Azerbaijan and Peace Corps

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The logic of the Peace Corps is that someday we are going to bring it home to America. -President John F. Kennedy

Transcript of Azerbaijan and Peace Corps

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The logic of the Peace Corps is that someday we are going to bring it home to America.

-President John F. Kennedy

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LAND OF FIREAZERBAIJAN

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Where is it?

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Demographics and Other Facts Population about

9.5 million with 2 million living in the capital, Baku

About 52% urban, 48% rural

Majority Turkic ethnicity and Shia Muslim

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Blue - Turkic heritage Red - Modernization

and progress Green - Islam Crescent Moon -

symbol of Islam 8-pointed Star - 8

Turkic people of the world

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>10 million cell phones (2011)

About 2.4 million internet users (2009)

37 airports 52,942 km roads 2,918 km railways

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Ancient History Gobustan – A World Heritage Site Earliest evidence of a thriving culture

with petro glyphs dating back to 10,000 B.C.

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Zoroastrianism Ancient, pre-Islamic

religion of Persia Founded by the Persian

prophet Zarathustra in 6th century B.C.

Concept of ethical monotheism, afterlife, heaven, hell, angels, and a messiah

Fire represents purification

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Time of Empire Incorporated into various empires including Persian,

Alexander the Great’s, Romans, Arabs 7th-11th century (brought Islam), Turks (brought cultural identity), and finally Russians

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20th Century After WWI and the collapse

of the Russian Empire, Azerbaijan joined the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic and later became it’s own republic in May 1918

1st modern parliamentary republic in the Muslim world

Accomplished women’s suffrage, equal political rights between men and women, and established Baku State University BUT…

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Republic lasted just under 2 years with the Soviet Russian invasion

Azerbaijan is strategically located on the Caspian Sea and is rich in oil reserves

Fought with the Soviets during WWII After the collapse of the Soviet Union,

Azerbaijan again declared independence and became a republic in 1991

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Unresolved Problems Ethnic strife in Nagorno-Karabakh

region between Azerbaijan and Armenia Secondary public education is still based

on the old Soviet model and suffers from corruption and low-quality teachers

Political corruption, election fraud, bribery

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Natural Resources Very rich in oil and natural gas

At the turn of the 20th century, Azerbaijan accounted for half the world’s oil production

Fishing from the Caspian sea and iron ore

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Agriculture Major crops include pomegranates,

apples, grapes, cherries, grain, tea, cotton, tobacco, vegetables, dairy, and wine

Livestock include cows, sheep, horses, pigs, and goats

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HolidaysRamadan

9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar Fasting from dawn until sunset Refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and

swearing Purpose – to practice self-control and be

closer to Allah, be thankful, and to practice charity

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Gurban Bayrami Festival of Sacrifice

Celebrated 70 days after the end of Ramadan and lasts for 4 days

Sacrifice a domestic animal, usually a sheep, in remembrance of the story of Abraham and his son Ismail

Meat is distributed to the poor

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Novruz Origin traces back to the Zoroastrians Celebrates the coming of Spring Preparations begin 1 month prior with

each of the forthcoming 4 weeks devoted to 1 of 4 elements – water, wind, earth, and fire

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Novruz Customs

House cleaning Make or buy new clothes Paint eggs Make national meals and

sweets like sekerbura and baklava

Every Tuesday bonfires are made and people jump over them to get rid of impurities and bad luck

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Last Tuesday before Novruz kids knock on doors and leave their hats or baskets and wait for candies or pastries

Table is set with khoncha (silver or copper tray) filled with wheat, candles, dyed eggs

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National Meals and Drinks

Bread is considered holy

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Rice-based dishPLOV

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Pasta-based dish with seasoned meat and served with yogurt

XENGEL

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Grape-leaf, cabbage, and 3 sisters dolma filled with rice, minced meat, onion, herbs like dill, parsley, and mint and served with yogurt

DOLMA

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Hot, Black Tea, Duses, and Terxun

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People and Culture Guesting!!!!!! Take off shoes before entering the house Smiling to strangers is considered strange People often wear dark colored clothes,

especially older men, but is slowly changing with younger generation

People don’t wear shorts, especially boys

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Teahouses are ubiquitousMostly men go here to chat, drink tea, play

nerd or domino

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Wedding palaces are ubiquitous Very high marriage rateWeddings are elaborate and large with 300

or more guests as the norm

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Traditional Music

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Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

-President John F. Kennedy

PEACE CORPS

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3 Goals of Peace Corps1. Helping the people of interested

countries in meeting their need for trained people

2. Helping to promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the people served

3. Helping to promote a better understanding of other people on the part of Americans

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Mission To promote world peace and friendship

and to achieve a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries

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Peace Corps Facts JFK established PC by executive order

on March 1st, 1961 More than 210,000 Americans have

served in 139 countries Today, >8,000 volunteers are serving in

76 countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health, and youth development

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Who Are We? 62% female, 38% male 93% single, 7% married Average age: 28 Over 50: 7%

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Where Are We? Africa 43% Latin America 21% Eastern Europe/Central Asia 15% Asia 10% Caribbean 4% North Africa/Middle East 4% Pacific Islands 3%

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What Do We Do? Education 43% Health 21% Community Economic Development

12% Environment 12% Youth Development 6% Agriculture 4% Other 2%

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International Resource EXchange

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For more information and how to apply, go to: www.peacecorps.gov

Must be 18 years old and a US citizen to apply

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