Azerbaijan

The Republic of Azerbaijan is a country in the South Caucasus region, situated at the crossroads of Southwest Asia and South-eastern Europe. It is bound by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bound by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, and has an 11-km long border with Turkey in the north-west.

The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first democratic state in the Muslim-oriented world. The country was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920 as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. The modern Republic of Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence on 30 August 1991, prior to the official dissolution of the USSR in December 1991. In September 1991, the Armenian majority of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region seceded to form the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The region and seven adjacent districts outside it became de facto independent with the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994. These regions are internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan pending a solution to the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh, found through negotiations facilitated by the OSCE.

The Constitution of Azerbaijan does not declare an official religion and all major political forces in the country are secularists. However, the majority of the population are of a Shiite Muslim background. Most Azerbaijanis, however, do not actively practice any religion, and the country has been seen to be one of the most irreligious countries in the Muslim world, with 53% stating religion has little to no importance in their lives, It has a high rate of economic development and literacy, as well as a low rate of unemployment. However, the ruling party, the New Azerbaijan Party, has been accused of authoritarianism and human rights abuses.

Capital: Baku

Population 9.6 million

Area 86,600 sq km (33,400 sq miles)

Languages: Azeri, Russian

Religion: Islam

Tourism is an important part of the economy of Azerbaijan. The country was a well-known tourist spot in the 1980s. However, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the Nagorno-Karabakh War during the 1990s, damaged the tourist industry and the image of Azerbaijan as a tourist destination.

It was not until the 2000s that the tourism industry began to recover, and the country has since experienced a high rate of growth in the number of tourist visits and overnight stays. In the recent years, Azerbaijan has also become a popular destination for religious, spa, and healthcare tourism.

The government of Azerbaijan has set the development of Azerbaijan as an elite tourist destination as a top priority. It is a national strategy to make tourism a major, if not the single largest, contributor to the Azerbaijani economy. These activities are regulated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan. Moreover, Azerbaijan placed among top ten countries due to the strongest growth in visitor exports in years of 2010–2016 according to the report prepared by the World Travel and Tourism Council. As well as, Azerbaijan is at the first place (46.1%) among the countries which have the fastest developing travel and tourism economies in addition to strong inbound international visitor spending last year.

Azerbaijan is known with its pride high mountains, deep gorges, partere walleyes, pictorial plains, alpine meadows, gold sand beaches, tumultuous rivers, blue lakes, fascinating forests, mud volcanoes architecture, the fine arts monuments, applied popular art, literature, music and theatre culture etc. Everybody who comes and travels here faces with hospitality and kindness, lives unforgettable days, finds devoted friends.

The increasing urbanization pushes people closer to nature, as non-sufficient contact with nature is becoming a stress factor for people today. Azerbaijan with its unique and diverse nature, splendid cuisine and well-developed folk crafts have all the necessary resources for ecotourism development, and it cannot stay away from this worldwide tendency. Ecotourism is an opportunity to learn new things about the history of your country, your land, to get a lot of new impressions, and to cultivate concern and affection toward nature and recreation on the ecologically clean territories of beautiful Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan keeps the first place in the world for the number of mud volcanoes. About 300 mud volcanoes are to be found in Azerbaijan – at the shore, in the sea and on islands. During this trip, you will get a great chance to see these amazing active volcanoes from a very close distance. Your tour will end in the same location where it has started.

Azerbaijan is a wonderful place for birdwatching. Tucked in its relatively small space are environments ranging from alpine to subtropical, and this makes a home for a wide range of life, including birds. Some 365 species of birds have been recorded in Azerbaijan. These range from the large and spectacular – such as flamingos and eagles – to many kinds of waterfowl, colourful bee-eaters, rollers and Hoopoe, and numerous small brown warblers that strain even the expert`s identification skills.

The fame of rich Azerbaijani cuisine has probably gone around the world and back several times.  It is most likely that you won’t have enough time to taste the whole variety of national dishes available, but nevertheless, this section will help you easily choose an appropriate style and venue to suit your taste. It should be noted that the capital will not only let you taste local dishes, but also dishes of other nationalities and countries. International franchises, authentic cafés, luxurious restaurants, open-air playgrounds, cosy wine bars and noisy pubs, along with other exciting locations will suit anyone who is ready experience local delights, by getting to know local people through their sumptuous cuisine.

Issues relating to sex and the body usually are not talked about openly in public. Depending on the age of the speaker, some men may refrain from using words such as “pregnant”; if they must use them, they apologize. It is not considered proper for adults to openly mention going to the bathroom; in private homes, people of the same age and gender or children can be asked for directions to the toilet. Women seldom smoke in public or at parties or other gatherings, and an Azeri woman smoking on the street would be looked down on. To show respect for the elderly, it is important not to smoke in front of older people of both genders. Young men and women are circumspect in the way they behave in front of older people. Bodily contact between the same sexes is usual as a part of interaction while talking or in the form of walking arm in arm. Men usually greet each other by shaking hands and also by hugging if they have not seen each other for a while. Depending on the occasion and the degree of closeness, men and women may greet one another by shaking hands or only with words and a nod of the head. In urban settings, it is not unusual for a man to kiss a woman’s hand as a sign of reverence. The awareness of space is greater between the sexes; men and women prefer not to stand close to each other in lines or crowded places. However, all these trends depend on age, education, and family background. Activities such as drinking more than a symbolic amount, smoking, and being in male company are associated more with Russian women than with Azeris. Azeri women would be criticized more harshly, since it is accepted that Russians have different values.

 

Hello                             Salam; Salam əleyküm

How are you?              Necəsən?

What is your name?   Sənin adın nədir?

Thank you                   Təşəkkür edirəm.

Yes (formal)                Bəli

No (formal)                 Xeyr

I’m sorry                     Bağışlayın

Goodbye                     Sağolun

Good morning            Sabahın xeyir.

Good afternoon         Gün aydın.

Good evening             Axşamın xeyir.

Good night                 Gecən xeyrə qalsın.

Congratulations         Təbriklər.