Michael Totten

Azerbaijan, Here I Come -- UPDATED

So I just got invited to a week-long conference in the mysterious country of Azerbaijan in August.
I can’t help but wonder how many people even know where it is. (It’s between Iran and Russia, and around a fourth of Iranians are ethnic Azeris. One Iranian province is actually called Western Azerbaijan. The former name of the country was the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.)
It should be damned interesting. I’ll publish at least one article from there before I return to Iraq, and more than one article if it’s interesting enough.
Tell me: what would you like to know about this place?
UPDATE: A reader asked what this conference is all about. It is being hosted by the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, and it is called “Views from America 2008.” There will be panel discussions on at least four topics: Elections in the U.S., pop culture’s impact on the American image, the role of the Internet in politics, and the future of secularism and moderation in Islam.
The conference will last one day, but I’ll be in country for a week. Meetings are being arranged with senior government officials including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, religious leaders, business executives, and think tank professionals.
So if you could talk to these people, what would you ask them? I can think of my own questions, of course, but you’re my readers and some of you dontate money to my account, so I want to know what you want to read about.