PETOŠEVIĆ PEOPLE: Q&A with Amir Sám Nakhjavani

Amir Sám Nakhjavani joined PETOŠEVIĆ in 2023 as the head of our newest office in Baku, Azerbaijan. As an IP and media and entertainment lawyer, Amir manages the entire range of contentious and non-contentious work for our clients operating in Azerbaijan. We asked Amir about his work, her favorite food and music, and much more.

  1. How did you start your career in IP?

    I used to be an actor, and at one point I started receiving random checks in the mail and found myself wondering why. I was then introduced to the notion of a royalty, and my fascination with IP began.

  2. What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

    I find excessive formality challenging, but I approach every challenge as an opportunity to learn, and learning is one of life’s greatest joys.

  3. What do you most enjoy doing at work?

    Chuckling at my colleague Igor Alfiorov’s wry and subtly subversive sense of humour.

  4. What would you be working in, if you weren’t working in IP?

    Treading the boards as a thespian, no doubt. I’ve also had a lifelong love of drawing, painting, sketching, doodling, and mark-making in all its many manifestations, so perhaps something in the visual arts, or in art therapy.

  5. What was the first job you’ve ever had?

    I worked the cash-register at a pizza shop when I was fifteen and occasionally inflicted my own pizza-making skills on unsuspecting members of the public, much to their eventual dismay.

  6. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?

    I love watching my fearless son’s thirst for learning and appetite for life and feel renewed in my own life as a result.

  7. What book did you read last?

    “The Death of Ivan Ilych” by L. N. Tolstoy.

  8. What is your favorite song/music at the moment?

    “The Rapture Pt.III” by &ME and Black Coffee, a marvelous South African house producer, released on the German electronic label Keinemusik.

  9. What is your favorite dish of all time?

    A sweetened and slightly tangy barberry and saffron rice with diced chicken breast. Or just a single, ripe pomegranate on a sunny and cool Saturday morning in late October.

  10. If you could meet anyone in the world, from the past or present, who would it be and why?

    Any of the Abrahamic prophets of God, or William Shakespeare – to become braver and more truthful in my humanity by virtue of how bravely and truthfully he understood his own.

  11. What was your favorite subject in school and why?

    Math, because the teacher always kicked me out of class, and I’d spend the time peering through the window trying to make faces at my friends. Whatever math I didn’t learn is surpassed by the friendships I made with the people on the other side of that pane of glass.

  12. What did you want to be when growing up?

    A professional ice hockey player and, strangely, a caricaturist.

  13. Tell us three things most people don’t know about you.

    My skull is made of titanium. I’m a certified yachtsman. I ate fried insects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and, frankly, I would again. Absolutely delicious!

  14. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

    Terraforming and sustainable extra-planetary colonization. Or making sourdough!

  15. What is your biggest frustration about the world around you?

    The significance of these arbitrarily drawn and imaginary lines which divide us into the untidy entities called ‘countries’, which keep us from acknowledging our fundamental oneness as a human family.

  16. What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?

    That if resistance is futile, then perhaps futility is also resistance. Camus tells us to imagine that Sisyphus is happy, as he rolls the boulder up the hill, knowing that it will assuredly roll back down the hill, and he is consigned to this fate for eternity. The smile on Sisyphus’ face is absurd, in this context, and the absurdity, the smile in the face of futility, is a liberation from, and a subversion of, his fate. So, like Sisyphus, maybe we should all be punk-rock about it, and smile at our fate.

  17. What do you wish you could have told yourself at age 13?

    You are enough, as you are. And don’t you dare ever even thinking about cutting your hair!

  18. What cities/countries have you lived in?

    Ottawa, Montreal, Stratford and Toronto in Canada, Bristol and London in the UK, Baku in Azerbaijan, New Orleans in the USA, and Nicosia in Cyprus.

  19. If you could live in another country of the 30+ countries where PETOŠEVIĆ operates, which would you pick and why?

    Hands-down, one hundred percent – Uzbekistan. I’m a bit of an armchair Silk Road historian and I’ve been dreaming of visiting the cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva for many years. As an Azerbaijani and Farsi speaker, I’m also curious to see how much of the Uzbek language might be intelligible to me.

  20. If someone came to your city for 24 hours, where would you take them?

    I’d bring them to the winding, twisting pedestrian paths of Baku’s ancient old town, İçərişəhər. I would have them enjoy the distinct pleasure of getting hopelessly and wonderfully lost in the maze, where they’d invariably find themselves getting invited into someone’s house for tea and baklava, completely by accident.

Read more PETOŠEVIĆ People interviews.