Geography Education
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Welcome to Baku, the Fiercely Modern, Millennia-Old, Capitalist-Socialist, Filthy-Rich Capital of Azerbaijan

Welcome to Baku, the Fiercely Modern, Millennia-Old, Capitalist-Socialist, Filthy-Rich Capital of Azerbaijan | Geography Education |

"Since 2006, when the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline prompted a surge in crude oil exports -- up to a million barrels a day travel through neighboring Georgia and on to Turkey and the West -- there’s been no shortage of cash in Baku. Now, the city is eager for the prestige that goes with it."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Baku is described in this article as an East-West, socialist-capitalist, Muslim-secular, ancient-modern mishmash due to the numerous cultural and political interactions that it has had.  This makes for a fascinating cultural landscape emerging in a city that has been dubbed "the Dubai of the Caucasus" but still has a rich Silk Road history.  Caspian Sea oil lies at the heart of Azerbaijan's geopolitical importance and cultural aspirations. 

Tags: Azerbaijan, political, Central Asia.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 15, 2014 5:21 PM

I'm not on the oil or gas business, or a follower of the Eurovision Song Contest, so it's unlikely that Baku is top in my mind. The pictures of the building looks classic. The Russian taxi looks like if was built in 1940, but it was recently. Russia because the embargo, along side cuba, has the oldest looks cars.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 19, 1:20 PM

Baku is a very interesting city, because of how much of a mish-mash the city is.  What always interests me as an American, is the fact that how varied the old world can be.  In the article it shows the modern, opulent Four Seasons hotel, behind an old government building that looks like it belongs in 18th Century Europe.  It is also crazy how the Maiden Tower from the 6th Century sits right across from Designer Clothes retailers.  Once again, as an American this is very hard for me to visulize, our oldest buildings still standing in cities date back to the 1800s, maybe 1700s, if you are in a city like Newport, RI.  The fact that an ancient tower still stands in a modern city is absolutely fascinating.  Also described in the article is a Bentley dealership (a British Luxury car).  This shows that the city is growing in wealth and changing.  The country of Azerbaijan is certainly on the path (as mentioned in my scoop about Azerbaijan wanting to be famous) to become a world destination.  I think it will be interesting to keep following what is going on in this region, as the country continues to transition.   

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 8, 9:40 AM

People will come if there is something exciting to see.  Also if they feel there is relatively little danger.  I'd say they need to keep on developing and make it glitter.  Once the wealthy are attracted and the celebrities then maybe more tourism might happen.  

Geography Education
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Curated by Seth Dixon