Month: July 2010

Maradona to visit South Ossetia?

President and delegation of the breakaway region of South Ossetia visited Venezuela last week. Venezuela is one of the 4 countries who recognized South Ossetia’s and Abkhazia’s (another Georgia’s breakaway region) independence after the war in August 2008.

While staying in Caracas, South Ossetia’s President Eduard Kokoity met legendary football player Diego Maradona, who is the current coach of Argentina’s national football team. According to OSinform Not only they did shake each other’s hands but Kokoity invited Maradona to visit South Ossetia. The same information agency claims that Maradona happily accepted the invitation, but it is unknown if he will really visit and when.

It has to be noted that Maradona has visited Georgia in October 2008, where he participated in a friendly match between former stars of Argentinian and Georgian national football teams. He left the country disappointed because due to a high ticket price half of the stadium was empty.

Here are some pictures of Maradona and Kokoity posing for photographers:

Ethnic Map of Georgia

This is an ethnic map of Georgia that was released by the European Centre For Minority Issues. It is a bit outdated because it was released in January, 2009, but no other similar map has been released since then.

According to the data there were 239,872 Georgians in Abkhazia in 1989, however according to 2009 data there are approximately 45,000-65,000 left, who either stayed after the war or returned mainly around Gali (which is the closest town to the Georgian border).

According to the same data there were 28,544 officially registered Georgians in South Ossetia in 1989, today the there are only 2-3,000.

Take a look at more interesting info at the map below:

Most of the young Georgians from Abkhazia have IDP status and they live around Georgia or around the world. Those from Abkhazia have not had a chance to get back to their homes for almost 20 years, some of them even don’t remember how their houses look/looked (because part of the property was either burned or destroyed). Will they ever have a chance to stand on their homeland? Nobody has an answer..

The moment

There are moments in life when things are very simple and ordinary until you realize that they are awesome. You go to a meeting or a date, you meet some people chat with them, drink, eat or smoke and do not pay attention to lot of things which hit your head only after you leave.

It was another hot Friday evening in Washington DC, full of people walking around the Dupont Circle who were going to bars, clubs and other places. There was a little meeting around a very little aluminum table in front of the circle. They were three, representing: Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. They did not eat but drink. One was a refugee from Armenia, another one was IDP from Abkhazia and third one just moved from London to Yerevan long time ago. They spoke about Caucasus. A lot. They shared their personal stories and discussed them from a regional point of view. They spoke about its past, present and the future. Discussion and entire evening went smoothly and harmonically, they listened to each other expressed their opinion and gave suggestions. This does not happen that often, especially with representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Even though these countries are tiny and they are next to each other there is less interaction than it should be. One who came from Yerevan kept saying that Georgia is one of the key places where Armenians and Azerbaijanis actually do meet and talk.

But here they were in the capital of USA talking about peace. “It’s so interesting I came to Washington DC from Yerevan, from Caucasus and here I am sitting with Caucasians” said the one who flew from Armenia for a conference on Blogs and Bullets organized by USIP.

He promised her to visit her village of origin in Armenia and also told him that whenever he has a chance he will visit Abkhazia too. They said several jokes (you should know it, humor is one of the essential characteristics of Caucasus, and if not most, half of the jokes are about the region).

He said that he would love to have an opportunity that Armenians and Azerbaijanis have, meaning he would love to meet current citizens of Abkhazia, talk to them, hear news about his hometown and etc. But here they were in the middle of Washington DC speaking about peace and the future of the region.

Suddenly it started to rain, she said she loves storms, he said he does not, even though he was born and raised in London. Third one did not express his idea.

There are moments in life when you prefer to keep silent, to listen and realize how awesome that moments are, there are moments when you hear “enemies” speak, when you realize that it’s so easy to destroy all the stereotypes and speak with your foe, with a person you thought only bad things about. There are moments when after realizing all these you would love to speak to your “enemy” and hear what he/she says. There are moments when you dream of the moment when you have an opportunity to meet your “enemy” and shake his hand and listen to him/her, but you know that it has been almost 20 years since you last had such a moment.

Around the table were Zamira Abbasova, Onnik Krikorian and Me – Mirian Jugheli.

Spies go to a museum

Can you believe that? All that Russian spies buzz turned out to be staged in order to advertise International Spy Museum (ISM) in Washington D.C…… JOKE! But take a look at this, the ISM found a perfect time to remind people of its existence, so they have put out some posters in the D.C. Metro. The advert features one person in several different outfits and it says: Nothing is what it seems, for the truth visit the Spy Museum

D.C. Metro employee sticking a poster on a pillar on July 1, 2010

Most probably during next few days the spy museum will be the favorite place of museum+entertainment lovers.