January 23, 2011

A New Name for an Ancient Region


 Businesswomen from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey will come together for a conference to be held in Istanbul Jan. 24-26.


“Invest for the Future: Women Driving Economic Growth” organized by the US State Department in collaboration with the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGIDER) will be attended by 125 businesswomen looking for new ideas to expand their businesses. The panel discussions and sessions in the conference emphasize such issues as finance, communication, forming strategic partnerships and networking.

According to the information found on the conference's website, the ultimate purpose is to develop cooperation between businesswomen in the Eurasia region by launching educational workshops and conferences.

"Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan have much more in common with one another, and certainly a great deal in common with the Middle East as well. That those four countries aren’t quite fully the Middle East either speaks to something, and this intermediate state must be reflected in the positions and policies of those countries.

Where does it leave them, then? The neither here, nor there, the in-between limbo state can be frustrating all right, but it can also be an opportunity to forge a new understanding of the cultures and societies of this particular region. They form the nearer East, or perhaps even the nearest East, for that matter. They are nearer to Europe than the rest of the Middle East, while still being nearer to the East than the rest of Europe -- nearest both to and from the East.

On their own terms, however, to be fair, I would propose that the region be more properly described as “Western Asia” because those people have the Orient as the basis of their societies -- an Asia in the classical sense of the word -- while at the same time being Westernized and looking to the West for their future.

Ultimately, the people of Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan must come to terms with their relationships to those around them, chiefly with regards to one another, and must assert themselves in who they are and where they are, instead of relying on external factors to define their place in the world." (Nareg Seferian from Today's Zaman)

Read More on Today's Zaman & PanArmenian.Net:
         A new name for an ancient region by Nareg Seferian
         Armenian, Azerbaijani businesswomen to meet at Istanbul-hosted conference

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