Did you mean?Try your search again
The flag of Azerbaijan was officially adopted on February 5, 1991. This is actually remarkable in itself because until September/October of the same year they were still part of the Soviet Union. The current flag is actually based on the Azerbaijan flag of 1918 – when they declared independence from the old Russian Empire. This only last a couple of year and they had a nice big red USSR flag with a small stripe of blue at the bottom for decades.
The flag consists of three equal horizontal bands of blue, red, and green. There is a white crescent and an eight-pointed star centered in the middle red band. The blue band represents the country’s Turkic heritage, red is for progress and the green represents Islam.
November 9th is National Flag Day in Azerbaijan.
Written Aug 25, 2012
Eid is the Islamic celebration . Eid Al fitr or small Eid as it is sometimes called is the 3 day celebration following the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Eid Al Adha or the big Eid ( Eid Alkabeer ) or the feast of sacrifice is the 4 day celebration that proceeds the Haj ritual or pilgrimage to Mecca , actually the first day of the four coincides with the pilgrims standing on mount Arafat followed by 3 consecutive days.
It is called the feast of sacrifice because toward the end, the Haj ritual involves slaughtering a sheep to mark the sacrifice that Nabi or Prophet Ibrahim made upon god to spare his son Ismail by slaughtering a sheep instead.Households usually slaughter a sheep and it is usually distributed as follows ,one third to the household,one third to the neighbors, one third to the needy which is the most important .Every household slaughters a sheep pending they are financially capable whether they went to the pilgrimage or not.
Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam .
Both Eids meaning celebration in Arabic move forward 12 days every consecutive year according to the Arabic lunar calender and there is about 2 month gap between them the Eid Al fitr being the first.
Updated Oct 22, 2010
The name of the month comes from pagan times in Arabia . Ramadan is a month when Moslems fast from Azaan Al fajer meaning the early morning call of prayer before sunrise till Azan Al magrib at sunset which is the 4th evening call of prayer as during a day there are 5 calls of prayer.This month is marked by many rituals from the special prayers called Salat Al taraweh after iftar , the late night prayer called keyam al leel ,lailat Al Qadr (the night of destiny) and payment of the Zakaat Al firt or alms given to the needy, the Zakaat has a specific calculation in Islam on the overall wealth ( cash ,gold ) and is distributed to the needy , that`s beside Zaakat Al fitr .
Ramadan is a very significant month ,it`s a time for reflection and compassion ,a chance for a person to get closer to the creator ,change for the better & start anew , a time to feel for others in need .
The break of the fast involves different kind of food & drinks some of which are associated
only with the month itself .Suhoor is the light meal eaten late at night befor dawn.
Children in some Arabic countries carry special Ramadan lanterns at night , it`s a mesmerising atmosphere throughout when relatives and friends hatch up differences and gather.
The month moves forward 10 to 12 days every year based on the Arabic lunar calender and it`s end is marked by the sighting of the full moon for the Eid Al fitr celebration.
During the month greetings are exchanged by saying Ramadan Kareem ( meaning Ramadan the generous ) or Ramadan Mubarak ( Ramadan the blessed ).
Various Ramadan & Eid greeting cards are on offer during this period to send to relatives and friends or business associates within the country or in other countries.
Updated Jul 21, 2010
The Islamic calendar , Al -taqwīm al-hijrī or Hijri calender in Arabic is the calendar used to date events in many Arab Moslem countries, and used by Moslems everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic holy days. It is a lunar calendar having 12 lunar months in a year of about 354 days. Because this lunar year is about 11 days shorter than the solar year, Islamic holy days, although celebrated on fixed dates in their own calendar, usually shift 11 days earlier each successive solar year, such as a year of the Gregorian calendar. Islamic years are also called Hijra years because the first year was the year during which the Hijra occurred— Prophet Muhammad's(PBUH) emigration from Mecca to Medina. Thus each numbered year is designated either H or AH, the latter being the initials of the Latin anno Hegirae (in the year of the Hijra).
The Islamic months are named as follows from pagan times.Their names are derived from and relevant to occurances in pre-Islamic tribal Arabia:
Muharram - محرّم
Safar - صفر
Rabee al-awwal - Rabee 1st - ربيع الأول
Rabee al-thani or Rabee al-Akhir - Rabee 2nd ,ربيع الآخر أو ربيع الثاني
Jumada al-awwal -Jumada 1st - جمادى الأول
Jumada al-thani or Jumada al-akhir/Jumada II, جمادى الآخر أو جمادى الثاني
Ramadan رمضان also called Ramadan Al Mubarak meaning Ramadan the blessed
Dhu al-Qi'dah ذو القعدة
Dhu al-Hijjah ذو الحجة
Meaning of the months:
1.Muharram( a holy month where no warfare or fighting is allowed)
2.Safar (Safar literally means ‘the void month’as when the pagan Arabs went on their looting expeditions or persued tribal reprisals or wars since they could not do that in the four sacred month,they would leave their houses would be empty or ‘sifr’ meaning void.
3.Rabia al awal ("First spring")
4. Rabia Thani ("Second spring")
5. Jumaada Awal ("First freeze")
6. Jumaada Thani ("Second freeze")
7. Rajab ("To respect" - this is another holy month when fighting is prohibited)
8. Sha'ban ("To spread and distribute")
9. Ramadan ("Parched thirst" - this is the month of daytime fasting)
10. Shawwal ("To be light and vigorous")
11. Dhul-Qi'dah ("The month of rest" - another month when no warfare or fighting is allowed)
12.Dhul-Hijjah ("The month of Hajj" - this is the month of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, again when no warfare or fighting is allowed)
Days of the week are named:
yaum al-ahad يوم الأحد (first day - Sunday)
yaum al-ithnayn يوم الإثنين (second day - Monday)
yaum ath-thulaathaa' يوم الثُّلَاثاء (third day - Tuesday)
yaum al-arbia`aa' يوم الأَرْبِعاء (fourth day - Wednesday)
yaum al-khamis يوم الخَمِيس (fifth day - Thursday)
yaum al-jumu`a يوم الجُمُعَة (gathering day - Friday)
yaum al-sabt يوم السَّبْت (Saturday)
Updated Jul 19, 2010
OK. Let’s stay focused here people. Now for part 2 about the most useful, yet despicably foul animals in the world. For those keeping up, we are still on the Arabian Camel with 1 hump. That hump is were these guys store their food so to speak. They can live off their stored fat for week! When they do start to run out their hump droops to the side. I have never seen this, but I have also never been with nomads in the desert for weeks either.
So Mr. Camels can lose 40% of his body weight then just suck up 32 gallons (145 litres) of water to re-hydrate. Wow.
Then he has an inner eyelid, in addition to his outer, which protects the eyes from sandstorms while still letting in enough light to see where they are going. They have huge eyelashes on their outer eyelids to keep out sand and can even close their nostrils completely for the same purpose. The last bit? they have broad feet so they do not sink into the sand!
A few stats:
* Life span of about 50 years
* Gestation is 12 to 14 months
* Offspring are usually 1 at a time. 2 sometimes
Updated Jul 4, 2008
Camels are know as the ‘Ships of the Desert’ and rightfully so. They can easily survive where other animals cannot. They are amazing strong, versatile, useful, but inherently vile and evil beasts. Just remember that they are foul tempered and will happily bite you and/or spit in your face. Just keep to the sides or rear and you will be fine. There are 2 kinds of camel – the Dromedary Camel (also known as the Arabian Camel) with 1 hump and the Bactrian Camel (or Asian Camel) with 2 humps. 90% of the world’s camels are Dromedaries and these are the ones you will find all over the Middle East.
How useful are they? They can carry 200 pounds (90 kilograms) of weight, walk 20 miles (32 kilometres) a day in the desert and go without water for over a week and without food for months! Their coats can be used for wool; you can drink their milk, eat the meat (tough!), make leather from their skin and burn their droppings for fuel. Very versatile indeed!
Written Jul 1, 2008
A 'Dizzi' is also known as 'Abgousht'. This is a meat (usually beef), bean and potato stew. But it gets more interesting. It’s all cooked in a pot that is brought to your table. The juice is pored out into a separate bowl (pictured) and is like a kind of soup you eat with flat bread. Then the waiter puts a masher into the small pot and sirs around furiously to make an almost sort of puree placed into a second bowl. I know the word is actually Persia, but I like to think it’s called a Dizzi because watching the waiter stirring can make your head spin. It tastes good and is almost 2 dishes in one.
Written Jun 20, 2008
No body wares them any more. 50 years ago used to carry around Daggers and guns. Nowaday you might see one or 2 in special ocassion in Naibouring Oman but in Yemen it is still very common site
Updated Jan 9, 2008
The Middle East is viewed as a mans world and that it is difficult to travel around for solo women. The ME is a mans world but travelling shouldnt be difficult if you take the proper pre cautions. You dont need to run to the nearest store and buy a black chador or abaya but modesty is essential here (ie mens dress shirt and baggy pants or long and baggy dress) if you want to have a great time. After speaking to my female Western friends in Oman and observing tourists in the country for three years, I ve decided to post these tips in the Middle Eastern section of VT. 1. Wear a wedding ring if you are not marred. 2. If you are travelling with a man say he is your husband to avoid any extra attention. 3. Avoid direct eye contact in conservative areas and sunglasses help out a lot. 4. Dont respond to idiotic comments because most of the younger men are looking for a reaction, it is better to just keep walking or ignore them. 5. Dont sit in the front seat of the taxis as many of my friends have been touched or assaulted by taxi drivers looking for a cheap thrill. 6. On public transport, sit next to women if possible. 7. If you need directions, ask women and if this is not possible ask hotel workers or Indian men as they are more likely to be somewhat used to foreign women as opposed to Arabs. 8. If you are eating alone, sit in the family section to avoid stares and unwanted attention. 9. If you are being followed by any creepy men, they duck into a shop or Petrol station or hotel lobby. There are dozens of tips I could write but I think this list is an initial good start to your journey. Good Luck :)
Written Feb 18, 2007
One of the highlights of the ME is if you get the opportunity to visit someones home and experience the true Middle East. Sharing a meal is a great way to cement a friendship but the etiquette can be intially complex if you are unfamiliar with the customs. If you are invited to someones house there are some general rules to follow that will ensure you have a great time such as arriving at the house. When you first arrive at the house you should ring the bell or knock and step to the side of the door to avoid direct vision inside the house (because you dont want to make direct eye contact with the women in the house before entering). You should also bring a small gifts such as sweets etc. Second, if you washed your hands before arriving you should do it again to show you are clean and courteous. Only use the right hand when eating or accepting food because the left hand is used for other activities. Avoid licking your fingers or touching your face and nose. Do not put food back on the table as it is considered really rude to the host. Reaching is inconsiderate and eat at a slow pace because Arabs like to enjoy their meal at a slow pace unlike Westerners. The host will usually put the best dishes in front of you so you should sample each of them no matter if you like them or not. The best parts of the meal ie the meat or chicken are usually saved for the last part of the meal so eat the rice or dates first. If you are full then pat your belly and say enough or if you had too many teas then tip your glass side to side to show that you dont need any more. If you are offered tea or coffee after the meal, it is really rude to leave before everybody at the table is finished. Other than these few simple rules, the experience is wonderful :)
Written Feb 13, 2007
Four Seasons Istanbul Istanbul
6 Reviews and 488 Opinions This is the 2nd time I come to Istanbul....the last time I came I came with my buddies, so we stayed...
6 Reviews and 1481 Opinions Probably the best hotel I have ever stayed in. Service was amazing including your own personal...
The King David Jerusalem Jerusalem
5 Reviews and 434 Opinions Without doubt, the King David Hotel is the most famous and prestigious hotels in Israel and possibly...
see all Middle East member meetings