society “Neshr Maarif” and founder of the first Russian-Azerbaijani Shusha school for girls.
He was born in 1854 in Shusha, as a member of the Azerbaijani noble family Mehmandarovs. His father Mirza Mustafa was an Imperial Russian officer, while his grandfather Mirza Ali was a mehmandar (an official courier appointed to escort an important traveller) of Ibrahim Khalil Khan, the origin of the surname. He graduated from Baku Gymnasium (1872) and St. Petersburg Medical-Surgical Academy (1877), then worked in a military hospital during Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) and combated diphtheria outbreak in Poltava Guberniya. He later served in 162nd Akhaltsikhe regiment as a doctor. Having returned to Azerbaijan in 1883, he continued his practice.
He became head of the Shusha local committee of “Difai” – a secret Azerbaijani organization. Several Russian officers were assassinated under his commands – Shusha prosecutor Lunyakin, Elizabethpol police chief Bannikov and Tartar police chief Felikinski were all killed under his orders. He died in 1929 in Shusha.