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Issue no: 1189

• SEPTEMBER 27 - 30, 2019 • PUBLISHED TWICE WEEKLY

FOCUS ON QUEEN KETEVAN September 26 is St. Ketevan's Day. Find out why inside.

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In this week’s issue... OPIC Commits $15 mln Loan to JSC Liberty Bank NEWS PAGE 2

NATO Membership: a Georgian “To be, or not to be”?

POLITICS PAGE 4

Ben Hodges: Georgia Should Be in NATO Today

Image source: Goga Chanadiri

Georgia Officially Becomes Member of EURAXESS

POLITICS PAGE 5

5G - What to Expect from Innovative Technology

BY THEA MORRISON

BUSINESS PAGE 7

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eorgia has officially become a member of EURAXESS, a unique panEuropean initiative delivering information and support services to professional researchers, backed by the European Union, member states and associated countries. The relevant document was signed in Brussels by the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, Mikheil Batiashvili, the Director of the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation, Zviad Gabisonia, and the Deputy Director General in DG RTD Research and Innovation at the European Commission, Patrick Child. Minister Batiashvili said that significant support from the EU has again been reaffirmed by signing the document of Georgia’s accession to EURAXESS. “All this will enable all scientists and research institutions working in Georgia to enjoy the same benefits that EU member states enjoy. This is a truly unique opportunity - almost every European science foundation and resources will be

Sazano Wine Cellar – Tradition Continued by the 6th Generation SOCIETY PAGE 8

Image source: mes.gov.ge

available to Georgian scientists. In fact, Georgian science has become a member of the European scientific family,” the Minister said. Gabisonia underlined the importance and benefits of Georgia’s joining the EURAXESS, with the signing of the declaration to be followed by the establishment of EURAXESS Georgia in the coming days. He noted that Georgian science will have access to about $100 billion budgets.

“In addition, there is an opportunity to participate in EU research projects. This is not only about Horizon 2020 projects, but also about the domestic grant projects of individual countries, which always seemed inaccessible to Georgia. Once an EURAXESS Georgia appropriate platform is established, we will have direct access to these EU projects,” Gabisonia said. Continued on page 2

An Unforgettable Gastronomic Adventure at Restaurant Funicular CULTURE PAGE 9

BIAFF 2019 Closing Ceremony & Winners CULTURE PAGE 11


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NEWS

GEORGIA TODAY

SEPTEMBER 27 - 30, 2019

Georgia Officially Becomes Member of EURAXESS Continued from page 1 The goal of the EURAXESS Georgia Network Startup project is to start up EURAXESS Georgia, which will operate in harmony with pan-European EURAXESS and support research mobility, career development and international scientific cooperation at a national level. Georgia’s Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport reports that joining EURAXESS will facilitate Georgia's close integration into the EU's research area. Representatives of Georgia's scientific field will have access to scientific and academic opportunities in Europe and around the world, as well as international cooperation projects with leading universities and research centers. The pan-European program services will support the academic development and international mobility of Georgian researchers. Joining the program is important for the career development of scientists, for expanding international cooperation between universities and research institutes. “Pan-European program EURAXESS will unite Georgian and European researchers as a result of Georgia's integration. Opportunities for career growth of Georgian researchers will be up and foreign students and researchers interested in studying at Georgian universities will also increase,” the Ministry reports. By joining EURAXESS for the first time in Georgian history, the Georgian organization will be the direct beneficiary and coordinator of Horizon 2020. Also, for the first time, Georgian scientists will have direct access to domestic and international funds and grant competitions in pan-European countries. Joining EURAXESS will help Georgian scientists become involved in commercialized European research and prepare

Russian FM on Resuming Flights with Georgia BY KETEVAN KVARATSKHELIYA

them for Horizon Europe. Intensive preparations for Georgia's accession to EURAXESS started in October 2018. On December 27, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia applied for Georgia to join EURAXESS. On March 1, 2019, the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation prepared and presented the EURAXESSGeorgia project, which was approved by the European Research and Innovation Program. At the beginning of July, the preparation for the grant agreement was launched. EURAXESS supports researcher mobility and career development, while enhancing scientific collaboration between Europe and the world. At present, EURAXESS incorporates 40 countries, both European and other technologically advanced countries like Japan, Israel and others. EURAXESS is also a gateway to Science4Refugees, an initiative helping refugee researchers find suitable jobs in today's challenging research landscape. Part of the initiative is the Science4Refugees Research Buddies, supporting refugee scientists in finding European researchers to discuss problems, find solutions and study together, by matching their research field, scientific studies and interests. In addition, EURAXESS Worldwide offers users the chance to interact on a global scale. It is a networking tool supporting researchers working outside of Europe who wish to connect or stay connected with Europe.

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ergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, commented on relations between Russia and Georgia and noted the he would lift the ban on direct flights imposed by the Russian President Vladimir Putin next June. “I would probably resume flights with Georgia. And I believe it would be

Image source: REUTERS

OPIC Commits $15 mln Loan to JSC Liberty Bank

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he Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government’s development finance institution, has signed a Commitment Letter to provide $15 mln in financing to JSC Liberty Bank. The financing will be used to upgrade Liberty Bank’s infrastructure, including the roll-out of approximately 500 state-of-the-art ATMs. This project is part of Liberty Bank’s ongoing strategy to become a leading full-service Bank in Georgia. Following the change of ownership in Liberty Bank in 2017, the new management has embarked on an aggressive business transformation strategy. Key pillars of Liberty Bank’s new targets include: • Investing in the training of people to provide the best possible client services;

• Promoting a customer focused business model to improve retail, MSME and Corporate customer needs; • Building strong international partnerships to promote best business practices in Georgia. The new management believes that Liberty Bank is well positioned to promote financial inclusion across the country, given its unparalleled coverage of Georgia that extends to even the most remote locations of the country. “We are delighted to have an opportunity to work with Overseas Private Investment Corporation,” said Levan Lekishvili, acting CEO of Liberty Bank. “This is a major milestone in the development of Liberty Bank and a very strong incentive for the management team to deliver on our stated business objectives. Roll out of these ATMs will

right, as the majority of the Georgian population have realized the counterproductive provocative nature of actions that took place at the Parliament of Georgia during the 2019 Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy,” stated Lavrov. Georgian-Russian relations worsened in June after the Russian MP Sergei Gavrilov addressed the audience of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy from the seat of the Chairman of the Georgian Parliament, which led to mass protest demonstrations. give our customers access to digital banking experience to address their daily banking needs on 24/7 basis, 365 days a year.” “I thank OPIC for the confidence it has shown in Liberty Bank,” said Irakli Rukhadze, Chairman of the Board of Liberty Bank. “I also thank our management team for the effort they have exerted towards making this transaction a success. The successful implementation of this project will greatly contribute to the continuing development of modern and competitive financial systems in Georgia.” "OPIC is proud to partner with Liberty Bank to advance financial inclusion in Georgia,” noted Kenneth Angell, OPIC Managing Director. “By supporting the expansion of important financial infrastructure, OPIC’s loan will help make formal financial services more accessible for SMEs and underbanked populations.” The signing ceremony was attended by Chargé d'affaires Elizabeth Rood, which highlights the continued support of the Government of the United States for Georgia’s economic growth.


NEWS

GEORGIA TODAY SEPTEMBER 27 - 30, 2019

Georgian President Condemns Russian Occupation from UNGA Tribune

Image source: President’s Facebook page

BY THEA MORRISON

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eorgian President Salome Zurabishvili addressed the participants of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, saying Russia’s creeping occupation, altering of state borders and frequent closure of checkpoints, located at the “borders” with the occupied regions of Georgia, made normal and peaceful life impossible in the country. She underlined that the strong spirit of Georgians was the a reaction to the tragedy of the August 2008 Russia-Georgia war, followed by the occupation of 20% of Georgia’s territory. “I am speaking on behalf of citizens who reside throughout the territories of occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, where human rights are regularly violated, free movement is limited and the right of access to healthcare and education is infringed… I have to speak out for our IDP’s and refugees that for decades have been unable to return to their homes and land,” Zurabishvili stressed. The President noted that Georgia

remains committed to its peace policy, but when talking about the goal of peace and about ending conflict and occupation, she said “action is also necessary.” Georgia fully complies with the 2008 ceasefire agreement, she noted, and accordingly has no military force near the occupation line. She also highlighted that Georgia has unilaterally refused to use force. “Our response is the Peace Initiative ‘Step Towards a Better Future,’ reaching out to the citizens of the occupied territories and allowing them access to health and education benefits, to take advantage of business opportunities and at to participate in some way in the economic development of Georgia,” she added. Zurabishvili said Georgia's response to the war is openness and tolerance, emphasizing that the country received 1,500,000 Russian tourists last year and no incident was reported. “Our response to war and occupation is to move forward on the chosen path of economic and democratic development,” she said. “Nothing can make Georgia abandon its ambitions and divert from the specific goals of Euro and EuroAtlantic integration.” “We have made significant progress in

all of these areas so as not to deviate from the course ... to some extent, this is our peaceful victory over war and occupation, tragedy and destruction. But when our goal is peace and we talk about ending conflict or occupation, we must act,” she said. She also spoke about the importance of diplomacy and action, saying the fact that Georgia refused to use force does not mean it will put up with the existing reality. She stressed the need to broaden the format of the Geneva International Discussions, which represents the only political dialogue between Russia and Georgia after the latter cut all diplomatic ties with its neighbor in 2008. “Changes need to be made, but we cannot do it alone. We need everyone involved to achieve lasting peace in the region ... The political will of all parties will be necessary to make the Geneva format not only a conflict management tool but also a tool for resolving it. Further, political will is a requisite to creating new formats when needed,” she said. Zurabishvili pointed out that the top priority for the Georgian authorities is to achieve de-escalation on the occupation line, which should lead to a final resolution of the conflict. “Not only does war threaten the peace but is also an internal threat that is increasingly affecting our states and societies: polarization, impairment of civic values and loss of respect, hate speech, false information, conspiracy theories - all of these create a black hole that undermines the foundations of our society and democracy,” she added. The Georgian President noted that agreed actions of the international community, tolerance and pluralism are the answer to the main challenges of the modern world. The 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly is held in New York from September 24 to September 30.

The Art Bazaar at Mtatsminda Park

BY KETEVAN KVARATSKHELIYA

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n September 27-29, gallery ARTTENT in Mtatsminda Park is to welcome art enthusiasts to its bazaar, under the motto ‘Collectors for Collectors’. ARTTENT is a new cultural hub in Tbilisi, launched in Mtatsminda Park in July 2019. Its latest event aims to launch a union between galleries and art-lovers. GEORGIA TODAY contacted Maya Bichikashvili, organizer of the Art Bazaar, to find out more. “Tbilisi certainly needs venues for novelties in the field of art,” Bichikashvili told us. “Guests of the Art Bazaar will be welcomed with numerous surprises, gifts and discoveries and will be able to purchase incredible artisan works on site.” She also spoke about the desire to launch a market in the Georgian capital which would bring together a large array of different items, noting that the Art Bazaar is the first such precedent at Mtatsminda Park. She noted their inten-

tion to transform the Art Bazaar into an interesting tradition of arts and crafts, giving both young artists and private collectors a chance to introduce their exclusive works to wider audiences or add yet another beautiful piece of art to their collections. The items presented on site will also make great gifts. Bitchikashvili talked to us about the interior of the venue. “No such space has been allocated for any art event in Tbilisi so far. Guests are sure to be pleasantly surprised,” she said. Along with the Art Bazaar, meetings with famous gallerists, collectors and artists will also take place within the scope of the event. Visitors will also have a chance to attend an art workshop and listen to lectures on tendencies in contemporary art and the influence of media on art. The Art Bazaar is yet another platform which will help you to rethink art as a territory for communication. At ARTTENT you will be met by a free and tasteful atmosphere, enabling you to choose from a multiplicity of different items, discover galleries and artists, explore the ongoing exhibition and simply spend a pleasant time with family and friends.

Life Fest 2019 Monk Andrew’s Charity Foundation was established nine years ago by the parents of Monk Andrew, who died of cancer at the age of 17. Our Foundation, a one-of-a-kind in the Caucasus, cares for children with cancer and their parents; providing them with everything connected with their treatment, rehabilitation and improvement of their quality of life. The Foundation has helped over 600 children and their families. Today, we have around 50 young patients with cancer in our care. We receive children regardless of their nationality, race or religious beliefs. The Foundation operates only on private contributions and has no permanent source of income. Last year, we launched one of the largest construction projects in Georgia - Rehabilitation Center “Happy House”. September is global Child Cancer Awareness month and the foundation is organizing the annual “Life Fest”. We plan and implement numerous projects, actions and events to raise funds. Many companies actively help us to achieve the goal of supporting more child patients. Be a part of this! Make our children happy! Add one Brick to “HAPPY HOUSE”!

Kindness is Endless! www.monkandrew.ge Lifefest@mafgeorgia.ge

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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

SEPTEMBER 27 - 30, 2019

NATO Membership: a Georgian “To be, or not to be”? BY VICTOR KIPIANI

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uring the build-up to nearly every NATO Summit— and the forthcoming one in London this autumn is of course no exception— many ordinary Georgians and academics debate (crystal ball gazing?) the country’s prospects of the Alliance finally granting Tbilisi an entry ticket. This practice has become a habit since the well-publicized (but ignominiously never-kept) promise of membership expressed during the 2008 Bucharest summit. That said, these debates—which beyond Georgian shores also exist on the opposite side of the Atlantic community—have the merit of at least being intellectually stimulating. Setting aside the question of Georgia's prospects for membership, they provide various shapes and schemes to enrich the intellectual design of the great power struggle that is currently blooming. When one adds the subtlety of previously unknown types of warfare and struggles for influence, the scope of these debates is expanding remarkably quickly, encompassing new points and features appearing on radar for the first time. The novelty and boldness of this intellectual experimentation also stimulates us whenever we muster the courage to delve into ongoing discussions and look at various angles of this process in a "risk-averse" manner.

STRATEGIC PATIENCE, OR ELSE? As we have often been told about the need for strategic patience when considering Georgia's formal accession to the Atlantic community, the question that arises is what is the practical meaning of such patience, and for how long must it last? This question seems simple, but we fear it has no plain answer. Besides, what is to be done in practical terms when this strategic patience turns into strategic passivity—or worse, strategic ambiguity? By notably increasing the uncertainty of NATO’s eastwards expansion, the 2008 Bucharest Summit sent positive but mixed signals to Georgia's hostile neighborhood, encouraging some countries to increase their efforts to inflate power struggles and to place Tbilisi’s sovereignty and integrity at ever greater risk. Indeed, agreeing to exercise ‘patience’—especially a ‘strategic’ one— would definitely appeal to a variety of stakeholders, facilitating the upwards spiral of threats and hostile acts and making it difficult for us to identify or design effective countermeasures in the new quagmires of our neighborhood and broader region. At this point, one should repeat that the aggression and occupation of Georgia and Ukraine is not about

some "mishaps" in the “near abroad” of a revisionist Russia, but instead bear the clear and undeniable mark of a strategy to erode the Alliance’s Eastern European flank. In addition, given the clumsiness of attempts to manage "gray area" conflicts in the context of international law and order, this strategy is subjecting the resilience of the West and its eastern allies to an increasingly stringent stress test. Besides growing fissures in the Alliance, American efforts to maintain a common security system with their European allies are also being undermined by their own misgivings regarding the desirability of the current US policy of upholding an extended deterrence, i.e. protecting not just the United States but also their allies. This ambivalence is even stronger when it comes to the question of whether or not to protect allies that are not formal members of the Euro-Atlantic security system but are nevertheless closely linked to it in one way or another. In cases such as this, the complexities of the so-called “Senkaku Paradox” come into play: should the US and her allies rigorously defend their interests in certain countries or regions by risking a major conflict with a rogue or revisionist power in order to preserve their reputation and credibility? This moral conflict is a sheer calculation of costs vs. benefits. To put it plainly, should the Atlantic community run real risks over something that is relatively unimportant compared to the higher stakes of global stability? Or would any failure to respond to violations of international law be inconsistent with their attempts to preserve their unity (or at least the semblance of it)? Strategizing is a great thing, of course,

and strategic objectives are good provided that they help, at a minimum, to deter threats and challenges. However, when strategizing turns into a "strategy for patience"—entailing in turn a number of complex questions regarding the precise nature of such patience, how long it must be exercised and what it must achieve—this simply supports the status quo rather than prompting real and much coveted changes through transformative diplomacy (e.g. the recent statement by former NATO Secretary General Rasmussen or the proposal by Luke Coffey at the Heritage Foundation). And in the Eurasian contest, such “patience” backfires by diminishing the Alliance’s strategic depth and inviting aggressors to encroach upon its own “heartland”.

THE UNITY OF CIVILIZATION: A NECESSARY REASONING? We must all remember (and remind those who forget) that Georgia’s NATO membership is not an end in itself, merely adding to the Alliance’s rank and file, but is also (and more importantly) a civilizational choice. Our vision is clear and our choice is irreversible: Georgia rightly belongs to Western civilization, with which it is fully entitled to formally reunite. The country is not "torn" between different foreign policy trajectories: a general consensus is perfectly identifiable, and this public support reflects that of both the country’s political elites and civic grassroots. We may also opine that the major disagreement, typical of "post-Soviet" countries, that opposes liberalism to the “ethno-state” now appears to have been resolved, and that Georgia’s mainstream

political foreign trajectory aims for openness and integration instead of a “noble seclusion”. And besides, we see ourselves as belonging to the camp whose members value human rights, freedom and dignity over state interests, unlike "sovereign" or "governed" democracies (not to mention overtly authoritarian regimes) that privilege the latter instead. Although a "clash of civilizations" should clearly be not viewed as an absolute, decisive and flawless facet when trying to understand our world, it still seems to make sense when “new normals” emerge and when practical policymaking is increasingly incapable of crafting an honest, right and helpful conceptual rationale. Along with existing feedback, past experience indicates that sanctions and other means of economic warfare by the West are in themselves insufficient to accomplish their stated objectives. Instead, an either direct or indirect military build-up along defensive perimeters adjacent to the opposite camp eventually becomes inevitable (time and cost permitting, of course). Maintaining political and cultural commonalities throughout the whole Western family of nations requires real efforts to support national economies and security among the family’s most vulnerable and critically exposed members.

DO WE NEED A "PLAN B"? Most likely yes. While continuing to expect NATO to make hopefully meaningful and timely decisions, Georgia should not be complacent, nor should external actors who realistically acknowledge what is happening in the region

continue to procrastinate (or is it "appease"?) when pondering substantive matters. These could include reinforcing the existing defense cooperation between the US and Georgia, raising it to the highest level of partnership by signing a bilateral defense treaty (e.g. South Korea, Japan, etc.). This bold decision would require political courage, but the idiosyncrasy of the "new normals" leaves too little time for a slow and stately progression. Time is now indeed of the essence, and expectations must be converted into realities. Besides, engaging in such a process would in no way undermine the fabric of NATO: it would on the contrary match the Alliance’s overall objectives along very specific defensive perimeters. In addition to underpinning Georgia’s development, a bilateral arrangement such as this would also correspond to the possible switch of US foreign policy to an "offshore balancing", and would complement judicious and proportionate levels of engagement with the international order in significant areas of the world. Also, by maintaining an "extended deterrence" it would add fresh vigor to the system of US-led alliances, and would eventually contribute to efforts to strengthen the stability and steadfastness of the rules-based international order.

A "WAITING STATUS"? The reality in the so-called "gray areas" bordering the Russian Federation is a clear testament to the radical shifts taking place in the region, and heightened tensions in the Middle East and the implications of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” are adding to the conundrum. That said, the over-reliance of Western democracies on economic measures and levers may well fall short of reaching goals. Along with geo-economics, maintaining the necessary degree of flexibility when working out military entanglements (either through a "fresh look" at NATO expansion or by promoting bilateral defence arrangements) will be equally important. A new "Unity-of-FreeNations" may well also require some kind of Marshall Plan for such nations to pursue every means of effectively countering the ascendancy of revisionism. It would also require political leaders capable of taking meaningful decisions and seeing them through unflinchingly. The point is not to show generosity but to respond adequately to the geopolitical momentum and grasp its essence. It is about Western civilization having a decisive impact upon developments in the Black Sea region and supporting the right cause. And last but not least, Georgia’s "blood, toil, sweat and tears" and monumental struggle to maintain her freedom of choice must be properly valued.

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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY SEPTEMBER 27 - 30, 2019

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Ben Hodges: Georgia Should Be in NATO Today the increases, more defense spending, modernization efforts, exercises, the continuous strong statements from Secretary General Stoltenberg about Georgia, I think these are all very positive and that's why I'm optimistic that this is going to happen: Russia does not get to define what Georgia wants.

ON PAPER YES, BUT SO FAR THEY HAVE BEEN QUITE SUCCESSFUL IN REALPOLITIK TERMS. Other nations should not let Russia define Georgia, nor should Georgia. The new government needs to be very loud and clear and to remove any doubt about its desire and orientation towards NATO, towards the West.

YOU SAID THERE SHOULD BE NO PERMANENT US OR NATO BASES IN POLAND; THAT MOSCOW WOULD CLAIM IT AS WESTERN AGGRESSION AND THAT IT WOULD FEED MOSCOW’S FEARS. IS THAT NOT ANOTHER FACET OF THE APPEASEMENT POLICY? INTERVIEW BY VAZHA TAVBERIDZE

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e shouldn’t allow Russia to define Georgia – said Lt. General Ben Hodges, former Commanding General of the US Armed Forces while in Europe at the 5th Tbilisi International Conference jointly organized by the McCain Institute and the Economic Policy Research Center. In an interview for GiSP (Georgian Institute for Security Policy) project “Talking NATO for Georgia,” we quizzed the general as to whether that noble intention is enforced in realpolitik terms or remains mere wishful thinking.

YOU SUPPORT GEORGIA’S INCLUSION IN THE NATO LONDON SUMMIT. HOW LIKELY IS IT? I haven't heard any discussion about Georgia and the Membership Action Plan at NATO and we've only got three more months to the London Summit but I also haven't heard anything from the new government about this and I think they also have to make a case; you know they need it [MAP], and there can be no uncertainty about the commitment of the Georgian government to wanting to join NATO. I think that’s important; I'd

like to hear that in the next few months.

DID YOU HAVE ANY IMPRESSION THAT THEY ARE LESS WILLING THAN THEY USED TO BE? I haven't heard the strong forceful commitment that this is important. I believe Georgia should be in NATO now, today. I believe that with Georgia as a member, stability and security in the Black Sea region will go up because Russia does not want to have a fight with NATO and so as long as the Alliance sticks together and there's no doubt about the cohesion of the Alliance, then I think people should not be worried about this being a provocation towards Russia.

YOU’VE SAID THAT RUSSIA ONLY RESPECTS STRENGTH. IS THE WEST WILLING AND READY TO SHOW IT CAN BE STRONG ENOUGH? Since the Wales Summit five years ago, after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Alliance has been acting more quickly than I think I've ever seen. Now, it's not perfect and there's a lot more to do but when you think about the challenge of getting all the nations together, even though every nation has the same view of the threats, our great alliance has moved quickly from Wales to Warsaw to Brussels and now coming up in London. All the improvements, the changes,

I don't care frankly if Russia is angry because they use every opportunity to create their own fairy tales about what the West is doing when in fact they know that the safest part of their frontier is the part that goes from Norway all the way to Georgia; they're never gonna be attacked from NATO or from neighboring countries like Georgia or Finland; it's not going to happen. The fairy tale is for their internal consumption so that's why I don't worry about Russian statements about provocation and that sort of thing. But I do know that some members of the Alliance worry about that and so my whole point with regards to the permanent station in Poland, and even in Georgia, is that the Kremlin is going to say something, that's why the burden is on us to make sure that the Alliance sticks together while doing these things. I'm personally not against the basing in Poland, I'm against anything that undermines the cohesion of the Alliance.

IF GEORGIA'S NATO MEMBERSHIP HOPES KEEP FALTERING, WHAT ABOUT SOME SORT OF BILATERAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE US AND GEORGIA, SUCH AS MILITARY BASES. WOULD THAT BE AN EFFECTIVE DETERRENT? The more things we do so it's clear in the Kremlin’s mind that the US is com-

mitted here, the better. I'm not talking about Article 5 but that doesn't mean the US won’t not work to protect important friends like Georgia. I can easily envision important agreements taking place, for example, Georgia becoming a place where US Navy ships would come in for visits, still within the provisions of the Montreux Convention, but I mean that would be like a dream scenario to have our Navy come into Anaklia for maintenance, refurbishment, port visits and then continue. I'd like to see the US and Georgia work on anti-submarine warfare and anti-ship capabilities using unmanned maritime systems- that's something Georgia could invest in, it's not terribly expensive.

THE US DECIDED TO SELL THE JAVELIN MISSILE SYSTEMS TO GEORGIA. DO YOU SEE THAT TREND CONTINUING? There is strong support in NATO to do so, yes, but again the new government has to remove any doubts about its westward orientation and prove it's not under the influence of the Russians. That would be an important part of the calculations about what the US does here. Clearly it's to our strategic advantage that the Black Sea is surrounded by countries that are either NATO allies or friendly; so that while Russia, as a Black Sea nation, is able to exercise frequent navigation, everybody else should also; that Russia respects international law, Russia does not seize Ukrainian vessels that are moving through Ukrainian water- this completely false and illegal claim to the territory waters and economic exclusion zone around Crimea which is based on illegal annexation, and then of course the bridge over the Kerch Strait. I mean a brand new lieutenant on the first day in the army could immediately see that this was only a gate, not a bridge. The whole international community needs to be geared up about this. Georgia should be part of this Black Sea community that cooperates in terms of intelligence sharing, anti-submarine warfare, exercises, maintenance, infrastructure and enforcing freedom of navigation, and if Georgia becomes the logistical hub that I believe it can be – if it becomes the portal between Eurasia and Europe, the economic prosperity, the whole Black Sea region will significantly increase: Romanian friends and Constanta Port will be on the receiving end of what would come from Anaklia. Constanta right now is operating not even at a 1/3 of its real capacity but if you have Anaklia open, then Romania benefits and

then their people will be incentivized, and the Bulgarians will also be incentivized to do their share of dredging to make sure the venue is available for shipping; Poland would benefit because then there would be a desire to increase the rail network; so just Anaklia will change the whole three seas, Baltic, Adriatic and Black Sea. This is again why Russia doesn't want it to happen. If this economic development takes place, you've got a lot of European countries, China and the US very interested in this and the security of Georgia, and all that makes it even more viable for Georgia to become a member of NATO because everybody is interested in their security and stability not just because of international law and respect of sovereignty or because Georgia is such a great place and their soldiers are so brave: there's economic reason as well.

DO YOU SEE THAT PRESSURE FROM THE KREMLIN REGARDING ANAKLIA GRINDING THIS PROJECT TO A HALT? A really strong, full-throated endorsement of the project from the government is needed. I haven't seen the government shoulder into it in the way big major projects such as the Hoover Dam saw full-fledged US government effort. What I see is excuses and legal controversies that frankly I'm skeptical about.

WHAT'S THE ROOM TO MANEUVER FOR THE GOVERNMENT IF RUSSIA REALLY APPLIES SOME SERIOUS PRESSURE? What pressure does Georgia have? Obviously there are tourists, they come here so there's money that comes in; so it's up to the leadership here in Georgia what to do with this.

WHAT ABOUT THE CREEPING OCCUPATION? We've got to continue to shine light on this, continue to document it, continue to get the international community to hold Russia accountable; that's what this conference is about- it provides a venue to highlight that Russia is completely flaunting international law.

Trump under Liberal Assault OP-ED BY NUGZAR B. RUHADZE

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s soon as he was elected, the current American president beacme the biggest talk of the world. In three years of his presidency, Donald Trump has been shocking America and the rest of the world with his outspoken thoughts and unexpected moves, which is fun to hear and watch for the regular commoner, but is a discomfort for most of the world's leaders and a pain in the neck for local democrats and liberals. Because the American mainstream media is so liberally minded, they hate the way Trump rules the United States, catering to the political appetite of the Democratic Party. They would do anything to see Trump’s presidency crippled and Trump defeated in the next presidential elections. Here is the latest most vivid example of their nonstop belligerency against the president. The recent debased journalistic behavior of the once fair and balanced The New York Times has caused hot discourse in the States in favor of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court membership, who was approved

by the Senate exactly a year ago, but whose candidacy was subjected to a ruthless discussion before the approval. He was accused of sexual harassment, committed in his college years. After twelve months of approval hearings in Congress, the NYT decided to resuscitate the filthy story of Kavanaugh, running a new piece on the new republican Justice’s "misdemeanor," headlined 'Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. He Did Not.' The story was all about the accuser’s experience at the university where he met the future Supreme Court justice, who wanted to derail his nomination, exposing him as a sexual assaulter. There was another episode of Kavanaugh’s misbehavior, excerpted from the coming book about him, saying that he would run around with his pants down at drunken dorm parties, sexually harassing female students. To cut a long story short, all those stories were proven false, all the alleged events having been denied by the previously quoted sources. Following the NYT flagrant fiasco, one of the well-known American conservative newspapers ‘Washington Times’ appeared with a glaring headline: 'With Brett Kavanaugh debacle, The New York Times Becomes a Dangerous Misinformation Tool of the Left.' What a recognizable headline, if compared with our

Georgian media! The story has it that The New York Times, which was founded in 1851, used to be a fair and balanced newspaper, supporting the republicans and the democrats with exactly the same enthusiasm, but since 1960, the paper has become more openly liberal, whose op-ed page is a strongly hardcore left. The Washington Times emphasizes that the bias has been creeping into the news pages for years with reporters and editors twisting facts and spinning news to fit its leftward lean, often in support of democrats. It is not difficult to conclude that the model ‘media-in-politics-andpolitics-in-media’ is mimicked from country to country. There is another example of media, chasing and damaging President Trump and distorting anything he may supposedly do. The liberals, inspired by the Democratic Party would go to any length to see Trump’s presidential head roll, but so far they have achieved nothing, literally nothing! Here is another story by the American conservative journalist Kyle Smith, demonstrating their utmost indignation towards those bigmouthed liberals who treat their president with such an egregious unfairness, titling one of his articles 'The Media Has Officially Lost Its Damned Mind.' The NYT first makes up a story, than runs it and finally issues the cor-

Image source: tsn.ua

rection of the committed mistake. How about that! This one was the most spectacular correction – says the author. The correction was made but the damage was done. The liberal media has its own style of presenting the news. Quote: "Any news that might be happening that can’t be weaponized against Trump is of little interest. Any news that might make Trump or anyone on the right look bad is eagerly pushed through, ordinary standards of fairness and checking be damned. The media think Trump’s some-

times overblown attacks on them are making it more vital than ever. But what’s really happening is that the media is beclowning itself trying to end Trump. One recent survey found 95% of Americans saying they were troubled by the current state of the media, and two-thirds think journalistic ethics will get worse during the election season." Wow! I would love to have these golden words translated into Georgian and put them in every local newspaper for us to get what’s going on with our opinion distributors in reality. The sooner the better!


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POLITICS

"Welcome to Chubekhevi" Tourism Promotion Campaign by JSC Nenskra Hydro

GEORGIA TODAY

SEPTEMBER 27 - 30, 2019

Borjomi's New Project: #CitywithCharacter BY NINI DAKHUNDARIDZE

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elcometoChubekhevi - is the name of JSC Nenskra Hydro's information campaign which was launched in July 2019 by the investor company to support tourism in the framework of the "Spend Your Summer in Georgia" campaign. In an interview with Business Morning, Irina Petriashvili, PR Officer of JSC Nenskra Hydro, noted that during the campaign, the company was actively working to promote the tourism potential of Chubekhevi, specifically Chuberi and Nakra valleys in Svaneti, and for this reason, representatives of the media were invited to these locations. Within the project a special Facebook page was created and a bilingual website planned targeting foreign tourists.

Petriashvili explains that for the success of such a project, along with the beautiful nature, well-developed infrastructure is needed, and this can now be seen in the area. “Bridges and roads are being built. Many projects that are directly or indirectly related to the landscaping of the area are being implemented. A renovated ambulatory clinic was opened in August 2019. Also, the 'Access to Mechanization Project,' which provides assistance with heavy machinery, should be noted. These works affect both the well-being of the local population and the comfort of tourists. The local residents also see the results and say they are now ready to receive more guests,” said Petriashvili. To note, there are currently more than 20 guesthouses in the Nenskra and Nakra valleys.

orjomi is not just a company bottling Georgia’s most famous mineral water. Borjomi is a company encouraging and offering creativity with each of its projects. Within the company’s campaign, You Have Character, Borjomi has a new interesting project. “Create a character for your city and win the contest of #CitywithCharacter,” reads the slogan of Borjomi’s new campaign. Needless to say, the campaign aims to show the individual character of each Georgian city to a wide audience. The contest kicked off on September 24. All those wishing to take part in #CitywithCharacter must be Georgian citizens. To participate in the fun competition, Georgian citizens have to record a small video or make a photo collage, in which they tell their own stories about the city of their choice. A shot of “Borjomi” mineral water must be a part of the video/photo collage. The finished video has to be uploaded on the person’s Facebook and/or Instagram page using the hashtags: #ქალაქიხასიათით (#CitywithCharacter); #Borjomi (#ბორჯომი); #დაახასიათეშენიქალაქი (#CharacterizeYourCity). The online platform has been created for participants to find out more and upload videos. Example videos from the members of the voting committee are available on the site (www. qalaqikhasiatit.borjomi.com). The voting committee includes director Tina Kajrishvili, Anano Bakuradze, the founder of Movement TV, Alex Chikovani, the founder of ‘live branding,’

Mindia Esadze, a camera-man, Giorgi Giorgashvili, the editor of Palitravideo. ge, and, last but not least, Mari Nakani, a photographer. The voting team say the theme of the contest is not limited. Participants are encouraged to show their creativity; however, they need to keep in mind that the video has to show one particular city (not more than one and not a neighborhood, and it must be a city in geographical terms – it cannot be a village) and show the connection between the person and her/his city: the more personal, the better! Giorgi Giorgashvili, member of the voting committee and editor of Palitravideo.ge, noted at the press conference for Borjomi’s new contest, that: “The beauty of this project is that we don’t tell you what you should do. You can choose whatever way you like to tell your story about your city.” While the important components of

the video should be recording quality, completed theme and individualism of the video author, Anano Bakuradze says that the practical quality of the video recording is not as important as the quality of the personal idea that is shown in the video. The contest has two categories: amateur and professional. The prize for the professional category is 5,000 GEL and the winner of the Amateur category will get 3,000 GEL. The organizer of the project “IDS Borjomi Tbilisi” will also award the company’s favorite participant. The deadline for videos and photo collages characterizing cities of Georgia with an included shot of Borjomi mineral water is November 1. The #CitywithCharacter project aims to serve touristic goals, and to promote Georgia’s individualistic and characteristic cities to local and international audiences.


BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY SEPTEMBER 27 - 30, 2019

5G - What to Expect from Innovative Technology BY MARIAM MERABISHVILI

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he 5G technology is the cornerstone of a smart world in which everything is interconnected, providing users with high bandwidth and high speed. "5G provides the fastest connectivity in the modern world, and countries that choose agility and technological development will always be ahead. Countries that refuse such technology should be prepared that their economic progress may slow,” -said HUAWEI founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei. Zhengfei also confirms information about the sale of HUAWEI’s 5G technology license: "Giving others a license doesn't mean that HUAWEI will not continue working on 5G. The proceeds from the license sales will be used for the implementation of the company’s future plans. We hope that the speed of technological development in the West will increase, so we want to sell a 5G license that will make the

company's development process easier. We think HUAWEI will continue to be the leader in 6G research, though it is expected that commercial consumption of 6G will not start for at least 10 years." Optical fiber networks and 5G technology will connect super computers and super storage systems to support artificial intelligence (AI): "When we say that AI can increase productivity ten times, it's just an estimate. In fact, in some rare cases, with the help of AI, the efficiency can be increased 100 times or even 1000 times,” notes HUAWEI CEO. HUAWEI products and services are available in more than 170 countries and are used by a third of the world's population. There are 16 research and development centers operating worldwide in the USA, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India and China. HUAWEI Consumer BG is one of HUAWEI's three business units, mainly focusing on Smartphones, personal computers, tablets and cloud services. HUAWEI Global Network is based on 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications business and serves to provide innovative technologies to customers around the world.

Google’s Demand to the US Government

BY MARIAM MERABISHVILI

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long with negotiations between the US government and HUAWEI, Google is trying to persuade the US to allow HUAWEI to use Google's ecosystem. HUAWEI's operating system was not originally intended for smartphones. In addition, Google's operating system is public, so the company has the opportunity to use it. "The United States is limiting our use of Google's mobile services,” says HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei. “Google's ecosystem encompasses thousands of partners, and HUAWEI won't be able to create such a system in a few days. If the US government allows us to continue using Google's ecosystem, the US will maintain its dominant posi-

tion in this area. If it refuses, it will be bad for them in the future.” HUAWEI is ready to express its good will and grant Western countries the license to use their technology. In doing so, the company once again justifies its aspiration: "serve humanity and reach the pinnacle of science." HUAWEI products and services are available in more than 170 countries and are used by a third of the world's population. There are 16 research and development centers operating worldwide in the USA, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India and China. HUAWEI Consumer BG is one of HUAWEI's three business units, mainly focusing on Smartphones, personal computers, tablets and cloud services. HUAWEI Global Network is based on 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications business and serves to provide innovative technologies to customers around the world.

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SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY

SEPTEMBER 27 - 30, 2019

Sazano Wine Cellar – Tradition Continued by the 6th Generation

BY SALOME KUSHASHVILI, TRANSLATED BY KETEVAN KVARATSKHELIYA

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ifty kilometers from Kutaisi, in the village of Upper Sazano of the Tergola region, you will discover a wine cellar and family boutique hotel. Sazano Wine Cellar was launched just a year ago, but its history is much longer as it counts two centuries of tradition, being located on the family estate of Levan Tchanturidze. Levan is the representative of the 6th

generation of the family, continuing the family wine-making traditions. He decided to return to Sazano in 2017 and restore and revive the ancient tradition of viniculture. His co-founder Tato Giorgadze is a childhood friend whose ancestors were also actively engaged in wine production. Saving, reviving and planting unique western and Imeretian wine varieties, including Krakhuna, Otskhanuri Sapere, Tsitska, Aladasturi and Ojaleshi, and launching traditional wine production from them, is the goal of Sazano Wine Cellar. Aside from visiting the cellar, you can buy Sazano wines in the 8,000 Vintages store, in the newly-opened Rike

Complex, Doki store at 30 Kote Apkhazi Street, as well as restaurants House N11 and Piano. The sales chain is actively expanding, and it is planned to widen the geographic area. Sazano wine is not yet exported; however, the target markets, including the USA, Canada, Japan and Poland, are being studied. Exporting products to said countries is scheduled to take place by the end of this year, whereas assimilation to the markets of the regions of the Baltics and Scandinavia will kick off next year. Development of wine and gastro-tourism represents a major direction for Sazano Wine Cellar. It is possible to taste 11 rare wine varieties, premium-quality chacha, as well as a wide range of local specialties. The majority of courses are made of products harvested in the gardens and greenhouses of Sazano. Bread, prepared in a special oven, and traditional Imeretian cheese can be tasted on site. Guests are also welcome to see the working processes. Hotel Sazano is a guest house with an original style, concept and design. “In 2019, we launched a 5-room boutique hotel in our 20th century building. The exterior has undergone restoration, reflecting various eras. An Imeretian oda-house is to be added to the complex in 2020, which will be fully arranged in accordance with the solar system and will present the ethnography of Imereti of the 19th and 20th centuries. Our main aim is for guests to feel the Imeretian

hospitality and the authenticity of the ambience. Along with the hotel and wine cellar, our team also actively works on gastro-tourism and cultural tours. We aim to give new life to the forgotten traditional dishes of Imereti and remind the nation about the important and deep culture of this region,” state the Sazano founders. The future plans are related with the expansion of the vineyard and enterprise development. At this stage, the vineyard stretches across three hectares, but it is planned to triple the size within the next two years. While the annual throughput currently amounts to 60,000 bottles of wine, this will grow to 100,000 by 2020. The vision of the Sazano team is ambitious: “Each visitor to the Sazano Wine Cellar and hotel will feel special, discover new tastes, try our exclusive stored wines

and enjoy the environ. We do all of this through high quality service. Service and hospitality are major priorities for us and are constantly controlled and monitored. All our products are local and natural. In addition, by reintroducing almost abandoned grape varieties, we try to accentuate quality, not quantity. Krakhuna, Otskhanuri Sapere and a number of other wine varieties were felled last century due to their weak harvest tendencies; yet their quality is certainly exceptional. We call on future generations to get a higher academic education in the winemaking direction, as there are lots of wine varieties in need of protection and preservation, including Kachichi, Shavkapito, and Dzelshavi. Through academic knowledge and ancient traditions, we will definitely achieve our goal.”

Zipin Tbilisi: Where Everyone has an Opportunity to Fly

TRANSLATED BY KETEVAN KVARATSKHELIYA

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he popularity of extreme attractions is increasing daily in Georgia, in turn boosting the desire for adrenaline among a greater number of individuals. Zip-Line is one of the most popular of extreme attractions, and it is also available in Tbilisi. A zip-line is a steel cable stretched between two points, with a moving roller fixed on it to move users from base to base. In Tbilisi, this fun activity is offered by Zipin Tbilisi. Launched on the Narikala plateau in 2017, it is available year-round from 11:00 to 21:00 daily. The cable is 275

meters long and 30 meters high. The territory adjacent to the upper cable car of Narikala is the starting point, and the trip down ends in the Botanical Garden. Zipin Tbilisi was launched as a result of active Ukrainian support. Ensuring the highest safety norms is a priority for the founders of the service. The cables are made of the highest technologies and are able to take up to 20 tons of pressure. Users are seated in a safe holster system, and wear helmets for additional safety. “Zip-Line is an attraction everyone has to try at least once in their lifetime,” the company states. “It enables the users to feel free, feel that adrenaline rush and enjoy the incredible landscapes while flying over the Botanical Garden. This is a breathtaking experience with the highest safety norms, a fact guaranteed

by our professional and highly qualified instructors. Our team aspires to make Georgia, which has few such attractions, a country of extreme sports. We spare no effort to contribute to this growing trend and aim to make our country more vibrant and active.” At this stage, the bulk of the users of the Tbilisi zip-line are foreigner tourists, though a special club has been launched

to encourage Georgian clientele with Georgian ID cards. Registered users benefit from a 40% discount on the zipline. Information about club membership is available at club.zipline.ge. For non-club members, the cost is 40 GEL, which also includes a Botanical Garden ticket and a single flight. There are no age restrictions, though the weight range is set as 25kg minimum and 130kg

maximum. The Zipin Tbilisi team has ambitious plans for further development: “We promise many novelties for the future, which we will reveal step by step. Zipin Tbilisi is developing constantly, which is certainly to be reflected also in our country. Georgia will definitely become a country that let’s everyone fly,” states the team.


CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY SEPTEMBER 27 - 30, 2019

An Unforgettable Gastronomic Adventure at Restaurant Funicular

BY KETEVAN KVARATSKHELIYA

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eorgia is certainly an alluring country for its delicious and hearty cuisine. But if you are looking for the best of the best in terms of fine dining options while visiting the ancient capital of the country, restaurant Funicular perched on top of Mtatsminda Hill is well worth a visit. However, before speaking about the unforgettable gastronomic adventure Funicular welcomes its guests with, the history of the venue is worth spotlighting. Located in one of the oldest and most picturesque districts of Tbilisi, Mtatsminda, and distinguished for its fairytale architecture launched by Georgian architects Zakaria and Nadezhda Kurdiani along with A. Valabuev, Funicular opened its doors to guests for the first time eight decades ago in 1938, and since then has hosted a number of honorable guests, from Margaret Thatcher to Indira Gandhi and Fidel Castro. As a landmark of the Georgian capital, Funicular also established itself in the local cinema industry by appearing in three cult films: "Nag", "Day Last, Day First" and "Encounter in the Mountain." Funicular has always been hand in hand with the shifts taking place in the world of gastronomy, offering clientele traditional Georgian gourmet pleasures with a sprinkle of modernity. What’s more, the restaurant has an ever-changing menu, introducing specialties in accordance with the four seasons of the year.

Following this approach, it recently welcomed autumn with a new menu which boasts an incredible array of authentic Georgian dishes. The menu has been created by Giorgi Sarajishvili, Georgian chef and a true culinary mastermind with more than 27 years’ experience, who has added uniqueness to each course and transformed them into gastronomic masterpieces. GEORGIA TODAY was among the first lucky visitors to have a chance to experience the latest autumn menu at Funicular, aside from which the ambience of the venue is nothing short of spectacular. Chic and impressively sophisticated, it is a wonderful example of a mélange of elegancy and luxury. However, an incredible gastronomic journey is not the limit of the restaurant. While enjoying an evening at Funicular, you can delve into the ancient history of the city by observing an Old Tbilisi mural painted by the Georgian artist Koka Ignatov in 1972 or overlooking the breathtaking panoramic views of Tbilisi displaying the outstanding historic sights twinkling in the darkness. Georgian cuisine is rich in dishes with walnuts. Thus, the appetizer named ‘Taste of Georgia’ and an assortment of pkhali blazed our path into Funicular’s latest culinary discoveries. Small rolls of spinach, green beans, pumpkin, leek and cauliflower pkhali, served with cherry tomatoes and pomegranate seeds had an incredible balance of flavors, as well as seasoning, ideal for the start of the meal. While chicken salad may seem to be the most trivial dish of modernity, through

his innovative vision and permanent exploration of the gastronomy of the country, the Funicular brand chef has given it ‘a new life’ and transformed it into an excellent cold course served with baked eggplant and pressed Georgian yoghurt ‘matsoni,’ thus enriching it with a piquant taste and giving it an authentic Georgian air. It is always tricky to play around with well-established traditional dishes and introduce them in a new way, and it can be even riskier to combine them and make a completely different course with bold new flavors. Yet, if you strive to try something absolutely unorthodox and very traditional at the same time, Funicular has a wonderful solution for you – Cheese khinkluka with gebjalia sauce. This small version of khinkali dumplings, stuffed with Georgian cheese, are ideally mixed in the thick gebjalia sauce, seasoned with mint, adding some freshness and lightness to the dish. Our dining then ‘upgraded’ into a new phase of hot dishes, where we were offered khachapuri. Khachapuri, a cheesebread, which is an unalienable part of the Georgian feast, is also very different at Funicular in both taste, and size. The chef has ‘personalized’ the traditional khachapuri and proposed it to guests in a smaller, more manageable size, while its soft dough has been filled with nadughi (soft, creamy cottage cheese) and mint, instead of cheese, making it absolutely mouthwatering. Our journey in a mesmerizing universe of gastronomy at Funicular was completed with a specialty of beef fillet steak served with goat’s cheese and mushrooms. It is challenging to find words to describe the taste of this dish. Cooked to perfection, the fillet was soft and juicy, whereas the goat’s cheese garnish and mushrooms took the meal to a sky-high level introducing a whole bouquet of marvelous tastes. The restaurant is also rich in its palette of excellent desserts and fine wines. Aside from the taste of the dishes at Funicular, the serving of the meals, as well as the impeccable service of the staff, are equally thrilling. Therefore, if you want to spend a pleasant time with friends, family or business guests, introduce them to the history, culture and diverse gastronomy of the country in the very best way, restaurant Funicular has it all!

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CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY

SEPTEMBER 27 - 30, 2019

WHAT’S ON IN TBILISI THEATER

TBILISI ZAKARIA PALIASHVILI OPERA AND BALLET THEATER 25 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 2 99 04 56 September 28, 29 GISELLE Ballet in Two Acts Choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa Choreographic version by Alexei Fadeyechev Libretto by Theophile Gautier and J. Saint-Georges Tbilisi Z. Paliashvili Opera and Ballet State Theater Orchestra Conductor- Papuna Ghvaberidze Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 10-50 GEL SILK FACTORY STUDIO 59 Kostava Ave. October 1 METAMORPHOSES Contemporary ballet based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses Music by Johann Sebastian Bach Original music by Nika Machaidze Original idea and choreography by Mariam Aleksidze Stage design by Ana Ninua Project idea, concept and supervision by David Maziashvili Cast: Giorgi Aleksidze Tbilisi Contemporary Ballet Company Artistic DirectorMariam Aleksidze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10-20 GEL GABRIADZE THEATER 14 Shavteli Str. September 28, October 2, 3 THA AUTUMN OF MY SPRINGTIME Revaz Gabriadze Directed by Revaz Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20, 30 GEL October 1 Animated documentary film REZO Directed by Leo Gabriadze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15 GEL MUSIC AND DRAMA STATE THEATER 182 Agmashenebeli Ave. October 1 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 MOVEMENT THEATER 182 Agmashenebli Ave. September 27 FAUST After Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Directed by Kakha Bakuradze Music: Sandro Nikoladze Language: Non-verbal Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10, 15 GEL September 28 THE TEMPEST After William Shakespeare Directed by Ioseb Bakuradze Composer: Sandro Nikoladze Language: Non-verbal Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10, 15 GEL September 29 ASTIGMATISTS Directed by Ioseb Bakuradze Music: Sandro Nikoladze Language: Non-verbal Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10, 15 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 September 17- December 15 The first-ever exhibition of A REMARKABLE COIN FROM THE TIME OF KING DAVID THE BUILDER The inscription on the coin reflects the major line of Georgia's foreign policy at the time - obverse shows Kind David IV dressed in Byzantine imperial attire, wearing stemma, and holding a Globus cruciger. On reverse is an invocation in Georgian surrounding

a cross lists the extent of David's kingdom: 'Lord, aid David, king of Abkhazians, Kartvelians, Rans, Kakhs, Armenians.' 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. Until September 29 Multimedia technology exhibitionIMMAGICA. A JOURNEY INTO BEAUTY IOSEB GRISHASHVILI TBILISI HISTORY MUSEUM - KARVASLA 8 Sioni St. TEL (+995 32) 2 98 22 81 September 27- October 11 Georgian National Museum in the framework of the project "Contemporary Art Gallery" presents the exhibition „BEING ON THE MIND OF CAUCASUS MOUNTAINS" By Sophia Cherkezishvili 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. GALLERY

Discover the cultural heritage of artists who founded 20th century fine art in Georgia: Gigo Gabashvili, Mose Toidze, Valerian SidamonEristavi, Alexander Tsimakuridze, Aleksandre Bazbeuk-Melikov, Dimitri Shevardnadze, Sergo Kobuladze, Irina Shtenberg, Mikheil Bilanishvili, Felix Varlamishvili and Tamar Abakelia. September 27- 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). MUSIC

TBILISI STATE CONSERVATOIRE 8 Griboedov St. TEL (+995 32) 2 93 46 24 September 27 ANA KIPIANI Piano Music Concert Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 8 GEL REPUBLIC 37 Rustaveli Ave. September 27 Season Opening ROBAG WRUHME Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 40-600 GEL

THE NATIONAL GALLERY 11 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 215 73 00

TURTLE LAKE Turtle Lake

GRAND MASTERS FROM THE GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION XIX – XX CENTURY

September 28 Kayakata Chapter 1 LIVE- SADAA Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 20-40 GEL DOORS 26 Tsintsadze Str. September 28 SAKHE Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 50-400 GEL 1918 DILA 1 Wine ascent September 28 Darejani's Dila Opening: DOP, INTERPRETER & ZOOBIN, JIMPSTER AND MORE Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 30 GEL MONOHALL 2 Bakradze Str. September 28 MONOHALL OPENING: ANDY STOTT, CLARO INTELECTO, OIMACTTA, BERO Start time: 23:00 Ticket: 30 GEL

OLD SCHOOL BAR & VINTAGE STORE 1 V. Petriashvili Str. September 28 Amour Artificiel DJ GIGA PAPASKIRI Start time: 17:00 Ticket: 15 GEL TBILISI CONCERT HALL 1 Melikishvili St. TEL (+995 32) 2 99 00 99 October 2 ALEKSANDR REVVA AND MIKHAIL GALUSTYAN Start time: 20:00 MOVEMENT THEATER 182, Aghmashenebeli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 598 19 29 36 October 1 JAM SESSION- Improv played by different Georgian and foreign musicians and instrumentalists. Musical art director- Sandro Nikoladze Start time: 21:00 Ticket: 5 GEL TBILISI ZAKARIA PALIASHVILI OPERA AND BALLET THEATER 25 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 2 99 04 56 October 1 THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD Maestro Nikoloz Rachveli with The Evgeni Mikeladze Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra. Nikoloz Rachveli will present to the audience a 10-year-old musician Tsotne Zedginidze, who became the main discovery for the musical community in 2019 Program: The music of Ludwig Van Beethoven, Dmitri Shostakovich, John Adams, Nikoloz Rachveli Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15-45 GEL TELAVI MUSIC FESTIVAL Telavi Vazha-Pshavela State Drama Theater September 26 CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT Dedicated to the memory of Konstantine Vardeli ElisoVirsaladze, piano David Oistrakh Quartet Program: Haydn- String quartet No. 2 op. 33 in E-flat major Mozart- Piano quartet No. 2 in E-flat majorr Dvorák- Piano quintet No. 2 op. 81 in A-major Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 20-35 GEL September 28 THE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA Ariel Zuckermann, Conductor Fumiaki Miura, violin Can Cakmur, piano Program: Tchaikovsky- Violin Concerto in D-major op. 35 Chopin- Piano Concerto no. 1 in E-minor op. 11 Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 20-35 GEL September 29 FESTIVAL CLOSURE The Festival Orchestra Ariel Zuckermann, Conductor ElisoVirsaladze, piano Alexander Buzlov, cello Program: Tchaikovsky- Serenade for String Orchestra in C major op. 48 Schuman- Pano Concerto in A minor op.54 Shostakovich- Cello Concerto no. 1 in E-flat majorop. 107 Start time: 17:00 Ticket: 20-35 GEL


CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY SEPTEMBER 27 - 30, 2019

11

BIAFF 2019 Closing Ceremony & Winners

T

he Batumi International Art-House Film Festival (BIAFF) closing ceremony took place on 22 September at the Batumi State Musical Center. The International Jury awarded prizes in three-competition sections: International Feature Films, Doc Films and Short Films. The BIAFF 2019 international competition section’s jury, consisting of Alexander Mindadze (Russia, Head of Jury), Tatiana Detlofson (USA), Martin Blaney (UK), Carmen Grey (UK), and Rusudan Glurjidze (Georgia), awarded the following prizes: - Grand Prix: “Let There Be Light,” Marko Skop, Slovak Republic/Czech Republic, 2019 - Best Film Director: Reza Mirkarimi, “Castle of Dreams,” Iran, 2019 - Best Actress: Ece Yuksel, in film “Tale of Three Sisters,” Emin Alper, Turkey/Germany, 2019 - Best Actor: Kayhan Açikgöz in film “Tale of Three Sisters,” Emin Alper, Turkey/Germany, 2019 - Jury Special Prize : “End of Seasons,” Elmar Imanov, Germany/Azerbaijan/ Georgia, 2019. The BIAFF 2019 Documentary Films international competition section’s jury, consisting of Krzystof Gierat (Poland – Head of Jury), Ghasideh Golmakani (Iran), Karen Avetysian (Armenia), Oles Yanchuk (Ukraine), and Vakhtang Kuntsev-Gabashvili (Georgia), awarded the following films: - The Best Doc film: “Shooting the Mafia, Kim Longinoto, Ireland, 2019 - Special Mentions: “Forman VS Forman.” Helena Trestikova/Jacub Hejna, Czech Republic/France, 2019, and “Lovemobile,” Elke Margarete Lehren-

krauss, Germany, 2019. The BIAFF 2019 Short Film international competition section’s jury, consisting of Otar Shamatava (Georgia Head of Jury), Paul Thiltges (Luxemburg) and David Lorenz (Germany), awarded the following prizes: - The Best Short film: “Animal,” Amiran Dolidze, Georgia, 2019 - Jury Special Mentions : “Watermelon Juice,” Irene Moray, Spain, 2019 and “Hope,” Aleksandra Markova, Belarus, 2019. The BIAFF 2019 Georgia Film Critics jury, consisting of Lela Ochiauri (Chairwoman), Salome Kikaleishvili, and Nino Mkheidze, revealed the choice for best film by film critics: - Best film: “Castle of Dreams,” Reza Mirkarimi, Iran, 2019. The BIAFF 2019 Life time Achievement awards for contribution to cinema was granted to: - Paul Schrader (USA) - Denis Lavant (France) - Alexander Mindadze (Russia), and - Manuchar Shervashidze (Georgia). The BIAFF industry platform “Alternative Wave” awarded prizes for three projects: - A Wroclaw Audio-Visual Center (CeTA) prize of 10,000 EUR equivalent in production services was awarded to film project “Orange Sky” (Georgia), Director, producer: Shalva Shengeli; Writers: Shalva Shengeli, Alexander Kurkhuli - Istanbul Film Festival’s industry platform: participation in “Meeting on the Bridge” 2020 for film project – “You Look Like Your Father” (Georgia), Director: Levan Lomjaria, Producer: Vako Kirkitadze - BIAFF prize: participation at BER-

LINALE film festival industry platform for film project – “The Load” (Georgia), Director, producer: Ana Iosava; Writers: Ana Iosava, Otar Katamadze. The BIAFF was established in 2006 by Batumi Art-house ARGANI. The festival focuses on art-house cinema. Besides film screenings, the festival program includes various workshops, master classes, and industry events. Festival supporters are the Ministry

of Culture of Georgia, Georgian National Film Center, Ministry of Cultura of Ajara AR, Tourism Department of Ajara AR, National Tourism Agency of Georgia, Batumi Drama Theatre, British Council, Goethe Institute Georgia, and the Embassy of Italy. Festival sponsors are Hotel Wyndham Batumi, Cinema APOLLO, Hotel “Downtown Hotel”, Hotel “Mardi Plaza”, Hotel “Boulevard”, HQ propaganda, Tour

Company “Wonderland”, Cafe “Gardens”, Batumi Auto transport, “Legal Consulting Center” LLC, and CETA studio (Poland). Festival media partners are Georgian Public Broadcaster, Radio Fortuna/Fortuna+, Adjara TV, Batumi TV, Publicity Group, Film New Europe, INDIGO Magazine, Cinemania, Cineuropa.org, AT.GE, Newspaper BATUMELEBI, and netgazeti. ge.

Chateau Mukhrani Mural Tells the Story of Queen Ketevan renounce the Christian faith and convert to Islam. Aged 50, Queen Ketevan was robed in festive clothing and led out to a crowded square, where a red-hot copper cauldron was placed on her head, her breasts cut with heated tongs, her body pierced with glowing spears, her fingernails pulled out, a board nailed to her spine and her forehead split with a red-hot spade. The Portuguese catholic missionary fathers who witnessed the torture of their friend the Georgian queen, were completely devastated. A few months after her death, the missionary fathers discovered the abandoned grave of the Queen and took the remains of her corpse to Goa (India), Georgia, Italy, France, Portugal and Belgium. Some of the holy relics of Great-Martyr Ket-

evan were delivered to her son, Teimuraz, King of Kakheti. One part of the corpse of Queen Ketevan was discovered by Indian archeologists in Goa in 2006. The tile panel reflecting the tragic story of the Georgian queen was created by Portuguese masters in the 17th century on the order of the Catholic Church. It was damaged in the 20th century and restored only years later, which was followed by the creation of the Georgian replica. Among the Georgian kings and queens, Ketevan the Martyr is one of the most acclaimed by the Georgian Orthodox Church. On September 26, the Orthodox Church celebrates the day of Holy Great-Martyr Queen Ketevan.

Image source: Goga Chanadiri

BY KETEVAN KVARATSKHELIYA

G

eorgia is not rich in preserved castles and palaces. However, the ones that can be found on the territory of the country are certainly unique, all carrying an interesting history. One of them is Chateau Mukhrani.

Located a thirty-minute drive from the capital city, this is a late 19th century estate, built by Ivane Mukhranbatoni and representing a cultural center of the Georgian elite of the time. Today, Chateau Mukhrani catches the eye of both locals and foreigners with its wonderful castle, vineyards and stunning gardens designed by Versailles gardeners. While walking through the incredible array of greenery, a huge mural with

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dominating blue and white colors stands out. While it may seem just décor for the noble garden, the story behind the scene is a tear-jerker. The replica of the famous Portuguese mural, which was brought to Chateau Mukhrani three years ago, displays the scene of the brutal public torture of Queen Ketevan which took place in Shiraz, Iran (Persia) in 1624 after the Georgian queen refused to

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Profile for Georgia Today

Issue #1189  

September 27 - 30, 2019

Issue #1189  

September 27 - 30, 2019

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