Tuesday, April 11

A mentality that killed a hostel

The mentality is a common term used in Azerbaijan in cases when it often has to do with women's rights, gender equality, domestic violence, rape, early marriage, abuse, harassment, and of course anything that is new, and unfamiliar. 

When you are beaten at home by your husband, it is against our mentality to say anything. And even if you do reach the police, they will say it is your fault. So go home, and be a woman according to Azerbaijani mentality. 

If you are raped by someone in your family, you do not talk about it because it is against our mentality. It happens, perhaps he had his best intentions at heart. Be a proper daughter, sister, niece, or whoever you are in the family household and keep it quiet according to Azerbaijani mentality. 

It is against mentality to go on dates to get to know your future partner because alas you find out he/she is a psychopath. No, you can only find out about that after you are married and who cares what happens after that. It is against Azerbaijani mentality to poke your nose into other family businesses (which is also not true as everyone pokes their nose into family business).

If you are married off at an early age, those doing this to you, think it is in accordance with norms of Azerbaijani mentality because who cares about giving this young girl a life and a future, alas, that is not according to Azerbaijani mentality. Because a woman's place is being a servant. Nothing more. 

Nightlife for unmarried women is against mentality. Being an independent is against mentality. Deciding not to have kids right after you are married is against mentality because if you don't start popping them out of the oven, something has to be wrong with you or your husband but it is often you because it is never the husband as that too is against Azerbaijani mentality to ever question the husband. 

Mentality or "mentalitet" in Azerbaijani is our rock that keeps pulling our society to the depth of the Caspian Sea because it is certainly preventing our young generation from development (of course in addition to the terrible education system, non-existing social services and so on). 

Why am I writing about this all of a sudden? Well, you will be surprised when I tell you that in Baku, the booming capital of modernity, the city that is advertised in glossy magazines, just had a hostel shut down because of guess what... yes! mentality! 

A young entrepreneur decided to open a hostel encouraged by the state tourism policy. He converted an old apartment into a hostel offering great services and quickly gaining prominence among guests. But little did this young entrepreneur know that an evil neighbor who rents out flats on floors above the hostel will get all furious in his dirty sick little old mind and complain about the hostel calling it a whore house.  

Did he for once even visit the place? No! The owner tried finding a common language but when an old pervert thinks it's a whorehouse, it must be a whorehouse because there cannot be any other way. Because going against elders is also against Azerbaijani mentality. So the old man tried everything including the local district police department (this was his last resort as all the others started ignoring the old man after realizing he was simply against the idea of a hostel).  He was personally received by the head of the district police whereby the two agreed without letting the hostel owner explain anything that the hostel must close regardless of the fact if there any guests staying there, or booked to come. 

But the actual mentality bomb was dropped by the head of the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs who said hostels were against Azerbaijani mentality. 

And this my dear readers is how mentality killed a perfectly normal hostel business that was totally legal, matching all the requirements and simply an act of good investment. But alas, turns out, even hostels are against our mentality. 

Thursday, March 23

Azebaijan's foreign debt- truth behind government quoted numbers

As is everything else in Azerbaijan, information on the country's foreign debt is diverse with government quoting one set of numbers, and opposition saying something completely else.

I thought I put together the most recent indicators as quoted by the story on AzadliqRadio.

*Ilham Aliyev says it is only 20% of the GDP 
*Min.of Economy says it is approximately 12 billion manats 
* Independent economist Natig Jafarli says authorities leave out company loans taken on state guarantees. Take for instance SOCAR, whose debt is 8 billion manats. If loans of all state companies are added then the total of external debt would be around 60% of the GDP. 

There are also other projects like the Southern Gas Corridor for which Azerbaijan took out a 1 billion loan with 5.8% return rate. 

Feel free to send in more info so I can expand on this post.