www.whyville.net Aug 2, 2009 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Welcome to Azerbaijan!

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Author's Note: There is a quiz at the end of this article. Continue reading for the answers and for your chance to win 100 clams!

Welcome to Azerbaijan! My name is Adila (Ah-dee-lah) Azad (Ah-zahd) and I will be your tour guide for the remainder of this article. You and I are currently located in the little-known country of Azerbaijan. At the remainder of this article, this country will not be little-known anymore because you are about to learn about it's flag, map, population, tourist attractions, and everything that makes this country what it is. Let's begin our journey!



The official name of Azerbaijan is Republic of Azerbaijan. The country is located in Southwestern Asia, and is surrounded by its western neighbor, the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan's Eastern neighbors are Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Iran and Turkey. The capital city is Baku (also known as Baki or Baky). Baku contains large deposits of oil. Petroleum and natural gas exports have fueled the economy for the last 100 years. Geographically, Azerbaijan is slightly smaller than the US state of Maine!


Azerbaijan is the 92nd most populated country in the world, with a population of just 8,238,672. The population is referred to as Azerbaijanis. Approximately 93% of the population is Muslim, followed by Russian Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox. 90% of the population speaks Azerbaijani (also referred to as Azeri), followed by Russian and Armenian. The average life expectancy rate is 71 years.

Sayings & Pronunciations

Azerbaijan (a-zur-by-JAHN)

Salam (sah-LAMH) - an Arabic greeting meaning peace, safety and well-being. This greeting is used in place of "hello."

Currency - Azerbaijani manat


Azerbaijan gained independence from the Soviet Union on August 30th, 1991. The national holiday occurs on May 28, which commemorates the founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan in 1918. In addition, Azerbaijan has a republic government.


The natural hazard that occurs most often is droughts. Scientists consider the Caspian Sea and its surrounding area to be the most ecologically distressed in the world. This is because of the severe air, soil, and water pollution.

Azerbaijan is currently in conflict with Armenia over the autonomous region Azerbajani Nagorno-Karabakh. In 1994, this conflict erupted in cease-fire that lead to Azerbajan losing 16% of its territory and having to support 600,000 displaced persons.

Interesting Facts

- Azerbaijan is known for its many caves. The Azykh Cave covers a geographical area of 8,000 square meters and is one of the earliest known caves inhabited by humans.
- "Azerbaijan" originates from a word for fire. Azerbaijan is abundant in oil deposits. As you know, oil ignites into fire, which may have lead to the country's description as "the land of fire."
- Baku is an ancient city that was once a trading center on the Silk Road, the trade route from Europe to China.

Tourist Attraction - Gobustan Nature Park

The Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape is on UNESCO's World Heritage list as a preserved territory. Gobustan Nature Park has been inhabited since the 8th millennium BC and contains thousands of petroglyphs, a museum, graves, and mud volcanoes. Rock paintings illustrate people, animals, hunting scenes, ships and constellations. These petroglyphs include inscriptions made by the army of Alexander the Great. In addition, there is a museum containing ornaments, shells, ceramics, and primitive tools discovered inside the caves. Furthermore, there are numerous burial mounds from the Mesolithic era. The most interesting ones are located at Firuz, were eleven skeletons were found. If you plan on visiting, remember to strike the Gaval-Dashy, a stone that rings like a gong.

I hope you enjoyed your tour of Azerbaijan. Remember to visit again!


Author's Note: QUIZ! Y-mail me your answers to the following questions questions. All of the answers are in this article. The subject of the y-mail should be "Welcome to Azerbaijan" - no spelling errors! The first three people to y-mail me the answers correctly will receive 100 clams each. Do NOT post the answers in the BBS. Good luck! These are the questions:

1. Name two countries surrounding Azerbaijan.
2. What is the population of Azerbaijan called?
3. Name one issue in Azerbaijan. Why is this an issue?
4. What is the significance of May 28th in Azerbaijan?
5. If you visited Gobustan Nature Park, what would you most like to see? (Personal question!)



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