Aaron in Azerbaijan

Just another blog about Azerbaijan.

Posts Tagged ‘Baku

A Sunday Poem

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It’s been a rough week, so the posts this week have been few. We’ll start the new week with a poem from Bakhtiyar Vahabzade (Bəxtiyər Vahabzadə), called Speed (Sürət):

Speed

Time was, we would sit
in the compartment of a train
Three days and three nights
Counting the miles
Baku-Moscow
For lack of anything else to do.

Then, eight hours by plane,
Baku-Moscow,
And now just three hours,
Still sorry,
Bored stiff.

We want to fly
With the speed of light,
But even the speed of light
Is too slow to catch
The flight of our thoughts.

I am the son of modern times.
Give me now
The speed of my mind
The speed of my thoughts,
Not to worry me,
Not to bore me to death.
Just now,
Match the swiftness of my mind,
Move now!

Sorry that there’s no translation this week. If you’d like to check out more poems by Bəxtiyər, head over to Azeri.org.

Written by Aaron

October 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Lankaran and Monterey: What does it mean to be a ‘sister city’?

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I don’t really understand what it means to be a Sister City, but that’s apparently what Lənkəran and Monterey, California are now. Wikipedia tells me that sister cities form agreements “in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.” However, it doesn’t really go into what that practically means. Ideally, yeah, cultural and commercial ties sound great, but I would love to see the first delegation from Monterey arrive here at Lənkəran International Airport (really, it exists) to get a look at their new sister city. I am, regardless, a strong proponent of the idea that increasing ties to the outside world for Azerbaijan is almost always a good thing, at least in this direction. I’m assuming that these ties aren’t ways to smuggle the best pomegranate in the world to Monterey.

It does seem like they had a nice way to celebrate this newfound relationship in Monterey, inviting an Azerbaijani artist from Delaware to display some of his artwork:

The paintings of green mountains, lush meadows and tranquil lakes and rivers hanging in Colton Hall this weekend evoke the landscapes of California. But these works by Yavar Rzayev actually depict the artist’s native Azerbaijan, a country between Russia and Iran that is the home of Lankaran, Monterey’s newest sister city.

The art exhibit forges another tie between Monterey and the land of this sister city halfway around the world, which share similarities in environment and culture. The inspiration to connect the cities arose from a friendship between Monterey councilwoman Nancy Selfridge and Shafag Mehraliyeva, the wife of a Naval Postgraduate School student from Azerbaijan. Selfridge said Mehraliyeva kept drawing parallels between Lankaran and Monterey: Lankaran hosts a military presence, and has a large fishing industry due to its location on the Caspian sea.

And in other ‘Sister City’ news, it looks like Baku’s Nasimi District, a section of the city that includes the most touristy sections, has recently twinned with San Diego:

The Nasimi district in Baku and Switzer Highland in San Diego, California were declared twin regions for the first time in history on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of restoration of Azerbaijan’s independence.

The event was conducted in the San Diego city council on the 20th anniversary of restoration of Azerbaijan’s independence. Mayor Jerry Sanders and Councilman Todd Gloria announced a special declaration, signed by members of the council, the Azerbaijani Consulate General in Los Angeles told Trend on Wednesday.

San Diego should be jealous that they missed out on pairing up with Lənkəran. Again, I still have no idea what this actually means. Maybe someone can enlighten me on the tangible benefits of Sister City-hood?

Written by Aaron

October 24, 2011 at 5:44 pm

The Caspian Dreamers Showcase Baku, Prepare for Eurovision

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Not much to say here.  Just watch:

Some additional info:

This is the brand new duo, Caspian Dreamers, made up of two Peace Corps Volunteers currently serving in Azerbaijan. Brad and Tim put their creative skills together to come up with this pop-rap soon-to-be-megahit Baku State of Mind. While nobody is going to quibble with the notion that there are some serious problems affecting Baku and Azerbaijan as a whole these days, Caspian Dreamers have put up an excellent showcase of what Baku has to offer: good food, great carpets, delicious tea, and an astounding array of new and innovative architecture. As they show in the video, there’s a lot going on in Baku these days, and there’s a lot more to come as the city ramps up for Eurovision 2012!

Written by Aaron

September 11, 2011 at 9:08 am