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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



Where is it?

Demographics and Other FactsPopulation about 9.5 million with 2 million living in the capital, BakuAbout 52% urban, 48% ruralMajority Turkic ethnicity and Shia Muslim

Blue - Turkic heritageRed - Modernization and progressGreen - IslamCrescent Moon - symbol of Islam8-pointed Star - 8 Turkic people of the world

>10 million cell phones (2011)About 2.4 million internet users (2009)37 airports52,942 km roads2,918 km railways

Ancient HistoryGobustan A World Heritage SiteEarliest evidence of a thriving culture with petro glyphs dating back to 10,000 B.C.

ZoroastrianismAncient, pre-Islamic religion of PersiaFounded by the Persian prophet Zarathustra in 6th century B.C.Concept of ethical monotheism, afterlife, heaven, hell, angels, and a messiahFire represents purification

Time of EmpireIncorporated into various empires including Persian, Alexander the Greats, Romans, Arabs 7th-11th century (brought Islam), Turks (brought cultural identity), and finally Russians

20th CenturyAfter WWI and the collapse of the Russian Empire, Azerbaijan joined the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic and later became its own republic in May 19181st modern parliamentary republic in the Muslim worldAccomplished womens suffrage, equal political rights between men and women, and established Baku State University


Republic lasted just under 2 years with the Soviet Russian invasionAzerbaijan is strategically located on the Caspian Sea and is rich in oil reservesFought with the Soviets during WWIIAfter the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan again declared independence and became a republic in 1991

Unresolved ProblemsEthnic strife in Nagorno-Karabakh region between Azerbaijan and ArmeniaSecondary public education is still based on the old Soviet model and suffers from corruption and low-quality teachersPolitical corruption, election fraud, bribery

Natural ResourcesVery rich in oil and natural gasAt the turn of the 20th century, Azerbaijan accounted for half the worlds oil productionFishing from the Caspian sea and iron ore

AgricultureMajor crops include pomegranates, apples, grapes, cherries, grain, tea, cotton, tobacco, vegetables, dairy, and wineLivestock include cows, sheep, horses, pigs, and goats

HolidaysRamadan9th month of the Islamic lunar calendarFasting from dawn until sunsetRefrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and swearingPurpose to practice self-control and be closer to Allah, be thankful, and to practice charity

Gurban Bayrami Festival of Sacrifice

Celebrated 70 days after the end of Ramadan and lasts for 4 daysSacrifice a domestic animal, usually a sheep, in remembrance of the story of Abraham and his son IsmailMeat is distributed to the poor

NovruzOrigin traces back to the ZoroastriansCelebrates the coming of SpringPreparations begin 1 month prior with each of the forthcoming 4 weeks devoted to 1 of 4 elements water, wind, earth, and fire

Novruz Customs

House cleaningMake or buy new clothesPaint eggsMake national meals and sweets like sekerbura and baklavaEvery Tuesday bonfires are made and people jump over them to get rid of impurities and bad luck

Last Tuesday before Novruz kids knock on doors and leave their hats or baskets and wait for candies or pastriesTable is set with khoncha (silver or copper tray) filled with wheat, candles, dyed eggs

National Meals and DrinksBread is considered holy

Rice-based dishPLOV

Pasta-based dish with seasoned meat and served with yogurtXENGEL

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

Hot, Black Tea, Duses, and Terxun

People and CultureGuesting!!!!!!Take off shoes before entering the houseSmiling to strangers is considered strangePeople often wear dark colored clothes, especially older men, but is slowly changing with younger generationPeople dont wear shorts, especially boys

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

Wedding palaces are ubiquitous Very high marriage rateWeddings are elaborate and large with 300 or more guests as the norm

Traditional Music

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.-President John F. KennedyPEACE CORPS

3 Goals of Peace CorpsHelping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained peopleHelping to promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the people servedHelping to promote a better understanding of other people on the part of Americans

MissionTo promote world peace and friendship and to achieve a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries

Peace Corps FactsJFK established PC by executive order on March 1st, 1961More 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

Who Are We?62% female, 38% male93% single, 7% marriedAverage age: 28 Over 50: 7%

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%

What Do We Do?Education 43%Health 21%Community Economic Development 12%Environment 12%Youth Development 6%Agriculture 4%Other 2%

International Resource EXchange

For more information and how to apply, go to:

Must be 18 years old and a US citizen to apply

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