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Issue no: 1197

• OCTOBER 25 - 28, 2019 • PUBLISHED TWICE WEEKLY

FOCUS

ON SUCCESS

The Silk Road Forum 2019 wraps up with numerous positive messages for Georgia's future.

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PRICE: GEL 2.50

In this week’s issue... Georgian Defense Minister to Attend NATO Ministerial in Brussels NEWS PAGE 2

Ruling GD Praises Bera Ivanishvili for Donating $1.1m to Amazon Forest Saving Fund NEWS PAGE 3

PM: Support Act Advances Relations between Georgia & the US to a New Level POLITICS PAGE 7

Female Judges Outnumber Men in Georgia but are Underrepresented in Managerial Positions POLITICS PAGE 9

First Cancer Screening Center Opens in Zugdidi BY VAZHA TAVBERIDZE

BUSINESS PAGE 10

Huawei Ships 200 Million Smartphone Units For 2019 In Record Time

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n October 22, Caritas Czech Republic in Georgia, together with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Czech Republic to Georgia, H.E. Petr Mikyska, Deputy Minister of Health of Czech Republic Radek Policar, Deputy director of NCDC (at Ministry of Health of Georgia MoIDPsLHSA) Alexandre Turdziladze, Samegrelo-upper Svaneti deputy Governor Nino Vibliani and City Mayor of Zugdidi Municipality, Giorgi Shengelia officially opened Zugdidi Screening Centerat the address 198 K. Gamsakhurdia Str., Zugdidi. At the opening event, the Caritas Czech Republic in Georgia officially handed over the Zugdidi Cancer Screening Center to local non-governmental organization Cancer Prevention Center (CPC) for management. Project Donor CzDA and the NCDC signed a bi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding as an expression of the further commitment to and support of the implementation of National Cancer Screening Programs in the region. With this action the parties join the campaign “Pink October” to raise awareness about the breast cancer, marked internationally since 1997. The Screening Center was constructed and equipped by Caritas Czech Republic (CCR)

Veon Group Holds its Third Global Hackathon for Employees

BUSINESS PAGE 10

Georgian Astrophysicist on Why We Can't See Aliens SOCIETY PAGE 11

with the financial support of the Czech Development Agency (CzDA) in the frame of the project “Establishment and Promotion of Cancer Screening Center in Zugdidi”. Center is equipped with up-to date office and medical devices, including a digital mammography machine. The project aims at enhancing the accessibility to National Cancer Screening Programs (Breast, Cervical and Colorectal Cancer screening programs, Prostate Cancer management program) in the Samegrelo-Upper Svaneti region, as well as for the population of Abkha-

zia given the proximity of the border, to ensure timely detection of oncological diseases. The Center will start receiving patients from November. CCR further supporting the Zugdidi Screening Center through consultations and methodological assistance together with partner organization “Tanadgoma”. The campaign aims at educating the population as well as healthcare professionals about the importance of cancer prevention and early detection and engagement of the population in cancer screening programs.

Exhibition Dedicated to Zviad Gamsakhurdia to Open at Art Palace CULTURE PAGE 13

Special Offer for readers of Georgia Today -15% off all Diet Plans!

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NEWS

GEORGIA TODAY

OCTOBER 25 - 28, 2019

Georgia Ranks 7th among 190 Countries in the World Bank Doing Business 2020 BY ANA DUMBADZE

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eorgia has ranked 7th with 83.7 points out of 190 countries in terms of Ease of Doing Business, the World Bank Report 2020 says. Last year, Georgia ranked 6th on the list. “For starting a business, for example, Georgia and New Zealand have the low-

est number of procedures required, the survey reads, adding that “in dealing with construction permits, Georgia improved its building quality control by increasing public access to information.” In the ranking, Georgia is ahead of Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Lithuania and other countries. The list is led by New Zealand, followed by Somalia. The World Bank has been publishing the Ease of Doing Business rating since 2003.

Georgian Defense Minister to Attend NATO Ministerial in Brussels BY ANA DUMBADZE

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eorgian Defense Minister Irakli Garibashvili will attend the meetings of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) at the level of Defense Ministers at the NATO Headquarters, which is held in Brussels. In particular, Minister Garibashvili will attend a meeting of the NAC with resolute support operational partner nations and potential operational partner nations on Friday. He will speak on the importance of ensuring global security and Georgia’s contribution to this process through the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. Within the framework of the Ministerial, the Georgian Defense Minister will meet with the NATO Secretary General, where the sides will discuss NATO-Georgia cooperation mechanisms. He will also meet with foreign counterparts and discuss bilateral defense cooperation issues with the Ministers of Defense of Finland, Poland, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom.


NEWS

GEORGIA TODAY OCTOBER 25 - 28, 2019

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Ruling GD Praises Bera Ivanishvili for Donating $1.1m to Amazon Forest Saving Fund

Image source: 1tv.ge

BY TEA MARIAMIDZE

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uling party Georgian Dream (GD) has praised Bera Ivanishvili, son of former Prime Minister of Georgia, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, for his announcement that he will transfer $1.1million to the Amazon Forest Saving Fund. Bera is a Georgian singer, rapper, songwriter, record producer, and entrepreneur. He established his music career in both Georgia and the United States,

and is the founder of the Georgian record label and production studio ‘Georgian Dream.’ He published a video a few days ago in which he speaks about the need to save the Amazon forest, which is the “lungs of our planet, our life and the future of our children.” “This is a call to action. Today, I want to help my Brazilian friends… Despite the fact that I live thousands of miles away, my Brazilian fans treat me … as a family member. In the spirit of such love, I want to help them as much as possible,” he said. The video also voices a call to participate and act in order to save the Amazon.

“Any contribution, regardless of quantity, is significant and important. Together, we can make a change. Thank you and God bless you,” Bera tells viewers. Bera Ivanishvili’s announcement was followed by controversial comments from society, the majority of whom took to social networks, to criticize him for helping Brazil and not Georgia. Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia responded to the criticism of Bera, saying it is unfair to slam a person for a charitable act. "It is unfair to attack a charitable act, and in this case twice as unjust because Bidzina Ivanishvili’s family has been helping our country to preserve our historical heritage for years and is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on educational projects for our future generations," he said. Gakharia added that it is absolutely unacceptable when a young person's philanthropy becomes the “subject of a political attack due to a political context.” The Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia published the comment of Minister Levan Davtashvili, who says that criticizing Bera is shameful, especially when it

comes to the topical issue in the world, the Amazon forest. “It is hard to make a comment on such a criticism towards a kind step, especially when the philanthropy of Bidzina Ivanishvili’s family is immeasurable,” he added. Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Natia Turnava also made a comment, saying Bidzina Ivanishvili and his family are always helping Georgia, and it is no surprise that they pay attention to global problems too. “Bidzina Ivanishvili has done and does a lot for Georgia directly. Billions are being spent by him to develop our tourism infrastructure, restore cultural heritage sites, and develop the Georgian economy in general. He is a philanthropist on a global scale, and it is no surprise that he focuses not only on Georgia's development, but also on global issues such as climate change. We live in a global world and everything affects Georgia too. Ecological challenges are one of the major threats that everyone should take care of,” Turnava said. Sopho Kiladze, Chairman of Parliament's Human Rights Committee, took to Facebook to express her support to Bera, claiming that everyone knows

what the Ivanishvili family have done for Georgia, including those who criticize Bera. “They are donating this money from their own pockets and why it should become a subject of such an uproar, I have no idea,” her post reads. Brazilian environmental organization ISA, the Social-Ecological Institute, reports that Bera Ivanishvili has become the new ambassador of the campaign "Forest People" (#PovosDaFloresta). The organization writes on its website that the Georgian musician will spread the voice of Brazilians to Europe and enhance the organization's environmental work. The proliferation of fires in the Amazon rainforest drew international attention in August. The number of fires decreased by 35% in September, but experts say this is merely a slowdown in a crisis with global repercussions. There were still 19,925 fire outbreaks in September on the Brazilian part of the rainforest, which accounts for nearly 65% of the Amazon basin. Moreover, through the first nine months of the year, the number of fires soared by 41% compared to the same period in 2018, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) says.


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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

OCTOBER 25 - 28, 2019

The Tbilisi Silk Road Forum Ends with Success BY EMIL AVDALIANI

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he Tbilisi Silk Road Forum was most successful. Over 2000 delegates were engaged and over 300 bilateral meetings were held- stated Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia. “Tbilisi Silk Road Forum, held for the third time in Georgia, was most successful, which is primarily manifested in the high number of its participants,” he noted at the Executive Government Meeting on Thursday, commenting on the keynote event of international magnitude. According to the Head of Government of Georgia, over 2000 delegates were engaged in the Forum and over 300 bilateral meetings and negotiations were scheduled within two days. “All of this, of course, facilitates the strengthened role and duty of our country as a connection point of two large civilizations. Within its economic context, it is primarily related to transport, logistics, tourism and all the rest contributing to a strengthened economy. Our key priority is to let the economy grow at a high speed, create new jobs and employment opportunities. We cooperate towards this end with all the relevant institutions within the country and beyond. I also want to once again underline the value and significance born by the positive cooperation held by and between the Government of Georgia, private sector, central bank and various institutions engaged in the economic policy of the country,” the Prime Minister concluded. Georgia’s rising place on the new Silk Road is well reflected in the successful completion of the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum held on October 22-23 when up to 2000

politicians, potential investors from 60 countries, visited the Georgian capital. The event has been held for the third time since 2015 and attracted due attention worldwide. In total 300 different meetings have been held during the event. Georgian Infrastructure Minister Maia Tskitishvili expressed hope that those meetings involving Georgia “will be translated into investments.” “We have established new connections and met with dozens of people, investors who are interested in doing business in Georgia. The Georgian government is eager to help and assist interested businesses enter Georgia,” Tskitishvili said. Historically, Georgia has played an important role in the development of the Silk Road. In the modern world, when economic integration and globalization is in change, the development of trade and economic relations between countries is of top importance. Tbilisi supported the Silk Road initiative and signed the cooperation deal back in 2015 which was translated into the signing of the Georgia-China free trade deal. The Tbilisi Silk Road Forum is expected to play an important role in the implementation of the Silk Road initiative. The event will help Georgia carry out its function as a connecting bridge between Europe and Asia. “Georgia is a very important country, as it is at the crossroads of Asia and Europe,” said Mircea Ciopraga, Secretary General Permanent Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Commission of TRACECA (International Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia). “The forum is important for TRACECA, in order to tie China and Europe together. This forum helps businesses ensure easy transit of products for doing business and developing the country.” The hosting of the event underscores

how Georgia has recently upped its historical role as a regional hub connecting Europe and Asia. On the map, it is in fact the shortest route between China and Europe. There is a revitalization of the ancient Silk Road taking place in Georgia. This in turn makes the country an increasingly attractive destination for foreign investment. “Georgia is the natural venue for a Silk Road Forum and Italy, with the 6th largest trade surplus in the world, is a natural participant and terminus on the Silk Road, as it has always been,” said the Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ivan Scalfarotto.

He went on: “At a time in which international trade is facing unprecedented challenges, it is important to assure dialogue opportunities among States, but also between private companies and civil society organizations, in order to develop inclusive and effective solutions.” Thus, we see now the Silk Road concept gradually emerging at the borders of Georgia. For the first time in many centuries, major transcontinental trade routes run through the Georgian territory. Due to its geographical location, Georgia will play a bigger role as a transcontinental trade corridor. This implies attracting joint projects, increasing trade,

attracting more investments and enhancing economic cooperation between various regions. In the long run, Georgia's Free Trade Agreements with China and European countries, its geographical location, attractive investment environment and market openness, correct economic policies and reforms, positively assessed by international financial institutions and authorized ratings, and its growing economy are important foundations for achieving the goals that should bring Georgia back to its historic role and further enhance its position in modern economic relations between Europe and Asia.

Georgia is one of the least tax-burdening countries. We have only six types of tax. Add to that the fact we are safe and macro-economically stable; we have a stability that means you shouldn’t expect surprises, and business usually isn’t really fond of surprises; they prefer a stable environment. We’re dynamically growing and stable in this growth as well: despite lots of regional shocks, our economy withstood it and we remained a healthy and stable country. And we offer high profits in return for their investments.

are working to accommodate. Another challenge would be the region itself. Georgia is liberal, open to the wide global world, well integrated in the world and regional value-chain, which means that every challenge that the region has takes its toll on us as well. Maybe not so overwhelmingly as in other places, though, as thanks to our macro-economic health, our economy is able to withstand regional shocks. Geopolitically, every political or economic problem has an effect on Georgia as well. But I am happy to say that despite this difficult geopolitical landscape, we are still considered an island of stability. Georgia is on the shortlist of international investors, and every sign points to the fact that the numbers of such investors are growing.

Minister Turnava on the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum 2019 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY VAZHA TAVBERIDZE

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EORGIA TODAY asked the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Natia Turnava, to share her impressions of the 2019 edition of the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum, which saw 2000 delegates from 60 countries in attendance.

WHAT ARE THE DELIVERABLES OF THE TBILISI SILK ROAD FORUM? WHAT WAS ITS IMPACT? This edition of the Silk Road forum was different from the previous two that I attended, though then I was not as a member of the government. A marked distinction is that whereas during the previous forum the talk of the day evolved around future plans and investments, today the domineering narrative was foreign investment funded by private businesses that proved to be a success. And they were eager to share their experience and the know-how with their potential colleagues and investors: What made their success possible, why they decided to invest, what plans for enlargement they have, why they opted for Georgia instead of other frontier markets. It was a very inspiring thing, because if earlier it fell to us the government to convince the business sector it was worth their time and resources to invest here, now we can see it obviously bore fruit and the business sector itself is raising its voice. This is a marked success not

only of this edition, but of the Silk Road Forum concept in general. However, this latest edition still managed to stand out as it was attended by a record number of 2000 participants from 60 different countries, and saw a host of bilateral meetings organized. Panel discussions are incredibly important to raise awareness about a country and its business environ; to find ways to solve regional challenges, but bilateral meetings are where deals are brokered and decisions are made, contracts are signed and so on. And we discussed a great many projects during these bilateral meetings. For example, several Chinese business groups that plan to invest here advanced their projects further, a high-ranked Uzbek delegation, headed by their Vice Prime Minister, visited the Black Sea coast to choose specific locations, be it Poti, Anaklia or someplace else, where they plan to build and develop terminals and other logistical projects. This clearly showcases that the Uzbek businesses are trying to find a corridor to other markets and view Georgia as a strategic partner. Railway delegations from several countries organized working meetings here, where they discussed important matters such as preferential customs duties and so on. Our corridor has distinct advantages: it is short, stable and safe and allows access to many neighboring countries. The challenge is that this corridor has so many participant countries in it, meaning it has to cross so many borders, so if it wants to compete and claim an advantage over alternative routes, it becomes really vital that everyone is on the same page, that everyone agrees to

the same framework, to the same liberalization of tariffs and so on. Afghanistan, being one end of Lapis Lazuli corridor, sent its Transport Minister to attend the 2019 forum, who discussed the means to improve the situation for drivers. Another important matter that was thoroughly discussed was digitalization of these corridors. It has become increasingly prominent and Georgia is trying to champion the course. An artificial intelligence panel was introduced at the Forum for the first time. While some other countries are discussing how to get rid of bureaucracy in regards of awarding certificates, tickets, custom checks and so on, we are already making advances towards making it all paper-less and fully digital. This endeavor is heartily supported by our partner countries as well, including for example, Ukraine, which is a hugely important access point for our corridor.

GIVEN THAT THE MISSION OF THE FORUM WAS TO ATTRACT MORE INVESTMENTS TO THE COUNTRY, WHAT WOULD YOUR SALES PITCH BE FOR GEORGIA, AS A MINISTER? I would focus on themes that have actual impact and influence on how investors make their decisions. The most effective and potent message I have is that we are a country where it is easy to do business. In terms of ease of business, we are both top reformers and top performers. And this is the line that really sells. The complex bureaucracies around founding a new business? We’ve already forgotten what that means: here, in Justice House, you can sort it out in just one hour. Another important incentive is that

AND WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES? Business wants more predictability in reforms and we’re well aware of that and


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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

OCTOBER 25 - 28, 2019

BBC Business Correspondent Joe Lynam: Don’t Burn Old Bridges, Just Build New Ones cessful country surrounded by enemies. It can be done.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY VAZHA TAVBERIDZE

CAN AN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY LIKE GEORGIA ACTUALLY HAVE ANY LONGTERM PLANS WHEN IF WE LOOK AT SITUATION FROM A REALPOLITIK PERSPECTIVE, WE DON'T REALLY KNOW WHETHER TOMORROW RUSSIA MIGHT INVADE?

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ou have the rule of law, infrastructure and human resources, if you continue on this path, in 15 years Georgia will be the leader of the forecasted Caucasus – Joe Lynam, the Chief Business Correspondent of BBC, at the Silk Road Forum in Tbilisi this week. Lynam visited Tbilisi in the frames of 2019 Tbilisi Silk Road Forum, where he led one of the panels. After, he talked to Georgian media about Georgia’s competitiveness, affordability and attractiveness. He also mentioned the positive international standing of Georgia in the component of ‘Ease of Doing Business’, (World Economic Forum) which is very appealing for investors and helps to earn their trust. “These types of ratings are a good example. People need assurances to invest. They need to know the rule of law. They have to know if they enter into a dispute, the courts will be just. This is very important for international business. That is the reason investors are entering Georgia. You have rule of law, you have the infrastructure and human capital. If you continue on this path, in 15 years Georgia will be the leader of Caucasus.” he stated. “The Silk Road initiative could be the start of a major transformation for this country. One that makes this country wealthy and a home to its young people.” Lynam said in his opening statement.” GEORGIA TODAY sat down with him to find out more of his thoughts.

WITH CHINA AND THE US EMBROILED IN A TRADE WAR, HOW DO YOU THINK IT MIGHT AFFECT GEORGIA, A COUNTRY THAT WANTS TO ATTRACT AS MUCH INVESTMENT AS POSSIBLE FROM BOTH DESTINATIONS? Georgia should never take sides. The Prime Minister of Georgia should invite

President Trump and XiJing Pi to Tbilisi to have a big discussion; they're going to Chile for the next few weeks and Georgia should be on that map. It should be seen as the new Reykjavik, the new Helsinki, the new Vienna; the ‘we will meet between Asia and the West and be together.’

DO YOU THINK WE HAVE THAT LUXURY CONSIDERING GEORGIA’S SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES? Well, you also have a special relationship with China; you signed a free trade agreement recently.

BUT THE US IS STILL CONSIDERED OUR MAIN STRATEGIC PARTNER IN TERMS OF NATO MEMBERSHIP AND SO ON.

Putin-Erdogan Meeting in Sochi BY BEKA ALEXISHVILI

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urkey and Russia have agreed to a ‘historic’ settlement intended at keeping Kurdish militia away from Syria's northern border with Turkey. The meeting came during a break in Turkey's offensive to expel the Kurdish forces while forming a "safe zone" in the area. According to the new deal, Syrian and Russian forces will supervise the withdrawal of the Kurdish forces. There is no comment yet from the Kurdish fighters, whom Turkey deems

as terrorists. The deal includes procedures for combined Turkish-Russian patrols along the border and was made after six hours of talks on Tuesday between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian host, Vladimir Putin, in Sochi. An armistice brokered by the US was set to expire on Tuesday evening and Turkey had lurked to re-instigate its offensive against the Kurdish fighters. The Turkish offensive began after the US publicized a rapid and unexpected withdrawal of its fighters from northern Syria. The US troops had been accompanying the Kurdish fighters, who have been supporters in the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS).

And yet America is not very constructive towards NATO at this moment. The current president has shown no loyalty to NATO; has created a trade war. It's very important that China and America come together and to do that there will have to be some agreement because it will force the world into a recession.

HOW DOES THE RUSSIAN FACTOR CHANGE THAT EQUATION? You know the Russians better than anybody. It looks like China and Russia are getting a little bit closer, that's the problem. This is why you should not put all your eggs in the USA basket. We need to get a good relationship with Russia. It's tough when they are sitting in Abkhazia and Ossetia as they are; it is very tough. I don't know how to revise that. The basic perspective is we need to be

nice to as many countries as possible as picking sides is not a good idea if you're a small open economy.

SOME PROMINENT EXPERTS ADVISE THAT IT WOULD BE BETTER TO STAY CLEAR FROM TRADE WITH AND ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE ON RUSSIA, BECAUSE IT CAN BE USED AS LEVERAGE. I'd refer back to my own example here. When Ireland joined the European economic community, we knew back in 1973 that 60% of Irish trade went to one country, to the UK, now it is 12%. What you do is not burn any bridges with Britain or in your case with Russia; you continue on one bridge and add small bridges and that means travel and that means quality, always offer quality and rule of law. Look at another example, where a tiny country like Israel is now a very suc-

I don't know the answer to that. I just think that Russia wants to control its new neighbors, wants them to be dependent on them. Ask Ukraine, ask Moldova, ask those countries; it wants to create dependencies and it would be a mistake to be dependent on any one country. So if you can get your gas from somewhere else, I know it's more expensive, you get your gas from Azerbaijan and I know you're developing a lot of hydroelectric plants. There’s a lot of sunshine here in Georgia, some solar panels can make you independent. This is what's going to happen in the next 20 years; fossil fuels will go down, renewables will go up; you guys have sunshine nine months a year, 10 months a year, you can do something. We could even go wave power from the Black Sea. You're in a good position- remember Azerbaijan is landlocked.

WHAT’S YOUR INSIGHT ON THE ANAKLIA DEEP SEA PORT? IT’S A MUCH DEBATED TOPIC NOWADAYS, WITH THE CONSORTIUM AND THE GOVERNMENT SEEMING AT ODDS AS TO HOW TO PROCEED. I know that having sea access is very important. I know Azerbaijan would love to have access to the sea. So, you make your ports open and free and cheap, and these countries will have to come in to your country to do business. It worked for Singapore, it worked for so many other countries. You make it easy to do business; make sure that Georgia doesn't burn any bridges, only building new ones. Look at how Ireland did it from the 70s: a very, very poor country and now the second richest in Europe.


POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY OCTOBER 25 - 28, 2019

7

‘Borderization’ OP-ED BY NUGZAR B. RUHADZE

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was a linguist before I became a journalist. I am making this opening statement because I am suffering a problem of a semantic character with the word ‘borderization’. I chose it as the title of this piece, and as soon as I put it on my computer monitor, the system marked it with a red underline, indicating that it is not stipulated as an entry in the programmed dictionary. I hastily delved into my most usable two dictionaries, Webster and ABBYY Lingvo, to look up the meaning of the word, but both dictionaries refused to help. Then I discovered the definition on Google: borderization is the installation of border marks and fencing. This means that we are using a glaring euphemism to describe the continuing Russian attempts to move the border from north to south from within the de-facto South Ossetia right into the Georgian territory. What is taking place at the so called border between Georgia and the Tskhinvali region is not a harmlessly executed regular borderization but a forceful expansion of the occupied part of Georgia in favor of the de-facto Republic of South Ossetia. Question: is the unrecognized ‘Republic’ strong enough to move borders back and forth? Answer: Of course not! Then what’s happening, folks? Russia, the big brother of all the newly-hatched smaller siblings, is the answer to the puzzle. The Tskhinvali mini-brothers have that giant relative to do the job for them, and the goal of the effort is to turn the mentioned ‘Republic’ into a bigger country than Georgia proper. Just imagine the level of the Russian-Ossetian elation if some day in the near future, South Ossetia possesses a larger territory than Georgia itself, and Tskhinvali carries bigger international clout than Tbilisi! Here is a fascinating sequence to the story: having learnt that the once-unnoticeable South Ossetia has grown into a serious state comprising all of central Georgia, the dwellers of another runaway creation, called Abkhazia, are undertaking a

Image source: pexels.com

demarche before the Russian government about its mishandling of their independence and making a request for immediate ‘borderization’ of their de-facto territory so that Abkhazia gobbles up the entire west of Georgia. The result: the birth of a new geopolitical unit under the name of ‘The Abkhazian-Ossetian Republic,’ with the city-state of Tbilisi squeezed in-between as an immobilized enclave and an impotent new administrative formation. How do you like that picture? Well, Russia might be extremely happy at having finally truncated and tamed Georgia; Europe might welcome the new reality to feel secure; America might take it easy because it is too preoccupied with current unsolved problems of Mankind; and the rest of the world might not know

at all what has happened in Sakartvelo. How about us, the Georgians? I am not entirely positive, but we might be compelled to put up with the situation forever and drag on with endless political talk-shows, with nonsensical narratives about anything but the nation’s wellbeing; continue playing the attractive drama and comedy in our lovely theaters; carry on dancing the folk routines and singing the famous polyphonic tunes; keep on building various exotic eateries; persist in indulging in sumptuous parties and idle cruising around the city in oversize SUVs (calling all of them ‘jeeps’); maintain the habitual inborn conceit, pride and arrogance for totally unknown motives; stay nursing the confidence in ourselves that we are the chosen people of Our Lady; go on daydreaming

that life will someday be better in Georgia without spilling sweat at the altar of honest labor; insist on our being right in political dealings while everybody else is wrong; keep bringing up the younger generation with the potential of committing exactly the same blunders that have been made in the last 30 years following the collapse of the soviets. Excuse my pasquinade – lampoons are not my cup of tea – but I didn’t know how to better wrap in words the sense of helplessness I harbor within myself at knowing that our little darling is shrinking even more every day, and nobody can do anything substantial and efficacious about it. Meanwhile, the mutual incrimination on the subject by the ruling power and its opposition is yielding into pure nothing!

PM: Support Act Advances Relations between Georgia & the US to a New Level

BY ANA DUMBADZE

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would like to stress the importance of the Georgia Support Act, which reaffirms the high-quality partnership we have with our strategic partner,- said Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia. "There are very important points highlighted in this Act: the first is, of course, our country's independence and territorial integrity, as well as the need to strengthen Georgia's security context and the protection of human rights in the occupied territories.” The PM spoke at Thursday's cabinet meeting in a response to the recent Georgia Support Act adopted by US House of Representatives, adding that it advances the relations between the two countries to a new qualitative level. He also noted the importance of the economic component of this Act, as it emphasizes the need for working on a possible free trade regime more actively. “All this will advance the relationship between

the two countries to a completely new qualitative level. This is confirmation of the successful reforms and democratization process carried out in our country in recent years and of course we must continue this line with the same attitude and enthusiasm,” he said. The US House of Representatives conferred on the Georgia Support Act, presented by the co-chairs of the House Georgia Caucus, Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Gerry Connolly, which has about 30 co-sponsors from both the Democratic and Republican parties. Even before the submission of the Act by the House of Representatives, the draft was collectively and unanimously accepted by several committees, including the Foreign Relations, Legal Affairs and Revenue Committees. The manuscript declares the United States of America’s continuous assistance for the independence and sovereignty of Georgia. It acknowledges Georgia’s commitment to democratic values, including free and fair elections, and further affirms US opposition to Russian aggression in the region.

15 M. Kostava str. (+995) 322 30 03 05


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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

OCTOBER 25 - 28, 2019

The USS Porter Visits Batumi Port BY NINI DAKHUNDARIDZE

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n October 22, USS Porter (DDG 78) entered Batumi harbor. This is the ship’s second visit to Georgia. The visit highlights the continued cooperation between the US and Georgia to promote regional peace and stability. Commander C.M. Trent was greeted by Georgian officials at the harbor and offered a traditional glass of Georgian wine. A welcoming performance of a traditional Georgian dance and song were put on for the ship’s crew. The Commander then spoke to representatives of the local press. Commander Trent complimented Georgian hospitality, saying: “Thank you for the hospitality, thank you for the warm welcome – that was amazing. Georgia has a legendary reputation for hospitality, and you have certainly exceeded that. Thank you so much.” After thanking Georgia for the traditional and heartwarming welcome, Commander Trent went on to talk about the symbolic significance of the ship’s name and the strong ties between the United States of America and Georgia. “My ship is the USS Porter and, if you can see, it says ‘Freedom’s Champion.’ That is the motto of the ship, and that refers to my country’s beginnings, founded on the principles of freedom. I know that those are the principles that we share with Georgians. That is what makes our friendship strong. Our ship visit is a symbol of that friendship,” he stated. The USS Porter’s visit not only serves official means, however, as the crew plans to participate in several official and cul-

Image source: U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi

tural events during their stay in Batumi. “The port visit provides American sailors an opportunity to explore local historical sites and build lasting partnerships with their Georgian Coast Guard counterparts,” reports the US Embassy in Tbilisi. The USS Porter has a crew of 39 officers and 282 enlisted personnel. The ship’s dimensions are as follows: length 154m, beam 20m, draft 11m. The USS Porter, forward-deployed at Naval Station Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the US 6th Fleet area of operations in support of US national security interests in Europe. The US 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance US national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa. The US Navy routinely operates ships in the Black Sea consistent with the Montreux Convention and International Law. The Ships of the United States often visit Batumi port to emphasize and celebrate the strong relations between the two countries. In April, a different ship of the United States arrived in Batumi. The United States Ship (USS) Ross (DDG 71) arrived in Batumi for the first time for a port visit on April 21. Much like this October visit, the April one served to highlight the continued cooperation between the US and Georgia by promoting regional peace and stability. In addition to tours of the ship, sailors from the USS Ross played a friendly soccer match with the Georgian Coast Guard, a basketball game with Maritime Academy students, and met with local youth at the American Corner in Batumi.

De-facto Security Services Accuse Georgian Side of Provocation BY BEKA ALEXISHVILI

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he behavior at the illegitimate checkpoint and presence of Georgian forces near the village of Tsneli have significantly increased the risk of military threat on the border and may even trigger an open armed conflict, - the South Ossetian "security committee" was cited as saying by the Russian Sputnik agency. "Georgian provocateurs do not cease their revanchist aspirations and create a hub of instability at the South OssetianGeorgian border. And Georgian special services have been spreading misinformation over the past two months and misleading not only the Georgian population but also Georgia's political leaders," states Ekaterina Biazrova, head of the security committee’s press center. She adds that Georgian security forces are organizing an extensive provocation in the area. "At the border in the villages

of Koda, Abano, Kobi, Tsaghvli and Atotsi, they restrict the movement of Georgian activists, media and NGOs to prevent an objective assessment of the situation there. The presence of the policemen and the Georgian checkpoint near the settlement of South Ossetia increases the risk of a military threat that could lead to armed clashes," Biazrova added. Such provoking and confrontational statements are a part of the misinformation operation directed by the occupation forces with the help of their Russian associates. This type of falsification is not new to the Moscow or their supported breakaway republics, and in this case, it is happening near the village of Chorchana of the Khashuri municipality. ‘Overall, these de-facto services relentlessly try to justify their inflammatory actions along the occupation line.’ the Georgian State Security Service issued in response to the statement of the defacto security committee of the Tskhinvali region (South Ossetia). The central administration operating in Tbilisi claims to be using all of its

power to safeguard the wellbeing of the local populace on the ground.

"Out hotline is working in permanent mode and information is timely provided

to our international partners," the State Security Service said.


POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY OCTOBER 25 - 28, 2019

Female Judges Outnumber Men in Georgia but are Underrepresented in Managerial Positions

Image source: complex.com

BY TEA MARIAMIDZE

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he Council of Europe (CoE) presented the study 'The main factors contributing to the underrepresentation of women judges in the management of the common courts in Georgia' which revealed that 53.3% of judges in Georgia are female, however, their representation in managerial positions is significantly low. The study was prepared by Analysis and Consultation Group (ACT) for the Council of Europe project “Support to the Judicial Reform in Georgia” and combines quantitative and qualitative research methods. The initial stage of the study involved a qualitative survey: in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with judges, representatives of the High School of Justice, the High Council of Justice, the Parliament, NGO sector, field experts and law students in three cities of Georgia: Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Zestaponi. At the second stage of the study, the quantitative survey was conducted through online questionnaires involving judges, as well as Court Managers and judicial assistants of the court. The survey reads that as of October 2018, the total number of judges in Georgia reached 306. Of 26 heads of the courts, only four are women, while in nine chambers only two chairs are female and the rest are men. In addition to this, all chairmen of the board are male. The statistics show that since 2010, the number of female and male judges in courts of first and second instance has been almost equal, and has changed little from year to year. As for the third instance, in the ACT study we read that there are significantly more male judges than women. The organization said the fact that the number of female judges in the Supreme Court from 2014 to 2016 increased from 21% to 38% is a positive trend. At present, the share of female judges in the court is 36%.

The study reads that time poverty emerges as a barrier for women to achieve career advancement. “Unlike their male counterparts, women judges often struggle to balance work and family responsibilities. The burden of administrative tasks related to the managerial position in the judiciary makes it less attractive to women,” it says. Based on the study results, two contradictory discourses were revealed in terms of determining the criteria for appointing chairpersons of courts/ boards/chambers. “As perceived by NGO representatives, the absence of set criteria and procedures is problematic, as the process is not transparent and enables various groups to make subjective decisions; judges on the other hand believe that setting criteria for appointing judges to management positions may be counterproductive,” the study reads. In addition to this, it also identified potential incentives that could encourage a more balanced representation of women judges in managerial positions: reducing the judicial workload, removing managerial functions from chairpersons, increasing the duration of paid parental leave and introducing relatively flexible work hours. The CoE says that introducing a target number as a mechanism to increase the share of women in the management of the court system was also addressed in the study. One discourse says that a quota is an important mechanism to increase the share of women in the management of the court system. The second discourse notes the introduction of a quota is positive discrimination and may backfire instead of supporting the representation of women in management. It added that according to the judges participating in the study, the system has two main challenges and they are not associated with gender but with trust and the backlog of the courts. The study was funded by the voluntary contributions of Bulgaria, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, the Slovak Republic and Sweden to support the implementation of the Council of Europe Action plan for Georgia 2016-2019.

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BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY

OCTOBER 25 - 28, 2019

Veon Group Holds its Third Global Hackathon for Employees BY MARIAM MERABISHVILI

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vices and products that rely on the new 5G technology. That's why the award for the first-place team is a trip to Seoul where, amidst the Southeast Asian inno-

vation, 5G is most alive. The winning team is also given the opportunity to take part in organizing the next year's DIGITHON event.

In addition to DIGITHON being a great motivation for employees, Veon member companies have successfully used this platform to solve the most exciting chal-

lenges. DIGITHON's idea is to encourage innovation, creative thinking and collaboration that enables companies to foster an entrepreneurial spirit.

ive Beeline employees from Georgia are participating in the Veon Group global hackathon in Amsterdam. The main prize of the competition is a trip to Seoul, South Korea. For the third year in a row, international group Veon, a telecommunications and internet service provider presented as ‘Beeline’ in Georgia, has been running an innovative competition DIGITHON for its employees from the 10 countries where Veon is represented. DIGITHON derives from two words: "digi" from the word digital and "thon" from the word Hackathon. DIGITHON serves to create or improve already existing digital products and services. At the first stage, a local competition is held in all ten countries of Veon. The first team/ winner from each country then heads to the group's global headquarters in Amsterdam for the DIGITHON. Team building starts before arriving in Amsterdam and unlike the local competition, it already brings together not only different departments, but also representatives of different countries and cultures. Upon arriving in Amsterdam, the 10 participating teams work on a product idea and prototype for the first 24 hours and the next day must present the results. This year, the participants are working on the creation of innovative digital ser-

Huawei Ships 200 Million Smartphone Units For 2019 In Record Time

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uawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) has announced that it has shipped 200 million smartphones to date in 2019, 64 days earlier than the same shipment milestone last year. Huawei’s relentless focus on cutting-edge technology and innovative ID design, with its complete commitment to consumers worldwide, has reinforced their trust and commitment as more consumers continue to support Huawei.

2019 saw the launch of a number of stand-out devices including the multi award-winning HUAWEI P30 Series, widely considered to be the best camera phone currently available, as well as an all-round category leader. Amongst a slew of awards and accolades, the European Image and Sound Association (EISA), a group comprising 55 of the world’s most respected consumer electronics magazines, named the HUAWEI’s P30 Pro “EISA Best Smartphone 2019-2020”, making it the second year in a row that Hua-

wei has claimed this category prize. More recently, the HUAWEI Mate 30 Series launched to great critical acclaim. Featuring the flagship Kirin 990 5G SoC, DxOMark winning quad camera system with breakthrough SuperSensing Cine Camera and futuristic Halo ring design, the HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro has been called “a genuine, unapologetic flagship phone” by Android Authority while GSMArena stated that “it has some of the best cameras ever found on a smartphone”, once again cementing Huawei’s reputation as

an industry leader. In celebration of the milestone, Huawei announced the Commemorative Edition of HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro 5G. The limited version will come with 8GB RAM + 512GB Storage and will be available in Forest Green and Orange with vegan leather. It will be available for order on Huawei Vmall starting from 1st November 2019 at 10:08 am China time in the Chinese market. Huawei's products and services are available in more than 170 countries and

are used by a third of the world's population. Fourteen R&D centres have been set up in the United States, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India and China. Huawei Consumer BG is one of Huawei's three business units and covers smartphones, PC and tablets, wearables and cloud services, etc. Huawei's global network is built on over 32 years of expertise in the telecom industry and is dedicated to delivering the latest technological advances to consumers around the world.


BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY OCTOBER 25 - 28, 2019

11

ProCredit Bank Now Offering New Financing Opportunities for Purchasing Electric Cars

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roCredit Bank Eco-Mobility Loans, a new service for business and private clients, aims to encourage customers to replace their fossil fuel-powered vehicles with electric cars. By doing so, clients can actively contribute to reducing their negative environmental impact. The electric vehicles available on the market today only need one full charge in order to enable drivers to comfortably reach destinations in and around the city as well as the surrounding areas. Loans are issued in amounts ranging from GEL 15,000 to 90,000 with a fixed interest rate (nominal - from 10%, effective -from 11.32%). Eco-Mobility Loansaresecured with the vehicle purchased. ProCredit Bank continues to carry out strategic activities under the concept of eco-mobility. It is one of the first institutions in Georgia to start using hybrid and electric cars, thus enhancing its role in promoting sustainable business practices. Currently, ProCredit Bank is in the process of replacing the fossil fuel-powered vehicles in its fleet with electric cars and the necessary equipment. By using environmentally-friendly vehicles and developing the appropriate infrastructure, ProCredit Bank is raising the awareness of eco-mobility. It has been over a year since the bank's head office at 21 Kazbegi Ave made an electric charger available for public use. As a next step, ProCredit Bank plans to install additional electric chargers in the near future.

SOCIETY

Patients with Multiple Sclerosis Accuse the Ministry of Health of Neglect FEEDBACK FROM THE UNION OF PATIENTS WITH MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

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atients with multiple sclerosis, their family members and doctors, gathered at the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel again to discuss the illness Multiple Sclerosis and the problems related to its treatment. The event was organized as part of the Together for One Campaign, which aims to support patients and actively engage the public and the state in this process. At the meeting, patients and doctors summarized current problems, discussed the need for timely diagnosis and adequate treatment, and reminded the government that people with multiple sclerosis are waiting for funding. However, they accused the Ministry of Health of neglect, pointing out the need for affordable treatment. This year, the Ministry of Health of Ajara pays 25 thousand GEL for expensive medicines for patients with multiple sclerosis. The program has 10 beneficiaries at this stage. Patients living in Tbilisi and the regions are also waiting for such assistance. Yet despite the promises, they do not know what to expect in 2020 and whether the disease modifying treatments will be available to them. Representatives of the Ministry of Health were invited to the event but did not attend. Attendance was free. Interested people at the meeting had the opportunity to share their experiences with each other in the fight against the disease and ask questions to leading specialists. “It is difficult when your government

cannot understand its citizens. In spring, we received a promise that the multiple sclerosis treatment would become more affordable. However, we still do not know what to expect. Moreover, the condition for 2020 is also unclear. We are patients who live, work, pay taxes into the state budget, but neglect by the government can take away all of this and drive us into a wheelchair. Keeping and caring for persons with disabilities is much more expensive for the state. Our fami-

lies need us to be active: there are young children behind us,� said Marika Kajaia, who has been fighting the disease for several years, sometimes winning, sometimes giving up. She is an active person today, an active marketing specialist, and has a child who needs her support. To support people with multiple sclerosis, a worldwide campaign was organized in spring, titled "Bringing Us Closer". The goal of the campaign is to raise public awareness about the disease,

timely diagnose it and provide access to adequate treatment. Information on Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, progressive neurological disease and approximately 2.3 million people worldwide have this pathology. The first symptoms tend to appear in the age group of 20 to 40 years and therefore multiple sclerosis is a major cause of non-traumatic disability in young people. The disease activity is very important in all forms- inflamma-

tory processes in the nervous system are followed by the death of neurons in the brain. This process can continue even if the patient has no clinical symptoms. The primary purpose of treatment for multiple sclerosis is to reduce disease activity at an early stage so that disability does not progress. Nowadays, modifying therapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis can be provided, which significantly reduces disease activity and progression of disability.


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SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY

OCTOBER 25 - 28, 2019

The Yard BLOG BY TONY HANMER

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lthough I had my heart set on buying property in and moving to Svaneti, my wife had some wise advice for us: Also acquire a place to live in Tbilisi. As a bachelor, couch-surfing with friends in the city whenever I visited from Svaneti, “somewhere of my own” here had not been an issue. (Although storage of all those books, I’ll admit, occasionally did pose a challenge.) But as a couple this option was not nearly so practical. Also, might we eventually retire from the physically demanding village life to a simple apartment? Indeed, this was a possibility; better to prepare for it sooner rather than later, and not be caught unawares.

The place we did get is at the end of one of the city’s two Metro lines, which means you can always get on an empty carriage, sit, and read. The shopping around the Metro stop includes all household goods and a great food bazaar, as well as a mall which even has western and Asian fast food and brand name supermarkets. The Metro is a mere 10 minutes’ walk from us, exercise I find helpful. Between the subway and the flat is a long section where people come and daily spread out second hand goods, from tools to clothing to antiques. Some of my favorite pressed glass liqueur bottles I found here, and they washed up just fine. Also, rather than shelling out a small fortune for a Russian samovar at the Dry Bridge Market, I spent only 40 GEL for a late Soviet-era model in brass, having checked that it went on when plugged in but didn’t leak. (There’s no on, up/down or off switch, nothing to stop it boiling dry and then destroying itself,

so you’d better not leave it unattended. But it works fine and looks beautiful, and works.) There are lots of trees in enough density almost to be called forests. Parking is a bit iffy, as these neighborhoods were designed and built when private cars were a fraction of the number they are today. But people have built themselves garages outside their apartment blocks: illegal, but no one’s coming to tear them down. So far. I’d pay quite a few thousand for one, but they rarely come on the market. On the rare occasion when I drive my gasguzzler all the way from Svaneti to here, I always manage to find a place for it nearby, so it could be much worse. The actual courtyard that my high-rise looks onto has a supermarket, occasionally changing hands but always reopening; stalls and kiosks for fresh produce, popcorn and more; languages including Svan, Mingrelian, Russian, Azeri, Armenian, Ossetian and of course Georgian; vastly more noise in summer at night than our graveyard-quiet village home. Especially from barking stray dogs, but at least most of these have been “fixed”. Benches abound for outdoor life and socializing. The lift currently doesn’t stop on our floor, so we

go one up and then walk down. But we’ve installed both A/C and a heater in the flat to balance temperature extremes. Although the atheist origin period of these parts of the city excluded religious life, most of them are getting or already now have new Orthodox churches (and other venues of expression, less visible perhaps but present nonetheless) within walking distance for the first time. The bells ring; so far, Muslim calls to prayer will not be heard. The churches, aside from edge sharpness, could have been built 1500 years ago, so little have their designs changed. In Georgian, yard is ezo; neighbor, deriving from this, is m-ezo-beli. A nice root. We are only here a few times a year, seldom together, but it’s our home away from home when we need it. That was good counsel indeed, Love. Tony Hanmer has lived in Georgia since 1999, in Svaneti since 2007, and been a weekly writer for GT since early 2011. He runs the “Svaneti Renaissance” Facebook group, now with nearly 2000 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

Georgian Astrophysicist on Why We Can't See Aliens

BY NINI DAKHUNDARIDZE

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n October 20, Science Alert published an interesting article projecting the hypothesis and findings of Georgian astrophysicist. "What if alien spacecraft are already in our midst – and we don't know about them because they're tiny nanostructures?" that now is the main question of Zaza Osmanov, a Georgian astrophysicist working at the Free University of Tbilisi. Osmanov's new theory deems to explain the Fermi paradox. This paradox – named after Italian-Amer-

ican physicist Enrico Fermi – posits that because the Milky Way is so vast and so old, the chances of alien civilizations being out there are pretty high. The Georgian physicist suggests that maybe aliens are buzzing around the Universe in micro-machines just a nanometer long. What's more, he's provided some pretty detailed calculations to go along with this idea. While it is true that Osmanov's paper has yet to be peer-reviewed, so we can't place too much importance on it just yet – it does open up an intriguing possibility and rather fascination theory. Read the article sciencealert.com/another-reasonwe-might-never-have-seen-alien-probes-they-reincredibly-tiny-micro-machines


CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY OCTOBER 25 - 28, 2019

Exhibition Dedicated to Zviad Gamsakhurdia to Open at Art Palace BY MARIAM MERABISHVILI

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n exhibition dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the first President of Georgia (1991-1992), one of the leaders of the National Liberation Movement (1973-1990), Translator, Doctor of Philology and National Hero of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia is set to open at the Art Palace (Kargareteli 6) on the evening of October 28, 18:00. The exhibition will feature unique video, audio and archival documents preserved at the Art Palace, which will introduce many interesting and hitherto unknown stories of Zviad Gamsakhurdia's political or public activities. For the first time in history, along with unique posters, photos or manuscripts brought out from the museum fund into the exposition halls, visitors will have the opportunity to view photos and archival documents of Georgia's political situation in 1989-1992, owned by The Washington Post. An exhibition catalog dedicated to the 80th anniversary of President Gamsakhurdia will also be presented as part of the event, which, together with important facts about Gamsakhurdia's political career from January 3 to February 2, 1992, combines rare footage of the mass dispersal of the former President's supporters. It is noteworthy that October 28 was chosen as the opening date of the exhibition. On October 28, 1990, the first democratic and multi-party elections were held in Georgia, in which the participating parties and organizations were

Image source: Art Palace website

registered not by the Soviet authorities but by the Central Election Commission, elected on a parity basis. However, for the first time in the Soviet Empire, inter-

national observers from overseas monitored the elections. The exhibition will continue until November 10 at the Art Palace.

The National Museum to Present First Solo Exhibition of a Ushgulian Artist

Source: Georgian National Museum and FB Page

BY MARIAM MERABISHVILI

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he Georgian National Museum is preparing to host the first exhibition of Ushgulian artist Fridon Nizharadze at the Tbilisi History Museum. Nizharadze studied at the Tbilisi Art Academy, then returned to Ush-

guli, where he still works. The artist himself says that nature, the universe and Man are his main inspirations. The artist paints, works on wood and is the author of many poems. The name of the unique Ushguli artist, Fridon Nizharadze, is probably unknown to many, though he is well known to numerous Georgians and foreign tourists who have visited Ushguli and seen the works of this great Svan artist. He has been written

about by foreigners many times and many stories and videos have been dedicated to him in Georgia: it is that difficult to see and not be amazed by the genius residing in a small house in a small mountain village in the Svaneti region. Fridon Nizharadze has never had an exhibition – this will be his first. The exhibition, featuring 40 paintings by the artist, will open on November 2 and will last until November 15.

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14

CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY

OCTOBER 25 - 28, 2019

WHAT’S ON IN TBILISI THEATER

GIFT FESTIVAL PROGRAM 2019 October 27 Levan Khetaguri Master Class for Young Theater Critics Venue: Rustaveli Theater, VIP Room Start time: 15:00 October 30 Aurelia Thierrée Presents Bells & Spells Direction– Victoria Thiérrée-Chaplin Starring– Aurélia Thiérrée and Jaime Martinez In co-production with Théâtre les Célestins, Lyon Théâtre Atelier Carouge, Genève Change Performing Arts, Milano Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 8-50 GEL Venue: Marjanishvili Theater TBILISI OPERA AND BALLET THEATER 25 Rustaveli Ave. October 25 Victor Dolidze's opera KETO AND KOTE Music Director of the ProductionRevaz Takidze Director- Ioane (Vano) Khutsishvili Set, Costume and Lighting Designer- Giorgi Alexi-Meskhishvili Choreographer- Iliko Sukhishvili Participants: Giorgi Davitadze (Kote), Vakhtang Jashiashvili (Prince Levan), Manana Iordanishvili (Maro), Kakhaber Tetvadze (Makar), Chorus and Orchestra of the Tbilisi Z. Paliashvili Opera and Ballet State Theater, National Ballet Company ‘Sukhishvilebi’ Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 40-200 GEL October 27 Giuseppe Verdi LA TRAVIATA Music Director of the productionZaza Azmaiparashvili, Director- Laurent Gerber, Scenographer- Massimo Bellando Randone, Costume Designer- Ester Martin, Choreographer- Nina Ananiashvili, Participants: Marika Machitidze (Violetta), Nutsa Zakaidze (Flora), Mariam Kobaliani (Annina), Armaz Darashvili (Alfredo Germont)… Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theater Orchestra, Choir and Ballet Company. Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 10-200 GEL

October 30 LADO ATANELI 30 Years on the World’s Opera Stages Participants: Nino Surguladze, Khatuna Chokhonelidze, Marika Machitidze, Shalva Mukeria, Armaz Darashvili, Gocha Datusani, Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater Choir and Orchestra. Conductor- Zaza Azmaiparashvili Program: Giuseppe Verdi, Rigoletto IV act, Macbeth I act Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 10-200 GEL GABRIADZE THEATER 14 Shavteli Str. October 25, 26 RAMONA Revaz Gabriadze Directed by Revaz Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20, 30 GEL October 27 STALINGRAD Revaz Gabriadze Directed by Revaz Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20, 30 GEL October 29 REZO Animated documentary film Directed by Leo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15 GEL October 30, 31 THE AUTUMN OF MY SPRINGTIME Revaz Gabriadze Directed by Revaz Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20, 30 GEL SHALIKASHVILI THEATER 37 Rustaveli Ave. October 25, 26 STOP AIDS Language: Non-verbal Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15 GEL October 29 ABIGLUKOZA Language: Non-verbal Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15 GEL MOVEMENT THEATER 182 Agmashenebli Ave. October 26 THE TEMPEST Based on the work of William

Shakespeare Directed by Ioseb Bakuradze Composer: Sandro Nikoladze Language: Non-verbal Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10, 15 GEL October 27 INTRO Directed by Kakha Bakuradze Music: Sandro Nikoladze Language: Non-verbal Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10, 15 GEL October 31 Georgian-American Premiere TAMADA IN MANHATTAN Directed by Paul Gordon Author: Paul Gordon, Ioseb Bakuradze, Genre: Musical Decorator: Kakha Bakuradze Choreographer: Robbie Priore, Abby Leithart, Vanessa Owen, Gavin Strewart, Lasha Robakidze Language: Non-verbal Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 25 GEL MUSIC & DRAMA STATE THEATER 182 Agmashenebeli Ave. October 29 WELCOME TO GEORGIA The Musical A musical, theatrical play and romantic comedy telling a story about Georgia and its people by combining song, dance, culture, traditions, history, national costumes and local cuisine. Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 50-80 GEL MUSEUM

GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM SIMON JANASHIA MUSEUM 3 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 299 80 22, 293 48 21 www.museum.ge Exhibitions: GEORGIAN COSTUME AND WEAPONRY OF THE 18TH-20TH CENTURIES NUMISMATIC TREASURY EXHIBITION STONE AGE GEORGIA ARCHEOLOGICAL TREASURE NEW LIFE TO THE ORIENTAL COLLECTIONS Until December 15 The first-ever exhibition of A REMARKABLE COIN FROM THE TIME OF KING DAVID THE BUILDER

Until November 30 Exhibition ‘WISDOM TRANSFORMED INTO GOLD' Supported by the EU With ancient archaeological finds, the exhibition presents for the first time gold jewelry of Late Antiquity (2nd-4th century AD), goldsmiths' tools from the Museum's ethnographic collection, and items made from gold and precious metals. IOSEB GRISHASHVILI TBILISI HISTORY MUSEUM - KARVASLA 8 Sioni St. TEL (+995 32) 2 98 22 81 October 15-30 GOGA JAPARIDZE’S EXHIBITION ANATOMICAL ODDITIES Until November 12 NASASJÓN The exhibition consists of works by six Icelandic artists: Ingólfur Arnarsson, Ívar Valgardsson, Kristinn G. Hardarson, Sólveig Adalsteinsdóttir, Rádhildur Ingadóttir and Tumi Magnússon. All the artists were born between 1954 and 1959. MUSEUM OF SOVIET OCCUPATION 4 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 2 99 80 22, 2 93 48 21 www.museum.ge The exhibition hall is equipped with monitors, where visitors can see documentaries of various historical events. MUSEUM OF ILLUSIONS 10 Betlemi Str. Discover the Museum of Illusions Be brave enough to jump into an illusion created by the Vortex, deform the image of yourself in a Mirror Room, be free in the Infinity room, resist the laws of gravity and size ratio, and take selfies in every possible pose. Enjoy the collection of holograms, and discover optical illusions.

The first museum of digital art in Tbilisi, where you will meet three different spaces: Vazha-Pshavela's "Dried beech", the world of torches, and a digital space decorated with various graphic and visuals effects. In the main hall is decorated with video projections and mirrors, demonstrating there is no boundary between man and nature. Ticket: 10-30 GEL MUSIC

RUSTAVELI THEATER 17 Rustaveli Ave. October 28 The Vivace Association CHARITY CONCERT Supporting Georgian children and youth in the field of education and musical promotion. The donations will go equally to Georgian UNICEF for Education programs and the association "Vivace". Young music competition winners from Switzerland and Georgia will perform together with "Georgian Sinfonietta" Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15-100 GEL STEINWAY & SONS 1 O. Dgebuadze Str. October 26 An Evening of Classical Music sounds By Frederic ROZANES In Program: Beethoven, Liszt and Chopin Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10-30 GEL ELEKTROWERK 2 Monk Gabriel Salosi I Turn October 27 INSIDE The tasteful blend of traditional dance music and experimental electronic sound make their creation always outstanding and varied Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15 GEL

GALLERY

EPISODE 7 Tsavkisi

THE NATIONAL GALLERY 11 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 215 73 00 GRAND MASTERS FROM THE GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION XIX – XX CENTURY Until November 20 Georgian National Museum and the Embassy of Italy in Georgia present the exhibition "THE FORM OF COLOR FROM TINTORETTO TO CANALETTO" from Trieste's National Gallery of Ancient Art. The Gallery displays three centuries of Italian painting– from the late Renaissance to the Rococo. The National Gallery brings together 55 artworks of Tintoretto, Guerchino, Bernando Strozzi, Antonio Canaletto, Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini and other painters. Visitors will get acquainted with the major painting schools of Northern Italy from the 16th18th centuries - from Bologna (Giuseppe Maria Crespi) to Genoa (Givanni Batista Paggi, Gioacchino Assereto, Giovanni Francesco Castiglione) and from Lombardy (Pier Francesco Mazzucchelli, Pier Francesco Cittadini) to Veneto (Bonifacio de' Pitati, Carlo Caliari, Francesco Maffei, Nicola Grassi). TBILISI DIGITAL SPACE Tbilisi Mall

October 31 EPISODE 7 Line up: (DJ) Skalitzer, Naomari, Zei Start time: 21:00 Ticket: 15 GEL MOVEMENT THEATER 182 Agmashenebli Ave. October 29 JAM SESSIONImprov played by different Georgian and foreign musicians and instrumentalists. Musical art director- Sandro Nikoladze Start time: 21:00 Ticket: 5 GEL SOUNDS OF GEORGIA SING AND DRINK Mini concerts in the cozy atmosphere of Old Tbilisi, a mix of traditional Georgian music of different genres: folklore, a capella, guitar, and Georgian pop and city songs every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday Start time: 17:00 Ticket: 24 GEL Venue: October 26- New Tiflis, 9 Agmashenebeli Ave., Wine bar ‘Wine Station’. October 30Corner of 2 Turgenev Str., and 37 Javakhishvili Str., deep yard, October 31- Europe Square, 2 D. Megreli Str., Hotel “Nata”


CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY OCTOBER 25 - 28, 2019

15

Lado Ataneli - 30 Years on the World Opera Stages

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n October 30, at 19:00, the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater is to host unforgettable evening of the acclaimed Georgian baritone Lado Ataneli - 30 Years on the World Opera Stages. The program covers the fourth act from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto and the first act from opera Macbeth. Apart from Lado Ataneli in the concert will participate Nino Surguladze, Marika Machitidze, Khatuna Chokhonelidze, Shalva Mukeria, Armaz Darashvili, Gocha Datusani, Irina Sherazadishvili, Philipe Ghatchava, Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater Chorus and Orchestra, while Conductor Zaza Azmaiparashvili will lead the evening. Lado Ataneli made his debut at the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater in 1989 with the role of Renato in Verdi's opera Un Ballo in Maschera. Ataneli is the Grand Prix winner of the I. Chestel and

Belvedere International Singing Competition. Since 1996, he has performed successfully on the world's famous opera stages - New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Zurich, Geneva, Munich, Washington, Tokyo, etc. The Georgian baritone is acknowledged as one of the best performers of Verdi, Puccini, Giordano, Leoncavallo, Mascagni and Massenet operas. His repertoire consists of more than 40 operas, including roles of Scarpia, Gerard, Tonio, Iago, Macbeth, Nabucco, Rigoletto, Barnaba, etc. In 2003, EMI Classics recorded Ponchielli's opera La Gioconda, where Lado Ataneli performed Barnabas' most rigorous part together with Placido Domingo. In 2005, he released his first solo album called “Opera Arias”, followed by his next CD “Baritone Arias” in 2009. Among his DVD recordings should be mentioned Verdi's Othello, Massenet's Thais, Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades. In 2009,

Lado Ataneli founded the charity fund “Tanadgoma”, which aims to help young talented singers and pave the way for their international triumph. Lado Ataneli Singers Competition has been held since 2010. Ataneli was awarded the Shota Rustaveli State Prize and the Gold Medal in 2011. In the same year, he was recognized by the Georgian Writers' Union as a "Knight of Kindness." In 2012, he was awarded the Order of Excellence. In 2017, he was named as honorary citizen of Tbilisi. The same year, Ataneli’s star opening ceremony was held in front of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater. Music critics have dubbed Lado Ataneli “the Golden Voice from Georgia” and “100 Carat Diamond.” “Italian music is like a catalyst for his voice that brings the best out of him,” emphasizes an article in the Orpheus magazine, which also claims that Lado Ataneli’s voice puts out 355 horsepower.

Brazilian Film Festival in Tbilisi 2019 BY NINI DAKHUNDARIDZE

T

he Brazilian film production of recent years is being recognized everywhere for its quality and diversity. That is why for the sixth time Tbilisi will host an open-to-public event celebrating Brazil’s cinematic beauty and success. The 2019 edition of the Brazilian Film Festival, fully dedicated to Brazilian cinema, is scheduled in Tbilisi from October 25 to 31. Presented by the Brazilian Embassy in Tbilisi, the festival has been able to display in Georgia, since 2012, more than 40 top-quality Brazilian films, most recent and previously locally unscreened productions, and has been growing in size and attendance since its foundation. The Tbilisi Brazilian Film Festival in 2019 is set to showcase a selection of great movies from the new wave of Brazilian filmmaking. Six days of this full week of Brazilian Cinema being projected at the Georgian Cinema House will be dedicated to feature films and one to recently produced short Brazilian animation movies. Among creations of popular culture for “mass consumption,” like action features and comedy, the festival gives a chance to get a glimpse of the independent division of Brazilian contemporary cinema, too: the Brazilian Film Festival in Tbilisi will screen some truly creative and audacious films both in form and content. The first film to be screened is one of the most interesting. On Friday, October 25, the Georgian Cinema House will screen ‘Nise: The Heart of Madness’ (2015). Directed by Roberto Berliner, the film is based on the true story of Dr. Nise da

Image source: Tbilisi Brazilian Film Festival

Silveira, a psychiatrist in Brazil who treated her patients with art instead of electroshock therapy. Promising Brazilian actors like Gloria Pires, Luciana Fregolente and Simone Mazzer participated in the production. ‘Nise: The Heart of Madness’ won the Best Film nomination in the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Best Film in the Rio Film Festival Audience Award. One of the most exciting parts of the Tbilisi Brazilian Film Festival 2019 is its

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animated movie night. Happening on Monday, October 28, Cinema House will welcome guests to delve into the following short animation films from Brazil: ‘Way of Giants,’ directed by Alois Di Leo (2016) - 12min; ‘Menina da Chuva’ (Rain Girl), directed by Rosaria (2010) - 7min; ‘Daydreamer,’ directed by Quiá Rodrigues (2012) - 20min; ‘Tarik's Puzzle,’ directed by Maria Leite (2015) - 19min; ‘Power House,’ directed by Maria Leite and Daniel Herthel (2007) - 5min; ‘Linear,’ directed

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by Amir Admoni (2012) - 6min. The Tbilisi Brazilian Film Festival will wrap up on October 31 with the screening of ‘The Ballroom’ (2007). To keep the intrigue, we won’t reveal the movie’s setting with any spoilers – see it for yourself! We’ll mention, however, that the Ballroom is internationally acclaimed and has been very well received. The musical romantic drama, directed by Laís Bodanzky, won awards at the

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Geneva International Film Festival, the Brasília Film Festival, the Miami Film Festival and the Grand Prize of Brazilian Cinema. The movies will be shown in their original language with English subtitles. Films may contain mature content. Entrance is free. See more of the schedule on the festival’s website. The tickets will be awarded on a first-come-firstserve basis, starting 30 minutes before each session.

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Profile for Georgia Today

Issue #1197  

October 25 - 28, 2019

Issue #1197  

October 25 - 28, 2019

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