Azerbaijan International

Autumn 2001 (9.3)


"This is a seminal moment in the development of Azerbaijan," says Stanley Escudero, who holds high expectations for the country's future. After serving as U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan (1997-2000), he decided to return to Baku on a more permanent basis, now that he is retired from the diplomatic corps. Here he elaborates on Azerbaijan's encouraging prospects for success-both inside and outside of the oil sector. Page 50-53.
Paolo Lembo became the UNDP's [United Nations Development Program] youngest-ever Head of Mission when he opened the office in Azerbaijan in 1992, a few months after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although Lembo left Baku in 1997 for assignments in Tajikistan, Kosovo and Algeria, he finds that Azerbaijan is never far from his thoughts. For a rare look at the life of a diplomat, read his memoir, set amidst Azerbaijan's early years of independence. Page 20-30.

When Kimi Abernathy set out to adopt an Azerbaijani daughter, she had no idea what an exhausting, emotional process it would be. After dealing with three years of red tape and disappointed hopes, she and her family welcomed an adorable child named Inara into their lives in June 2000. As the first foreign family to adopt a child from Azerbaijan, we thank her for sharing their story along with practical hints for other parents who are hoping to adopt, too. Page 68-72.


Dissident painter Rasim Babayev may have been threatened by the repressive Soviet system, but it served to ignite his imagination. By using dark, brooding colors and depicting the antics of vicious monsters, or "divs", Rasim expressed a contempt for the government that many other Azerbaijani artists dared not show. Recently, we learned how his works have changed, now that a new era of freedom is dawning. Page 32-39.


Elman Gurbanov, Azerbaijan International's driver, knows Baku like the back of his hand. While we have always been aware that he is energetic and street-smart, we recently discovered that he has another untapped talent: photography. After he expressed an interest in learning more about this subject, we handed him a digital camera and were quite amazed by the results. Now it's impossible to get the camera away from him. His photos appear throughout this issue, including the back cover.

Azerbaijan International (9.3) Autumn 2001.
© Azerbaijan International 2001. All rights reserved.

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