As the issuance of new passports continues in Abkhazia, many non–ethnic Abkhaz — ethnic Armenians, Russians, Georgians, and others — fear the reason behind the new regulations is to deprive them of citizenship.
After a dispute broke out between Christians and Muslims over the ruins of an old building in Mokhe, a village in Adigeni Municipality, the government created a commission to determine the building’s historical belonging. After two years of work, the commission decided not to grant ownership of the ruins to either side. Instead, it declared them a cultural heritage site, named ‘Disputed Building’. [Read more…]
Georgia’s Roma people have gradually withdrawn from a number of their traditions, rejecting the baron, historically the strongest figure in the camp. While many Roma people have hailed the changes, there is also some concern over the community’s future. [Read more…]
While the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh rages on, mixed Armenian–Azerbaijani families in Georgia continue to thrive. Such families face many difficulties — not least their inability to travel to each others’ countries — and wish for more peaceful times to return. [Read more…]
For the last nine years, pastoral Azerbaijani nomads in southern Georgia have celebrated their traditions with the annual Elat feast. Since last year, they say that the government has been cracking down on their small celebration — forcing them to make it ‘more Georgian’.
Karajala Kickboxing Club is a training facility in Karajala, a small village near Tbilisi. The club is located in the house of trainer and owner Isvahan Aliyev, a professional kickboxer. Aliyev, and all of the members but one, are ethnic Azerbaijanis born in Georgia. Saying that the facility lacks equipment would be an understatement — it has only one bench press and one punchbag — but despite this, Aliyev says that some of the children from the club are Georgian kickboxing champions. [Read more…]
Armenian identity is so tightly interwoven with religion that it can often be heard that the only true Armenian is a follower of the Armenian Church. Contempt, discrimination, and outright hatred towards religious minorities have led to a worryingly widespread perception of them as outsiders — a threat to Armenian statehood. [Read more…]
Despite Georgia’s attempts to better integrate and include ethnic minorities, young ethnic Armenians and Azerbaijanis in the country are becoming more politically invested in the affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan than in their Georgian homeland.
Around 1,000 Christian Baptists live in majority Muslim Kabardino-Balkaria. One member of the community, Chechen man Ruslan Osmanov, told OC Media about how his new-found religion helped him to find his place and to break with a life of crime and addiction.