In a quick google search yesterday, here's what I found, courtesy of our friends at Wikipedia (that is to say, one man with an Encyclopedia Britannica):
Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south. The Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic (an exclave of Azerbaijan) borders Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, and Turkey to the northwest. The Nagorno-Karabakh region in the southwest of Azerbaijan proper declared itself independent from Azerbaijan in 1991, but it is not recognized by any nation and considered a legal part of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is a secular state, and has been a member of the Council of Europe since 2001, EU's European Neighborhood Policy partner since 2006, NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) member since 1994, NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) since 2004  and Commonwealth of Independent States's member since 1991. The Azerbaijani people (or simply Azeris) are the majority population, most of whom (about 70%) are traditionally adherents of Shi'a Islam. The remaining Muslims are Sunni. Other religions include Russian Orthodoxy(2.5%), Armenian Orthodoxy (2.3%), other (6%). The country is formally an emerging democracy, but with strong authoritarian rule.
Aaaaaaaand, that's about all I know, for now. That and I'm set to go there in mid-May, for about three weeks and work very, very hard. And that there's alot of oil there.
As if my life isn't random enough....
Wish me luck!