Spring 2001 (9.1)
Azerbaijan? Now We Know
I'm a student at the
Middle School in Russellville, a city in Arkansas with a population
of about 30,000. My school has about 600-700 students. I'm in
an Advanced Placement Seventh Grade Social Studies class with
about 25 kids. For the past ten years, students in Seventh Grade
have participated in a Culture Fair - a study of countries of
My teacher assigned the topic of Azerbaijan to me. I didn't even
know this country existed! When she gave me the little slip of
paper with the word "Azerbaijan" on it, I asked: "Where
in the world is this?!" I actually had to get out the atlas
and look it up in the index.
When I got home, my mom nearly had a stroke! She knew we were
in for long hours of searching! But I lucked out when I found
the link to Azerbaijan International magazine from the American
Embassy Web site. I sure am glad I surfed on! Your magazine saved
my life, and helped me get an A+ on my project! Everyone in my
class was really interested in your country. It is so cool to
learn about places no one is familiar with! Other students reported
on Canada, Jamaica, Scotland, India, Zaire and Australia.
I had to do five weeks of research before I could start on my
presentation board for the Fair. I had to find statistical data
on Azerbaijan like its size, landforms, topography, GNP, weather,
average income, birthrate, average life span and educational
statistics. Then there were reports on flora and fauna, foods,
customs, holidays, language, ethnic populations, housing, arts,
major landmarks, myths, music and foods.
I had to write about military conflicts, unrest, civil rights,
type of government, manufacturing, mineral and natural resources,
renewable and nonrenewable resources...and on and on. All of
this research had to be done in note form with complete bibliographies!
My mom helped me with the bibliographies.
The Internet was a huge help, but it was only one of eight sources
that were required. I'm sure that I could have found everything
online, but we had to have at least one entry each from encyclopedias,
magazines, books, atlases, personal interviews, periodicals,
textbooks and almanacs. It was tough! We weren't allowed very
much time in class to work on our projects: I did at least 90
percent of it at home.
I have learned so much about Azerbaijan! It seems like I've been
there before! If I could really visit, I would definitely want
to see the Ballet and Opera House in Baku. I played the cassette
"Arazbari" by Uzeyir Hajibeyov during my presentation.
I'll bet it has been performed in the Opera House before. I'd
also want to visit the Maiden's Tower. I think I'd like the Caspian
Sea. Azerbaijan impressed me as a country that has an old history!
I think their traditions are very interesting. I was surprised
to learn that my mom's kabobs may have originated from that part
of the world.
The one thing that concerns me is the war and troubles with Armenia.
I feel sorry for the refugees. It must be hard to live away from
their homes. I worry about earthquakes, too. We read about one
in the newspaper [November 2000] right while I was doing my research.
I hope that Azerbaijan continues to become a more modern independent
country and has good economic luck!
For my presentation, I borrowed a costume from a teacher at my
mom's school. I was so excited when I discovered it was RED!
I think that's the perfect color for Azerbaijan! I hope that
my costume wasn't too far off or silly-looking to people from
You have made my year in Social Studies. My presentation was
so good that last week I was asked to dress up in my costume
and present it for the Fifth Grade classes! I appreciate you
all so much, thanks again! I have really had a good time doing
my study on your beautiful country. Maybe someday I can visit
P.S. Do you know anyone my
age from Azerbaijan who would want to be an e-mail pal?
Editor: To contact Katie, write
Azerbaijan International at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(9.1) Spring 2001.
© Azerbaijan International 2001. All rights reserved.
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