- Published on Wednesday, 16 April 2008 02:35
- Written by Super User
Azerbaijani-Americans, also known as Azeri-Americans, are the U.S. nationals of Azerbaijani heritage, or whose ancestry hails from historical Azerbaijan. The latter includes the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan, Iranian Azerbaijan, parts of Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, and Daghestan region of the Russian Federation.
Azerbaijani [Turkic] is the native language spoken by the absolute majority of Azerbaijani people. Some small non-Turkic Azerbaijani ethnic groups speak their own native languages as well. The overwhelming majority of Azerbaijanis are Muslims, although small [Mountain] Jewish and Christian (Albanian Udi) congregations have been historically present.
The earliest identified immigrant from Azerbaijan to the United States was Mirza Ali Akbar, resident of Baku who arrived at Ellis Island on the RMS Mauretania in June 1912. The first major wave of Azerbaijani emigration to the U.S. came right after World War II through 1960s. Among those were also a number of expatriates, who fled to Turkey, Iran, and Europe after the Soviet occupation of Azerbaijan in 1920, and their descendants.
Tens of thousands of Azerbaijanis from Iran settled in the United States in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. Although many of these people generally identify themselves as Iranian, their native language and culture is Azerbaijani [Turkic].
By 1980 there were around 200 families that identified themselves as Azerbaijani in the United States, with about 80% of them being endogamic.