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September 11 - 17, 2015




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Georgia Today 20 p.

ISSUE No.783

Over riding the


PRESIDENT’S VET O VETO An yP alpa ble R esults Expected? Any Palpa alpab Results

Discrimina ting Ag ainst Discriminating Against Women K ee ps Kee eeps P.11 Countries P oor er Poor oorer


Political Ping-P ong Ping-Pong ong,, Four Pla yer s Play ers at the Table

Mud-slinging in Georgian Parliament as photo of President knitting goes viral.

Turkey steps us visits to Abkhazia amidst protest from Official Tbilisi, with Georgia hoping to keep the ball on the table as it balances between Russia and Turkey; both of whom aim to be regional economic leader.



Na tionalist Mobs Nationalist Attac k Buildings Attack in Ankar a, Ankara, Istanbul

De Waal: R ussian Russian Acti vity J ust Activity Just ‘T hr ea tening Noise ut ‘Thr hrea eatening Noise,,’ b but ower’ Be war e the ‘Soft P Po Bew are The Senior Associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace discusses NATO-Georgia relations and the Russian factor. P.8 FLIGHT SCHEDULE


Continued fighting between government forces and a surge in Turkish nationalism could play into the hands of Erdogan if elections are held in November. P.6




Ov er riding the Pr esident’ s Over erriding President’ esident’s Veto - An yP alpa ble Any Palpa alpab Results Expected? By Steven Jones Last week, a Member of Parliament from Georgian Dream (GD), Tamaz Mechiauri, blamed ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili for letting “a member of Soros NGO give up his knitting needles and granting him the right to veto.” The Chairman of the Parliamentary Finance and Budget Committee pointed the finger at Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili at the plenary session to discuss the President’s Veto over the bill on the National Bank. For his ‘rude’ wording, Mechiauri received harsh criticism even from the inner circle, the Republicans, who play a major role in the Georgian Dream coalition as a pro-western party. Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli countered Mechiauri’s sarcasm by stating she is proud that she served as a Soros NGO representative for years. Representatives of the Presidential Administration who attended the session in Kutaisi assessed the statement as unethical and improper. “Observance of ethics and culture in parliamentary life is desirable and even necessary from any person, especially from an MP,” said Giorgi Kverenchkhiladze the President’s Parliamentary Secretary. According to Mechiauri, the Lari exchange rate is used by the Opposition for fueling protest amongst the population against the government. During the last few months, the Georgian Lari has depreciated dramatically, leading the government to accuse the National Bank (NB) of inactivity. This was the reason GD tried to pass a bill to take the supervisory function from the NB, a bill which was vetoed by the President. Since overriding the veto, President Margvelashvili has stated that he will

Why Montenegro and Not Georgia? Because… By Zviad Adzinbaia

The image that set off the insults: President Giorgi Margvelashvili knitting.

sign the bill as he respects the decision made by the majority. He cites that responsibility lies with the lawmakers that have sturdily protected their positions. There were discussions in numerous public circles as to whether the attack on the Georgian President voiced the general view of the GD coalition towards the presidential institution. Further, it was believed that Mechiauri, who seems to have a strong predilection towards the former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili, mirrored the very position of the person considered to be ruling from the backstage. At the same time, Georgia continues its laborious path towards the Euro-Atlantic space with some lethargy. Russia’s Fifth Column and Soft [but hard] power has been inarguably strong in the country, including its media propaganda. The elections of 2016 are nearing. And, significantly, Georgia still remains in economic shock, which has driven a colossal number of businessmen into a crisis and the majority of citizens into disappointment.

Tina Khidasheli, the Georgian Defense Minister, is staying firmly on her track by effectively continuing her proactive activities regarding Georgia’s accession into NATO. The female Minister has, since coming to office several months ago, continuously urged the West to consider Georgia’s progress at the forthcoming NATO Warsaw Summit set for July 2016. Meanwhile, the Minister utilized the international conference held in Tbilisi Rooms Hotel this week to address the various high-ranking European leaders concerning the security issue in Georgia. Khidasheli expressed her support toward the issue of Montenegro’s accession into NATO, but asked a very clear question: ‘Why Montenegro and not Georgia?’ adding that Montenegro, where, unlike Georgia, only a third of the population supports NATO integration.

Khidasheli discussed the planned Summit, citing that NATO expansion would be the right answer to the challenges which Russia places before the democratic world. “We are facing a problem of strong leadership and what we lack is a strong voice from NATO and the EU,” she emphasized. “If NATO fails in Georgia, it will be a failure in many directions. If NATO shows caution towards Russia, it will pave the way for it, because too many powers and too many people are waiting for NATO to start to get intimidated,” the Minister maintained. According to the Head of the Defense Ministry, the Warsaw Summit should be a response to Russia. “Today, we have heard that if any country deserves NATO membership invitation, this is Montenegro. I fully support its accession, but I have a fundamental question - why Montenegro? It is a country where less than a third of the population is in favor of NATO integration compared to

Georgia, where more than two thirds support NATO membership.” Georgia Today analysis: The answer to Khidasheli’s question might lie behind the announced Georgian Dream politics of Russian normalization that has almost removed Georgia from the influential international stages, where Ukraine has been the major topic of discussion of the last months. It has been a simple issue for even untrained eyes that Ukraine and Georgia were [and are] set to walk on the EuroAtlantic path together with Moldova, which has already been granted a visafree regime in the EU. Some believe that Georgia has seen the last of her golden days for using the international arena to alarm the international community about her security and Russia’s potential expansion through her, its southern neighbor, despite the fact that Russia has already occupied one fourth of Georgia’s sovereign territory.

Par tner ship Fund Launc hes artner tnership Launches Constr uction of Air cr aft Ma terials Construction Aircr craft Materials The Partnership Fund, together with Israeli company Elbit Cyclone, launched construction of a factory which will produce aircraft materials. This high-tech manufacturing factory will be located close to the Tbilisi International Airport. “We support the development of high-tech manufacturing. This high-tech plant will be the first of its kind in the history of independent Georgia. I believe that other such large-scale brands will


also be interested to expand their businesses in the country,” said Irakli Kovzanadze, CEO of the Partnership Fund, at the ground breaking presentation ceremony. The factory will produce aircraft doors, aerodynamic surfaces and other aircraft components made from composite materials. The main consumers of these products are: Boeing, Bombardier, Airbus, Sukhoi, and others.

The $85 million project will employ around 300 locals who will be trained by leading specialists from Israel. 100 % of the production manufactured by the plant will be exported. Royal Development will construct the factory, while the operating company will be JSC Aerostructure Technologies Cylone (ATC) which is a sister company set up jointly by the Partnership Fund and Elbit Cyclone.




The ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI, www.iset-pi.ge) is an independent think-tank associated with the International School of Economics at TSU (ISET). Our blog carries economic analysis of current events and policies in Georgia and the South Caucasus region ranging from agriculture, to economic growth, energy, labor markets and the nexus of economics, culture and religion. Thought-provoking and fun to read, our blog posts are written by international faculty teaching at ISET and recent graduates representing the new generation of Georgian, Azerbaijani and Armenian economists.

Empo wering Geor gian ‘Plo w Mother s’ (Gutnis Deda) Empow Georgian ‘Plow Mothers’ By Medea Davlasheridze, Irakli Kochlamazashvili and Lasha Lanchava “The lion’s whelps are equal be they male or female”. Shota Rustaveli Giving women voice in company management may prove beneficial for performance. For instance, according to an influential Catalyst report, The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards, “companies that achieve [gender] diversity and manage it well attain better financial results, on average, than other companies.” In particular, they find that firms with the most women board directors outperform those with the least on such indicators as return on sales (ROS), return on equity (ROE) and invested capital (ROI). While the Catalyst focused on the role of women in the governance of very large (Fortune 500) companies, women are also known to be a leading force in microfinance. Founded by Muhammad Yunus to provide Banladesh’s poor with micro loans, Grameen Bank’s lending operations were heavily biased toward women – 97% of all credit recipients were female. In her 2013 book TwentySeven Dollars and a Dream, Katharine Esty argues that women are comparatively better at exploiting small loans than males. While men tend to waste at least some of the money on alcohol and tobacco, women use it for investment (in farm animals, etc.), resulting in better outcomes (revenue from agricultural activities, ability to repay the loan, improvement in personal hygiene and health). If all this is true for Bangladesh, where, according to the CIA World Factbook, 47% of the labor force is employed in agriculture, why should Georgia be any different? It is therefore quite disconcerting that the role of female leadership has so far been overlooked in Georgia’s agriculture. For instance, females are only one fourth of the membership in agricultural cooperatives that have been registered over the past couple of years by the Georgian government. Many of these are supported by the European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) Initiative which seeks, among other things, to promote the livelihoods and productivity of Georgian

smallholders. But, can this mission be successfully accomplished without fully engaging Georgia’s heroic women? WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE, AROUND THE WORLD AND IN GEORGIA It is well established that women play a key role in the agricultural and rural economies of developing countries. Rural women manage a myriad of household and farming activities including housekeeping, food processing, caring for animals, producing and marketing agricultural crops. While these activities do not count towards “economically active employment” in the formal (statistical) sense of the term, they significantly contribute to the wellbeing of rural households (FAO, 2011). Georgia is no exception to this rule. Formal statistics may show that men have a leading role in the agricultural sector, but Georgia’s reality looks quite different. A recent study by Mercy Corps documents the seasonal routines undertaken by rural women in the SamtskheJavakheti region. All year around, women look after the animals, including pigs, chicken, and milking cows. In spring, women help men in land preparation and cultivation, while also being actively involved in summer time weeding, hoeing and irrigation. In autumn, women help with harvesting. Additionally, after the harvest season is over, women make preserves by pickling, drying, and processing fruits and vegetables. Most importantly, they are the ones to take farm products to the market and have quite a bit of independence in deciding how to reinvest the money or use it for current family needs. A recent survey ISET undertook in Western Georgia finds that there is only a tiny difference between the percentages of man and women involved in different farming activities (see table). Possible exceptions are application of chemicals and transportation. What this data mask, however, is that farming activities limit, if not completely eliminate, the leisure time of rural women in Georgia. Georgian men also work full time on their farms, yet they tend to specialize in seasonal works (ploughing, planting, harvesting, hay production, etc.), leaving all housekeeping chores and childcare to the women: their mothers, wives and daughters.

GEORGIAN PLOWMEN (AND PLOW MOTHERS) IN HISTORY Rather symbolically, the Georgian term for ‘ploughman’ is gutnis deda, or ‘plow mother’ (gutani is Georgian for plough and deda for mother). According to a Caucasian myth in which this language originates, the ploughman was actually a woman driving a pair of plough bulls. This tradition is still alive in the Georgian highlands, e.g. in Tusheti. While men are herding the sheep, women would take over most other responsibilities, including ploughing. As noted by the French historian Fernand Braudel, the roles of men and women in an agrarian society depend on the dominant farming technology. A key distinction is typically made between communities that adopt the heavy plough (which requires upper-body strength) and those that use the hoe. Moreover, there is empirical evidence (see Aleina, Nunn and Giuliano (2012)) that ancient agricultural methods have very enduring effects. For instance, women who are descendants of plough-users (as opposed to hoe-users) tend to work less outside of their homes. The plough was not as prevalent in Georgia’s ancient agriculture due to its mountainous relief. Not only linguistic analysis, but also ancient traditions suggest that Georgian women were extremely important in the country’s agriculture. In Georgian villages, the beginning of the tilling season used to involve unique rituals and preparations in which women played a key role. In Tusheti, women would start by digging out a bit of soil to “wake up the land”, and light candles on the right horn of the bull. Women also baked a triangular khmiadi (unleavened bread), a small piece of which was fed to the bulls. In some places, the bulls would be led into the fields by a pregnant woman – a symbol

10 Galaktion Street

of fertility (Sikharulidze, 2014). The Georgian agriculture has also gone through a process of technological change, triggering, among other things, a gradual masculinization of the ‘plough mother’ profession. This change was more pronounced in the lowlands, where the heavy plough was particularly useful. Yet, Georgian women continued to play a key role in Georgian agriculture and society. Too often in Georgia’s turbulent history men were called upon to defend (and die for) their homeland, leaving it up to the women to produce food, raise children and, ultimately, ensure the Georgian nation’s survival. THE WAY FORWARD: EDUCATING FUTURE (FEMALE) LEADERS Despite the active role women play in agricultural production, their rights to employment and subsequent managerial decisions are questioned in those very Georgian communities that specialize in agriculture. For instance, according to a baseline survey ISET conducted last year in Abasha, Senaki, Khobi, Tsageri, Chokhatauri, Lanchkhuti and Ozurgeti as part of the ENPARD project (ISET participates in the CARE-led ENPARD consortium), 63% of rural Georgians think that “when jobs are scarce, men should have more right to a job than women.” According to the 2013 count by GeoStat, the number of male-headed households is approximately twice as high as woman-headed households in Georgia’s rural areas. Less than one third (about 30%) of Georgian farms were headed be women in 2012, 2 percentage points less than in 2009. Thus, instead of advancing we are going back. There could be many ways to promote women to positions of decision-making and influence in Georgian agriculture and

society. A good place to start is education and vocational training. There is considerable experimental evidence that, in traditional male-dominated societies, women typically shy away from the competition. The result is gender gap in education attainment and labor force participation, which is exacerbated by a negative male attitude towards female labor force participation (“the woman should stay at home”). The same body of research, however, suggests a number of effective ways to boost women’s aspirations and professional qualifications. For instance, female enrollment rates can be increased if one simply informs them about expected returns to vocational training. In a fascinating study, Beaman, Duflo, Pande, and Topalova (2012) report how female leadership can change young women’s perceptions. In (randomly selected) villages where young women had an opportunity to observe female leaders as role models the gender gap in aspirations was reduced by one quarter and the gender gap in education attainment was completely eradicated! It goes without saying that donor-financed projects, such as ENPARD, could greatly benefit by incorporating lessons learned from state-of-the-art development research on gender mainstreaming. For instance, female participation in the coop movement could be boosted by evidence on the success of women-led farms and farmer organizations. Women could be targeted with scholarships to acquire relevant managerial skills. Finally, female participation in the governance of coops could also be made a criterion for technical support and grants. Hopefully, Georgia will once again find the ways to utilize the power of its gutnis dedas to the benefit of all. In the end, this is about changing existing stereotypes, which will require a broad and well-coordinated educational effort of which ENPARD cannot be but a small part. The article was produced with the assistance of the European Union through its European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD), Austrian Development Cooperation, CARE Austria and CARE International in the Caucasus. The contents are the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, Austrian Development Cooperation, CARE Austria or CARE International in the Caucasus.

Tel: (995 32) 2 45 08 08 E-mail: info@peoplescafe.ge




Political Ping-Pong, Four Players at the Table

By Zaza Jgharkava The political ping-pong continues in occupied Abkhazia. This time, instead of Georgia, Russia and Turkey have exchanged the shots. At the beginning of September, a Turkish delegation arrived in Sokhumi and from Sokhumi a delegation of Russia’s so-called embassy went to Turkey. The goals of both delegations were winning the hearts of the Abkhazians. It seems that the road towards the hearts of Abkhazians averts Tbilisi and there is no place for the latter in this political love story. Official Tbilisi responded to the ceremonious reception of Turkish officials in Sokhumi with a note of protest to which Official Ankara had to give diplomatic apologies for the political blunder which it explained as being part of the pre-election process in Turkey. For elections scheduled in October, President Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party truly needs the votes of the Abkhazians and Adigenians but if we look through the Turkish-Abkhazian odyssey, we will see that this political process goes beyond the Abkhazian borders and takes on a larger regional scale. Turkey has for a long time openly stated that it wants to establish itself as a leader in the region. Such was demonstrated during the Georgia-Russia war in 2008 when Turkey came up with the initiative to cre-

ate a platform of stability and partnership of the Caucasus. The main goal of the platform was establishing a new bloc of security in the Caucasus, in which Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia and Turkey would unite. This initiative served not only the peacekeeping mission but also the strengthening of Turkey’s role in the Caucasus. Turkey showed itself as a strong regional player once again. Russia, which is the main player in Abkhazia, of course does not welcome the emergence of a competitor. It is noteworthy that Russia is trying to oppress Turkey’s economic activity in Abkhazia. A good example of that is their “ousting” of a Turkish company from the Tkvarcheli coalmine. In addition to that, Russia is trying to weaken Turkey’s religious and educational activities in Abkhazia. Watching this process, we recall a political analysis by the former MP of the Russian Duma, Konstantin Zatulin, in which he publicly said, at the Duma: “Let Georgians not be offended. In 1993, during the war we took away Abkhazia not so much from Georgians, but from Turkey.” Directly or indirectly, today it is clear what Turkey’s political goals in Abkhazia and in the region are. According to the de-facto statistics department of Abkhazia, in 2013-2014, Turkey was Abkhazia’s number two economic partner after Russia. Currently, 26 % of trade-

economic turnout of occupied Abkhazia falls on Turkey, 60% on Russia and the remaining 14% is unclear. It is quite possible that this share falls on Georgia. As for export, Turkey as the number two largest partner occupies 28% of the entire market while the import indicator is 12%. The visits of Turkey’s diplomats to Abkhazia have become more frequent since 2009 when Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Anal Sevikozy, visited Sokhumi. At meetings held with Abkhazian officials during the visit, a potential economic partnership between Turkey and Abkhazia was discussed. Unlike the current (Georgian Dream) government, the then-government used other more effective means parallel to diplomatic belletristic against the disobedient Turks- by detaining the Turkish ship “Backet”. The Georgian court sentenced the captain of the ship to 25 years imprisonment. The captain was released only following a request from the thenForeign Minister and now Prime Minister, Ahmed Davitoglu. After the “Backet” incident, in 2010, Turkish-Georgian negotiations on sea movement took place in Batumi. The main goal of these negotiations was creating a legislative framework under which Turkey would be able to move legally, in agreement with Georgia, and would continue economic relations with Abkhazia. It should have taken place within international legal frames and norms. However, despite the motivation of the sides, the diplomatic negotiations still failed to lead to a successful agreement. The issue of illegal sailing still remains problematic, which enables Official Ankara to constantly use its ‘invisible hand’ in Abkhazia. This political incident shows once again the difficulty of the political situation in which Official Tbilisi finds itself nowadays. As they say, no one leaves a sacred place unattended. This is why the Georgian Dream government will have to find ways that will not damage the interests of its number one trading partner Turkey and will leave Official Tbilisi in the game.

US Suppor gia in Supportt to Geor Georgia 2008 not a Wor k of Fiction ork By Zviad Adzinbaia Last week, breitbart.com published an article concerning the Georgia-Russia war of 2008, focusing on the aspect of the US assistance offered to Georgia as a strategic partner. The publication began with the comments of Dmitri Shashkin, ex- Georgian Defense Minister, regarding US aid during the war that the former official published on the seventh anniversary of the book ‘Little War That Shook the World.” The message of Shashkin received from the White House on August 14, 2008 stated: “The President’s press conference is in 45 min. Gates will lead the operation. 6th fleet is on its way, Herculeses in the air. GEO will be safe.” That said, in his memoir, Duty, Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates refers to this incident only in passing, writing that the airlifting of 1,800 Georgian Peacekeepers from Iraq to Georgia “began on August 10 and was completed the next day, and on August 13, I directed that the humanitarian assistance begin. There was no interference from the Russians.” The article on breitbart.com reports that Shashkin claims the reason why “Tbilisi was not taken by storm” was thanks to the “Georgian army, international support and specific steps by the US” which “stopped Russia.” According to Shashkin, many do not know that Georgia’s peacekeeping brigade returned from Iraq to Tbilisi on American military planes, which, under the circumstances of war, classed as direct military support by the US. “Many do not know that Russia could not bomb Tbilisi airport because American Hercules planes were on the tarmac,” Shashkin says. ”Many do not know that the flagship of the US Fifth Fleet which entered the Black Sea monitored on its radars the airspace in the Tbilisi-Moscow-Volgograd triangle. Many do not know that the August 14 Hercules flights from Jordan were accompanied by (American) fighters. Many do not know that the statement of the commander of these fights that ‘any activity of Russian planes in the Geor-

Dmitri Shashkin, ex- Georgian Defense Minister.

gian sky will be considered an attack on the United States of America,’ effectively closed Georgian skies to Russian planes,” he maintains. Comment by Georgia Today’s Zviad Adzinbaia Even if the US support to Georgia in 2008 is considered inadequate in the framework of the wider western response to Russia for aggression, the vital issue of Georgia’s sovereignty and the subsequent raising of the country as a successful reformed state in the region was guaranteed by not enabling Putin’s largest military entities to topple the government and enter the capital city of Tbilisi. Currently, it can be recognized that the US has been the largest superpower Georgia has ever had as a close partner throughout her difficult periods of history. Georgia was often utilized as a venue for clashing empires, including the Ottoman, Persian or Russian. Georgia has historically endured oppression and destruction, from which Russia’s 200-year occupation was the most caustic for the territorially tiny country. Is the US role unalterable in Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty? Who else can deter Russia from fully occupying Georgia?

Nationalist Mobs Attack Buildings in Ankara, Istanbul By Joseph Larsen Ethnic tensions boiled over in Turkey on Tuesday as angry demonstrators attacked HDP (People’s Democratic Party) headquarters in Ankara and six other cities. A mob also attacked the headquarters of the mass-market Hurriyet newspaper in Istanbul. No deaths have been reported, although demonstrators caused significant property damage. Demonstrators targeted the HDP, an inclusive, left-wing party that proclaims to be pro-Kurdish. HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas said “we are facing a campaign of lynching” and estimated that there had been at least 400 attacks on the party during Tuesday and Wednesday. Ninety-three people were arrested in connection with the attack on Hurriyet. Pro-government demonstrators accused the liberal newspaper of deliberately misquoting President Recep Tayyip Erdoðan. Intercity bus routes from the eastern city of Dyirbakir were closed after bus windows were smashed by mobs wielding sticks and stones. The Dogan news agency reported that several businesses in the southern tourism hub of Antalya were attacked because their proprietors

An angry mob smashed windows at the Istanbul offices of the Hurriyet newspaper.

did not fly Turkish flags. The burst of nationalist anger came hours after 16 police officers were killed in a bombing in the country’s east. The authorities suspect the killings to be the work of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), an outlawed militant group which fought a separatist war against Ankara from 1984 to 2013. The rebellion resulted in the deaths of at least 40,000 people over three decades. The HDP has no affiliation to the PKK and does not support Kurdish separatism. The party was the target of demonstra-

tors, however, because of its pro-Kurdish stance and opposition to the influence of Turkish nationalism in the country’s politics. US State Department spokesman John Kirby addressed concerns that the demonstrations were encouraged by members of the ruling AK party (Party of Justice and Development). “Elected officials must be careful not to appear to encourage violence against media outlets,” he said. An AK deputy was reported to have participated in the protest against

Hurriyet, and HDP lawmaker Pervin Buldan accused President Ergodan of encouraging attacks on the party’s buildings. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu condemned the violence and asked citizens to keep calm: “It is unacceptable to damage media institutions, political party buildings and the property of our civilians.” A two-year long ceasefire between the PKK collapsed in July after a bombing, believed to have been carried out by Islamic State militants, killed 30 people in a Turkish town near the Syrian border on July 20. The PKK blamed the Turkish government for the attack, and fighting between the two sides has resulted in at least 2,000 deaths over the past month and a half, according to official reports. The demonstrations in Turkey came while government forces were intensifying military operations against the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party). Turkish ground troops entered northern Iraq for the first time since 2013, and air forces conducted raids on four separate PKK bases. The Anadolu news agency reported that at least 35 PKK militants were killed in the operations. Journalist Massoud Akko told indepen-

dent Syrian news source ARA News that Turkish strikes against the PKK are political theater: “The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoðan has intensified the airstrikes on the PKK in order to gain more votes in the upcoming elections. Those strikes have resulted in violent reaction by the PKK. It’s merely a political game.” The unrest has led to speculation that parliamentary elections scheduled for November 1 will be delayed. June elections failed to produce a majority, with the AK party winning 258 of the 550 seats available. Unable to form a coalition, President Erdoðan called for snap elections to be held on 1 November. Renewed fighting against the PKK and the angry mood on the streets have poisoned the country’s political atmosphere, however. Demirtas told a press conference on Wednesday that “It is becoming impossible to hold an election given the security situation in the region.” HDP won 79 seats in the June election, allowing it to enter parliament for the first time in its history. Continued fighting between government forces and a surge in Turkish nationalism could play into the hands of Erdoðan if elections are held in November.




De Waal: Russian Activity Just ‘Threatening Noise,’ but Beware the ‘Soft Power’ By Nino Japarashvili Following the inauguration of the Joint NATO-Georgia Training and Evaluation Center, Georgia Today got in touch with Thomas de Waal, a senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who has worked extensively as a journalist and writer in the Caucasus and Black Sea region and in Russia. In this interview, he comments on the NATO-Georgia relations and the Russian factor in this regard. Q: Jens Stoltenberg, NATO General Secretary, during his visit to Georgia to open the Joint NATO-Georgia Training and Evaluation Center said: “NATO will be more present, and we will be more visible in Georgia.” How important is this Center and increased NATO presence for Georgia at this particular time in a geopolitical context, and why? A: This is a time when Georgians are nervous because of Russian aggression in Ukraine and when there is almost no perspective of Georgia joining NATO. So Mr. Stoltenberg’s visit was intended as a signal of visibility and reassurance, and I believe it was successful in fulfilling those aims. Q: The inauguration of the Joint NATO-Georgia Center comes at a time when Russia jas intensified the so-called “borderization” activities along the administrative boundary line (ABL) of Tskhinvali Region/ South Ossetia and military exercises in both breakaway regions. What are the major challenges Georgia should expect from Official Moscow in the aftermath of the event?

A: I do not actually believe that Russian “hard power” poses a big threat to Georgia at the moment. This is basically an issue for two groups: the Georgians of Gali region and those who live very close (within a few hundred meters) of the border (ABL) with South Ossetia. But by its actions in 2008, Russia basically drew a red line between Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the rest of Georgia which is hard to cross. All the recent activity is threatening noise, but no more than that. However, I believe that Russian “soft power” is more dangerous for Georgia, through Russian influence on political parties, media and non-governmental organizations. Q: Georgia, together with Ukraine, was denied NATO’s Membership Action Plan (MAP) in 2007. Do you think that Russia’s actions in Ukraine encouraged NATO member states to reconsider their approach towards enlargement, and in this regard, what could Georgia expect from the upcoming 2016 NATO summit in Warsaw? A: The fundamental situation has not changed since 2008. Key members of NATO—France, Germany and Italy— do not want to see Georgia, with its unresolved conflicts, join the alliance. Indeed, I strongly believe that the push by Washington in 2008 to get Georgia and Ukraine on a fast track to NATO only made the situation worse — by antagonizing Russia and raising false expectations in Kiev and Tbilisi. It was certainly one of the triggers for the GeorgiaRussia war of 2008 and it is still used as an argument in Abkhazia and South Ossetia as to why reconciliation with Tbilisi is not possible.

Thomas De Waal, a senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

This situation is unlikely to change before the next NATO summit. However, certain NATO countries—the United States in particular—can work harder to make bilateral security deals with Georgia, as several countries in Asia do. Q: Anti-European and anti-American sentiments seem to be growing in Georgia. Some even suggest that in 2016 general elections pro-Russian parties may win seats in the Georgian Parliament. If such a forecast proves to be true, do you think it will endanger Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic course? A: I do not see any sign of pro-Russian parties winning the next parliamentary election in Georgia. But the rise in support for them is certainly a “wakeup call” for those who want to see Georgia move towards Europe. In particular, the current government needs to work harder on the economy and on meeting the requirements needed to do a deal on visa liberalization with the European Union at the end of the year. Thomas de Waal is a non-resident senior associate in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, specializing primarily in the South Caucasus region, comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia and their breakaway territories, as well as in the wider Black Sea region. He is an acknowledged expert on the unresolved conflicts of the South Caucasus: Abkhazia, Nagorny Karabakh, and South Ossetia. From 2002 to 2009, he worked as an analyst and project manager on the conflicts in the South Caucasus for the London-based NGOs Conciliation Resources and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.


Lechkhumi – The Mountainous Side of Legendary Kolkheti In Lechkhumi, on the territory of the village Dekhviri of the Tsageri Municipality, the third archeological season is underway, with archeological studies resuming which first began in the 1960s-1970s. Lechkhumi is not only one of the most beautiful parts of Georgia, with big agricultural and tourism potential, but a place of great historical value, too. The interest of archeologists in Lechkhumi is defined by the fact that it, as a mountainous part of legendary old Kolkheti, is rich in pre-historic sites – Bronze-Iron Age metallurgy monuments, bronze treasures, Pre-Antiquity and Antique monuments. Materials of the Middle Ages are enriched with archeological artefacts in the castles of Lechkhumi. Archeological materials found on the territories of the villages Dekhviri and Tskheta (currently the territory of the archeological-ethnographic museum of Dekhviri) has particular importance to the history of Lechkhumi and Georgia,

in general. Highlighting the importance and uniqueness of the territory is the complex of archeological monuments there: - Traces of a residence from the 8thth 5 centuries B.C. and by-chance-found archeological materials; - An Antique sepulcher from the period between 4th century B.C. to 4th century A.D.; - The Dekhviri fortress system of the Middle Ages. These archeological materials prove that the territory of Dekhviri served as a significant controlling and transit means from the beginning of the first millennium B.C., including the Middle Ages. Important archeological materials discovered there so far count: 1. Apart from the typical Kolkhi ceramics in the old Tskheta-Dekhviri former residence of the 8th-5th centuries B.C., which defines the date of the former residence, a unique stone mold was discovered there, in which swasti-

ca-type plates decorating Kolkhi buckles were made. It does not only prove that square buckles of bronze (one of the defining components of the Kolkhetian bronze culture) were made in Kokheti, in particular, mountainous Kolkheti – Lechkhumi, but that on the TskhetaDekhviri territory there lived people who, along with agricultural works, led metallurgic activities. It is already agreed that obtaining ore and molding metal took place there, on the right sides of the river Tskhenistkali (in particular on the territory of the village Zubi) with the residents of Tskheta-Dekhviri making various pieces using that metal. 2. Archeological materials of the antique age sepulcher discovered on the territory of the village Tskheti prove wide economic-trading contacts of the local residents with the contemporary outside world. A big assortment of imported beads and jewelry pieces are discovered there. 3. Archeological materials studied on

Tsageri Municipality, village Dekhviri.

the territory of Dekhviri fortresses (Dekhviri hill) prove the existence of an important strategic point there (which controlled part of the gorges of the rivers Tskhenistskali and Rioni), the owner of which must have been a representative of high ranking and well-off society. Archeological excavations on the territory of Dekhviri not only confirm the existing data but add new information every year. Excavations on the archeological season of 2015 proved the value once again

and enriched Lechkhumi with further monuments of cultural heritage. This year four burial grounds were studied. One of those is from the Hellenistic period, others from the late-Roman period, representing bronze and iron items, diverse jewelry pieces and ceramics. Excavations took place on the territory of the antique former residence with typical Kolkhi ceramics. Upcoming archeological excavations are sure to enrich Georgian history and culture even more.


HRS Extends Operations to Czech Republic and Slovakia HRS – Hospitality and Retail Systems – the leading provider of IT-solutions for hospitality and retail in Central Europe, Baltic States, Russia, CIS and Mongolia, has announced expansion of its operations into the Czech Republic and Slovakia via the acquisition of a local company, the leading vendor of hospitality and retail IT-solutions with 30 years of experience and serving in excess of 300 customers in both Czech Republic and Slovakia. For over 25 years, HRS has successfully assisted customers in acquiring competitive advantages through the utilization of innovative Hospitality IT so-

lutions. HRS currently serves in excess of 1700 clients in 16 countries located across 10 time zones. After the expansion, HRS now operates in 18 countries and serves more than 2000 customers and will continue to offer its customers the most advanced IT solutions for hospitality and retail. The success of HRS is based upon an individual approach and special attention paid to the quality of implementation and support services provided by its strong team of professionals with industry background. With a wide network of offices across its territory the HRS help desk ensures that all support re-

quests are handled in a timely and professional manner 24/7. Working in a multi-national environment for many years, HRS gained huge expertise in systems localization, devel-

opment of local specifics and support of local legislation. “Our ultimate goal is to provide local ownership and management using the best of the breed IT systems for efficient management of hospitality and retail operations, allowing us to increase sales, gain control, cut costs and increase guest services. We welcome local businesses to benefit from our 25 years’ experience in the field,” said Joanne Vaughan, the Chief Executive of HRS. About HRS: HRS – Hospitality & Retail Systems – is an international company and market leader in IT for the hospitality and retail industries in Central

Europe, Baltic States, Russia, CIS and Mongolia. For over 25 years HRS has provided innovative management solutions for hotel and restaurant industries, retail, stadiums, spas and fitness clubs. HRS services includes pre-project analysis, hardware and software supply, strategic business consulting, platform implementation and integration, staff training & consultation, round the clock technical support and service to customers. Georgia Today interviewed CEO Joanne Vaughan for the September 3rd edition of Georgia Today. Check out that interview online by typing ‘HRS’ into the search bar on georgiatoday.ge.

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CW|VB Explains Decision to Co-Organize Batumi 2015 Investment Forum P.10

Discriminating Against Women Keeps Countries Poorer P.11

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Flydubai Sale Now On Airline announces first network-wide sale with 30% off on Business Class flights. Flydubai today launched its first network-wide sale offering customers 30% off Business fares to Dubai and select destinations. Customers who plan to travel between 01 October 2015 and 30 June 2016 and book before 20 September will receive 30% off. With a fleet of 49 modern Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft, flydubai operates over 1,600 weekly flights to more than 90 destinations in 45 countries creating a network that spans the GCC, Middle East, Africa, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe and the Subcontinent. Dubai is at the crossroads of east and west and at the heart of a dynamic glo-

bal industry connecting people of all backgrounds and cultures. Dubai is also a cosmopolitan oasis, a futuristic cityscape that towers over the Arabian Desert. From shopping malls and indoor skiing slopes to desert safaris and the world’s tallest building, Dubai is a city with attractions for the whole family and travel enthusiasts alike. Flydubai is dedicated to providing its customers with a better travel experience by offering greater choice and flexibility. Business Class passengers enjoy a comfortable spacious seat, a choice of meals from an internationally-inspired menu, a generous checked baggage allowance and fast track through immigration and security. In addition, Business Class passengers have access to

business lounges across the network and a dedicated 24-hour Business team to assist with bookings and attend to enquires throughout their journey. Book before 20 September and flydubai to where you want to be for 30% less. Flights can be purchased from flydubai’s website (flydubai.com), its Contact Center (+971 600 54 44 45), flydubai Travel Shop in Tbilisi (+995 32 240 0808 / +995 32 240 0909) or through travel partners. Please visit flydubai.com for full Terms & Conditions. Flight Details flydubai operates daily flights between Tbilisi and Dubai. For flight timings, please visit: http:/ /www.flydubai.com/en/plan/timetable/ #flydubaiSale




CW|VB Explains Decision to Co-Organize Batumi 2015 Investment Forum Interview with Tom Day, Regional Director of Hospitality Services & Investor Services. At what point did Cushman & Wakefield | Veritas Brown (CW|VB) decide to be the coorganizer of the investment forum Batumi 2015? CW|VB is one of the first commercial real estate services firms both in Georgia and the region. Since entering the Georgian market in 2012, we have provided an extensive range of commercial real estate services with the global network behind us to suit all our clients’ needs such as: Investor Services, Leasing, Sales and Acquisitions, Equity, Debt Structured Finance, Corporate Finance and Investment Banking, Corporate Services, Property Management, Facilities Management, Project Management, Consulting and Appraisal, Valuation & Advisory and Research. We firmly believe that Georgia is on track to be recognized as the service, legal and financial hub for doing business in the region, with numerous International businesses registering their headquarters in the country and managing their regional operations out of Georgia. Thus we, CW|VB, in our field of business and in coordination with the government, local and international financial institutions, and public and private funds, are striving to promote the country’s investment opportunities and assist in growing the local and regional real estate market. The Batumi Forum will give an opportunity for high–level interactions between local and foreign investors, regional and central government representatives and business organizations. Georgia’s investment projects, investment climate characteristics and the conditions for the commercial real estate sector will be also introduced. Is this your first common project with the Georgian National Investment Agency?

Tom Day, Regional Director of Hospitality Services & Investor Services.

Our collaboration with the GNIA goes back to 2012, the year of our entry into the Georgian market. Since then we’ve worked together on numerous projects including the most recent event in May 2015, when we co-organized the ‘Invest in Georgian Real Estate’ forum in London. The London investor gathering showed definite success and Georgia demonstrated itself to be an opportunistic market for investment, and gained further international recognition. At this moment, with simplified company registration procedures, liberalized manufacturing regulations, tax and legislative benefits and a positive approach to foreign investors, Georgia is a very attractive country to invest in and I hope that this specific and other similar forums will drive the country to meaningful business deals and further economic success. As far as I know, you are going to be one of the speakers

at the forum. What are the subjects you are planning to talk about? The agenda is very interesting and is available on the forum website. There will be welcoming speeches from the Prime Minister of Georgia, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, the Chairmen of Government of Adjara A.R. and the Minister of Finance and Economy of Adjara A.R.. With the representatives of governmental and business sectors we are planning to make presentations about different investment opportunities and climate in the country and similarly we will speak about our Success Stories in the Georgian commercial real estate market. What do you think inves-

Green Budapest Awards 200

The international holding Maqro Construction is again in your service and promises a number of pleasant surprises its residents. The company’s main priority is quality and to create a maximum comfort. The perfect example of it is a residential complex Green Budapest which is an unprecedented in Georgia with its construction pace, quality, and safety and caring of ecology and human health. It strives not only to offer its residents the best living conditions, but also make them happy with gifts and unexpected pleasant surprises. The project Green Budapest is expected to end next spring. The residents are in pleasant preparation process. The company has already granted amazing presents to its 1st, 100th and 200th residents. George Nozadze from Batumi, Marina Revia from Tbilisi and the family emigrated from Georgia to the USA which is 200th on the list have been awarded with home appliances – wash-

ing machine, refrigerator and dishwasher which will be in their apartments. Thanks to the company’s team effort and proper management, the clients once again are happy to receive their completely repaired apartments within accelerated time frame, four months ahead of schedule. In May, 2016, instead of September, they will be able to enjoy all the services and comfort, the company has promised them. Specifically 11,700 sq. m renovated apartments in euro standard isolated residential complex consisting four A, B, C and D buildings. The apartments are delivered with completed bath room, kitchen furniture and


built-in appliances. The complex is surrounded with 3500 sq. m green and well-protected isolated yard with basketball court, treadmill, skateboard ramp, children’s playgrounds. There will be a child care center and fitness hall in the residential complex. Besides, the residents will enjoy their own parking spaces. The housing is provided with modern protection and security systems, water tanks and generators. During a year, the residential area protection, fitness center service, territory and entrance space cleaning, caring and maintenance of green area will be free of charge. Despite early completion of construction, company manage-

tors are looking for? Real estate investments take a great deal of time and a considerable amount of money. Finding the right project or asset that produces the required return can be challenging for even an inexperienced investor. The key areas that successful real estate investors focus on depend on the investor’s goals and attitudes to risk versus return. Against the background of the economic crisis in the region, 2014 proved to be successful in terms of investment, with foreign direct investment increasing by 87% year on year compared to 2013. According to preliminary assessments, 2015 is deemed to show an even better growth tendency. The opportunities and investment packages to be presented on 18th of September 2015 in Batumi will be of interest to regional investors. And finally, why do clients choose CW|VB? We assist clients in transforming strategy into action and we create the value-added service they are looking for. We aim to maximize their return on investments and we provide effective, innovative, high quality and cost effective commercial real estate solutions through the Cushman & Wakefield global network. We believe that the best outcomes are achieved through close collaboration and the feedback that we are receiving in respect of our professionalism; integrity, reputation, confidentiality and our ethics show that clients are positive about their longterm cooperation. I can say that in commercial real estate, CW|VB are confidently global and expertly local. http://veritasbrown.com


ment enables clients who use an internal credit to continue to pay the loan in accordance with the timetable. Maqro Construction awaits its fourth resident which will be awarded by promised household appliances. Another present the company is going to give is that at the completion of the residential complex, raffle will reveal one of the tenants, who will become the owner of a car. Life prepares lots of gifts especially when you are a resident of Green Budapest!

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from 35 euro

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Mercedes-Benz Viano – 2004

per day Tours to all directions of Georgia (with driver and Guide) for 4 person from 40 euro.

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Discriminating Against Women Keeps Countries Poorer By Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of the World Bank. In 100 countries around the world, women are barred from doing certain work solely because they are women. Over 150 countries have at least one law that is discriminatory towards women. And only 18 countries are free of any law disadvantaging women. This is just the tip of the iceberg of legal barriers for women to achieve their full economic potential. New World Bank Group research in the Women, Business and the Law 2016 report shows that in 32 countries women cannot apply for passports in the same way as men and in 18 countries they cannot get a job if their husbands feel it is not in the family’s interest. Jordan and Iran are among them. In 59 countries, there are no laws against sexual harassment at work. Myanmar, Uzbekistan and Armenia are among 46 countries where there is no legal protection against domestic violence. In a nutshell, the research makes for depressing reading when you care about inclusion and ending poverty. Countries whose laws discriminate against women and do not promote gender equality suffer economically. Previous research tells us that gender gaps in women’s entrepreneurship and labor force participation account for estimated income

losses of 27% in the Middle East and North Africa, 19% in South Asia, 14% in Latin America and the Caribbean and 10% in Europe. These are losses that many countries can’t afford, particularly those facing high levels of poverty. There is good news too: Countries like Bangladesh are encouraging female participation in the workforce. If they stay on track their female workforce will grow from 34 to 82 percent over the next decade, adding 1.8 percentage points to their GDP. In the 1990s very few countries had laws protecting women from violence, now 127 do partially because the world is more aware of the human and economic cost of mistreating women. When women are allowed to work in a profession of their choice, when they have access to financial services and when they are protected, by law, from domestic violence, they are not only economically empowered, they also live longer. The more say they have over the household income and the more they participate in the economy, the more girls are enrolled in secondary school, the larger the benefits for their children, their communities, and their countries. In fact, every additional year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent, and an extra year of secondary school by 15 to 25 percent. Critics will argue that in some countries where gender-specific laws exist, there is limited enforcement. While that is true, better rule of law is associated with having more gender equal laws on the books. Specialized courts that tackle cases of acts

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of the World Bank.

of violence against women can help provide effective legal action. In Brazil, the Maria da Penha Law allowed for the creation of domestic and family violence courts.

Europe and Central Asia has the world’s most extensive job restrictions on women, keeping women out of many occupations. Yet they have also been the world’s biggest reformer when it comes to providing women equal opportunity in entrepreneurship and employment. Belarus and Latvia enacted domestic violence legislation. In Hungary, economic violence has been criminalized as a form of domestic violence. The private sector benefits too. A multinational survey of 6500 firms showed that where women had greater representation on boards, those organizations were less likely to be hit by scandals like bribery or fraud. Yet surprisingly, only nine countries have laws where at least one women has to be a board member of a publicly listed company. The link between the fight against poverty and gender equality is strong. Which is why we work with many countries to tackle gender-based barriers. We have worked with countries like Cote d’Ivoire in removing legal provisions that discriminated against women. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, we supported the government in drafting a new family code that would remove restrictions on women’s participation and improve the business climate for them. Policymakers have a choice. They can use the overwhelming evidence that shows the economic benefits of equality by ridding their system of discriminating laws that are holding women back. Or they can maintain the status quo and condemn whole societies to remain poorer than they need to be.

World Bank Appoints New Regional Director for the South Caucasus Ms. Mercy Tembon has been appointed World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus, effective as of October 1, 2015. In this position, Ms. Tembon will oversee the Bank’s program in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia and will lead the development and implementation of the Bank’s Country Partnership Strategies in these countries, as well as continuing the dialogue with civil society and development partners. Ms. Tembon will be based in Tbilisi, which hosts the Bank’s Regional Office for the South Caucasus. Ms. Tembon, a Cameroonian national, joined the Bank in 2000 as an Education Specialist in the Human Development Department in the Africa Region. She brings a wealth of experience from working across regions for the human development network as well as technical and managerial positions in the Africa region. Ms. Tembon has significant experience working with clients on country strategies and programs, managing country offices and developing fruitful partnerships with stakeholders and other development partners. She has held various positions including an extended acting Country Director post for Tanzania and her most recent assignment as Country Manager for Burkina Faso. In her new position, Ms. Tembon’s top three priorities will be: (i) to lead the country team to deliver knowledge, convening and financing services that respond to client demands and needs, and contribute to achieving the Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity; (ii) to oversee the implementation of the existing portfolio and guide the future direction of the program, and (iii) to work with IFC and MIGA to strengthen the World Bank Group

Invitation to Participate in the Sales Procedures Announced by the Embassy of the Republic of France in Georgia on the Sale of 3933 sq/m Land Plot Located in the Center of Tbilisi

delivery. Ms. Tembon will take over from Mr. Henry Kerali, who was appointed as the Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, based in Accra. For more information about the work of the World Bank in Georgia, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/ge Visit us on Facebook: https:// www.facebook.com/WorldBankEuropeCentralAsia Contacts: In Washington: Elena Karaban, Tel.: (202) 473 9277, ekaraban@worldbank.org In Tbilisi: Inga Paichadze, Tel.: (99532) 291 3096 /291 2659, ipaichadze@worldbank.org

British Corner Brings Musical Grandeur to Vake Park

By Beqa Kirtava

English language studying center British Corner (BC) and the English Speaking Union (ESU) of Georgia celebrated the start of the new educational year with a magnificent concert by the worldknown marching band, “The Salamanca Band and Bugles of the Rifles” on September 5, 2015 in Vake

Park. The event was attended by the General Manager of the British Corner and the President of ESU Georgia, Marina Tsitsishvili, the British Ambassador in Georgia HE Alexandra Hall Hall and the Military Attache of the British Embassy in Georgia, Nick Wilkes. The evening was opened with a splendid performance of the British and Georgian national anthems, followed by various well-known classical compositions, as well as a medley of some of The Beatle’s chart-topping hits and even the theme music of James Bond Agent 007. The reception was closed with a special a la fourchette for the guests. Apart from being the top quality teaching center, British Corner also serves as the epicenter of numerous celebrations and concerts. The ESU Georgia and BC promise many more interesting events for those who are ready to dive in British culture and further explore what the UK has to offer.

The Embassy of the Republic of France in Georgia has announced a Sales Procedures on the sale of land plot located adjacent to the Rustaveli Avenue at 4 Khazina St., Tbilisi, Georgia. The land plot has the following characteristics: cadastral code –; total area of the land plot - 3933 sq/ m. The land plot qualifies as type 2 recreational zone with the following coefficients: K1= [0,2], K2=[undefined] and K3=[Undefined]. Please, take into account that the Sales Procedures n will be conducted in accordance with the Rules for Submission of Offers available on the web-page of the Embassy: ambafrancege.org, or by e-mail request at contact.tbilissiamba@diplomatie.gouv.fr. The interested Parties shall submit their Expression of Interest in a form and to the addressee(s) envisaged in the Rules for Submission of Offers. In case of additional questions, please, contact [the consul or hes representative] at the following e-mail [contact.tbilissiamba@diplomatie.gouv.fr] or call at [(00 995 32) 272 14 90] from Monday to Friday from 9:30 AM till 12:30 PM. The Expression of Interest shall be submitted to the Contact Person indicated above no later than 15th of October 2015. FOR RENT Apartment in Vake (behind the Vake Swimming Pool) in an ecologically clean environment with beautiful views. The 120 sq. m. duplex apartment on the 10th floor, newly renovated, with a new kitchen, fireplace, balconies.

Price: 1100 USD Tel: 577521020 Tekla (English) 597000109 Dato (Georgian)

SOCIETY Ad voca ting P edestrian Saf ety in Geor gia Adv ocating Pedestrian Safety Georgia By Eka Karsaulidze The number of traffic fatalities doubled in Georgia during the first six months of 2015 in comparison with the same period of the previous year, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia. Problems with speeding, parking, fines, giving way to pedestrians, public transport and driving licenses are the main topics in this regard. The Georgian Alliance for Safe Roads ran a research project “Advocating Pedestrian Safety” to study the habits of drivers and pedestrians and showed its results at the conference with the participation of non-governmental organizations, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Tbilisi City Hall, foreign partner organizations and journalists. “90% of accidents can be prevented. The reasons for the majority of them were already clear but, thanks to our research, we were able to discover very specific problems,” said Maya Kobalia, Executive Director of The Georgian Alliance for Safe Roads. In this way, the study found out that the majority of pedestrians break the road rules due to the bad infrastructure of underground and overground roadcrossings and due to the danger of zebra crossings. One tenth of pedestrians (10%) state that the disadvantage of using a zebra crossing is the breaking of driving rules by drivers – pedestrians don’t expect drivers to make way for them to cross. At the same time, 98.5 % of drivers understand the obligation of giving way to a pedestrian at a zebra crossing without a traffic light. But they end to consider that if they give way, they will most likely be hit by the car behind (5%), or other drivers will be annoyed (3%). And a great majority of drivers (87%) say that they always give way to pedestrians at

The Georgian Alliance for Safe Roads presents and discusses the results of research project: “Advocating Pedestrian Safety”.

zebra crossings, although their behavior displays the opposite – according to the study, 76% of drivers do not do so. Drivers themselves says that one of the stimulating factors for keeping to road motion rules will be a higher fine and if police get into the habit of always fining drivers who break the road rules. “There is a lot of talk about fines increasing both for drivers and pedestrians – it is something that can really hit their financial situation. That said, they should follow the rules not because of the fear of fines but because of the fear of potential loss of life,” noted Kobalia. The study presentation took place with the active participation of the authorities. Vice Mayor of Tbilisi Irakli Lekvinadze said that in the near future City Hall plans to introduce a number of infrastructural changes that will partially solve the problem of road accidents. In particular, he spoke about underground passages improvment, the appearance of bike paths, and the reopening of roads that were destroyed after the flood on June 13. Tbilisi City Hall will also try to solve the problem of traffic jams, the bus park will renew

soon, and public transport will become more attractive for citizens. Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs (MIA) of Georgia, Archil Talakvadze, said that the MIA has started working on a new road safety program. “The new program will last one year – it will be an express program to solve the top problems in our roads and will not replace the main Active Plan. The program includes an upgrade of the auto park, as well as securing the safety of pedestrians via legislation and a toughening of the fines policy. For example, we want to set points for each violation. And if, at the end of the year, the number of points exceeds the norm, the driver will be severely fined,” said Talakvadze. In addition, Talakvadze emphasized that the MIA will change driving license exams. “We want to move part of the exam to the street – it is a better way to check the skills of future drivers. Moreover, those who already have a license, but have committed serious violations, will be re-sent to the exam,” he noted. The government plans to present more detailed information about the new road safety program in the near future.



Sing er Tina K ar ol Visits Ba tumi Singer Kar arol Batumi pendence Da y for Ukr aine Inde Ukraine Independence Day In the frames of “Heat Batumi 2015”, the coastal city was visited by Ukrainian singer Tina Karol who was visiting Georgia with her son for the first time. The organizers of “Heat Batumi 2015” invited Tina Karol during Ukraine’s Independence Day, and the concert took place at the Batumi Tennis Club. Tina Karol’s performance proved to be quite emotional as she represented her country, Ukraine, here in Georgia. “I shared Ukraine’s warmth with Georgia. I was on stage for two hours, I performed my own songs, as well as popular songs from my country. Additionally, I performed one Georgian song, which was my gift to you,” noted the singer. I’m very happy, this is my first visit to Georgia. I was on a Georgian stage for the first time and I was incredibly nervous – thinking about what sort of evening this would turn out to be. The concert was incredible, the audience – amazing, and the evening turned out to be magical. I will always remember those looks, those smiles and the applause that I got here. I came with my son, Benjamin, and we had a brilliant time. He’s very happy and keeps telling me that he wants to come back. We will. I’m very happy that Georgia and Ukraine are on good terms. I will tell my parents and relatives to visit Georgia, as well. Next time, when I find the time, I’d like to go to the Georgian

mountains and travel around the country. I want to visit Georgian designer stores as they are known for having a very interesting style. I saw the sea and it’s incredible. Batumi has beautiful buildings and tasty food, and I know the taste of the Georgian mtsvadi. I like the Georgian cuisine. Kiev has a Georgian restaurant, and it is my favorite place. They always have so much food on Georgian dinner tables. I tasted Georgian wine yesterday – it’s very good. And Georgians themselves are a very warm, emotional and trustworthy people,” said the Ukrainian pop diva of her impressions of Georgia. Tina Karol gained fame through her triumphant success at the “New Wave” music festival. She received the Ala Pugachova prize of 50 thousand dollars. Karol visited Iraq and Kosovo during fall 2005 in the frames of a peace mission. The 60 days of Heat Batumi will, overall, cover over 200 events hosting 259 foreign artists from over 20 countries. With up to 2000 participants overall, Heat Batumi is being split into 11 thematic weeks, with each and every one of them having a unique topic and artistic accent. Heat Batumi is suitable for people of all ages and allows visitors to plan their vacation based on what they wish to see most. There’s fun going down all day-round.

Ukranian singer Tina Karol gets a warm reception in Batumi on Ukraine Independence Day.

CULTURE BIAFF Sur prises with Ne w Surprises New Films and Projects By Eka Karsaulidze The 10th Batumi International ArtHouse Film Festival (BIAFF) will open with Winter Song, a film by Otar Iosseliani, recently presented at the Locarno International Film Festival. The Festival will showcase 40 feature and documentaries films and 40 short movies from 30 countries. It brings together well-known filmmakers including Georgian director Otar Iosseliani, actor Merab Ninidze and German actress Nastassja Kinski. Batumi International Art-House Film Festival is one of the main film festivals in Georgia and a great platform, designed to enhance cultural exchange, understanding, and collaboration through the screening of new art house and non-commercial films from Georgia and abroad. All films will compete for the main prize – the golden seahorse - in the following sections: International Feature Films Competition, International Short Films Competition and International Documentary Films Competition. There will also be non-competitive sections like Georgian Panorama, Retrospectives and



Ba tumi Cele br ates “Ba tumoba” Batumi Celebr bra “Batumoba”

the Grand Masters Collection. Famous figures in cinematography will make up part of the jury. BIAFF’s Feature Films jury includes Alexander Mindadze (Russia), Niki Karimi (Iran), Christopher Goodwin (UK), Nicolas Ronchi (France) and George Ovashvili (Georgia). Zelimer Zilnik (Serbia), Wojciech Szczudlo (Poland), Dennis Wheatly (UK), Iryna Gordichuk (Ukraine) and Lasha Khalvashi (Georgia) will choose the Best Documentary Film. Nenad Dzindarevich (Bosnia Herzogovina), Susanna Harutyunyan (Armenia), Siegfried (France), Helen Yanovsky (Israel) and Tinatin Kajrishvili (Georgia) will deal with the Best Short Film. The organizers of the BIAFF also draw attention to the Festival’s new project – Alternative Wave. The idea behind this is that many filmmakers do not have access to public funding or sources of financing and conventional distribution. While the industry is trying to adapt, some filmmakers have successfully created their own individual approach and scheme. This lab will bring such filmmakers together and give them the chance to express themselves. Alternative Wave will take place September 15-19, also in Batumi. The 10th Batumi International Art-House Film Festival itself will take place September 13-20. Film screenings are free of charge as well as all masterclasses. For more information visit the Festival’s official website http:// www.biaff.org/

Guests were given the opportunity to travel to mountainous Adjara without leaving the city when the annual celebration of Batumoba took place in the coastal city on September 5 and 6. This year’s Batumoba stood out for its interesting events and overall diversity, tailored to people of all ages and satisfying tastes from Batumi and beyond. The Dumbadze and Memed Abashidze streets were decorated to celebrate Batumoba taking place during September 5-6, and various events took place there, including a trumpet orchestra march, pantomime and finger theater shows, ballroom dancing and local business exhibitions. The Department of Tourism and Resorts of Adjara organized the “Gandagana” festival at the Europe Square, the main theme of which was Adjarian villages in all their colorful and attractive charm. Street entrances had a layout makeover to make them more similar to Adjarian villages, while the rest of the territory was transformed into a village yard in its entirety, complete with wooden fences and various props associated with the theme – even with hay covering the ground in some places. Furthermore, a model of a typical Adjarian village house was on display in Europe Square. The festival was musically enriched by local folklore groups, and ethno-jazz, ethno-rock and pop bands joined in the fun during the evening. Games and thematic contests took place, such as a competition to award the fastest to cleaning corn cobs and a tug-of-war. Master classes were given, teaching participants to culture cheese, and to make Tatara and dipped Churchkhela. In short, visitors were able to travel to mountainous

IRRATIONAL MAN Directed by Woody Allen Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey Genre: Drama, Mystery Language: Russian Start time: 12:45 Ticket price: 7.50 – 8.50 Lari

ANT-MAN Directed by Peyton Reed Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Language: Russian Start time: 14:30 Ticket price: 8.50 – 9.50 Lari

VACATION Directed by John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein Cast: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo Genre: Adventure, Comedy Language: Russian Start time: 17:30 Ticket price: 9.50 – 10.50 Lari

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (Info Above) Language: Russian Start time: 22:10 Ticket price: 11.50 – 12.50 Lari

Adjara without leaving the city. Batumoba didn’t leave children without a share of the fun, either; they were treated to a music “Party in the Magic Palace” on the colonnades stage. City Mayor Giorgi Ermakov announced honorary Batumi residents: musician Lasha Ghlonti, Doctor Avtandil Diasamidze, athlete Gia Jorbenadze, teacher Dali Chilidze, architect Elguja Tsivadze and archeologist Amiran Kakhidze. After the awards ceremony, which took place at the musical center, the national symphonic orchestra presented the “World Cinematic Masterpieces” project conducted by Nika Rachveli. The project was presented for the first time in Batumi and several songs were co-performed with singer Anita Rachvelishvili. The program included pieces from Charlie Chaplin, Nino Rota, Gia Kancheli and others. A further special show was presented over two days near the Alphabet Tower by famous Andalusian flamenco dancer

and choreographer, Jose Candela. The tower territory also paid host to numerous free concerts in the evening from Batumi bands “Black Sea”, “Strawberry Fields”, “The Nemo”, “Sound Lab”, “Rene Band”, and Mebo Nutsubidze and the “Bearfox.” Batumoba ended with a gala concert, with the “Nota” quartet, Kvicha Maghlakelidze’s quartet, the “Batumi” ensemble, Achiko Beridze’s quartet, Nana Meskhi, Lasha Ghlonti, the Theatrical Quartet, Karolina Chernetska, and the band “Prani” all participating in the show. The 60 days of Heat Batumi overall cover over 200 events hosting 259 foreign artists from over 20 countries. With up to 2000 participants overall, Heat Batumi is split into 11 thematic weeks, with each and every one having a unique topic and artistic accent. Heat Batumi is suitable for people of all ages and allows visitors to plan their vacation based on what they wish to see most. There’s fun going down all day-round.

Tilda George, a Georgian photographer from Germany, is bringing her first solo exhibition to Tbilisi.

September 13 NINO SURGULADZE INTERNATIONAL CHARITABLE FOUNDATION “DESIRE TREE” AND “SOCAR” COMPANY INVITE YOU TO MEET THE WORLD’S MEGA STARS. Participants: Nino Surguladze, Woody Allen’s favorite tenor - Fabio Armiliato, Daniela Dessì- world opera diva, Alberto Gazale – baritone, Francesca Dego – violin, maestro Daniele Rustioni, and the Opera Symphony Orchestra. Start time: 21:00 Ticket price: From 20 Lari

WHAT'S ON IN TBILISI THEATRE GABRIADZE THEATRE Address: 13 Shavtelis St. Telephone: 2 98 65 93 September 12 AUTUMN OF MY SPRING Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 10, 15, 20 Lari September 13 RAMONA Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 10, 15, 20 Lari CINEMA AMIRANI CINEMA Address: 36 Kostava St. Telephone: 299 99 55 www.kinoafisha.ge THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED Directed by Camille Delamarre Cast: Ed Skrein, Loan Chabanol, Ray Stevenson Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller Language: English Start time: 20:00 Language: Russian Start time: 15:00, 18:00, 20:15, 22:40 Ticket price: 9.50 – 12.50 Lari

RUSTAVELI CINEMA Address: 5 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 255 50 00 www.kinoafisha.ge THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED (Info Above) Language: Russian Start time: 12:00, 14:50, 17:00, 19:50, 22:40 Ticket price: 7.50 – 12.50 Lari TRAINWRECK (Info Above) Language: Russian Start time: 12:30, 14:45, 20:00, 2:30 Ticket price: 7.50 – 12.50 Lari

TRAINWRECK Directed by Judd Apatow Cast: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson Genre: Comedy, Romance Language: Russian Start time: 12:15, 15:00, 19:40, 22:30 Ticket price: 9.50 – 12.50 Lari

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION Directed by Christopher McQuarrie Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller Language: Russian Start time: 17:10 Ticket price: 9.50 –10.50 Lari

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. Directed by Guy Ritchie Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy Language: Russian Start time: 22:20 Ticket price: 11.50 – 12.50 Lari

PIXELS 3D Directed by Chris Columbus Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi Language: Russian Start time: 12:10 Ticket price: 7.50 – 8.50 Lari

VACATION (Info Above) Language: Russian Start time: 20:00, 22:10 Ticket price: 11.50 – 12.50 Lari

GALLERY THE NATIONAL GALLERY Address: 11 Rustaveli Ave. www.museum.ge PIROSMANI’S 150TH September 10 – October 9 VAKHO BUGADZE’S PERSONAL EXHIBITION “SUBURB” The exhibition showcases up to 70 works created in 2013-2015.


GALLERI NECTAR Address: 16 Aghmashenebli St. Telephone: 295 00 21 www.gallerynectar.ge

SIMON JANASHIA MUSEUM OF GEORGIA Address: 3 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22

September 10 – October 10 UNTITLED (IN THE MOOD) Nic Bezemer Opening: 19:00



June 27 – October 31 “GEORGIANS IN WORLD WAR II” IS AN EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VICTORY OVER FASCISM. ART PALACE Address: 6 Kargareteli st. Telephone: 295 35 63 September 5-20 ART PALACE AND BAIA GALLERY PRESENT THE EXHIBITION OF Irakli Parjiani’s 65th Jubilee Year The Gospels of St. Mark and St. John First show MOMA TBILISI ZURAB TSERETELI September 10-27 TILDA GEORGE MARE 2.0

HOTEL GUDAURI Address: Gudauri Telephone: 220 29 00 September 12 CERAMIC FESTIVAL Night of Fire in Gudauri For transportation: 595 01 17 70 TBILISI MARRIOTT HOTEL Address: 13 Rustaveli ave. September 12, 13 CHARITY ART SALE MUSIC TBILISI CONCERT HALL Address:1 Melikishvili St. Telephone: 2 99 00 99

EAST POINT Address: 2 Tvalchrelidze Str. Telephone: 293 00 07 September 12 JOIN THE GRAND OPENING OF EAST POINT, SHOPPING AND ENTERTAINMENT CITY. Feel free to join. Start time: 13:00 MOVEMENT THEATRE Address: 182, Aghmashenebeli Ave., Mushthaid park Telephone: 599 555 260 September 14 SILENT FILMS ACCOMPANIED BY LIVE MUSIC Start time: 21:00 September 15, 16 JAM SESSION JAZZ Evening Start time: 21:00 September 16 TANGO EVENING Start time: 21:00 MTKVARZE Address: 2 Agladze st. September 11 Main Room: TOMMA, GIO SHENGELIA Visuals by PANTELLEI Small Room: ABO Start time: 23:00 Ticket price - 10 Lari




Lexicon Rubicon: Svaneti Tony, really? You’re walking us through a dictionary? Desperate for new material, or what’s the deal? Hey, humor me, Reader; it won’t be as boring as it sounds. Really. One of my most expensive—not to mention rare and precious—books is an almost unbelievable Svan-English dictionary, hardback, a kind gift from friends in the USA where it was printed. The language has turned up quite a few unexpected gems so far in my mining of this book. And an idea. One thing which strikes me is the number of very special words which point to matters of belief or superstition, indicating the ongoing position of animism among the Svans despite the Orthodox Church having had a strong presence here since ancient times, possibly since the 6th century AD. The fact that these words persist in Svan says a lot about its speakers. Not just the possibility of describing something in two or more words, which one could do with any concept in probably any language; but having that meaning wrapped up in one word. You’d perhaps not think that there are such differences between languages, right? Well, my Svan friends, all of whom also speak fluent Georgian and often good Russian as well, say that not even Georgian gives them anything

like the richness of communication that Svan, their real mother tongue, does. Other items I have included in the sampling below are words to be found by coincidence in English; seeming translations from Hebrew; some comparisons with modern Georgian, which diverged from Svan about 4000 years ago and lost many of the Old or protoGeorgian words which Svan retains; and a few sheer oddities. A note on pronunciation: Svan is, among its four dialects, far more generous than Georgian in vowels; the latter has only five, the former eighteen, some of which are also to be found in English, others not. There is, for example, a plain “a”, one with an umlaut (two dots), one with a horizontal line, and one with both

umlaut and line; and similar variations for the other Georgian vowels and beyond. In addition, all of the great variety of Georgian consonants are present in Svan, as well as a few others represented by Old Georgian letters now extinct in modern Georgian. The Latinbased orthography below is partly the dictionary’s standard, partly my own, avoiding an excess of diacritical marks where possible. An apostrophe indicates aspiration of the sound preceding it. Some of my findings: ajem—to somebody’s good fortune (e.g. that something has not occurred) ak’eldam—burial vault (cf. Hebrew akeldama) apsâsd—deity of wild animals, half hu-

man, half bird ara—eight (Georgian—no) arabara—identical bak’ârob—tribal or family enmity bäng—strong drink barbläy—consecrated animal for St. Barbara bich’ (pronounced “bitch”)—bastard, illegitimate child (cf. Ge. bichi—boy) bliw—defective person chäch—mourning beard (not shaven for 40 days after the death of a relative) ch’or—payment for blood by vendetta dâew—(mythological) dev (demon-forest-man who may appear in the shape of a man, horse, &c); idiot däl—(mythological) Dali (name for the rock dwelling goddess of aurochses; sometimes she appears in the shape of a white aurochs) dçra—snow and ice left by avalanche or covering a frozen river dzapra—unbearable state Etseri—name of a village between Pari and Becho, the village where I live; cf. Heb. ezer—help (found as a man’s name in the Georgian translation of the Old Testament book of Genesis, spelt exactly like the village name) esiyesin—sometimes gad—peculiarity gärglamäykhak’u—of course gergäy—animal consecrated for St. George giga—aunt gudmetsä-l, -r—wizard prophet gwär—family name (cf. Ge. gvari— family name) gwäre—skin gwirk’äy—animal consecrated for St. Kvirike gwläboshäy si!—be burned! (Mulakhi village malediction) ham—morning heshmäy—devil (cf. Ge. eshmak’i— devil) käzh—horned devil (dwells in forests) kwinmeqwle—witch (“with separated soul”—may turn herself into a cat) ghçrbet—God (cf. Ge. ghmerti—god) lakhvär—goblin living alongside his human patron and serving him by stealing wealth from neighbors jgÝrâg—St. George (God), one of the three persons of the Svan Trinity (God, Jesus Christ, St. George) leg—bad limzir—1. to pray; 2. to participate in any customary religious ritual (no word exists for ecclesiastical liturgy) mâma—no, Upper Bal dialect (Ge.— father) manzawâer—toxic (only of honey!) mejär—ice-covered snow on spring mornings meysärob—Ge. Meisaroba (religious feast connected with horses) nakun—inspired: drunk of by some-

body; caused by an unknown reason (spirit) nänch’îr—tormented by one’s own past life napânun—something to be hallowed näshdbîrwäl—(plural) days “lent” to March from February nats’or—he who has taken revenge nach’wlash—property-compensation given in reconciliation for taking a wife from the enemy’s family pâdâes—crowd of rescuers print’—sound of striking a stick against the head qarw—the gap between two neighboring teeth qer—1. holy fire by night going from one church to another and associated with a special angel; 2. sow (female swine) rwent—heroic personage of Svan folklore sgim—mineral spring shäshish—deuce, devil (very small) t’qär—mythical creature dwelling in forests or rocks tsukhw—small likeable devil Ushguli—village name (possibly contracted from Ge. “ushishari guli”—fearless heart) tÝgir—a stick (for sacrifice to the deceased) with fruits or hard-boiled eggs fixed on its tip; such sticks are vertically fixed on a slice of bread or meat on the reminiscence table (e.g. 40 days after the death) ts’qÝlyän—1. clean; sacred, holy; 2. silver twäl—magic, spell tkhän—frightened animal unqws—interjection typical in the speech of demons ura-urda—without past (i.e. “he has not been!”—curse said of worthless persons) urts’qul—impure; the evil spirit uskhwäj—ox consecrated to the thunder deity wäjmiya—woe is me war—refusal (Ge.—uar) werb—eagle weshgim mechem—one who follows close behind (e.g. at a funeral) wet—almost wo ser—enough! zad—sprouting grain of barley used for making whiskey zedäsh—sacral vodka zhur—person lacking an enquiring mind A tiny sample, but I hope it goes towards proving my point: that the words themselves found in a language say a lot about that language’s speakers. And now you can stun your Svan friends with an imprecation, blessing or other utterance in a tongue spoken by less than one percent of Georgians! (Use at your own risk.)

Tony Hanmer runs the “Svaneti Renaissance” Facebook group, now with over 1200 members, at www.facebook.com/groups/SvanetiRenaissance/ He and his wife also run their own guest house in Etseri: www.facebook.com/hanmer.house.svaneti

SPORTS Pain F ollo ws Pleasur e ffor or Follo ollows Pleasure Tskhadadz e’ s R eco vering Geor gia skhadadze’ e’s Reco ecov Georgia By Alastair Watt It may have culminated in a slightly disappointing and drab 1-0 loss to an agricultural Irish side in Dublin on September 7, but this was undeniably a good week for Georgian head coach Kakha Tskhadadze. Victory over Scotland in Tbilisi on September 4, his first competitive win as national manager, saw some due reward for the encouraging yet erstwhile points-impoverished start to his reign. On a Friday night that will live long in Georgian (and for completely different reasons, Scottish) memories, the home side exhibited a commitment, organization and resilience that had not been seen from a Georgian side since the early years of Temur Ketsbaia’s time in charge. In Vako Kazaishvili, the Vitesse Arnhem midfielder who is finally being given the regular national starting berth his club performances have merited for some time, Tskhadadze has a focal point around which to build the attacking component of his team. With a deft first touch, a measured sense of adventure and, as the Scots learned to their detriment, a knack for clever finishes in and around the penalty box, Kazaishvili has become the poster boy of the Tskhadadze revolution. At the dawn of Ketsbaia’s time, it was Jano Ananidze who ably fulfilled this role, but his status would ultimately diminish for the national side. Ananidze did start against Scotland and showed signs of recovering better form of the early 2010s, but there still remains an anxiety that Kazaishvili’s potential could go similarly unfulfilled. What strengthens Kazaishvili’s case for not following in Ananidze’s footsteps is that he offers more defensively and

could fit in to a more defensive formation, like the pone adopted by Tskhadadze on Monday night in Dublin at the Aviva Stadium. With Ananidze ill and unavailable, Tskhadadze brought back 33-year-old Zurab Khizanishvili, making him the fourth natural central defender in a lineup that suggested a far more defensive outlook than the one Georgia were to actually take. In the first-half in Dublin it was the Georgians who threatened most, with Kazaishvili at the hub of most things positive for the visitors. Lone striker Levan Mchedlidze again cemented his place as Georgia’s first-choice attacker with a competent display, although a spurned opportunity at 0-0 when he raced through on goal only to barely register a shot on Shay Given’s goal, still reflects the barren state of Georgia’s striking options. Tornike Okriashvili was in typically unpredictable form, producing moments of sublime skill one moment, and shooting horribly high and wide from a ridiculous range and angle the next.

Goalkeeper Nukri Revishvili, preferred to regular starter Giorgi Loria due to the latter being shy of match practice and an actual club to play for, produced an excellent showing in Dublin, with a few spectacular saves once the Irish eventually emerged from first gear in the second period. He was eventually beaten by a scrappy Jon Walters goal midway through the second-half as Ireland navigated their way to a four-point lead over Scotland, and a place in the boxseat for a play-off position. Any chance of a Georgian riposte was eradiated when Mchedlidze pulled up with what appeared a nasty hamstring injury, the extent of which is as yet unknown, in the 80th minute. Aside from the aforementioned individual highlights, Georgia’s team performance in Dublin was most encouraging as after many insipid years, we began to see a team which believed in itself and at least fought for every ball. The form in the latter half of Ketsbaia’s reign had seen Georgia nosedive to bottom pot status for the World Cup 2018 qualifiers. However, if recent signs are to be believed, the Georgians will have a good shot at making Tskhadadze’s goal of a third-placed finish in a generous group of Wales, Austria, Serbia, Ireland and Moldova. Indeed, the Irish may have taken maximum points from Georgia once again, but they wouldn’t have been delighted with the sight of Georgia emerging as their pot six opposition when the likes of Andorra and San Marino were in the same bowl. Next up for Georgia is one such minnow, the visit of Gibraltar to Tbilisi on October 8.

Beer is Good For You… Wow, we really had the weather fit for beer in August! Beer beckoned us itself, as they say. September is going to be like this as well, promising many new friendships. You do remember that beer is a surefire way of forging friendships, don’t you? Read on to find out more interesting traits this wonderful beverage is rich with. 1. Beer is a natural product. It can’t not be natural, since intake would otherwise be impossible. Beer may even be more natural than the milk or fruit juice that we buy every day. 2. Beer improves your inner rhythm. The inner rhythm being, of course, our heartbeat. According to recent studies, a measured intake of beer positively affects the heart muscle and helps its functioning. 3. Drinking beer will give your

mind a workout. Let’s first agree on the fact that beer won’t turn you into Einstein, but it will contribute in stimulating your brain if drank systematically and in good measures. In a study that involved 40 people made to solve verbal tests while watching a movie, those whose blood contained 0.75 alcohol performed better in the assignment. 4. A measured intake of beer lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes. It took years and studying the health of 38,000 people for Danish scientists to confirm this. Those with a moderate affinity to beer exhibited much fewer signs of Type 2 diabetes. The main point here was a moderated and regular intake of beer, which always helps. 5. Beer commands taste. This beverage has a unique feature: it is an impeccable taste diluter, which means it

Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. See answers in the next issue


Answers to previous puzzles

goes really well with lots of dishes. Be it vegetables, baked goods or meat dishes, beer holds a secret by which, instead of taking away from the taste [of the food], it enhances and enriches it with more taste. Meaning beer will help you fall in love with food. 6. And, lastly, beer is the medicine for self-confidence. A study was conducted in Great Britain where people were asked to make speeches, after which they had to evaluate their own performance and appearance. Here too, regular beer aficionados confessed to having been more self-confident. So that is that, friends: beer is medicine if used in careful doses. Mevlud likes beer and loves you, which is why in subsequent posts we’ll talk about more interesting topics regarding the beverage that we all love.



Kazakh B-Bo y Wins Easter n B-Boy Eastern Eur opean Final Held in Geor gia European Georgia

By Baia Dzagnidze Killa Kolya, a B-Boy from Kazakhstan, won the Red Bull BC One Eastern Europe Final held in Georgia on September 5. During a tense battle with his Ukrainian opponent Robin, Killa Kolya proved himself worthy to be among the world’s best which will be presented at the World Final in Rome on November 14, making him the pioneer of his country represented on the global stage. “When I arrived in Tbilisi the only thought I had was about winning,” he said after the event. “Two years ago I lost my battle in the second round. So I was looking forward to the day where I could try again,” he continued. It must be noted that both finalists came from widely different and respected B-Boy styles, but it was Killa Kolya who stood bravely during the almost two hour non-stop event. “The final was great,” said judge Lilou, a twotime Red Bull BC One world champion. “I could not even imagine that the level of the participants would be so high,” he continued. The competition brought 15 B-boys and a B-Girl from 14 different countries

to demonstrate his/her best moves, rhythm and creative style to impress the panel of judges. Georgian breaker BBoy Pioneer, who introduced the country to this dancing style and won first place two times in a row at BC One Caucasus Final, made it to the semi-final but lost against Killa Kolya. Unfortunately, Red Bull BC One’s first-ever female Cypher Champion Queen Mary lost her chance after the first round. Tbilisi has been the center of Caucasus B-Boying since 2011, when the first Red Bull BC One All Stars tour and first Red Bull BC One Cypher took place in the city. The packed-in audience at Tbilisi Circus also got to enjoy the performances of Sukhishvilebi Georgian National Ballet and Egari national folk music band in collaboration with BMX flatland pro rider Vicki Gomez from Spain. Since its inception in 2004, Red Bull BC One has become the premier B-Boy competition in the world, consistently attracting the best individual breakers. The event and community celebrates breaking culture by using its original one-on-one, knockout battle format, as opposed to the crew-battle style more prevalent today.

GENERAL MANAGER - George Sharashidze BUSINESS MANAGER - Iva Merabishvili

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF - Katie Ruth Davies COPY EDITOR - Alastair Watt JOURNALISTS: Alastair Watt, Tony Hanmer, Tamar Svanidze, Joseph Alexander Smith, Zviad Adzinbaia, Joseph Larsen, Beqa Kirtava, Meri Taliashvili, Eka Karsaulidze, Baia Dzagnidze, Zaza Jgharkava, Teona Surmava, Ana Lomtadze, Maka Bibilashvili, Nino Melikishvili, Nina Ioseliani, Tatia Megeneishvili, Karen Tovmasyan, Nino Gegidze, Dimitri Dolaberidze, Nino Japarashvili, Maka Lomadze, George Abashvili PHOTOGRAPHER: Zviad Nikolaishvili TECHNICAL SUPPORT: Misha Mchedlishvili CIRCULATION MANAGERS: David Kerdikashvili, David Djandjgava

Address: 1 Melikishvili Str. Tbilisi, 0179, Georgia Tel.: (995 32) 229 59 19, 294 55 24 Advertising, Subscription: 597 970444; 597 955565 E-mail: marketing@georgiatoday.ge MARKETING MANAGER: Mako Burduli

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Profile for Georgia Today

Issue #783  

Sep. 11 - 17, 2015

Issue #783  

Sep. 11 - 17, 2015