Georgian Minorities - Dea Elibegova - ebook

Georgian Minorities ebook

Dea Elibegova

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Opis

This booklet includes articles on four ethnic groups or minorities - Roma, Qists, Assyrians, Ezids – in Georgia today. This South Caucasus country is today a multiethnic country where different national and ethnic minorities live side by side, and it can hardly be understood without knowledge of their minorities. The preservation of national-historical originality and ethnic self-identification of these groups, while keeping their culture, traditions, history and language is the key issue and a noble task of minorities today as well as the state. The paper serves as first entrance, mainly for non-Georgians, but also for Georgians to be aware of the culture, traditions, history and customs of people living next to the majority population. The importance of the paper is in indicating and identifying key points characterizing the precise ethnic or minorities groups. The paper may become, after all, a useful contribution for European minority research. By different kind of analysis the originality of each group should be highlighted. While the contribution on Roma is a genuine social science research work, with high empirical content, it states that there are significant differences between the obligations Georgia has signed for in European conventions and the de facto treatment of Roma, for which Dea Elibegova sets up an ambitious – but also self-evident – checklist for the state. She works as Chief Specialist in the Department of Minorities of the Ministry for Reintegration in Tbilisi/Georgia. Her co-author and colleague Meqa Khangoshvili describes the history and mentality of the Qists, a Chechen minority in Georgia, who always were friends of the Georgians throughout their history. Also the other chapters are more culturally and historically oriented, first about the Assyrians, written by Sergey Osipov and Eka Bitkash, both very active in Assyrian organizations, in the case of Sergey Osipov as Deputy Chairman of the World Assyrians Association, in the case of Eka Bitkash as chairperson of the Young Assyrians in Tbilisi. The Ezidism chapter by Dimitry Pirbari also includes specific religious criteria and gives an excellent overview about the habits and customs of Ezidism. After all, this booklet brings valuable insights and an interesting picture of life in Georgia.

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Bibliografische Information der Deutschen Bibliothek

Die Deutsche Bibliothek verzeichnet diese Publikation in der Deutschen Nationalbibliografie; detaillierte bibliografische Daten sind im Internet über http://dnb.ddb.de abrufbar

Rangendingen, August 2009

© by LIBERTAS

Cover map:

World Fact Book, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),

Washington D.C., USA

LIBERTAS – European Institute GmbH,

Lindenweg 37, 72414 Rangendingen (Hechingen), Germany

Telephone +49 7471 984996-0,

telefax +49 7471 984996-19

eMail: [email protected]

Internet: www.libertas-institut.com

ISBN 978-3-937642-10-9 (print)

ISBN 978-3-946119-21-0 (epub)

ISBN 978-3-946119-22-7 (mobipocket)

The Authors

Dea ELIBEGOVA works asChief Specialist at the Department on National/Ethnic Minority Issues, Office of the State Minister for Reintegration, Tbilisi, Georgia. She obtained a B.A. degree in English language at GeorgianTechnicalUniversity and a Master at TbilisiStateUniversity, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of South Caucasus in Transformation, on the subject of her contribution for this LIBERTAS Paper. One of the few experts on minority issues in Georgia (and of Armenian origin), she worked before in Tbilisi, among others, as an analyst for the Foreign Relations Committee of the Georgian Parliament, the Presidential Administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Public Defender (Ombudsman). She also got large media experience in working for 1 ½ years with Georgian Public Television Broadcasting, where she was part of the News, Social and Political Programs Department (broadcasting for minorities).

Meqa KHANGOSHVILI: After obtaining at Tbilisi State University a Bachelor’s degree in physics, she reached a literature degree, and a Ph.D. at Technical University of Georgia on the “Heroic Epos of the Vainakhs”. Lecturer of Chechen language at different universities, head of the “Congress of Caucasian Women” and for many years head of the Chechen-Ingush Department in “Caucasian House” Tbilisi. A leading expert on Chechen questions and refugees, the Pankisi Gorge and the Qists, and a former TV program anchor on minority issues, she is today Chief Specialist in the Civil Integration Department, State Ministry for Reintegration.

Sergey Georgievich OSIPOV, Doctor of Medicine, Professor, corresponding member of the Academy of Military Sciences, Head of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine Department at Federal Research and Clinical Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology under the Ministry of Health of Russia. He was born in Tbilisi in 1946. 1953-1964 Secondary School № 49 inTbilisi, 1971 graduation from the 2nd Moscow State Medical Institute named after N.I. Pirogov. In 1979 he defended a thesis on immunotherapy of children’s acute leukemia at the Hertsen Oncology Research Institute,in 1987 a doctorate thesis on immunology of atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease at the All-Union Cardiologic Scientific Center (AUCSC) under the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS). From 1988 S.G. Osipov was headingthe Coordination and Scientific Research Planning at the AUCSC under the USSR AMS, being at the same time the Academic Secretary of the Council of Cardiologic Experts under the Bureau of the USSR AMS. From 1991 leading the Clinical Immunologic Laboratory at the newly established Research Center of Pediatric Hematology under the Ministry of Health of Russia, and from 2000-2004 Vice President of the 21st Century Clinic Foundation, a coordinating center of the “Health Promoting Hospitals” Worldwide Network under the World Health Organization, and a member of the Scientific Council of the WHO Regional Office for Europe for complex medical care.

In 1990 he was one of the founders and the Vice President of the USSR Assyrian Congress. In 1991 he was elected Vice President of the Assyrian National Congress in Modesto, USA. In 1994 he founded and started publishing the Assyrian social and political newsletter Melta (Word). Since 2003 also head of the broadcasting program Kala Aturaya (The Voice of Assyria) of the Russian State Broadcasting Company The Voice of Russia.

Eka BITKASH was born in May in 1987 in Tbilisi/Georgia. 1992 -2004 Author’s School №51. In 2003 she entered the MusicalCollegenamed after Zachariah Paliash-vili, which she finished in 2007. In 2005 she started Oriental Studies at IvaneJavakchishviliStateUniversity in Tbilisi, in the Art Faculty. She is a specialist in Assyriology. Since 2009 also Chairperson of the “Assyrian Youth Organization NINEVIA” in Georgia

Dimitri PIRBARI, born in 1978 in Tbilisi/Georgia, graduated in 1995 from the secondary school №134.In 1999 he graduated from GeorgianAgrarianUniversity, specialized in the Architecture of Green Buildings in which he got a Master’s Degree in 2001. In 2004 he graduated from Tbilisi Asia and Africa Institute, Faculty of the History of the Eastern Countries and International Relations, Arabian Department. He also served in the Ezid’s main temple in Lalishi (Iraq’s Kurdistan). Working on the history of Kurds and the issues of Ezid religion, he is the author of different books, scientific papers and publications: “On the way to the truth: Ezidism”, Tbilisi, 2003, Ezidi Sarkhada (Ezids resettlement to the South Caucasus 2008), Kurds in Georgia, (co-author together with Mamuka Komakhia), Tbilisi 2008 and many others ore. In 2003 Kurdish-Russian language newspaper “New Views” co-editor, Tbilisi, since 2004 chairman of Kurds Intelligentsia’s Union in Georgia, Tbilisi, since 2008 Georgian Radio, News & Music programs editor and the anchor.

Table of Contents

Foreword

Protection or Isolation?

The Qist Phenomenon in Georgian Reality

Assyrians in Tbilisi

Foreword

Thisbooklet includes articles on four ethnic groups or minorities - Roma, Qists, Assyrians, Ezids - residing in Tbilisi and the rest of Georgia. Georgia is today a multiethnic country where different national and ethnic minorities live side by side. The country can hardly be understood without a certain knowledge of their minorities. The preservation of national-historical originality and ethnic self-identification of these certain groups, while keeping their culture, traditions, history and language is the key issue and a noble task of minorities today.

The paper serves as a first entrance, mainly for non-Georgians, but also for Georgians to be aware of the culture, traditions, history and customs of people living next to the majority population. The importance of the paper is in indicating and identifying key points characterizing the precise ethnic or minorities groups. The paper may become, after all, a useful contribution for European minority research.

By different kind of analysis the originality of each group should be highlighted.While the contribution on Roma is a genuine social science research work, with high empirical content, the three others are more culturally and historically oriented, partly also including specific religious criteria. All authors come either from the relevant groups, or from minority research, or work in the ministry covering minority issues. The editor wants to thank cordially to all her colleagues who contributed to this collection, which may bring an interesting picture of daily life in Georgia, in many respects. All corrections and comments are welcome!

Tbilisi/Georgia, August 2009

Dea Elibegova

Protection or Isolation?

On Georgia’s Policy Choice Towards Roma

Dea Elibegova1

I. The Question of this Study

The aim of this short study is to identify discrepancies between the de facto and the legally stipulated actual human rights protection mechanisms and policies towards the Roma minority in Georgia, particularly in Tbilisi.

This paper identifies and analyzes the unintended consequences of main discrepancies and deviations of the Georgian Government’s policies from the Council of Europe (hereafter called “CoE”) membership obligations and commitments,

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