Who we are

Nailya Bentley

Nailya Bentley, an architect by day, has been blogging as "Scary Azeri" since 2009. Born and raised in Baku, Azerbaijan, she has lived for years in England and is now in Qatar. Mother of two beautiful kids.

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Nailya Bentley


Azerbaijan: A New Destination for Mountain Biking?

With a variety of little-known but beautiful mountain passes of varying altitudes, could Azerbaijan provide a new hotspot for mountain biking enthusiasts?

3 August 2023

Caucasus, Stories

The “Evil Eye” and Keeping Up with the Joneses in Azerbaijan


23 June 2022

Caucasus, Opinion

Twitter is for fighting. Really?

Nailya Bentley gets that people have stereotypes, but when does a stereotype turn into racism? In this article, she reflects on her experience as an Azerbaijani on Twitter, calling on Neil Hauer, “Ani Wandaryan”, Ana Kasparian, and even the singer Cher to cool their heels.

9 February 2022

Caucasus, Opinion

Season’s Greetings from Azerbaijan - a Curious Cultural Smorgasboard

Nailya Bentley explains that although the holidays in Azerbaijan look a lot like Christmas in the west, it's something entirely different. Say hello to Grandfather Frost and his sidekick, Snow Girl, living relics of the USSR.

24 December 2021

Caucasus, Stories

A Protector – Does Your Grandma Have One?

Should our grandparents live with us or in a nursing home? If only we could ask "Baba Manya" her opinion...

20 October 2021

Caucasus, Stories

Summer Holidays at Datcha - Not to Be Confused with a Dacha.

Fires, quakes and party-crazed fellow tourists can’t spoil a family holiday for Azerbaijani blogger Nailya and her family in southern Turkey.

9 September 2021

Caucasus, Stories

Regarding a French Onion Soup – Celebrating the Magic of Eating Together

“What is the point of hiking unless there is a cafe on the top of the mountain?” Some of us can relate! Author Nailya Bentley revisits a memorable meal in her life and provides a fantastic food-itinerary for any traveller to Baku.

26 July 2021

Caucasus, Stories

Why Georgia Reminds Me of Scarlett O'Hara

“Scary Azeri” on her first first trip to Georgia – is it really more beautiful than Azerbaijan?

21 June 2021

Caucasus, Stories

Am I Too Azeri for the TikTok Dance Generation?

Standing like that, with no inhibitions, not at all intimidated or worried about looking ridiculous- which in fact, she for sure did – who can do this

Why Am I Here?

Sounds like an existential question, doesn’t it?

20 April 2021

Caucasus, Stories