In Azerbaijan, weddings and funerals are not only essential ceremonies, they are also big businesses. "The tradition of hosting extravagant weddings and funerals is deeply rooted,” the sociologist, Javid Imamoglu explains.
When Life and Death Are a Business
“Hello my dear Tamara, I got your letter! Thank you for your warm wishes. You know I don’t have a sister. I love you, as if you were my own sister. Certainly, our children will write each other like we do, and be friends. Here nothing have changed, all is still the same. How are you? Write and don’t forget me. Love and kiss you. Farida.”
Pioneers Penpals Turned Correspondence into Life Friendship
Temur Sukhashvili, an ethnic Georgian from Azerbaijan, knew what it’s like to be an outsider. So, when offered the chance to teach Georgian to ethnic Azeri schoolchildren in Georgia, he did not hesitate.
Promoting Language as a Lifeline for Georgia’s Ethnic Azeris
When 28-year-old manual laborer Elshan Gulmammadov took to the slot machines in the Georgian town of Marneuli last year, all he wanted was money for the birth of his second child and some fun.Instead, he became a victim.
Gambling Life Away in Georgia
Sixty-year-old Angela Rustamova still cannot forget that day in 1975. She was a teenager, thinking of her beau, Vagif, an ethnic Azerbaijani from Georgia, and counting the days until he would visit her in her hometown of Alaverdi, Armenia. When he finally came, Vagif Rustamov, then a 32-year-old barber, proposed. He promised 18-year-old Angela “a real life” together. Despite pressure from their families and others, they had one. Their love story continued for 42 years.
No Borders: An Armenian-Azerbaijani Love Story
There is no sign to Ulyanovka, an abandoned Pontic Greek village in southern Georgia, 1,300 feet up a mountain near the Armenian border. Only two men – 67-year-old Muraz Shersevadze and 20-year-old Yuri Rurua – call this ghost village home.
Ulyanovka: Living on the Border of Existence
Throughout the Caucasus, many believe that the community in which you were born determines who you are and what you become. But three ethnic Azerbaijani women in Georgia have found ways to defy those barriers and to craft their own identities as independent professionals.
Georgia: Three Women Who Bust Barriers
In Marneuli, the seat of the predominantly ethnic Azerbaijani region of Kvemo Kartli, a search for a moral compass -- if not devotion to Islam itself -- often explains why residents send their children to a school, or madrasa, that teaches about Islam.