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Spotlight Article

National Geographic Arrives in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan America Alliance
September 01, 2014

National Geographic Magazine has been engaging readers for 126 years.  The National Geographic Society states that it’s mission is to “inspire people to care about the planet.” National Geographic is set apart by the way in which they endeavor to accomplish this goal; National Geographic is a storyteller.  Through photography and journalism National Geographic transforms research, exploration, and education into engaging stories.

On September 1st 2014, National Geographic will find a new home to tell stories and a new audience to share them with in Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani edition will become the 40th local-language edition of National Geographic Magazine. Ilham Aliyev President of Azerbaijan, Terry Adamson, National Geographic Society Executive Vice President, and Anar Mammadov, Chairman and CEO of Garant Holding will all be in attendance at the launch event at the Haydar Aliyev Center in Baku.

National Geographic’s passion for stories will be well served in Azerbaijan.  The climate of Azerbaijan is one of the most diverse in the world with nine out of eleven climate zones represented. A storyteller could visit subtropics where warm mist and rain nurture tea and citrus plantations, alpine meadows with snow and glaciers, and the warm breezy shores of the Caspian Sea all in the same country.

In Gobustan, a storyteller will find a semi-dessert playground of boulders and caves decorated with more than 6,000 rock engravings. These ancient petroglyphs are a window into the over 40,000 years of human habitation in the area during the wet period after the last Ice Age.

Even in the fast growing capital Baku, the old city offers stories.  The city has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic period, containing evidence of a diversity of cultures including Zoroastrian, Sasanian, Arabic, Persian, Shirvani, Ottoman, and Russian.

Azerbaijan not only has a wealth of stories to offer National Geographic, but an audience who will appreciate them as well. Since its independence Azerbaijan has made incredible efforts to preserve its natural and cultural treasures. Azerbaijan has 7 national parks, 13 state natural parks and 21 reserves that represent eight percent of the country’s territory. Industrial development is prohibited in these nature reserves, and they are specifically designed to protect rare flora and fauna. The most recent National Park, Shakhdag, was founded in 2008, and is the largest national park in the Caucasus and one of the largest in Europe.

Azerbaijan is the ideal country for the mission of National Geographic. It is a country full of inspiration to care about our planet, and now National Geographic can tell those stories to Azerbaijan’s people. 

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