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'There Is no Way to Peace; Peace Is the Way' - An Appeal to the Georgian Nation

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Muhajir – Abkhazian District in Batumi
1558 ethnic Abkhazians live in Adjara Autonomous, 800 of them in Batumi, 645 in Khelvachauri district. This is the data provided by statistic department based on 2002 census.

A narrow street in so called Pivzaod settlement will bring you to Abkhazian residents. This district is called “Abkhazian neighborhood”. Young people avoid speaking with journalists, though the elders will even teach you some Abkhazian phrases. Mainly there are private houses in the neighborhood. We noticed two men sitting on the bench in front of one house and approached them.

“I was born and grown up here. My sons-in-law and grandchildren are Georgian. Politics is Politics, we live together and we are one unity. We had one King and one enemy; we had common pain and happiness. The relation of Abkhazians and Georgians was spoiled by nasty third party,” said one of the Abkhazian men.

Dursun Ninidze lives in Abkhazian neighborhood; he is from Adjara, but he knows Abkhazian language better than many Abkhaz. “I grew up with my Abkhazian friends; I have many Abkhazian friends and relatives. We are one unity; time has parted us for a short time,” said Dursuna Ninidze.

Ethnic Abkhaz people worry about lack of Abkhaz language courses. “We know Abkhazian language, I even can be Tamada of Abkhazian wedding-party, but young people do not know Abkhazian language. We do not ask Abkhazian schools, but it would be nice if we had Abkhazian language courses,” they said.

77 years old Ismet Kaitamba joined our conversation. He does not live in this neighborhood any longer: “I miss my district and now I am visiting my brothers. He is my brother too (he speaks about Dursun Ninidze), because he is Adjarian, I am Abkhazian. He knows Abkhazian language better than me. There is no difference between us.  I have Georgian sons-in-law and grandchildren,” Kaitamba said.

Kaitamba recalls past time, when he could visit his relatives in Abkhazia: “Earlier we used to visit each other. I want to visit them now but I can’t. After the war I was in Abkhazia 11 times. The government should open the way and people will reconcile with the support of music and love. Often visits make people friends…”

The Abkhazians Muhajirs, living in Adjara say that unity is inevitable: “Water is looking for the old river-bed and will definitely find it”.

A Megrelian lady, Guli Kutelia, recalls several Abkhazian traditions which still live in their families: “Respect of older people is the one of the oldest and deepest traditions. For example, daughter-in law cannot sit next to her father-in-law; father and son can’t drink the wine together”. As Guli Kutelia said, non-Abkhazian daughters-in law cannot follow the traditions, but she is not angry about it.

At the end of our conversation my Abkhazian respondents said goodbye in Abkhazian language:

“Amcha gubziara” (God gave you health);
“Hapsuara iahmurzai” (Let’s don’t lose Abkhazians);
“Haitsunui hakhazai” (Let’s be together).

29 Jul. '10