Leigh in Azerbaijan

Looking at the country and education.

End of the Adventure in Baku

December 3, 2009 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

It’s now 6 months since my Baku adventure ended.  Here are my best memories:

Great friends

  • Michael – from Canada, my team teacher in Grade 5, laid back, encouraging, organised, experienced…
  • Chee Wan – from Melbourne, travelling mate, neighbour, happy soul…
  • JoJ0 – from inland from Pt Macquarie somewhere – great friend, help in time of need, clarity of thought…
  • Vicki – Russian speaking ESL teacher who one day may be living in Australia
  • ah, gee there’s so many friends

Trip to Iran.  An amazing country that is now in turmoil due to corrupt elections.  We now have a dear friend from Tehran, who relates her stories of the demonstrations, the tear gas, the restricted communication, the imprisoned and murdered…

Professional Development in the Primary Years Program of the International Bacalaureate.

A greater sense of internationalism.  Love of difference of culture.

I’m now finishing in Imanpa, N.T., Australia.  Now to find a job.

Azerbaijan recognises Iran election results

July 1, 2009 by · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

If it’s true that Azerbaijan has recognised the elections in Iran, it is a major statement of policy on democracy in Azerbaijan.  Seemingly Azerbaijan is not concerned with an image of moderation regarding international affairs.  More importantly it is not concerned with appearing to be a healthy democracy.  Why would a country recognise the Iranian regime when the bulk of evidence glaringly suggests corruption?  The only possible conclusion is that it’s an attempt to dilute any investigation into its own recent corrupt election and referundum process. In addition it possible that it is an indication of what the government is willing to do in the event of an uprising in the Kingdom of Azerbaijan.  (No-one really believes that it is a democracy.  Perhaps it might be called the United Kharnate of Azerbaijan.)  It’s strange that Azerbaijan can’t see that by drawing attention to itself in this manner it makes it more apparent that the country is less than democratic. I guess it’s evidence that delusional states eventually start to believe their own propaganda.

Nuclear Power in Azerabaijan

June 1, 2009 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Russia ready to submit proposals on construction of nuclear power plant in Azerbaijan

Now that’s a worry.

While I’m here.  We had a bomb threat this morning.  I arrived at school at 7.25am and at 7.40am we were told to leave the building.   We ambled out wondering what the story was, knowing we had never been asked to do this before, apart from fire or earthquake drills.   Staff were arriving in buses and cars and then were waiting around outside the main gate while guards were scurrying to ensure people were out of the various buildings.

Larry, the Director, said that the threat came in an email addressed to the four admin people with a brief explanatory note (content was not described) and then the threat was at the bottom, saying that a bomb would go off at 9.15am in the school. We haven’t heard anything so assume that school happens as normal tomorrow.

At 8.20am we were in buses going home and at 8.25am we saw the first emergency services vehicle, a small police vehicle, rushing in TISA’s direction.   Sadly we saw no other police, ambulance, fire brigade, BP security (we’re under BP’s control) or bomb squad.  If there was a crisis here you wouldn’t want to be relying on emergency services.  Thankfully the school has its own security staff.

Global Voice author detained then released.

May 10, 2009 by · No Comments · Azerbaijan, justice

It doesn’t pay to have a voice in Baku. I learnt on Twitter that an Azerbaijani blogger was arrested today.  I found that 50 had been arrested but later released. This article from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty says that the youth were protesting against the annual Flower Festival, saying that it was inappropriate given the death of 13 students at the Oil Academy.  The page has a video showing youth activists being arrested amidst police sirens and a growing police presence.

It will be interesting to see whether this gets mentioned in local news reporting.

Denying the Fundamentalist Claim of “Holy Warriors”

April 25, 2009 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Sharing thinking from Dr David Kilcullen, an Aussie advising the current and previous military campaign in Iraq, despite having advised the Bush regime not to invade Iraq.  Here’s excerpts from his book, Accidental Guerilla.

As soon as you use “jihadi, mujhadeen, salafi” it gives the insurgents credibility as holy warriors.

Al-Qaeda and Taliban actions are justified by three propisitions:

1.  Religion.  The Koran talks about a defensive jihad where it is an obligation to fight an invader.

2. Political interpretation: Some posit that Western encroachment constitutes an attack on the identity of Islam and therefore justifies jihad.

3. Military interpretations: Because the US forces are so large it is legitimate to fight with terrorism.

However not all Muslims agree with all three justifications, only fundamentalists, who view fellow disagreeing Muslims as infidels and deserving of death. In Afganistan and elsewhere others refer to Taliban as ‘takfeery’  – which is similar to “heretics” http://moourl.com/l9sim

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