FC: by em13984 | Azerbaijan & Its Way of Life
1: The People | In a country with a meager population of 9,493,600 people, it is hard to underestimate the passion for preserving many cultural artifacts and traditions. The Azerbaijan people have one of the most diverse cultures in the world, combining aspects of its European and Islamic heritage. Due to it being a former republic of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan's cultural influence is also part Russian. In the capital city of Baku are old Turkic architecture such as the Maiden Tower and Palace of the Shirvanshahs. | Traditional Azerbaijan Rug | Azerbaijan rugs are made of soft material and combine intense colors with artistic flare. There are many denominations of the Azerbaijani rug, but all share a rich and distinctive culture that dates back to the 2nd millennium BC.
2: Traditional Azerbaijan Clothing and Musical Instruments. | Azerbaijan cuisine is known throughout the world as a popular annual cultural festival is held in Goychay, Azerbaijan known as Pomegranate Festival. During the festival, a parade is held with traditional Azerbaijani dances and music Azerbaijani music is based largely on folk traditions that date back appoximately 1,000 years. | Around 93% of Azerbaijan's population is Muslim. Many of their national holidays and events reflect this heavily.
3: The Government | The Azerbaijani government is a republic with the President of Azerbaijan as the head of state, and the Prime Minister of Azerbaijan as head of government. The current President and Prime Minister are lham Aliyev and Artur Rasizade respectively. Azerbaijan became independent of the Soviet Union on August 30, 1991. Since then, Azerbaijan has become a primarily one party state, with no other parties considered to have a chance of competing with the party. There is also an operating unicameral legislature and Judicial Branch. Controversey has marred the Azerbaijani government as they eliminated presidential term limits in a 2009 referendum, causing outsiders to compare these actions to that of authoritarianism.
4: The Geography & Climate | Azerbaijan is located in southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea to the east. The landscape is mostly flat, and the Kura-Araks Lowland is mostly below sea level. The Caucasus Mountains are located in the north. | Many resources such as oil, iron, and natural gas can be found in Azerbaijan. The climate is mostly dry and semiarid, meaning that droughts are a common problem.
5: Current Events | January 16, 2013: Due to non-ending tensions between Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia, President lham Aliyev announced an increase in the budget for military spending. The increase in $700,000,000 will aid any border confrontations which are known to happen from time to time. In order to keep his citizens in line, the President addressed any domestic opposition and warned against it. In addition, Aliyev warned Armenia to halt occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh territory. While this was taking place, hundreds of people met in the country's capital of Baku to protest the death of an 18-year old soldier. Various signs of torture and abuse have been identified as a reason for his death.
6: References | Info Source #1) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/aj.html Info Source #2) http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/jan/16/eu-azerbaijan-military-spending/ Info Source #3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Azerbaijan Image of Azerbaijani Map) http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/cia00/azerbaijan_sm00.jpg Image of Azerbaijani Flag) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/flags/flagtemplate_aj.html Image of Azerbaijani Rug) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/Gasimushagy_carpets.jpg Image of Azerbaijani Musician) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c4/Azerbaijan_tradition.jpg