“Since 2006, when the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline prompted a surge in crude oil exports — up to a million barrels a day travel through neighboring Georgia and on to Turkey and the West — there’s been no shortage of cash in Baku. Now, the city is eager for the prestige that goes with it.”
Baku is described in this article as an East-West, socialist-capitalist, Muslim-secular, ancient-modern mishmash due to the numerous cultural and political interactions that it has had. This makes for a fascinating cultural landscape emerging in a city that has been dubbed “the Dubai of the Caucasus” but still has a rich Silk Road history. Caspian Sea oil lies at the heart of Azerbaijan’s geopolitical importance and cultural aspirations.