Page 1

Issue no: 985

• SEPT. 29 - OCT. 2, 2017



In this week’s issue...

President Calls for Consultations over Constitutional Changes NEWS PAGE 2

On the Catalan Referendum & Independent States


The anniversary of the 1977 launch of Voyager was celebrated in Tbilisi this week with the visit of some top NASA personnel PAGE 11

Georgia Adopts Anti-Corruption Strategy & Action Plan BY THEA MORRISON


eorgia’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ) reports that the government has confirmed an Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan for 2017-2018. “As a result of anti-corruption reforms, Georgia has achieved the greatest success among Eastern European countries in combating corruption and has one of the lowest levels of corruption among European countries, a fact confirmed by many international studies and by the recent success when Georgia became Chair of the Open Government Partnership,” the Ministry reports. The statement reads that the complex policies and bold steps of the government in Georgia have been successful and productive in creating a transparent and accountable public governance system and a free environment in the country. Continued on page 2


In Need of Dictatorship POLITICS PAGE 8

Energy in the Taste: A New Wine from Georgian Mountains BUSINESS PAGE 10

Service above Self: The Partnership to Save lives SOCIETY PAGE 12

Edward Curtis & the North American Indian CULTURE PAGE 13





President Calls for Consultations over Constitutional Changes BY THEA MORRISON

Georgia Adopts AntiCorruption Strategy & Action Plan Continued from page 1

“The Government of Georgia understands that the fight against corruption cannot be a one-time reform or timelimited process. Fighting and preventing corruption is a continuous process and is actively underway even now,” the MoJ said. The Ministry underlines that their aim is to increase access to information and the involvement of citizens, improve the prevention mechanisms of corruption, utilize technologies and innovations in the state governance of public service and involve municipalities in the implementation process of the anticorruption program. The new anti-corruption strategy and action plan were elaborated by the Interagency Coordinative Council with the involvement of 38 state bodies, 14 Non-Governmental Organizations and three business representatives. The new Anti-Corruption Action Plan has 16 priorities, more than 60 events and over 200 activities. “Three of these priorities; prevention

of corruption in the sphere of sports, in infrastructural projects, and in municipalities, are absolutely new in Georgia and their aim is to involve more sectors in unified anti-corruption policies,” the ministry stated. The statement reads that the main goals of the new strategy are: the establishment of a fair salary system in public service, elaboration of a communication strategy about corruption issues with the public, establishment of a transparent salary and bonus system for prosecutors, refining articles referring to ethics and interest conflicts in relation to judges and prosecutors, implementation of an electronic program of judicial disciplinary proceedings and solving the issues of salary supplements and bonuses for judges, adoption of a law on freedom of information, refining of an administrative mechanism to make state-covered health programs more transparent, empowerment of Civil Advisers’ Councils in municipalities, improvement of control mechanisms for infrastructural projects, and more.


he President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, has offered the ruling Georgian Dream and opposition parties to start consultations over the constitutional changes, which will be made to the country’s main legislative document, adopted only a few days ago. The offer was voiced by the President’s Press Speaker, Eka Mishveladze, on Wednesday. She said the consultations will launch at 16:00 on Thursday. Mishveladze explained that the new Constitution adopted by Parliament on September 25 needs some changes, adding that even the majority has expressed such a wish. “We have focused on the errors many times. Not only the President but the whole opposition has stressed the problems together with NGOs and the Venice Commission. The governmental team also demands changes to the newly-adopted constitution. As the President always aimed to adopt the Constitution jointly, he offers consultations to all,” the press speaker stated.

The Parliament of Georgia approved the constitution draft by 117 votes on Tuesday. The amendments, which will come into force after the 2018 presidential election, envisage moving to a classical parliamentary model. The changes also imply introduction of a fully proportional electoral system from 2024, while the next 2020 elections will still be held under the existing mixed electoral system and with a onetime 3% election barrier.

Japanese Tea in the Botanical Gardens BY MATE FOLDI


s the rain clouds gathered and the heavens prepared to open over Tbilisi on Wednesday, there was at least one spot of sunshine in the capital whose spirit not even the

impending downpour could sour: with the Japanese Quarter of the Botanical Gardens packed to the brim with eager spectators, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Georgia, Tadahar Uehara, opened a unique, Japanese Tea Party in the early afternoon of September 27. The event held by the Embassy of Japan and the National Botanical Garden of

International Music Festival 2017 to Open in Telavi BY THEA MORRISON


he International Music Festival will be opened in Telavi, Kakheti region, on October 7 and will last until October 15. Of the six concerts in the schedule, 5 will be held in the Telavi State Drama Theater and one in the Alexander Chavchavadze

House Museum in Tsinandali. This year is the 55th anniversary of the concert career of famous Georgian musician, founder and art director of the festival, Eliso Virsaladze. The 100th anniversary of the Tbilisi State Conservatoire is also to be celebrated within the festival. In parallel with the concerts, an exhibition of posters of Eliso Virsaladze's concerts will be exhibited in the Telavi theater foyer, among which will be Ana-

As for the presidential elections, according to the new Constitution, the President will be elected indirectly, by special electoral boards composed of 150 MPs, all members of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republics and voters named by the parties according to the results of the recent local self-government elections. However, in 2018, direct presidential elections will be held in order to elect the president for a 6-year term.

stasia Virsaladze's classical concert posters, dated 1940-1950. Master classes will be also held during the festival by Eliso Virsaladze, Khatuna Kokochashvili, Giorgi Kobulashvili and Daniel Austrich. The festival is held by the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia, organized by Center for Protection, Development and Promotion of Classical Music. Continued on page 4

Georgia, saw Japanese Tea specialist Mitchiko Ucino host a traditional “Chanoi”, demonstrating the intricate and eloquent rituals involved in the authentic Japanese method of preparing green tea. The idea was to share this knowledge with attendees and to celebrate the unique and rich cultural tapestry and rituals that form Japanese identity and which have been so important to their history.





Georgia Gets Ready to Report on Climate Change BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES

Tbilisi to Host Digital Marketing Conference


epresentatives of the Georgian government, civil society and academic institutions attended a working meeting on September 26 to discuss Georgia’s regular reports to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). Eka Grigalava, Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia, and Shombi Sharp, Deputy Head of UNDP in Georgia, opened the working meeting. “Georgia’s strategic response to climate change includes a focus on transitioning towards low-carbon, green development, which will in turn bring significant benefits to people across the country. Yet, to transform this defining developmental challenge into an opportunity, comprehensive and accurate information is the first step,” Sharp said. Grigalava highlighted that Georgia’s reports to the UN Convention on Climate Change include valuable informa-

tion about the environmental challenges faced by the country as well as sustainable development in general in economy, infrastructure, agriculture and urban development. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the Paris Agreement are the largest international treaties to frame the world’s response to the negative effects of Climate Change. All countries signing these international documents, Georgia among them, are obliged to engage in climate action in

various areas. Georgia plans to unconditionally reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions by 15 percent below the 'business as usual' scenario. Georgia’s Fourth National Communication and the Second Biennial Report to the Convention will be prepared with assistance from UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), in close cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia. The reports will include a national inventory of Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Georgian Soldiers Win Golden Medals at Invictus Games in Toronto


he Georgian team of wounded soldiers won Gold Medals in sitting volleyball at the Invictus Games 2017 held in Toronto, Canada, defeating the UK team in the final match. Georgians also participated in cycling, swimming, archery, powerlifting and racing competitions. It’s the third time the Georgian soldiers, who were wounded during their various

military missions, have participated in the Invictus Games, previously held in London, and Orlando, US, which are held under the patronage of the British Prince Harry, who awarded the Georgian team with the gold medals himself. Georgian Minister of Defense, Levan Izoria, congratulated the winners while in Vilnius, where he was attending the ‘Eastern Partners in European Security and Defense’ conference.


igital marketing agency Elliot Webber is to organize a conference on digital marketing, ‘Digital Reality’ to be held in Tbilisi on October 17, at Tbilisi Marriott Hotel. Elliot Webber’s partner agency is RBBi (Red Blue Blur Ideas), which is said to be one of the leading marketing agencies in the Middle East, with a successful portfolio of working with such clients as Toyota, Qatar Airways, Honda, Marriott, Emaar, Atlantis the Palm, and Hertz, among many others. Participants of the digital marketing conference will have a possibility to interact with the leading representatives of the marketing industry, getting answers to the questions they are most interested in, and receive the latest information on marketing strategies and tools, while industry specialists share their vast experience. The importance of Internet as a mass media channel, why it is crucial for business to have an online presence, digital transformation, how to build an E -commerce empire, live cases from businesses in the UAE, and the smartest way to invest a dollar, will be the topics discussed during the conference. The conference is for anyone interested

in digital marketing, as it is to provide useful information on how to make the first steps in the sphere, or evaluate already existing digital marketing campaigns and plan successful marketing strategies. All conference participants will receive certificates of attendance when the event is over. “For us, it’s vitally important to organize this conference as the interest in digital marketing is growing in Georgia and there are not many such events happening. Our agency constantly tries to update our clients on new instruments in social media,” said Nino Bejgulashvili, Founder of Elliot Webber Agency. “RBBI representatives will be sharing their international experience during the conference. We wish to hold this conference more frequently, making it more diverse by inviting the world’s leading industry professionals from abroad to introduce and discuss largescale successful cases. Events like this are very important for developing the sphere in our country,” she noted., Tbilisi Marriott hotel, OK! Georgia, GEORGIA TODAY newspaper and Nexia are the partners of the event. To find out more about the digital marketing conference please visit





International Music Festival 2017 to Open in Telavi Continued from page 2

The supporters of the festival are: Alexander Chavchavadze House Museum in Tsinandali, Telavi City Hall, Telavi Vazha Pshavela State Drama Theater, Telavi Niko Sulkhanishvili Music School, Hotels "Chateau Mere" and "Alazani Valley". Media supporters: Radio Fortuna, Magazine Culture, TV Imedi, Radio One, Georgian Public Broadcaster, Radio Imedi, News Agency GHN, Advertising Company Alma - Alma, Georgia Today and TV company ARTAREA. 7 OCTOBER 19.00 OPENING OF THE FESTIVAL The Festival Orchestra Conductor: Ariel Zuckermann Soloist: Lukaš Vondracek: piano, winner of the International Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition 2016, Antonín Dvorák: Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88 Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 8 OCTOBER 19.00 CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT In Memoriam of Eduard Brunner Eliso Virsaladze - piano David Oistrakh String Quartet Andrey Baranov - violin Rodion Petrov - violin Fedor Belugin - viola Alexey Zhilin - cello • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 E minor K.304 • Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 4 in C Major, Op. 102 •RobertSchumann-AdagioandAllegroop.70 • Robert Schumann - Sonata for Violin and Piano no 1 in A minor, Op. 105 • Antonín Dvorák - Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major, Op. 81

10 OCTOBER 17.00 Alexander Chavchavadze Museum in Tsinandali Piano Recital Boris Berezovsky 12 OCTOBER 19.00 Concert dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of Vano Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire Concert is led by Professor Revaz Tavadze 14 OCTOBER 19.00 The Festival Orchestra Conductor: Ariel Zuckermann Georgian Sinfonietta Soloists: Giorgi Kobulashvili, oboe Jiyoon Lee, violin Daniel Petrica Ciobanu, piano • Kakha Tsabadze: "Epitaph" for oboe and chamber orchestra (dedicated to Eduard Brunner) • Max Bruch - Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor Op. 26 • Sergei Prokofiev - Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major Op. 26 15 OCTOBER 19.00 CLOSING CONCERT OF THE FESTIVAL The Festival Orchestra Conductor: Ariel Zuckermann Soloists: Eliso Virsaladze, piano Mamikon Nakhapetov, piano Dmitri Prokofiev, cello • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Concerto for two pianos and orchestra No.10 in E-flat major K.365 • Robert Schumann - Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in A minor Op. 129 • Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor Op 37 Tickets are available online www.biletebi. ge Price range 15-35 GEL


Foreign Minister: GeorgiaGerman Political Dialogue at Very High Level BY THEA MORRISON


he Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Mikheil Janelidze, stated that the political dialogue between Georgia and Germany is at a very high level and is developing very fast. The Minister made the statement while assessing Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Janelidze says the meeting was of utmost importance for Georgia. “This is very important for GeorgiaGermany relations, as well as for Europe,” he said. The Minister, who was in attendance at the Kvirikashvili-Merkel meeting, says that Georgian-German relations in various fields were discussed. “The Prime Minister of Georgia spoke about important reforms carried out in recent years in Georgia, which created exceptionally favorable conditions for foreign investments and businesses. The PM also talked about the successful implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU,” Janelidze added. “The need to enhance mutual relations in infrastructural and communication fields was also mentioned”. The sides also discussed Georgia-German cooperation in ensuring global

security and in the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. The German side is said to have highlighted the important role of Georgian servicemen in this regard. The Prime Minister's Advisor for Foreign Relations Issues, Tedo Japaridze, also commented on the meeting. “The prime minister's meeting on the second day of the elections in Germany was of course strategically very important and effective,” he said. “The sides spoke about the recent developments in Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and we informed the Germans on the current grave situation in said occupied territories,” he added. The Advisor says that the Germans

noted Georgia’s successful reforms and recognized the development of democracy and modernization in the country. “The PM and German Chancellor talked about future plans and bilateral relations in the frames of international organizations and formats,” Japaridze said. PM Kvirikashvili and the German Chancellor met on September 27 in Berlin. The meeting was part of Kvirikashvili’s official visit to Germany. The PM congratulated Merkel on her party’s winning the recent elections, a victory, he said, that “was very important for Europe”. Merkel’s party, the Christian Democrats (CDU), won the German federal elections on September 25, making Merkel a Chancellor for the fourth term.





On the Catalan Referendum & Independent States INTERVIEW BY VAZHA TAVBERIDZE

using a democratic tool in agreement with the central government. I understand that at the first glance it might seem similar, but it isn’t.

ith an independence referendum scheduled in Catalonia for October 1, Europe might be seeing the emergence of a new state in the immediate future, and a major redrawing of its political map, if indeed the Catalonian precedent causes a chain reaction in other states. Or it could all boil down to yet another attempt to wrangle more power from Madrid. Whatever happens in Catalonia, the expert consensus is that it will have far-reaching consequences. GEORGIA TODAY and Panorama TV Show asked Israel Peralta, a Catalan journalist living in Tbilisi, to elaborate on current proceedings in his homeland.




We can’t say now as there is no concrete outcome foreseen. If it was agreed to create a new State, following the rules, I don’t see why it would be a problem.

It’s the result of many years of struggle and misunderstanding between the central Spanish and Catalan governments. In Catalonia, there is a desire for more autonomy and to have more competences, more powers. And this plea has not been heard by the central government.

WESTERN PRESS REPORTING ON THIS CALLS YOUR GOVERNMENT A SEPARATIST ONE. WHAT’S THE LINE BETWEEN SEPARATISM AND SELF-DETERMINATION? That’s always a tricky question. I believe that a State should be based on an agreement between different parties and different groups and these agreements need constant renovation. As for the line between them... Well, self-determination might be something that could be agreed on between the community and the ruling power. And separatism might be more like a unilateral move.

HOW GOOD IS THE CATALAN CLAIM TO BEING A NATION WITH A STATEHOOD? If you’d asked a few years ago, I’d probably have said it was not viable, that it was probably not necessary. But recent years really shaped a new reality between the Spanish state and people in Catalonia, around 47% of whom are now pro-independent. They believe in this, otherwise they would not support the cause.

IS THIS A REVIVAL OF HISTORICAL JUSTICE? IS CATALONIA REALLY A DIFFERENT NATION? Well, that depends on who you ask. There are different narratives. The Spanish narrative, at least part of it, is very much focused on the idea of one single nation and does not seem to be willing to acknowledge that there are many diverse nationalities within the country. For the Catalans, it is partly enacting justice: there’s a feeling among Catalans that it would be a good opportunity for revival, to get back what was taken historically.

CAN THE CATALAN GOVERNMENT REACH AN AGREEMENT WITH SPAIN? THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT BANNED THE REFERENDUM, MARIANO RAJOY’S GOVERNMENT AND THE ROYAL FAMILY STAND AGAINST IT… Good question. We witnessed a lot of escalation this month. Police forces have been sent all round Spain just to stop the referendum. Rajoy’s central government is a right-wing, conservative, nationalist party with a very low level of sensitivity towards the different regions and different claims. I’d say with this government, at this moment, it would be really very difficult to achieve anything.

IT’S A PAINFUL TOPIC IN GEORGIA, CONSIDERING THAT WE HAVE OUR OWN BREAKAWAY REGIONS. CONSIDERING WHERE YOU COME FROM AND YOUR VIEWS, WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON GEORGIA’S CONFLICTS? Unfortunately, I haven’t lived here long enough to learn much about it, but I have a lot of friends from [the occupied territories] struggling because they lost their homes. That’s the most relevant issue for me. For me, these movements and situations are very different and we cannot compare them because there is no will for violence at all in Catalonia.

YET ABKHAZIANS AND SOUTH OSSETIANS DID WANT THE SAME AS CATALANS NOW WANT, THEIR “INDEPENDENCE” I’d still separate the topics because the main desire in Catalonia is to have a referendum. We want to agree with the central government on a democratic procedure asking the Catalan people what they want,

I think that a modern State should have democratic mechanisms to fulfill the needs of all its citizens. And we, Catalans, are Spanish citizens and there is the need in Catalan society to express ourselves. States should learn to appreciate and integrate different sensitivities and find mechanisms, not necessarily separation, but mechanisms where each group can feel comfortable.


OTHER REGIONS ALSO SEEK INDEPENDENCE…WHO MIGHT BE NEXT? THE BASQUES? SCOTTISH? BAVARIANS? BELGIUM, PERHAPS? At the moment, this is just fantasy: no other movement in Europe has mobilized more than 1 million people at a rally.

ARE CATALANS SETTING A PRECEDENT FOR THAT? It hasn’t happened yet. I think this is a narrative based on fear and I don’t see it as a threat for most states. If the states do their jobs well and include the various needs and realities of the country, such won’t happen. It wasn’t like this in Spain 10 years ago: there’s a reason it flared up now.

COULD CATALONIA FUNCTION AS AN INDEPENDENT STATE ECONOMICALLY AND POLITICALLY? It’s quite clear that if independence is declared unilaterally, the EU would not accept that new State if it was not agreed with the central government. Therefore, it will stay out of the EU. Junker was very clear about this. Catalonia would have to go through procedures for joining the EU but the Spanish government can block it at every turn. Economically, there is also no answer. There are many different angles, depending on who you ask. So, that’s very uncertain as well. Also, I would like to highlight different sensitivities within both the Catalan and Spanish territories. There is a government in Madrid which says no to the referendum but there are political parties which say yes, that it’s the right of the people. And I’m talking about parties which represent millions of people.

ULTIMATELY, DO CATALANS WANT MORE BENEFITS AND FUNCTIONS INSIDE A UNIFIED SPAIN OR JUST INDEPENDENCE? Again, there are different sensitivities you might find in Catalan society that come into play. In 2003, a mere 15 years ago, there was 16% support for independence and agreement with the Spanish central government to create a new constitution for Catalonia. Autonomies in Spain have the right to create their own constitutions. In 2010, the Court decided to cancel the creation of a Catalan constitution which had been approved in referendum as well as by the Spanish parliament. So there was an agreement but it was broken by the Spanish court. That’s the trigger that made many people change their minds and start supporting the independence movement. This is very crucial to understand: an agreement was broken.

IF CATALANS SAY YES TO INDEPENDENCE AND MADRID SAYS NO, WILL THERE BE ANY VIOLENCE OR WILL THE PARTIES GO TO THE NEGOTIATION TABLE? I hope there can be negotiation. I don’t know in which form or with which terms. There are a lot of people in Spanish and Catalan society that are for understanding. I’d say in Catalonia, that part of society is in majority and in Spain at least half.

HOW FAR ARE CATALANS WILLING TO GO TO DEFEND THEIR INDEPENDENCE IF THE REFERENDUM SAYS YES? No idea. I hope, like many Catalans, that we can find an agreement which is not a submission but is something constructive for both sides. But I’m sure that the Catalan people who have proven to be nonviolent and peaceful will remain so.






In Need of Dictatorship OP-ED BY NUGZAR B. RUHADZE


omeone like Archimedes would put it this way: ‘Give me but a firm dictator on which to stand and I shall move Georgia’. I know they usually hate dictators, but the coin has a flip side, too: some like them, and they have their reasons for this clearly ostracized but still optional attitude. It’s not that they adore dictatorship in this country, but rather, they are losing faith in democracy and say they have no qualms about it, and here’s why: democracy often gives politicians a chance to develop a taste for undeserved and unearned material comfort, mostly at the expense of the State, leading them to forget about the people who elected them as their representatives to rule the nation; democracy is not supportive of the wisdom which says that deeds are better than words; democracy means much ado about nothing- spending our time, money and energy choosing leaders who cannot and do not justify the spent resources in their post-electoral efforts; democracy is people’s will and dream to put the right persons at the head of the nation, rare, as such a class of politicians is no longer

It is universally admitted that democracy provides the opportunity to let our people tell us what to do and how to do it, but are we truly qualified and conscientious enough to make the optimal choice? Photo: Charlie Chaplin in the Great Dictator. Source:

extant; more often than not, democracy gives a chance to rule to those who have no clue why they were given a chance and what to do after they are given said

chance; democracy is public power to elect a leader, but nobody asks question if people are knowledgeable enough to decide who the best ruler might be;

democracy is a blunder in which more people have a finger in the pie than the pie can accommodate; democracy creates a fake impression that the patrons of the country are its people but, in reality, the patrons are those who behave themselves in the electoral process like cute harmless kittens with fluffy hair and tender clawless paws to later become ferociously voracious beasts with unbridled appetites to grab as much wealth and clout as they possibly can; democracy is an inevitable public frustration when you vote for one political figure, to receive a political animal of an utterly different color; democracy is the wrong environment for a human being who, by nature, is a rulebreaker rather than a being who wants to abide by the law unless it is forced into living by Manmade rules and laws. Granted, it is universally admitted that democracy provides the opportunity to let our people tell us what to do and how to do it, but are we truly qualified and conscientious enough to make the optimal choice? Of course not! Then why should we be trusted to make a choice of that much importance? Slavery is history, fascism is gone, communism is dead, and now democracy is wobbling; turning into an active social and political delusion, and not only in

a developing country like ours. Democracy has a strong tendency to beget a huge conglomerate of lies which is practically impossible to put straight for further necessary corrections. Meanwhile, a nice and fair dictator with good heart and sharp mind, with innate wisdom and expertise, with proper education and a sensitive nose for the future would be the best thing that could happen to us. He will surround himself with the best of experts and councilors, with their valuable advice and well-calculated plans to establish genuine public order and the rule of law as a prerequisite for prolific economic moves, guaranteeing high quality of life. But a question that will undoubtedly arise here is how to pick that wonderful dictator? To answer it, dictatorship devotees will have to apply to that great Greek of the fourth century BC. Platonically speaking, those specially educated sages who are well qualified to rule the State and lead the people could be brought up and formed in the depth of any nation. Who knows, the famous 2,500-year-old thoughts about statehood and the ways to build a society could still work. In any case, haters of democracy and lovers of dictatorship would choose to experiment without delay.

The Outstanding Virtue of Iran’s Grand Strategy BY EMIL AVDALIANI


eographyconditionshuman behavior and thus that of entire states. Quite often a simple look at the geographic map of a country or region gives a perspective of what the state interests are. Take the example of the Middle East, the geographic map of which reveals the three most visible features: Anatolia, the Arabian Peninsula and the Iranian Plateau. Each is almost synonymous with the states located on those territories: Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Each has its large ambitions throughout the Middle East and the behavior of each is more or less conditioned and moderated by its location, geographic features, neighbors, etc. However, none of those behaviors is so much contingent upon those aspects as that of modern Iran. Iran’s major population centers are surrounded by almost impregnable mountains and deserts, as well water barriers. To the west and north-west are the Zagros Mountains, essentially barring Iran from the rich Iraq. To the north the Elburz Mountains and Armenia’s mountainous lands have always served as a defensive shield. The Caspian Sea in the north and the Arabian Sea in the south are yet more impregnable barri-

ers. To the east and north-east, the harsh climate of Afghanistan and Pakistan, alongside Turkmenistan’s semi-barren steppe lands, have kept Iran’s provinces more or less safe (except for occasional attacks by nomadic peoples). Therefore, this very fact of being geographically contained and at the same time defended by geographic features still continues to define the Iranian grand strategy from the ancient Persian empire to modern Iran. Iran’s mountains and deserts have made it almost impossible to conquer and then keep the country under control. Take an example of several great conquerors. The Mongols and, later on, Tamerlane, successfully invaded the Iranian plateau, but in order to keep it they either had to deploy tens of thousands of troops (which they could not) or try to co-opt the local population (what they did) by allowing them to participate in the governance of their country. The same goes for the most successful conqueror of Iran, Alexander the Great. Although he conquered it, in order to keep the state, he co-opted the local elites. However, even then, once Alexander died, Iran quickly regained its independence. However advantageous this mountainous and desert geography may be, it has also limited the projection of Iranian power abroad. Due to poor geographic conditions, there has been no economic

or military reason to project Iranian power into Central Asia or Afghanistan and Pakistan. Although Iranians were quite active in Georgia, Armenia and modern-day Azerbaijan until the coming of the Russians in the late 18th c., the South Caucasus mountains, rivers and gorges limited Iran’s potential. Thus, strategically, the most advantageous territory for Iran to navigate its power has been the western frontier or modern-day Iraq (Mesopotamia); always rich in population and natural resources and therefore worth controlling. Indeed, history shows how crucial Iraq has been in Iran’s calculus. Take an example of the Achaemenid Empire, followed by Parthia and the Sasanian State: they all hung to Mesopotamia and even had their capital Ctesiphon located along the Euphrates River near modern-day Baghdad. Iranians have been always worried not to allow foreign presence in the territories surrounding the Iranian plateau. Any foreign influence on the heart of Iran would be a strategic weakening of the Iranian State. This leads us to Iran’s modern behavior: why Tehran is so much interested in Iraq, the South Caucasus, Central Asia and Afghanistan. The US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, Russians in Central Asia, potential EU/NATO presence in the South Caucasus; these are the worst-case scenarios Iran has always worked hard to avoid.

10 Galaktion Street

Geopolitical imperatives rarely change and this is well reflected in Iran’s foreign policy. Photo source:

The outstanding virtue of the modern Iranian State is that its strategic outlook is very much rooted in the country’s ancient and medieval history. True, beyond geographic reasons explaining the need to dominate the surrounding territories, there are also historical precedents, too. The Achaemenid, Parthian, Sasanian, Safavid and subsequent dynasties all tried to keep Iraq, the South Caucasus, south Central Asia and parts of Afghanistan. Only the Achaemenid Empire extended its borders further in all directions, reaching the Mediterranean and Black seas. The latter would, in turn, explain Iranian involvement in modern-day Syria and Lebanon and the race to extend its footprint to the Mediterranean coast. Moreover, Tehran’s

involvement in Yemen might seem to fall out of any logic, but even there it has a past precedent when in the late 570s AD., the Iranian Shahan Shah Khusro Anushirwan invaded southern parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Geopolitical imperatives rarely change and this is well reflected in Iran’s foreign policy. Modern-day Iran is pursuing the same set of external policy goals as did its distant predecessors. Emil Avdaliani teaches history and international relations at Tbilisi State University and Ilia State University. He has worked for various international consulting companies and currently publishes articles focused on military and political developments across the former Soviet space.

Tel: (995 32) 2 45 08 08 E-mail:





Energy in the Taste: A New Wine from Georgian Mountains



here are few sportsmen in the world who produce their own wines. Nukri Revishvili and his family have been tightly connected with wine for many years, founding the wine company ‘Georgian Moun-

tains’. There is novelty in assortment, and Revishvili’s grandfather’s ‘Krakhuna,’ produced through unique squeezing technology, is distinguished with high quality. No filtering or processing is needed in the bottling: this is a wine for aging without any chemicals. GEORGIA TODAY talks to Nato Chumburidze, General Manager of the company ‘Georgian Mountains’.

WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY ON THE MARKET? Georgian wine is really quite diverse and the companies producing it are so numerous that we wanted to introduce local wine-lovers to something new: a good, high-quality and tasty new wine. ‘Georgian Mountains’ underlines high quality, which is the distinguished label we offer consumers.

TELL US ABOUT THE NOVELTY IN THE ASSORTMENT We plan to increase our offerings. At this stage, we produce three varieties: Rkatsiteli, Saperavi and red sweet ‘RN Wine’. In the near future, we will add another variety: Krakhuna, which is a wine made using indigenous Georgian Imeretian white grapes, characterized by completeness, energy and a pleasant taste.

ARE THERE ANY NEW SPOTS WHERE A WINE LOVER CAN SAMPLE YOUR WINES? The scopes are growing for those who wish to taste our wines. We already cooperate with quite a large number of companies, restaurants and wine shops. Consumers can also find our ‘RN’ wines online at





NASA’s Rob Manning & John Casani Meet Georgian Startupers BY NINO GUGUNISHVILI


ack in 1977, famous American scientist Carl Sagan decided to send the Georgian polyphonic song ‘Chakrulo’ on a gold disc into space alongside 26 other musical masterpieces from around the world, with NASA’s Voyager spacecraft mission. John Casani, Voyager’s Project Manager, and Rob Manning, Chief Engineer of the Mars program at NASA, met with Georgian Startupers at Techno Park Tbilisi this week as part of their trip to Georgia for the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Voyager spacecraft which sent Chakrulo into outer space. “We see a lot of great symbols of the partnership between US and Georgia,” said Ian Kelly, US Ambassador to Georgia. “One of the real symbols for me is this idea that Carl Sagan chose this treasure of Georgian culture, this polyphonic song Chakrulo, and it speaks so much about what unites us, unites Georgia and the United States and unites us all as human beings.” He then thanked Casani and Manning for representing “everything that is great about the United States’ science community and for “contributing to our efforts to help Georgia to become a resilient 21st century economy”. “We’re very excited to be here,” said Manning. “Georgia is making an environment where creative people work together to invent new ways of thinking,

new products, new ways of doing work, and that’s exactly where innovation takes place. It really takes someone with vision to enable this kind of environment that allows people to do what they think is the right thing to do. You don’t tell them how to make their product; you just set up the right environment where they can invent,” he added. “He put together a small team of people to produce a record including the music and the photographs showing life

on earth as it exists all over the world, and one of the things that was important for him was music,” Casani said, telling the story from 40 years ago, when Carl Sagan famously decided to send masterpieces of humankind into outer space with the Voyager mission. “There are a couple of different stories about how this particular song got chosen. The one that I know, it may not be exactly correct, but Russia wanted very much to have a Russian song put on that

record, and people who were reviewing the music didn’t like the Russian song very much and so they went to the folk song consultant in the United States who said that if you want music from this part of the world, the best you can get is from Georgia,” he recalled. “For me, it all started when we launched the Alexander Kartveli Association, (the Georgian-American aircraft designer); that’s how the idea was born [to celebrate the 40th anniversary in

Georgia]. This is a symbol of the great friendship between the US and Georgia,” said Ramaz Bluashvili, Film director, producer and researcher. It is on his initiative that the famous NASA scientists came to Georgia to celebrate Chakrulo Week in Tbilisi for the 40th anniversary of the Voyager mission. See our EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with him here. “You’re just like the most innovative NASA people we’ve worked with throughout our careers,” Manning noted as he addressed the audience of startupers gathered at Techno Park Tbilisi. “Any technology organization needs a constant influx of new people and new, fresh, ideas,” Casani added. In the Q&A session that followed, the Georgian startupers, among them members of the TBC Bank’s startuper program, asked Casani and Manning about NASA’s mission to Mars, the challenges encountered while preparing missions, the Voyager budget back in 1977, how NASA recruits its employees, asteroids, and the “existence of extraterrestrial life”. Chakrulo Week, supported by TBC Bank, was on from September 25 to September 28, seeing numerous activities to celebrate, including a documentary screening on the history of the Voyager mission made by Emmy-nominated director Emer Raynolds, a meeting with John Casani, Rob Manning’s presentation on the Mars program research and findings and a concert from the Erisioni ensemble.





Service above Self: The Partnership to Save lives BY DAVID KVIRKVELIDZE M.D., ROTARY CLUB “TBILISI INTERNATIONAL” P.P.


e in Georgia believe, as many people throughout the world also do, that a child is truly a gift from God. Doctors have taken a Hippocratic oath to provide competent, compassionate care and to preserve human life. This commitment to protect the health of patients is dependent not only on the best infrastructure and medical equipment, but is also incumbent upon the most skilled and dedicated personnel. A partnership was established in the spring of 2015 involving the following key players: 1) “A Call to Serve” (ACTS) International, a humanitarian and development organization based in Columbia, Missouri, and the first international organization to come to Georgia in early 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet union, 2) The University of Missouri School of Medicine, 3) the Georgian Medical Association, 4) the Rotary Club “Columbia Rotary South” District 6080 Missouri, USA, and 5) the Rotary Club “Tbilisi International” District 2452, Georgia. With our country’s love of children and the partnership’s advocacy to help save the lives of newborns, it was a natural collaboration as the partnership became fully established in Georgia. The partnership developed an exceptional Vocational Training Team (VTT) pilot program called, “Breathing Life into Georgian Babies.” This particular program was one of the first maternal and child health training programs headed by the Rotary International as a VTT Program worldwide: it allowed the 9 Kvemo Kartli hospitals to train and equip their physicians and nurses in a special life-saving program for newborn babies called the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP). The NRP sets the international standard for excellence in the care of newborn babies within the first two minutes after birth. It is in these two minutes (120 seconds) that rapid, well-coordinated action by trained physicians and nurses can save a baby’s life if he or she unfortunately has a poor transition from womb to the outside world and struggles to breathe. In order to improve the quality of perinatal services, the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia initiated the process of Perinatal Care Regionalization in 2015. This initiative also involved ACTS International, lead by its President, Patricia J. Blair, M.D. and the Rotary Club Tbilisi International VTT. This multi-disciplinary alliance helped to support the assessment of nine maternity wards in the Kvemo Kartli

region and provide standardized training for neonatologists, nurses obstetricians, and midwives of these facilities from 2015 to 2016: a remarkable total of 172 medical personnel were trained. In June 2017, the VTT of the University of Missouri School of Medicine John Pardalos, M.D., Medical Director of the University of Missouri School of Medicine Neonatal Department and Medical Transport Team; Teresa deLima, Nurse Practitioner; and Harrison Smith, Res-

piratory Therapist) traveled to Georgia to continue the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) trainings and launched new post-resuscitation / pre-transport stabilization (S.T.A.B.L.E) program trainings. This educational program provides general guidelines for the assessment and stabilization of sick infants in the post-resuscitation / pre-transport stabilization period. The S.T.A.B.L.E. program is designed to provide important information about neonatal stabilization for

maternal/infant healthcare providers across all settings; from community hospitals and birthing centers, to emergency rooms and higher-level care hospitals. A uniform, standardized process of care intertwined with a comprehensive team approach can significantly improve the infant’s overall stability, safety, and health outcome. A total of 116 medical personnel in Kvemo Kartli and Tbilisi received training in the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) and S.T.A.B.L.E program. During their visit, the VTT members held meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia and with Tbilisi State Medical University officials to discuss the future cooperation and support of the state medical transport system and to develop a curriculum for the respiratory therapist training program for the neonatal intensive care unit. Neonatal mortality still remains a significant health problem in Georgia, mainly as a result of three pathologies: complications of preterm birth, birth asphyxia, and newborn infections. There is an urgent need for improvements in antenatal care and neonatal resuscitation as well as in the timely detection and treat-

ment of complications such as preterm births, birth asphyxia, and infections. Neonatal mortality is affected by the quality of in-hospital care for the infant. Skilled medical personnel are paramount for successful neonatal healthcare outcomes. Therefore, providing baseline and continuing training on an ongoing basis and translating and publishing the program is absolutely vital to our Georgian children and children throughout the world. The S.T.A.B.L.E Program Learner Manual book has already been translated into the Georgian language by the Rotary Club “Tbilisi International” with the generous support of the program author Kristine A. Karlsen, PhD, APRN, NNPBC and ACTS International President Patricia J. Blair, M.D. Translation will be reviewed with all key stakeholders and is intended to be published in early 2018. To support the above training program, please consider making a donation to the Rotary Club “Tbilisi International” (Liberty Bank): GE22LB0115132518739000 GEL GE92LB0115132518739001 USD GE65LB0115132518739002 EUR




Witness to a Parable: Etseri, Svaneti BLOG BY TONY HANMER


y friend from this village, surgeon, blood brother and wedding b e s t m a n , No d a r Aprasidze, recently sent me a pair of guests for the night: a highranking Georgian Finance Police Officer and his son, also in the police. They are also refugees from Tskhinvali, South Ossetia, but their family has successfully resettled elsewhere in Georgia. Seeing my sun-screen of flourishing fruit trees which had sprung up from being eaten down to ground level by cows in the five years since we fenced the place, they requested something with which to begin pruning. I happen to have a nice pair of secateurs, thanks to a church bazaar in the UK, which set me back a pound before I was even married and have been waiting their chance to shine. The elder of the two sharpened them with a stone and file, they asked for a saw in addition, and the work began. I admit that the trees are somewhat wild, never having been touched by such methods since they jumped back into the land of the living. It was high time they were restored to a more civilized state which, of course, will include more fruitfulness as well. Their branches grow in all sorts of odd directions; dead and life-stealing bits cling on, sapping the main branches’ strength as weeds cluster around their bases. Ur guests dealt with all these problems. “Look at each tree, Tony,” they said, “and decide how you want it to grow. Remove the unnecessarily competing branches as close to the trunk as you can; rub some dirt on the big cuts to help them heal. For the direction you want a particular branch to grow, cut it short a

bit opposite that direction, above a budding branch off it. See the future tree in your mind, and work towards that. Be ruthless: you are doing vital work to help the tree reach its full potential and fruitfulness”. Painful work, too, I was thinking, but whether the tree knows it’s in good hands or not, feels the cuts or not, the gardener is in charge of producing something pleasing to himself and his guests or family. He, too, feels each cut or scratch of thorn as the tree’s natural defenses operate; the blood is his, too. But he continues without hesitation to operate; no wonder such skilled people are called tree surgeons in the West, and paid well for their work! Sometimes a tree was reduced to half or even less of its unruly former self; once or twice a nearby one was removed entirely for the sake of the other. In all such cases, the results would be more growth, more fruit, more pleasure for the gardener, and a garden tamed; again, not wild. At its best.

There were so many lessons being acted out before my eyes that it was all I could do to note them and think of anyone’s life, which I believe also needs similar painful work from outside to reach its full potential. Not merely for utilitarian ends, but for beauty, too; function and form serving together to please a higher purpose which is also outside ourselves, and for which we exist. A long-term process, as the pruning one is, over seasons and many successive years, done either in spring or fall, not just at any time. Possibly lasting from seedling stage into late life. Will I submit and become my best, or fight it and proudly but uselessly remain wild? Because unlike the tree, I have this choice. 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 over 1500 members, at


Edward Curtis & the North American Indian BY MAKA LOMADZE


he United States Embassy in Georgia, the Georgian National Museum, the State Silk Museum and Art Palace of Georgia are showcasing Edward Curtis & the North American Indian: Motherland, Tradition, Spirituality, an exhibition in three parts. GEORGIA TODAY went along to Art Palace where the focus was ‘spirituality’. “Just as the world cannot exist without the sun, the Native American cannot live without a spiritual life…” These are Edward Curtis’s words, an American photographer and ethnographer who dedicated more than 30 years to the production of tens of thousands of photographs of the Native Americans’ spiritual life. The exhibition in the Art Palace of Georgia provides a window into Curtis’ extraordinary vision of the spiritual life of the First Americans, here, you can discover the beliefs and visions, ceremonial rituals and mystic customs of the first American inhabitants. The organizers gratefully acknowledge the generous support of Library of Congress, Georgian-American University

(GAU), Rooms Hotels and Elit Electronics for making the exhibitions possible. “I want to thank all three museums for giving the chance for GAU students to attend the expositions free of charge,” said Ekaterine Togonidze, Public Affairs Manager of GAU. “The students enjoyed the accompanying trainings. They were particularly delighted to learn that when a Native American woman gets married, she is given Edward Curtis’s photo album as a dowry. It was a sort of parallel to our ‘Knight in Panther’s Skin’,” she said.

“The main goal of the project is to teach business and marketing skills and to help Georgian museums become more sustainable and run more like businesses so that they do not need to rely on government funding,” Damian Wampler, Cultural Attaché of the US Embassy, told GEORGIA TODAY. “In America, museums are businesses: they make money from tickets, from bookshops, and from donations from the private sector. That’s not the way the Georgian museums work. [In the US], they have many sources of income and revenue. Our ambassador met with all the museums’ directors. After the lunch, he said: ‘we really need to give the museums some skills and trainings.’ We chose Edward Curtis because he is the greatest American photographer, but the exhibit that you see today is not curated by the American Embassy. The design, theory and concept were all created by the Georgian curators. So, it is American art through the eyes of Georgians using new skills that they learned in training”. WHEN: Until October 22. WHERE: Art Palace 6 Kargareteli Str. (11AM – 6PM, closed Mondays); History Museum 8 Sioni Street; Silk Museum 6 Tsabadze Str.







TBILISI INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THEATER September 30, October 1 LAST MEETINGS THE FOMENKO WORKSHOP THEATER Russia English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20-35 GEL Venue: Nodar Dumbadze Children’s Theater October 2, 3 THE FRENCH Proust, Warlikowski Directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski Nowy Teatr Poland English Subtitles Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 65-80 GEL Venue: Expo Georgia Exhibition Hall SHALIKASHVILI THEATER Address: 37 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 595 50 02 03 September 29, 30 HOST AND GUEST Vazha Pshavela Directed by Amiran Shalikashvili Pantomime Theater Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 20 GEL MOVEMENT THEATER Address: 182, Aghmashenebeli Ave., Mushthaid park Telephone: 599 555 260 September 29 SYMBIOSIS One-act choreographic sketch Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15 GEL September 29 RECITATIVE IN THE CITY Kakha Bakuradze, Sandro Nikoladze, Irakli Menagarishvili, Simon Bitadze, Dato Kakulia Special guest: El banda del Mudo Start time: 21:30 Ticket: 10 GEL September 30 LABYRINTH Directed by Kakha Bakuradze Composer- Sandro Nikoladze Choreography- Lasha Robakidze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15 GEL

GABRIADZE THEATER Address: 13 Shavtelis St. Telephone: 2 98 65 93 September 29 STALINGRAD Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10, 20, 30 GEL September 30 RAMONA Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10, 20, 30 GEL October 1, 5 THE AUTUMN OF MY SPRINGTIME Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10, 20, 30 GEL TBILISI ZAKARIA PALIASHVILI OPERA AND BALLET THEATER Address: 25 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 04 56 September 30 FIREBIRD Three one-act ballets: Chopiniana, Firebird and Le Spectre de la Rose will be presented at the evening of an outstanding choreographerMikhail Fokine. Nina Ananiashvili performing solo in LE SPECTRE DE LA ROSE Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10-50 GEL October 1 FIREBIRD Three one-act ballets: Chopiniana, Firebird and Le Spectre de la Rose Choreographer- Mikhail Fokine Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10-25 GEL CIRCUS Address: 1 The Heroes Sq. Telephone: 2 98 58 61 September 30, October 1 CIRCUS EXTREMALS Start time: September 30 – 17:00, October 1 - 13:00 Ticket: 10-25 GEL


AMIRANI CINEMA Address: 36 Kostava Str. Telephone: 2 99 99 55 Every Wednesday ticket price: 5 GEL September 30- October 5 MY HAPPY FAMILY Directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Groß Cast: Ia Shugliashvili, Merab Ninidze, Berta Khapava Genre: Drama Language: Georgian English subtitles Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 13-14 GEL THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE Directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher Cast: Olivia Munn, Justin Theroux, Jackie Chan Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure Language: Russian Start time: 11:45 Ticket: 8-9 GEL MOTHER! Directed by Darren Aronofsky Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris Genre: Drama, Horror Language: Russian Start time: 16:00 Ticket: 10-11 GEL MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE Directed by Peter Landesman Cast: Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Maika Monroe Genre: Biography, Drama, History Language: Russian Start time: 16:00 Ticket: 10-11 GEL RUSTAVELI CINEMA Address: 5 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 55 50 00 Every Wednesday ticket: 5 GEL September 29 – October 5 MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE (Info Above) Start time: 17:15, 19:45 Ticket: 11-14 GEL

KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Directed by Matthew Vaughn Cast: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy Language: English Start time: 18:45 Language: Russian Start time: 21:45 Ticket: 13-14 GEL MOTHER! (Info Above) Start time: 22:30 Ticket: 13-14 GEL AMERICAN ASSASSIN Directed by Michael Cuesta Cast: Dylan O'Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan Genre: Action, Thriller, Adventure, Fa Language: Russian Start time: 22:15 Ticket: 13-14 GEL MUSEUM

GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM SIMON JANASHIA MUSEUM Address: 4 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22, 2 93 48 21 PERMANENT EXHIBITION: GEORGIAN ARCHAEOLOGY FROM 8TH MILLENNIUM B.C. TO THE 4TH CENTURY A.D EXHIBITION OF GEORGIAN WEAPONRY NUMISMATIC TREASURY The exhibition showcases money circulation on the territory of Georgia from the 6th century BC. to 1834.

MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS Address: 1 Gudiashvili Str. Telephone: 299 99 09 March 6 – December 31 EXHIBITION MASTERPIECES FROM THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS COLLECTION The exhibition includes works by Bernardo Daddi, Lucas Cranach (Elder), Guido Reni, Jan Steen, Jacob Van Ruisdael, Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, Vassily Kandinski; Masterpieces by Niko Pirosmanashvili, Lado Gudiashvili and David Kakabadze. TBILISI HISTORY MUSEUM Address: 8 Sioni Str. September 22 – October 22 The United States Embassy in Georgia, the Georgian National Museum, the State Silk Museum and Art Palace of Georgia showcasing EDWARD CURTIS & THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN: Motherland, Tradition, Spirituality MUSEUM OF SOVIET OCCUPATION Address: 4 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22, 2 93 48 21 PERMANENT EXHIBITION Discover the State's personal files of "subversive" Georgian public figures, orders to shoot or exile, and other artifacts representing Sovietera cultural and political repression in Georgia. MUSIC


October 1 GEORGIA'S GOT TALENT Start time: 12:00, 16:00 TBILISI SPORTS PALACE Address: 1, 26th May Sq. Telephone: 233 33 11 October 5 MUMIY TROLL Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 30-100 GEL CONSERVATOIRE GRAND HALL Address: 8 Griboedov Str. October 1 NEW GENERATION Start time: 18:00 Ticket: 5-20 GEL INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL AUTUMN TBILISI Venue: Djansug Kakhidze Tbilisi Center for Music and Culture September 30 AN EVENING OF GEORGIAN MUSIC Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra presents symphony “Nikortsminda” By composer David Toradze and “Tbilisi Rapsody” for piano and symphony orchestra of his pupil George Chlaidze. Conductor- Vakhtang Kakhidze Start time: 19:30 Ticket: 10-30 GEL October 3 CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT Program: works by Hayden, Mendelsohn, Schumann, De Hartman and Dvorak Start time: 19:30 Ticket: 10-30 GEL





The Holocaust, Told in Slovak Photos exhibition] is a testimony to human stories. Mankind has learned to fly, to explore space. We play Gods by playing with our DNA. We have come so far, yet we are unable to see what we were supposed to learn at the very beginning: to be brother and sister to each other; to cherish peace which is the biggest possession that one who has survived a war can know”. Georgia is the 28th country to show the exhibition after, amongst others, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, the UK, US, Canada, Brussels, Italy, Austria, Latvia, Germany, Russia, Brazil and Israel. A number of images in the current exhibition are already in the Permanent Collection of the Library of Congress (US). “We are presenting this project in a country where there has never been a holocaust, a country where there is a very different Jewish story. The attitude towards Jews in Georgia was always special and friendly,” said Lela Tsitsuashvili, curator of the exhibition.



he Georgian National Museum and Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Georgia invites guests to see the 'Last Folio - a Photographic Journey by Yuri Dojc and Katya Krausova’ in the Shalva Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts. The opening took place on September 25. Dojc and his documentary film team shot an abandoned Jewish school in eastern Slovakia, where time had stood still since the day in 1942 when all those attending it were taken away to the camps. The school books are still there, corrected texts, school reports; even sugar still sits in the cupboard. Decaying books on dusty shelves are the last witnesses of a once thriving culture, treated by Dojc as the individual survivors that they are: each book captured in a portrait, preserved in its final beauty; these are pictures that speak a thousand words. “These pictures are from Slovakia, true, but I would say they are global. They

are windows into the past,” said H.E. Rudolf Michalka, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak



Commercial Director: Iva Merabishvili Marketing Manager: Melita Tsaava



Editor-In-Chief: Katie Ruth Davies

Republic to Georgia. “When you look well, when you open your mind, those pictures transform to reveal emotions,

Journalists: Tony Hanmer, Zaza Jgarkava, Maka Bibilashvili, Dimitri Dolaberidze, Maka Lomadze, Joseph Larsen, Vazha Tavberidze, Nugzar B. Ruhadze, Nino Gugunishvili, Thea Morrison Photographer: Irakli Dolidze

destinies, joy and cruelty, the silence of the wise rabbis and all the sounds and laughter of Jewish celebrations. [This

Website Manager/Editor: Tamzin Whitewood Layout: Misha Mchedlishvili Webmaster: Sergey Gevenov Circulation Managers: David Kerdikashvili, David Djandjgava

WHEN: Until October 25 WHERE: Shalva Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts, 1 L. Gudiashvili Str., Tbilisi.


1 Melikishvili Str. Tbilisi, 0179, Georgia Tel.: +995 32 229 59 19 E: F: GeorgiaToday ADVERTISING & SUBSCRIPTION

+995 579 25 22 25 E-mail: marketing@

Reproducing material, photos and advertisements without prior editorial permission is strictly forbidden. The author is responsible for all material. Rights of authors are preserved. The newspaper is registered in Mtatsminda district court. Reg. # 06/4-309


Batumi, Georgia +955 555 097097 +995 555 098098

Address: 1 Leh and Maria, Kachinski str. Batumi. Georgia; Email:;; batumiview batumiview

Profile for Georgia Today

Issue #985  

September 29 - October 2, 2017

Issue #985  

September 29 - October 2, 2017