Winter 2001 (9.4)
Since personal computers
are still relatively expensive, Azerbaijanis usually seek out
other ways to get online. Some use computers at work or at educational
institutions like Western University, which provides free Internet
access to students and non-students alike. Some take advantage
of the computer labs funded by the British Library and international
organizations like the Soros Foundation's Open Society Institute.
Others visit local Internet clubs, paying an hourly fee to log
on, check e-mail, chat, do research or just browse Web sites.
As more and more Azerbaijanis gain access to the Internet, the
number of Azerbaijani Web sites is growing exponentially. But
creating a Web site that has Azeri Latin text is still no easy
matter. Seven letters of the Azeri language ()
do not correspond to the English alphabet, are not found on the
standard Latin keyboard and, therefore, require a special Azeri
To get around this problem, many Azerbaijani Web sites require
that the site visitor download specific Azeri fonts before viewing
the site. Others may convert all Azeri text to PDF or GIF files,
an effective, yet time-consuming process for the Web site creators,
but one that enables the text to be read easily on both Mac and
IBM. A few Web sites are still dodging the font problem altogether
by substituting common symbols or letters for the special characters
- for instance, using a dollar sign symbol ($) as a rather crude
way to represent "s" - cedilla ().
[To learn more about the obstacles to creating a Web site in
Azeri Latin, see the article: "Azeri Latin on the Web"
in AI 9.1, Spring 2001 at AZER.com].
Below: Mammad Safaroghlu is
one of the many talented Azerbaijani artists featured on AZgallery.org,
a Web site created by Azerbaijan International that displays
1,800 works of Azerbaijani art. Contact Mammad in his studio
at (994-12) 75-36-17 or at his home at 67-19-96. See AZgallery.org
Despite these difficulties,
many quality Web sites are being created, especially these past
two years. Here we've chosen some of the newer sites that offer
substantial information related to Azerbaijan. Whether you're
interested in music, art, literature, history or political developments,
there's a lot that you can learn about Azerbaijan on the Web
Azeri Search Engine
Search.AZNet is one of the first search engines to be designed
specifically for Azerbaijani Web sites. As of mid-December 2001,
the site had catalogued more than 675 Web sites in 71 categories.
Individual listings indicate the popularity of that site via
SAZNet. The Site is extremely well organized, and easy to navigate.
It's in English, Azeri and Russian. Fonts need to be downloaded
to view the Azeri Latin but are not available for Mac.
A unique feature of this site is that you can convert any of
15 different IBM fonts to a standard font - Palatino - either
Azeri Latin or Azeri Cyrilllic. However, no equivalent service
is offered for Mac users.
SAZNet was one of the first projects created with the support
of the Open Society Institute - Assistance Foundation in Azerbaijan,
which provides Internet training centers in Baku, Ganja, Mingachevir
and Lankaran. Through the program, more than 10,000 users have
gained access to Internet training, modern computers, Web publishing
software and manuals. By the end of 2001, approximately 80 new
Web sites about culture, history, science and medicine will have
been developed using the program's "Internet Startup Kit"
Azeri Web Directory
With the help of a search engine, this Web site provides one
of the most comprehensive directories of Web sites that pertain
to Azerbaijan. Links to these sites are divided into various
categories that include: regions and cities of Azerbaijan, economy,
culture, history, environment, science, state and government,
maps, humanitarian organizations and the Azerbaijani-Armenian
conflict. A section called "Azeris at Internet" links
to more than 200 personal Web sites created by Azerbaijanis.
This site also offers weather forecasts, exchange rate information
and news from the Habarlar-L e-mail distribution list. A recent
addition to the site enables visitors to join a list to be notified
when new Azerbaijani sites are added to the Directory. A new
slideshow features rock carvings of Gobustan and photos of Old
Baku. Site is in English.
Left: Azerbaijan International
magazines from 1993 are archived on the Web at AZER.com.
While AZER.com is hardly a new site - Azerbaijan International
Magazine launched it in May 1996 - it is frequently updated with
new material, including recent magazine articles and photos.
With more than 1,300 articles and 3,900 photos in its archives,
which go as far back as 1993, AZER.com is the closest thing to
an encyclopedia about Azerbaijan on the Internet, which is why
it is linked by the Web sites of CNN, Washington Post and the
One recent addition to the site this year is an extensive section
devoted to the Karabakh conflict and the peace process, with
speeches, interviews, briefings, news articles, analysis and
photo essays. There is also a new Music Section, featuring more
than 100 sound samples.
AI Store offers more than 200 quality items, such as the new
Uzeyir Hajibeyov seven-CD set, books, dictionaries and previous
magazine issues. Site is in English, with some articles in Azeri
Latin and Azeri Arabic. Fonts do not need to be downloaded for
Azeri Latin or Azeri Arabic, which can be viewed equally well
on both Mac and IBM.
In December 2001, when the term "Azerbaijan" was searched
for on the top English-language search engines and directories,
AZER.com was listed as Number 1 at Google, Altavista, Lycos and
AOL Search; Number 2 at MSN Search and Northern Light, and Number
3 at Yahoo! - an extraordinary ranking that is based on the site's
popularity and the number of other sites that link to it (at
last count, more than 1,000).
This is a Listserv, a new resource for parents and parents-to-be
of children adopted from Azerbaijan. Ever since Azerbaijan's
first international adoption in May 2000, more and more families
are considering the possibility of adopting orphaned children
On December 1, Kimi Abernathy, whose family made the first adoption
from Azerbaijan, established the azerbaijanadopt group, which
enables families who have already adopted from Azerbaijan to
share their experiences and answer the questions of those who
are in the process of adopting or are considering adopting from
This listserv is an absolute "must" for anyone who
is interested in adopting from Azerbaijan. The forum offers vital
information about the realities of adopting in Azerbaijan, with
answers to questions like: "How does the process work?"
"What kind of timeline can I expect?" "How much
should it cost?" In terms of estimated expenses, future
adoptive families are urged to research their adoption agencies
carefully and watch out for unscrupulous ones that tack on extra
costs in the middle of an adoption.
Parents also raise concerns and give reassurance about the health
needs and developmental problems of some of Azerbaijan's orphans.
For instance, one family found out after adopting their son that
he had a hole in his heart and desperately needed to have open-heart
surgery; without the surgery, the child probably would not have
lived much longer. Now he is a very healthy, active little boy.
A few other adopted children appeared to have developmental problems
at first, but have made amazing progress once they were given
the proper attention; now they are exceeding the norms for their
To join, sign in at http://groups.yahoo.com/
group/azerbaijanadopt/ and register with Yahoo! Groups. Note that the
Listserv is for the exchange of information only; adoption agencies
are not permitted to solicit list members.
Created by Azerbaijan International magazine in November 1999,
AZgallery.org features world-class art from Azerbaijan, with
more than 1,800 works by 117 Azerbaijani artists. To help art
lovers "Discover the Unknown World of Azerbaijani Art,"
this site is constantly being updated with additional works of
art. Those who are interested in purchasing art are encouraged
to contact the artist directly but may send an e-mail via the
site, and then AI's office in Baku will forward the message directly
to the artist. Listings on the Web site are provided free of
charge for Azerbaijani artists. Site is in English. Art samples
can make beautiful and distinctive backgrounds for your computer
Musigi Dunyasi created this site to commemorate the history of
sound recordings in Azerbaijan. The site's pages list more than
500 Azerbaijani folk songs, mughams and folklore that were recorded
between the early 1900s and 1950s and are now housed at the State
Museum of Azerbaijan Musical Culture, the State Sound Recordings
Archive and the Bulbul Memorial Museum. Click on the colorful
records to see the catalog listings. Through the use of Flash
animation, the site allows you to "thumb through" faded
copies of the original catalogs, which include black-and-white
photos of the musicians. The site promises to make sound files
of some of the recordings available. Site is in English and Azeri
This Web site, created by the Sahil Group, is a valuable resource
for information about the Karabakh conflict, Section 907, the
Minsk Group negotiations and the human rights violations that
were committed during the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia
this past decade as well as other massacres that have been carried
out against Azerbaijanis. Azerigenocide.org offers news items
from ANS [Azerbaijan News Service] and AssA-Irada as well as
official statements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the
UN and OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe].
Articles are posted on a variety of topics, including the history
of Armenia, the history of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and a
chronology of the conflict with Armenia. The site also offers
a forum in English, Russian and Azeri for visitors who want to
express their opinions on these topics. Site is in English.
This Web site was created by Azerbaijan International magazine
for articles in and about the Azeri language; it features items
in the official Azeri Latin script of the Azerbaijan Republic
and in the modified Azeri Arabic script, read by the estimated
25 to 30 million Azerbaijanis who live in Iran or grew up there.
The site also has a "Learning Azeri" section, which
includes the "Sociolinguistically Speaking" series
in English, to help foreigners learn Azeri expressions in the
context of Azerbaijani culture.
The site features Azeri poetry and short stories in Azeri Latin
and English translation; authors include contemporary writers
such as Anar, Rustam and Magsud Ibrahimbeyov and the late Yusif
Samadoghlu, son of the famous writer Samad Vurghun. Newer features
include song lyrics from performers like rap group Dayirman and
"Industrial Mugham" singers Gulyaz and Gulyanag Mammadova.
In the "Just for Kids" section, Farid Alakbarov's "Scientific
Tales" series teaches children about science using fun,
easy-to-read stories. Also featured on the site are close to
120 poems by Vagif Samadoghlu in Azeri Latin and English translation.
Site is in English, Azeri Latin and Azeri Arabic. Fonts do not
need to be downloaded to view the Azeri; site works for both
Mac and IBM.
"All About Azeri Music" is a Web site that offers news
updates on Azeri pop music and musicians. Performers and groups
featured include Googoosh, Aygun Kazimova, Manana, Gulyaz and
Gulyanag Mammadova, Dayirman and Rast. Azerimusics.com also provides
streaming audio music clips and news about upcoming concerts.
Artists and musicians are invited to create their own free Web
pages through the site. Site is in English.
Stamp collectors will enjoy this Web site from Azermarka dedicated
to the postage stamps that Azerbaijan has issued since 1992.
The most recent stamps commemorate Azerbaijan's entrance into
the Council of Europe, its medalists from the 2000 Olympics,
and Nasraddin Tusi's 800th Jubilee. Site is in English and Azeri
Azerbaijani musician Alikhan Samadov plays several traditional
Azerbaijani instruments, including the balaban, a deep, mournful-sounding
reed instrument. On his Web site, you'll find a brief history
of the balaban and a description of how it is played. The site
also features the musician's biography and MP3 files of songs
from his album "Balaban: The Land of Fire," released
by Mega Music. To order the CD, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Site is in English and Turkish.
The ancient city of Ganja is full of history, providing ample
material for this Web site. An extensive essay details Ganja's
history from the 7th century AD to the present, with information
about famous people from Ganja, like gifted 12th-century Azerbaijani
poetess Mahsati Ganjavi, 12th-century Azerbaijani poet Nizami
(1141-1209) and composer Fikrat Amirov (1922-1984). More than
100 historical and modern photos supplement the text. Ganja's
Web site project was funded by the U.S. Department of State's
Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and administered by
the IREX Access and Training Program. Site is in English, Azeri
Latin and Russian. The font needs to be downloaded to view the
Azeri Latin. The Azeri Latin version of site does not work for
"Celebrating the Legacy of Azerbaijan's Great Composer"
is the theme of this Web site created by Azerbaijan International
magazine and launched in November 2001. The site is dedicated
to the memory of Uzeyir Hajibeyov (1885-1948). Hajibeyov established
the direction of contemporary music in Azerbaijan in the 20th
century by synthesizing Eastern musical elements and traditional
instruments with Western musical genres such as operas and symphonies.
Even today, he is considered the "Father of Composed Classical
Music in Azerbaijan."
Visitors to HAJIBEYOV.com may listen to Real Audio sound samples
from Hajibeyov's major operas and musical comedies: "Koroghlu"
(1938), "Leyli and Majnun" (1908), "Arshin Mal
Alan" (The Cloth Peddler, 1913) and "O Olmasin, Bu
Olsun" (If Not This One, That One, 1911), also known as
"Mashadi Ibad." A new seven-CD set of these four works,
made from vinyl recordings of the 1970s and 1980s, is available
for purchase through the site. The CDs were produced by Azerbaijan
International and sponsored by Statoil of Norway.
HAJIBEYOV.com also features a number of biographical articles
about the composer - some of them recollections by his colleagues,
such as opera singer Shovkat Mammadova and conductor Niyazi -
others from Hajibeyov's former students who are still living
today. There is also a Research Section that includes oral history.
For the first time in Azerbaijan's cultural history, the librettos
to Hajibeyov's works have been made available in Azeri Latin
and English translation; these are formatted as PDF files, which
are readable on both Mac and IBM. Simply download the free Adobe
Acrobat Reader from adobe.com. HAJIBEYOV.com is in English and
Azeri Latin. Fonts do not need to be downloaded to view the Azeri
Latin; site works for both Mac and IBM.
"Is Armenia really being blockaded by Azerbaijan?"
asks this recently re-launched Web site, designed by Baku's Azerbaijan
Data Network to educate the international community about the
understudied aspects of the Karabakh conflict. Articles at the
site discuss Armenia's various terrorist organizations, the history
of the Karabakh region, its rich cultural heritage, Azerbaijan's
conflict with Armenia and the plight of refugees. You can also
read about famous poets, writers and musicians from Karabakh,
such as 19th-century poetess Natavan, composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov,
singer Bulbul and conductor Niyazi. Site is in English and Russian.
Novruz (Noruz), or Spring Festival, usually celebrated around
March 21, is one of Azerbaijan's most important holidays. To
help Web visitors celebrate this occasion, Azerbaijan Online
offers online Novruz greeting cards with scenes from Azerbaijan,
music by Shovkat Alakbarova, Rashid Behbudov and Bulbul as well
as a description of Novruz traditions. Site is in Azeri Latin,
with some sections in English. Fonts do not need to be downloaded
to view the Azeri Latin; site works for both IBM and Mac.
This Web site appears to be the first one dedicated to a single
Azerbaijani writer - in this case, the 76-year-old poet and writer
Bakhtiyar Vahabzade. The site, created by the Sahil Group, includes
a short autobiographical statement, photographs, a few of Vahabzade's
poems as well as a listing of his books and published poems.
Site is in English and Azeri Latin. Fonts must be downloaded
to view the Azeri Latin. Azeri Latin version of site does not
work for Mac.
(9.4) Winter 2001.
© Azerbaijan International 2002. All rights reserved.
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