Azerbaijan is a geographical name. On the one hand this name is linked with the population, which lived in this region for thousand of years before our era, and who were mostly fire-worshippers. Local population considered that fire was their God and so they worshipped the fire. “Azer” means fire. The Turkic name “Azer” was used for this territory for a long time. The word “Azer” consists of two parts – “az” and “er”. In Turkic languages, “az” means a good intention and a fate of success. Thus, the word “Azer” means “a brave man”, “a brave boy”, “the fire keeper”. The word “Azerbaijan” originates from the name of an ancient Turkish tribe, who resided in those territories. (Source)
From the beautiful, historic city of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, comes this postcard sent by a good friend and fellow ex-pat Myron. He is currently residing in Baku for several months now as part of an international exchange program there.
The impressive building shown in the postcard is the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre named after M.F. Akhundov (Mirza Fatali Akhundov), a great academic and a celebrated author, playwright, and philosopher.
The building, built in 1911, was designed along the lines of Renaissance style of architecture. Today it stands as one of the most beautiful and majestic symbols of cultural life in Azerbaijan. No wonder my friend is in love with this building which is just a block away from where he lives. I wonder how many performances has he seen there, if ever he has.
Azerbaijan, located on the western edge of the Caspian Sea, sits at the crossroad between East and West (Asia and Europe) and is considered to be one of the oldest sites of humankind.
Many thanks, Myron. This is my first postcard from Azerbaijan and I hope this won’t be the last one.