Even when Hasan Suleymanov had a steady job, he could barely get by on his salary of less than $300 per month as an architect and designer. Then, Azerbaijan’s economy started to nosedive, forcing his employer – which he asked not be named – to close down in 2015, making his situation untenable.
Like any host, Azerbaijan is trying to spruce up the capital Baku in advance of the inaugural European Games in late June. Authorities, for example, are calling on citizens to keep jalopies off the streets of the capital while the games are being staged. But one new rule is striking Baku residents as excessive: officials are prohibiting locals from taking photos in Baku’s historic Old Town.