Azerbaijan International is a magazine that discusses issues related to Azerbaijanis around the world. It was established in 1993 shortly after the dissolution of the Soviet Union when Azerbaijan gained its independence. Since then, it has been published quarterly in English with occasional articles in the Azerbaijani language in Latin and Arabic scripts. The magazine has offices in Los Angeles and Baku. It was funded at the outset in large part by a grant from ConocoPhillips, and as a result has been criticized as presenting a pro-regime perspective.
Each issue includes about 100-colored pages and relates to a specific theme. Past themes have included art, music, literature, folklore, architecture, archeology, health, environment, international relations, business, trends and transitions. Its target audience is international readers in the business, diplomatic and academic communities.
Several editions have been particularly noteworthy in the history of the magazine. These include research about the discovery and decipherment of the Caucasian Albanian (Old Udi alphabet) in Mount Sinai, Egypt, by Dr. Zaza Aleksidze, Folklore of the Sufi Hamid Cemetery, and the relationship of Maiden Tower to the Winter Solstice. Also the 2006 Tangaroa Pacific Voyage: "Testing Thor Heyerdahl's Theories about Kon-Tiki 60 Years Later."
Six issues were dedicated to Azerbaijani literature; specifically, the Spring issues of 1996, 1999, 2004, 2005, and 2011, and 2013. The Literature of Stalinist repressions in Azerbaijan had never been published in English before and is even difficult to find in the Azerbaijani language.
Ali and Nino research
The recent triple edition of the 2011 edition of the magazine (Vol. 15:2-4, 364 pages available in English and in Azerbaijani) deals with the mystery surrounding the identity of the author of the novel Ali and Nino: A Love Story which appeared under the pseudonym Kurban Said, first published in 1937 in German by the Austrian publishing house E.P. Tal. The issue is entitled "Who Wrote Azerbaijan's Most Famous Novel: Ali and Nino? The Business of Literature."
According to Betty Blair, editor of AI and author of the articles, research was carried out over a period of six years (2004–2010) examining documents and materials in 10 languages (Azerbaijani, Russian, English German, French, Italian, Turkish, Georgian, Persian and Swedish). The magazine staff also relied on archival materials in the Azerbaijan Republic State History Archives, Institute of Manuscripts (Baku), Georgian Centre for Manuscripts (Tbilisi), Ukrainian National Archives (Kyiv), ZMO (Center for Modern Oriental Studies, Berlin) and the rare library resources of German, Italian and French journals from the 1930s that are available at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
In the articles, Betty Blair concludes that (1) Azerbaijani writer Yusif Vazir Chamanzaminli (1887-1943) is the core author of Ali and Nino as his personal life and works mirror the storyline and issues in the novel. (2) Lev Nussimbaum (Essad Bey) (1905-1942) served primarily as a broker and enhanced passages—especially related to folklore and legendary topics. (3) Essad Bey plagiarized passages from Georgian writer Grigol Robakidze (1881-1962), especially related to travels in Tiflis (Tbilisi) and Iran. (4) Austrian Baroness Elfriede Ehrenfels (1894-1982) registered the pseudonym “Kurban Said” in her own name.
- "Azerbaijan International". Ulrichsweb. ProQuest LLC. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
- Dr. Zaza Aleksidze - "Caucasian Albanian Alphabet - Ancient Script Discovered in the Ashes" - Vol. 11:3 (Autumn 2003).
- "Sofi Hamid Cemetery - Life Mirrored in Pastel Colors" - Vol. 13:1 (Spring 2005).
- "Baku’s Maiden Tower and the Relationship to Winter Solstice" – Vol. 14:3 (Autumn 2006).
- Torgeir Saeverud Higraff with Betty Blair, in Azerbaijan International, Vol. 14:4 (2006), pp. 28-33.
- "Contemporary Literature," Vol. 4:1 (Spring 1996)
- "Century of Reversals: A Literary Perspective," Vol. 7.1 (Spring 1999)
- "Azerbaijani Literature: Passionate Pens in Pursuit of Truth," Vol. 12.1 (Spring 2004)
- "The Literature of Stalin's Repressions: And Always Voices Will Ring Out," Vol. 14:1 (Spring 2006)
- "Who Wrote Azerbaijan's Most Famous Novel - Ali and Nino? The Business of Literature," Vol. 15:2-4 (2011)
- "Yusif Vazir Chamanzaminli: His Life, His Works, His Dreams" Vol. 16:1-2 (forthcoming 2013).
- "Remembering Stalin," Vol. 13:4 (Winter 2005) and "The Literature of Stalin's Repressions," Vol. 14:1 (Spring 2006).
- "Frequently Asked Questions about the Authorship of Ali and Nino," in Azerbaijan International, Vol. 15:2-4 (158 questions, 543 endnotes), pp. 52-137.
- "101 Reasons Why Yusif Vazir Chamanzaminli is the Core Author of 'Ali and Nino,'" Azerbaijan International, Vol. 15:2-4, pp. 262-333.
- "Who Was Nino?: Jewish Girl Was Prototype: Yusif Vazirov's Diary Suggests Identity of Nino," Azerbaijan International, Vol. 15:2-4, pp. 254-261.
- "Essad Bey as Core Author of Ali and Nino: Seven Reasons Why It Just Ain't So," in Azerbaijan International, Vol. 15:2-4, pp. 180-217.
- "Critics: Fact or Fiction? What Essad Bey's Contemporaries Said," in Azerbaijan International, Vol. 15:2-4, pp. 166-179.
- "Folklore: What Essad Bey Didn't Know: Portrait of the Caucasus," in Azerbaijan International, Vol. 15:2-4, pp. 218-230.
- "'Cut and Paste' Author: Essad Bey's Fingerprints in 'Ali and Nino,'" in Azerbaijan International, Vol. 15: 2-4, pp. 230-251.
- Tamar Injia, Ali and Nino – Literary Robbery (Norwalk, Connecticut: IM Books, 2009)
- Photos of 1930s German registries with entry of "Kurban Said" shown to be registered in name of Elfriede Ehrenfels in "Frequently Asked Questions," No. 19 and 20, in Azerbaijan International, Vol. 15:2-4, pp. 55-57.
- "Who wrote Azerbaijan's most famous novel? News.az (December 3, 2010)