- The Land of Fire
Today, we would like to talk about
a miraculous country of Azerbaijan with its unlimited natural resources,
centuries-old culture, history and ancient people, whose lifestyle
presents a unique and harmonious combination of the traditions and
ceremonies of different cultures and civilizations.
Azerbaijan is a geographical name.
On the one hand this name is linked
with the population, which lived
in this region for thousand of
years before our era, and who
were mostly fire-worshippers. Local
population considered that fire was
their God and so they worshipped the fire. "Azer" means
fire. The Turkic name "Azer" was used for this territory for a long time. The word "Azer" consists of two parts - "az" and "er". In Turkic languages, "az" means a good intention and a fate of success. Thus, the word "Azer" means "a brave man", "a brave boy", "the fire keeper". The word "Azerbaijan" originates from the name of an ancient Turkish tribe, who resided in those territories.
Azerbaijan is one of the most ancient
sites of humankind. The humankind
was present here at every stage of their historical development.
There were living settlements in
Azerbaijan even at the earliest
stages of humankind. Azerbaijan made its own contribution into the
establishment of the current
culture and civilization, progress
The time kept a range of ancient
archeological and architectural
monuments for us. The ancient headstones,
manuscripts and models of carpets, preserved to the present
from the ancient ages, can provide
much information to those who can
and want to read them. If you wish to understand Azerbaijan
and to know everything about it,
you need to look at this country
and its people with a friend's eyes.
Azerbaijan is a country of ancient
culture. The Oguz tribes which
moved here and stayed for ages,
have found a deeply rooted culture
and in their turn enriched it with
Turkic national traditions. The
talented and creative powers of
our nation are personified in such
epic monuments as "Kitabi-Dede
Gorgud", "Oguzname" "Keroglu" and many others.
This fertile, generous and friendly
land was the home of many thinkers,
philosophers, scientists, poets,
architects, musicians and artists. A legend tells that Zardusht
was born in this land. Azerbaijan
also enriched the humankind with
such geniuses as Nizami Ganjevi,
Hagani Shirvani, Bahmanyar, Nasimi,
Fizuli, Nasreddin Tusi, Shah Ismail
Xatai, Mullah Paneh Vagif, A. Bakikhanov,
M.F. Axudov, M.A. Sabir, J.Mamedguluzade,
Huseyn Javid, J.Jabarli, Samed Vurgun,
Vahid, Rasul Rza.
The country of Azerbaijan was immortalized
by such talented painters as Sattar
Bahlulzade, Tahir Salahov, Togrul Narimanbeyov, Mikayil Abdullayev
and many others.
Our national music - mugam - inspired
such outstanding composers as Uzeyir
Hajibeyov, Muslim Magomayev, Gara Garayev, Fikret Amirov, Niyazi,
Arif Melikov and others to
create their masterpieces, which
are still known today throughout the world. It also gave the inspiration
to such wonderful vocalists
as Bulbul and Rashid Behbudov.
It seems that the famous Azerbaijan
carpets are the incarnation of
all colors of nature and of all
signs of history. Today, these carpets magically pass the borders
and space and travel from Azerbaijan
to foreign countries far away.
The models of the decorative art
made by Azerbaijan craftsmen from
the metal, ceramic, silk and woods
are kept in many museums of the world.
The science and the enlightenment
in Azerbaijan have a centuries-old
history. The Baku
State University was founded in
1919; the institutes of the Academy of Sciences of
Azerbaijan play an exceptional
role in scientific, educational
and cultural development of Azerbaijan.
Local scientists are currently studying such important issues
as the depths of the Caspian Sea,
space exploration and the secrets
of human brain.
The existing educational system
of Azerbaijan is made up of dozens
of higher educational institutions
and technical schools, thousands of high schools, colleges and
One of the most important problems
which is currently solved by local
scientists is environmental protection of the Caspian Sea and different
regions of Azerbaijan. Such natural
reserves as Gizilagach, Shirvan,
Zagatala, Aggol, Girkan and others, were established due to the
efforts of Azerbaijani scientists.
Through the decades, the local
industry was successfully represented
by oil producing, petrochemical
and oil processing enterprises.
The agricultural industry is famous
for cotton-growing, viticulture,
vegetable-growing and cattle-breeding.
If one compares the economy of
Azerbaijan with a living body,
it becomes evident that oil flows in the veins of Azerbaijan. The
oil and gas resources of Azerbaijan
have made this place famous in
every part of the world from the ancient times.
Azerbaijan has always been famous
for its sources of eternal fires
- the atashgehs. There is a place called Yanardag (blazing mountain)
in Absheron and thermal springs
in some parts of Nakhichivan, Kelbejar,
Masali, Lenkoran, Babadag.
In Surakhani, there is an eternal
fire place. From the ancient times
the fire worshippers from remote
places and even the Indian priests were coming to Absheron in search
of fire and finding it here. They
built their main temples here in
Surakhani and Ateshgah.
The word Azerbaijan brings its
main wealth - oil - before the
eyes. Oil is not only the wealth,
but the fame as well. People were coming to Azerbaijan from distant
places for this specific taste
and colored puddle under the ground.
Throughout the centuries, camelcades
carried waterskins of oil in
both eastern and western directions.
The Azerbaijani oil is not used
exclusively for the electricity production, but also as a valuable
medicine for a variety of diseases.
There has been an increasing demand
for oil throughout the centuries.
From the beginning of the 20th
century, the continuous industrial
development around the world, caused an unprecedented growth of
the demand for oil. It was at
this time oil turned from an everyday
mean into an industrial product. Oil become the most important problem
in the world in the 20th century
- the century of science and technologies.
Oil-producing countries have acquired special oil policies and oil
strategies in this connection.
is currently involved into the
implementation of huge energy projects.
Oil and gas projects
are successfully implemented in
the Azeri Caspian sector. Azerbaijan
is a country, which plays an extremely
important role in the Caspian
and Caucasian regions, particularly
in the development of transport
infrastructure in the Caucasus and
the implementation of energy
projects. It was the region's first
country to explore the huge energy
potential, to form an absolutely
new economic model in the
regional development, and to expand
political and economic relations
between Europe and Asia.
In spite of the sad results of
Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan
(Armenia occupied the territory
of Nagorny Karabakh and 7 neighboring
districts. One million out of total population of eight million
are refugees), our country mobilized
its potential and had great
successes in building democracy.
Azerbaijan manages to successfully
overcome the difficulties and continues
making important and firm steps
towards t he establishment
of a democratic and lawful country
with civil society.
Azerbaijan has membership in the
United Nations (UN), Organization
of Security and Cooperation in
Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe
(CE), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), GUUAM, Organization
of Islamic Conference, Black Sea
Economic Collaboration (BSEC),
Organization of Economic Cooperation
(OEC). Azerbaijan also actively
cooperates with the European Union,
NATO, International Monetary Fond,
European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development, Islamic Development
Bank and other organizations. It
accedes to the new joint documents
and international agreements.
More at www.azerbaijan.az