Sunday, April 20, 2008

Week 6 - Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is the country for this week.

The capital of Azerbaijan is Baku.

Azerbaijan is a secular and unitary republic.

93%-96% of the population is Muslim, 85% of these Shia, 15% Sunni.

After the Russian Empire collapsed in World War 1, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan joined together to become the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic. It was short-lived however, and dissolved in 1918.
Azerbaijan declared independence as the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR), but it only lasted 23 months because of the Bolshevic XIth Red Army invasion in April 1920. The ADR was overthrown and the Bolshevics established the Azerbaijan SSR. Another union with Armenia and Georgia was formed, making up the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (TSFSR).
In 1936 the TSFSR was dissolved and Azerbaijan SSR became one of the 12 constituent member states of the Soviet Union.
During the 1940's, Azerbaijan played an important part in supplying much of the Soviet Union's oil on the Eastern Front of World War II, and close to 600,000 Azerbaijanis fought on this front against Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler launched Operation Edelweiss with the intent of capturing the Caucasian oil fields and Baku, but all the offenses were pushed back and the efforts made by the Germans were fruitless.
Civil unrest grew in parts of the Soviet Union including Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of the Azerbaijan SSR. These disturbances resulted in calls for independence and secession from the USSR.
In 1990, the Supreme Council of the Azerbaijan SSR dropped the words "Soviet Socialist" from the title, adopted the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Azerbaijan Republic, and restored the modified flag of the ADR.
In 1991, the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan established the office of the presidency, and Ayaz Mutallibov was elected as president (he was the only candidate).
On October 18, 1991, the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan adopted a Declaration of Independence which was affirmed nationwide in December when the Soviet Union was officially dissolved.
The early years of independence, however, were overshadowed by the Nagoro-Karabakh War with neighboring Armenia.
By the end of hostilities in 1994, Azerbaijan lost control of up to 16% of its internationally recognized territory, including Nagoro-Karabakh itself.
The territorial ownership of Nagorno-Karabakh today is still a heavily disputed issue between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

I also found this cool new site:

Pictures of Azerbaijan:


Anonymous said...

* 40% of Azerbaijan is mountainous terrain.

* 2/3 of the country offers riches in oil and natural gas. The deepwater oilfields in the Caspian Sea are considered the most important spot for oil exploration and development.

* It would benefit Azerbaijan if other industries were developed as aggressively as the oil industry.

* Check out the cool pictures of the Maiden Tower and the Winter Solstice at

* Maiden Tower and the Spring Equinox at

* Check out this article on the First Expeditions of the Caspian Sea at

Anonymous said...

So, there seems to be a problem with the urls I posted for the Maiden Tower and the Caspian Sea explorations. Try this instead:

* (may have to copy and paste into browser)
* Click on the magazine picture. This will take you to a list of contents.
* Scroll down until you find the desired title.

Hope that works! :-)

Kayla said...

Here is a site with recent news events in Azerbaijan:

Jules said...

This is from a website I found on Azeri Society & Culture -

The Family

o The family forms the basic social structure in Azerbaijan.
o This goes back to many Azeris' history as rural dwellers where a clan (hoj) would share land and work together to form a tight circle.
o A hoj would sometimes consist of up to 40 members.
o Nowadays the family is a lot smaller - usually a married couple with children and possibly grandparents.
o Families still work as an interdependent unit and expect to receive both financial and emotional support from others.
o Gender roles are still fairly traditional in much of Azerbaijan with the man being the bread-winner and woman taking care of the domestic side of things.

Hierarchal Society

o Azeris are still a very hierarchical society.
o Culture, traditions, family and religious affiliation often take precedence over official laws.
o When the government has trouble resolving an issue, the president often appeals to the "agh sakkal" (prominent and respected people) to help find a solution. "Agh sakkal" means "white beard".

Folklore and Superstition

o Azeri culture, due to its rural roots and culturally rich tapestry, has many superstitions. Examples include:
- A cat crossing your path means bad luck in business.
- Salt accidentally spilled means you are about to quarrel. Sprinkle sugar on the salt to counter this.
- Leaving scissors with opened blades brings misfortune and even death.
- If you meet a person with empty buckets, you are bound for misfortune.
- If you meet a person with bread and full bags, you will have good luck.
- Never hurry to a funeral ceremony.
- Do not cross the way the funeral train goes.
- If the first person you meet on your way to work is male, you will have good luck.
- Do not lend money or bread at night.
- Throwing a bowl of water in the wake of a person who sets off for a business trip or long journey brings the person luck and helps them to return home safe and sound.
Search Azerbaijan (couldn't get the exact address to copy).

Anonymous said...

Some missions in Azerbaijan both government and ngo.

US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce
UN Mission to Azerbaijan
International Religious Freedom Report 2006

Pray for perseverance as the Christians and missionaries are persecuted by Wahabi muslims.
Pray that the Lord is glorified through the growth of His church in this nation of war-torn pain and spiritual darkness.

more to come....