An article entitled Educators Say Azerbaijan's Culture Is More Important Than Its Oil covered a visit of six Azeri women to the U.S. State Department at a website usinfo.org, Trend reports.
Azerbaijani educators told a U.S. audience recently that their small country on the Caspian Sea can contribute much more than oil to the rest of the world Azerbaijan blends Islamic tradition and religious tolerance at a geographic and cultural crossroad linking Europe, Asia and the Middle East. While seeking more contacts with other nations, Azerbaijanis also want to preserve their countrys unique balance of tradition and tolerance, the educators said.
We are all for integration. Not Westernization, but integration, said Sevinj Ruintan, a history professor at Baku State University. We do not think that we are the only ones who can learn from cultural exchanges with other countries, she said. We think that others can learn from us as well.
Ruintan was among six Azerbaijani women scholars and teachers, all Muslims, who visited the United States March 27-April 14 in a State Department-sponsored International Visitor Leadership program, where they looked at religion and education in this country.
Azerbaijan has always been a very multiethnic nation, said Naila Suleymanova, a rare manuscripts researcher at the Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences. We have never had any conflicts with non-Muslims, Suleymanova said.