Azerbaijan International

Spring 2005 (13.1)


Sadnik Pirsultanli is never more at home than when traveling around the Azerbaijani countryside collecting folklore - especially legends. For the past 50 years, he has been documenting these tales, even hiking up to remote mountainous villages in the Caucasus, too dangerous to reach by car. Why all this passionate pursuit? For Sadnik, legends are the unwritten history of the nation, linking the past to the present, and conveying the mentality, spirit and values of a people across time and space. For him, legends know no boundaries. See page 64.

Thomas Goltz is an old friend of Azerbaijan whose articles and Op Eds have appeared in most leading U.S. publications. His Azerbaijan Diary (M.E. Sharpe 1998/99) has been hailed as "essential reading for all post-Sovietologists" and is used as a text book in leading universities. His most recent book, Chechnya Diary, was published by St Martin's Press/Tom Dunne in September 2003. He is currently at work on the third book on Georgia tentatively entitled Chalk Circle, and a book and documentary video combo of his motorcycle adventure down the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, Oil Odyssey. See Page 18 about Khojali.

Fariz Ismailzade graduated from the Western University in Baku (2000) with an interim year at Wesleyan University (Connecticutt). Then he did his Masters at Washington University in St. Louis in Social Policy (2000-2002). Today Fariz teaches at Western University and consults with Cornell Caspian Consulting. He writes political analysis for Jamestown Daily Monitor,, Central Asia - Caucasus Analyst and Transitions On Line. See his article delving into the significance of the recent murder of Elman Huseinov, editor of Monitor magazine. Page 20.

Founder and Artistic Director of the Silk Road Dance Company, Laurel Victoria Gray is the recipient of the Kennedy Center 2003 Local Dance Commissioning Project Award and the International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance (IAMED) Awards for Best Choreographer (2003) and Best Ethnic Dancer (1999). Gray's research has taken her to five continents; her articles have appeared in academic and popular publications. Gray teaches dances of the Islamic World as Adjunct Faculty at George Mason University and George Washington University. Her Web site is See page 24 about her interpretation of Nizami's Seven Beauties.

What's it like to raise a child far away from Azerbaijan? Issues such as language and culture are constantly on Irada Aliyeva's mind. In this issue, Irada suggests that children are never too young to introduce them to art. In her case, she takes her two-year old daughter Jasmine to local museums. For art samples from Baku, they head for - a Web site that features more than 3,000 works of art by 165 Azerbaijani artists. In Autumn 2004, (AI 12.3), Irada observed the value of lullabies and folk tales for strengthening emotional ties and instilling love within children for their Mother tongue. Search Page 22.

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