AZERBAIJANI Facts & Figures

Size: 33,436 square miles

Population: 9,165,000.00

Capital: Baku

Currency: Manat

Weather / Climate:

The temperature regime and its distribution throughout Azerbaijan is regular, and depends on the features of air masses entering the country, the regional landscape, and proximity to the Caspian Sea. The sea causes temperatures in the maritime areas (20 kilometres or 12 miles away from the sea) to decline in the summer and rise in the winter. At the same time, the sea moderates the influence of hot and dry air masses coming from Central Asia. The average annual temperature in Azerbaijan is 14–15 °C (57–59 °F) in the Kur-Araz Lowland, the coastal regions south to the Apsheron Peninsula, and in the Lenkoran Lowland. The temperature declines with proximity to the mountains, averaging 4–5 °C (39–41 °F) at an altitude of 2,000 meters (6,600 ft), and 1–2 °C (34–36 °F) at 3,000 meters (9,800 ft).

Taking into consideration the distribution and features of the weather, temperature, humidity, and precipitation, nine out of the 11 climate patterns in the Köppen climate classification can be found in Azerbaijan.

Many of these patterns are divided into subtypes.

  • Semi-desert and dry steppe climates cover the central lowlands in Kur to 400 meters (1,300 ft), the Caspian zone from the end of Samur River to the Gizilagaj gulf, the plains of Nakhchivan along the Araz river, and the valleys of the Talish Mountains below 1,000 meters (3,300 ft). Annual precipitation accounts for 15 to 50 percent of the possible evaporation. Winters are usually warm (though cold on the Araz River plains along, and in the valleys of, the Talish Mountains). Summers are extremely hot, sometimes over 40 °C (104 °F).
  • Semi-desert and dry steppe climate with cold winter and dry hot climate.
  • A moderate climate with mild, dry winters covers the south hills (below 1,000 metres or 3,300 feet) of the Great Caucasus, the Ganikh-Eyrichay valley between 200 and 500 meters (660 and 1,600 ft), and the north and east hills of the Small Caucasus between 400 and 1,500 meters (1,300 and 4,900 ft). Annual precipitation accounts for 50 to 100 percent of the possible evaporation in this climate zone.
  • A moderately hot climate with dry summers covers the Lankaran-Astara region. Annual precipitation accounts for 100 to 150 percent or more of the possible evaporation. Winters are mild, summers are hot and dry, and autumns are rainy. The period of May through August is usually dry, requiring artificial irrigation.
  • Cold, dry winters cover the southeast hills of the Great Caucasus between 1,000 and 2,700 meters (3,300 and 8,900 ft), and mountainous regions of the Small Caucasus between 1,400 and 2,700 meters (4,600 and 8,900 ft). Annual precipitation accounts for 75 to 100 percent of the possible evaporation. Summers are cool and winter is mild.
  • A cold climate with cool, dry summers covers the middle and high mountains of Nakhchivan AR between 1,000 and 3,000 meters (3,300 and 9,800 ft). Annual precipitation accounts for 50 to 100 percent of possible evaporation. Summers are cool, and winter is cold enough for snow.
  • A mildly-hot climate with equal distribution of rainfall covers the mountainous forests in the south between 600 and 1,500 meters (2,000 and 4,900 ft), and the northeast hills of the Great Caucasus between 200 and 500 meters (660 and 1,600 ft).. Annual rainfall accounts for 75 to 100 percent of the possible evaporation in the south hills, and 50 to 100 percent in the northeast hills. Winters are mild, summers warm.
  • A cold climate with heavy precipitation year-round occurs in the south hills of the Great Caucasus between 1,500 and 2,700 meters (4,900 and 8,900 ft), which include forest, subalpine, and alpine zones. Annual precipitation accounts for more than 150 to 200 percent of the possible evaporation. Winters are quite cold, summers cool.
  • Mountainous tundra covers the areas of Great and Small Caucasus above 2,700 meters (8,900 ft), and Nakhchivan above 3,200 meters (10,500 ft). Annual precipitation accounts for more than 100 to 200 percent of the possible evaporation. Winters and summers are both cold. In some places, the snow does not melt until the following winter.

Taken from: www.wikipedia.com

AZERBAIJANI languages

The official language is Azerbaijani, which belongs to the Turkic language family, spoken in southwestern Asia, primarily in Azerbaijan and Iranian Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani is member of the Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages and is closely related to Turkish, Qashqai and Turkmen. The Azerbaijani language is divided into two varieties, North Azerbaijani[167] and South Azerbaijani,[168] and a large number of dialects. Turkic Khalaj,[169] Qashqa'i,[170] and Salchuq[171] are considered by some[172] to be separate languages in the Azerbaijani language group. Azerbaijani served as a lingua franca throughout most parts of Transcaucasia (except the Black Sea coast), in Southern Dagestan,[173][174][175] Eastern Turkey, and Iranian Azerbaijan from the 16th century to the early 20th century.[176][177]

Although Azerbaijani (also called Azeri) is the most widely spoken language in the country and is spoken by about a quarter of the population of Iran, there are 13 other languages spoken natively in the country.[178] Some of these languages are very small communities, others are more vital.[179] Azerbaijani is mutually intelligible with Turkish and Gagauz. The northern variety of the language is written with a modified Latin alphabet today, but was earlier written in the Perso-Arabic alphabet (until 1929), in the Uniform Turkic Alphabet (1929–1939), and in the Cyrillic alphabet (1939–1991).[180] The changes in alphabet have been largely molded by religious and political forces.

Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azerbaijan#Language

AZERBAIJANI culture

Azerbaijanculture has developed under the influence of both Islamic and European traditions. The country has been famed for its oil springs and natural gas sources since ancient times, when Zoroastrians, for whom fire is an important symbol, erected temples around burning gas vents in the ground. In the 19th century this part of the Russian empire experienced an unprecedented oil boom which attracted international investment. By the beginning of the 20th century Azerbaijan was supplying almost half of the world's oil. Caspian oil is now flowing through a pipeline running from Baku through Georgia to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, providing western countries with ready access to a vast new source of supply. Environmental groups have protested that the cost of this benefit is unacceptable. Azerbaijan has large gas reserves too.

Azerbaijanbecame a member of the Council of Europe in 2001. Often accused of rampant corruption and election-rigging, ruling circles walk a tightrope between Russian and Western regional geo-strategic interests.

Over the centuries, Azerbaijan has enjoyed only brief periods of independence, in between the longer periods spent incorporated into the major regional empires. This process began with the Arabs in the 7th century, during which period Islam was established as the predominant religion. In the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks established a Turkish dialect as the main language in the territory. Azerbaijan was influenced by both the Ottoman Turks, lying on the border of their empire, and the Iranians, from whom they acquired an adherence to the Shia branch of Islam. In 1828, the Russians, in the course of their drive southwards, took over the northern part of Azerbaijan, which now comprises the modern republic; the southern part remained a province of Iran. The oil boom of the late-19th century transformed the capital, Baku, into an industrial centre. In 1922, the territory joined the USSR, assuming the status of the full Soviet republic in 1936. From 1945, Azerbaijan spent the next 40 years as a minor Soviet republic.

As the Soviet Union collapsed, the predominantly Armenian population of the Nagorno-Karabakh region stated their intention to secede from Azerbaijan. War broke out. Backed by troops and resources from Armenia proper, the Armenians of Karabakh took control of the region and surrounding territory. In 1994 a ceasefire was signed. About one-seventh of Azerbaijan's territory remains occupied, while 800,000 refugees and internally displaced persons are scattered around the country.

Geidar Aliyev succeeded in tackling the two most pressing issues: stabilising the political situation in the country and negotiating a truce in the Nagorno-Karabakh war. The 1994 settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh did not favour the Azeris and, although they have too much to lose by going back to war, they continue to make vigorous diplomatic efforts to address the status of the territory. Aliyev was twice re-elected by huge majorities. Elections in November 2000 gave the party two-thirds of the parliamentary seats. Ilham Aliyev inherited his father's office in 2003, albeit through an election the international community widely believed to be unfair. Despite managing to unify and stabilise the country, Azerbaijan is still mired in corruption, and continues to be a dictatorship in all but name with widespread human rights abuses.

The family forms the basic social structure in Azerbaijan. 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. A hoj would sometimes consist of up to 40 members. Nowadays the family is a lot smaller - usually a married couple with children and possibly grandparents. Families still work as an interdependent unit and expect to receive both financial and emotional support from others. 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.

Azeris are still a very hierarchical society. Culture, traditions, family and religious affiliation often take precedence over official laws. 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. Azeri culture, due to its rural roots and culturally rich tapestry, has many superstitions. Like most cultures in the area, Azeris like warm and friendly greetings. Always take a moment to ask about family, health and business. First names are generally used in social situations if the speakers are of similar ages. Foreign women should dress modestly, especially in the rural areas. Both men and women should avoid wearing shorts as this will attract unwelcome attention. The population is mostly Shia Muslim, but there are Russian Orthodox and Jewish communities as well. Although mostly Muslim in population, Azerbaijan is a largely secular society that views religion as a private matter. Handshaking is the normal form of greeting. Business cards are invariably exchanged at any kind of official meeting, and not infrequently on first meeting socially as well. It's always a good idea to give gifts to people you meet. Azeris mainly exchange gifts for birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. In Azeri culture it is the thought behind the gift, rather than the price, that matters. It is customary to refuse a gift at least twice before reluctantly accepting it. If you are invited to an Azeri's home for dinner, bring flowers or pastries to the hostess. Always give an odd number of flowers. Even numbers are reserved for funerals.

Holidays

Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Ramazan Bayrami, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Some disruption may continue into Ramazan Bayrami itself.

· 01-02 January - New Year's Day

· 20 January – Day of the Martyrs, commemorates Black January of 1990, when Soviet troops entered Baku and killed more than 180 civilians.

· 08 March – International Women’s Day

· 21 March – Novruz Bayrami, Persian New Year

· 19-27 March – Spring Festival

· 09 May – Victory Day, in honour of USSR victory over Nazi Germany during WWII

· 10 May – Flower Day, commemorates the birthday of former President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev.

·  28 May – Republic Day, commemorates founding of Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan in 1918.

·  15 June – National Salvation Day, commemorates the day when parliament invited Heydar Aliyev to Baku to lead the country.

· 26 June – Army and Navy Day

· August/September – Ramazan Bayrami, end of Ramadan

· 12 November – Constitution Day

· November – Gurban Bayrami

·  31 December – Day of Azeri Solidarity

 

Taken from:

www.bbc.co.uk

www.wikipedia.org

AZERBAIJANI people

From the total population of 9,165,000 people as of July 2011, nearly 52% was urban population, the remaining 48% was the rural population.[151] 51% of the total population were female.[151] The sex ratio for total population in that year was therefore 0.97 males per female.[16]

The 2011 population growth rate was 0.85%, compared to 1.09% worldwide.[16] A significant factor restricting the population growth is rather a high level of migration. An estimated 3 million Azerbaijanis, many of them guest workers, live in Russia.[152] In 2011 Azerbaijan saw migration of −1.14/1,000 persons.[16] With 800,000 refugees and IDPs, Azerbaijan has the largest internally displaced population in the region, and, as of 2006, had the highest per capita IDP population in the world.[153]

The highest morbidity in 2005 was from respiratory diseases (806.9 diseases per 10,000 of total population).[154] In 2005, the highest morbidity for infectious and parasitic diseases was noted among influenza and acute respiratory infections (4168,2 per 100,000 population).[154] 2007 estimate for total life expectancy is 66 years, 70.7 years for women and 61.9 for men.[155]

The Azerbaijani diaspora is found in 42 countries[156] and in turn there are many centers for ethnic minorities inside Azerbaijan, including the German cultural society "Karelhaus", Slavic cultural center, Azerbaijani-Israeli community, Kurdish cultural center, International Talysh Association, Lezgin national center "Samur", Azerbaijani-Tatar community, Crimean Tatars society, etc.[157] The ethnic composition of the population according to the 1999 population census: 90.6% Azerbaijanis, 2.2% Dagestanis, 1.8% Russians, 1.5% Armenians (Almost all Armenians live in the break-away region of Nagorno-Karabakh), 1.0% Talysh, 0.6% Avars, 0.5% Turks, 0.4% Tatars, 0.4% Ukrainians, 0.2% Tsakhurs, 0.2% Georgians, 0.13% Kurds, 0.13% Tats, 0.1% Jews, 0.05% Udins, other 0.2%.

Iranian Azerbaijanis are the largest minority in Iran. The CIA World Factbook estimates Iranian Azerbaijanis as comprising nearly 16 million, or 24% of Iran's population.[158]

Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azerbaijan#Demographics

AZERBAIJANI food

Azerbaijani cuisine is the cuisine of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani cuisine throughout the centuries has been influenced by the foods of different cultures due to political and economic processes in Azerbaijan. Still, today's Azerbaijani cuisine has distinctive and unique features. Many foods that are indigenous to the country can now be seen in the cuisines of other cultures. For the Azerbaijanis, food is an important part of the country's culture and is deeply rooted in the history, traditions and values of the nation.

Out of 11 climate zones known in the world, the Azerbaijani climate has nine. This contributes to the fertility of the land, which in its turn results in the richness of the country’s cuisine. It is famous for an abundance of vegetables and greens used seasonally in the dishes. Fresh herbs, including mint, coriander, dill, basil, parsley, tarragon, leek, chive, thyme, marjoram, green onion and watercress, are very popular and often accompany main dishes. The Caspian Sea is home to many edible species of fish, including the sturgeon, Caspian salmon, kutum, sardines, grey mullet, and others. Black caviar from the Caspian Sea is one of Azerbaijan’s best known delicacies well sought after in other parts of the world, including former Soviet countries.

The main courses of Azerbaijani cuisine are over 30 kinds of soups, including those prepared from plain yogurt. One of the most reputed dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine, however, is plov from saffron-covered rice, served with various herbs and greens, a combination totally distinctive from Uzbek plovs. Azerbaijani cuisine includes more than 40 different plov recipes. Other second courses include a wide variety of kebabs and shashliks, including lamb, beef, chicken, and fish (baliq) kebabs. Sturgeon, a common fish, is normally skewered and grilled as a shashlik, being served with a tart pomegranate sauce called narsharab. Dried fruits and walnuts are used in many dishes. The traditional condiments are salt, black pepper, sumac, and especially saffron, which is grown domestically on the Absheron Peninsula.

Black tea is the national beverage, and is drunk after food is eaten. It is also a welcome beverage, often accompanied by fruit preserves.

Taken from Wikipedia.

Doing business in AZERBAIJAN

Communication

Although direct communication is seen as a positive in Azerbaijan, one also has to be careful to employ such directness.Information should always be presented in a way that is diplomatic and sensitive so as not to cause loss of face.
The level of directness you can use is dictated by who you are speaking with.
If it is a new, formal or important relationship diplomacy s critical. If the relationship is well developed and a level of openness has been established a little more honesty is fine.

Business Cards

There is no formal ritual surrounding exchange of cards.
It is a good idea to take plenty with you as it still forms the basic means of keeping contact details as opposed to electronic means.
Give and receive cards with your right hand.

Business Meetings

To arrange a meeting in Azerbaijan an introductory letter is needed outlining your company, history and the purpose of your visit.
It is always a good idea to have such correspondence translated in Azeri to ensure they understand and it also makes you stand out.
There is a certain amount of protocol one has to follow in meetings as Azeris are quite sensitive to status, title, who sits down first, enters the room first, etc. It is best to follow the lead.
Politeness is important and is all part of the relationship building process.
Discussions will often start slowly over tea and the topics of discussion may be completely irrelevant. However, this is the make or break part of your relationship - if you can not strike up a rapport the chances of doing business together are slim.
Always maintain eye contact while speaking since Azeris take this as a sign of sincerity. If someone does not look them in the eye while speaking, they think the person has something to hide.
Decisions are reached slowly.
Never appear impatient or attempt to rush an Azeri to make a decision.
Expect a great deal of bargaining and haggling. - Azeris are are tough negotiators.

 

Taken from Wikipedia

AZERBAIJAN: useful links

www.azerbaijan.com

www.azerbaijan.az

www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2909.htm

www.ukinazerbaijan.fco.gov.uk

www.azerbaijan.embassyhomepage.com

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/country_profiles/1235976.stm

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