Azerbaijan: A country of hospitality, sincerity, kindness and many more

Tue 13 Nov 2018 06:02 GMT | 10:02 Local Time

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The Korea Post has published an article titled “Diplomacy Azerbaijan: A country of hospitality, sincerity, kindness and many more” by Parvana Babayeva, an Azerbaijani student in KOICA Scholarship Program 2018 (Energy Science and Policy) at Ajou University in South Korea.

The article (http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=7834) reads as follows:

Azerbaijan is a country distinguished by its hospitality, sincerity and kindness. Even world-renowned writer Alexander Duma, during his visit to the Caucasus said, “If you knock on any door in Azerbaijan, or anywhere in the Caucasus, say that you’re a foreigner and have no place to spend the night, the owner of the house will immediately give you his largest room. He and his family would move to the smaller room. Moreover, during the week, two weeks, or the month that you stay in his house he will take care of you and will not let you want for anything”.

Although Azerbaijan has recently completed 27 years of its independence, it has had the honor to host several international events; as it continues to demonstrate its hospitality to the world, Azerbaijan is becoming a regional hub for large scale events. In 2012, Azerbaijan hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, after Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal (Azerbaijani nationals) won the competition in Germany in 2011. The slogan of the Eurovision Song Contest was “light your fire”. During the event period various activities, which reflected the tradition of Azerbaijan, were organized.

The FIFA U-17 women's world cup was held in Azerbaijan between September 22 and October 13, 2012; this championship was the first FIFA event in Azerbaijan and the first FIFA U-17 women's world cup event to be held in Eurasia. During this event, the world renown singers Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and Rihanna came to Azerbaijan and performed during the championship. In 2015, the European Games took place in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. 10,000 athletes from 50 European countries competed for 253 sets of medals. The opening ceremony of 2015 European Games, on June 12, was the first sports event to be held at Baku Olympic Stadium, the largest stadium in Azerbaijan, and the chosen arena for the final stage of UEFA Europa League in 2019 and the third and 1/4 final group stage of the UEFA European Championship in 2020.

Azerbaijan has also hosted the Formula One World Driver’s Championship of 2016 and 2017, Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix was awarded the title RACE OF THE YEAR in most of the surveys conducted by a number of international media organizations. The excellent performance of Azerbaijan as a host, earned them the right to continue hosting the Formula One World Driver’s Championship in Baku for the next 7 years. Another major event, that Azerbaijanis are proud to have hosted, is the IV Islamic Solidarity Games, a multi-sport tournament held between May 12-22, 2017. Volunteers played a special role in organizing Islamic Solidarity Games, more than 8,000 volunteers participated in organizational works. The main motto of the IV Islamic Solidarity Games was "Solidarity is our strength." Up to this day, the event is regarded as a great sports festival and a triumph of friendship. Recently, the 32nd World Judo Championship was held on 20 September - 27 September 2018; where around 800 athletes from 125 countries competed in several different categories.

Along with the government efficient tourism and foreign relations policy, the other key component for the Azerbaijan hospitality success is its people. As my uncle Shamil Babayev - a professional judo coach, who has taken part in organizing many of the sports events in Azerbaijan- says, “the competitions that held in Azerbaijan are well organized and attract more foreign and local supporter’s year by year. The Azerbaijani people consider all international events a national holiday, they participate in all events with great pleasure, are very gentle and kind to all foreigners and are always eager to host tourists”. Azerbaijanis see each international event as an opportunity to gain new experience in different fields and gain new acquaintances from all over the world; people especially the young, tend to learn foreign languages and customs; thus resulting inan increase of multi lingual diversity and culture level among the citizens. Additionally, international events serve as a platform for FDI, the creation of job opportunities, the development of infrastructure, and help incentivize industry sectors and educational paths.

Editor’s note:

The Republic of Azerbaijan which is located in the South Caucasus region with access to the Caspian Sea, is one of the most dynamically developing countries despite the recent global economic crisis.

According to the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Azerbaijan is not a very widely well-known country to Koreans yet, however, it is very famous for the abundance of its natural resources.

In June 2006, Azerbaijan opened BTC which transports Azerbaijan oil to port Ceyhan in Mediterranean Sea, moreover in 2007 Azerbaijan opened BTE Gas Pipeline which transports Azerbaijan gas to Erzurum in Turkey. The opening of BTC and BTE makes most of the countries pay attention on the energy sector of Azerbaijan.

Since the official visits of President Roh Moo-hyun to Azerbaijan in May 2006 and President Ilham Aliyev to Korea in April 2007, the relations between the two countries have developed in many fields such as construction, transport, information technologies, energy and natural resources.

There are many similarities between the two countries in their history, culture, traditions and especially language. The Korean and Azerbaijan languages are members of the Altaic language family. Azerbaijan people show great interest in Korea. This leads to the increased number of tourists and students who are visiting Korea for learning Korean culture, history etc.

There are still unlimited potential possibilities for mutual cooperation and relations between two countries, not only in economic, trade and energy sector, but also in culture, education, art and sports. Nowadays Koreans are showing great interest in the Caucasus region, which was known as the part of Silk Road route, but was unfamiliar to Koreans.

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