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Eurovision 2015 Contestants: Azerbaijan

Since Azerbaijan first participated in Eurovision in 2008, the country has basically gone crazy for the contest. It has become the country’s most watched program on local broadcaster Azeri TV. So popular it doesn’t matter that the three-hour long show starts airing after midnight.

After winning the contest in 2011 — with a record-low average of 5.26 points, which still got the faces of the victorious performers Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal onto 15,000 stamps — Azerbaijan spent a whopping 880,000,000 euros organizing the event in its capital Baku in 2012. The following year, Eurovision even became a matter of national concern when President Ilham Aliyev ordered an enquiry into why his country did not award Russia any points in the final.

And we thought the show itself was already over-dramatic.

Azerbaijan seems as determined as ever to win the Eurovision again this year. To represent their country, the Azerbaijanis chose Elnur Hüseynov, no other than this year’s winner of The Voice Turkey. The 28-year-old, born in Turkmenistan, already ran for Azerbaijan in 2008 with another pop singer called Samir Javadzadeh.

In Vienna this year, he will be performing a “mystical contemporary ballad” called “Hour Of The Wolf,” which is about not sleeping tonight and losing one’s mind. In the video, Elnur can be seen theatrically singing around his apartment — which, fortunately, doesn’t seem to bother his flatmates.

Our vote:

Does it make you want to visit that country? 2.25/10

Was there enough glitter? 2/10

Ok to quit your day job? 2.5/10


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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

BDS And Us: Gaza's Toll Multiplies Boycotts Of Israel And Its Allies — Seinfeld Included

In Egypt and elsewhere in the region and the world, families and movements are mobilizing against companies that support Israel's war on Gaza. The power of the people lies in their control as consumers — and the list of companies and brands to boycott grows longer.

A campaign poster with the photo of a burger with blood coming out of it with text reading "You Kill" and the Burger King logo

A campaign poster to boycott Burger King in Bangkok, Malü

Matt Hunt/ZUMA
Mohammed Hamama

CAIRO — Ali Al-Din’s logic is simple and straightforward: “If you buy a can (of soda), you'll get the bullet too...”

Those bullets are the ones killing the children of Gaza every day, and the can he refuses to buy is “kanzaya” – the popular Egyptian soft drink. It is just one of a long list of products he had the habit of consuming. Ali is nine years old.

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The clarity and simplicity of this logic has pushed Ali Al-Din to boycott all the products on the lists people are circulating of companies that have supported Israel since the attacks on Gaza began in October. His mother, Heba, points out that her son took responsibility for overseeing the boycott in their home.

A few days ago, he saw a can of “Pyrosol” insecticide, but he thought it was one of the products of the “Raid” company that was on the boycott’s lists. He warned his mother that this product was on the boycott list, but she explained that the two products were different. Ali al-Din and his younger brother also abstained from eating any food from McDonald's. “They love McDonald’s very much,” his mother says. “But they refuse.”

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