Minorities In Georgia

Collection with 37 media items created by U.S. Editor

09 Apr 2011 09:00

Georgia is home to a diverse set of ethnic groups . Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Abkhazians, Ossetians, Russians or Ukrainians have all settled together to call this country home.

Minority Minorities Roma Religion Society Culture Cultural Dif... Majority Human Interest Georgia Eastern Europe

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Minorities in Georgia ( 1 0f 37)
Plateh, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
19 Sep 2009

In 2009 some locals of Plateh village started disassembling a long-abandoned local mosque in order to build monastic cells in the monastery nearby. The monks, who initiated the action, said that the mosque had no cultural value, nor did it belong to anybody. The dissasembling of the mosque stopped after the local muslim community notified the Public Defender's office. The mosques in Georgia's Adigeni region have been abandoned since 1944, when the most of region's Muslim population was deported to Central Asia. In the course of WWII, they were perceived by the Soviet government to be Turkey's potential allies.

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Minorities in Georgia (2 of 37)
Plateh, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
19 Sep 2009

In 2009 some locals of Plateh village started disassembling a long-abandoned local mosque in order to build monastic cells in the monastery nearby. The monks, who initiated the action, said that the mosque had no cultural value, nor did it belong to anybody. The dissasembling of the mosque stopped after the local muslim community notified the Public Defender's office. The mosques in Georgia's Adigeni region have been abandoned since 1944, when the most of region's Muslim population was deported to Central Asia. In the course of WWII, they were perceived by the Soviet government to be Turkey's potential allies.

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Minorities in Georgia ( 3 0f 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
13 Oct 2012

Roman Glonti, 42, a bathhouse attendant in Tbilisi baths. Glonti, born to Armenian father and Georgian-Iranian mother, has his mother's last name. He says that sulfur baths are the ultimate symbol for the multi-ethnic Abanotubani district. "There can be no quarrel between us, as the sulfur always soothes your mood," says Glonti jokingly. "We just weren't born in here, otherwise we spend a lot of time in the bath."

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Minorities in Georgia (4 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
13 Oct 2012

Roman Glonti, 42, a bathhouse attendant in Tbilisi baths. Glonti, born to Armenian father and Georgian-Iranian mother, has his mother's last name. He says that sulfur baths are the ultimate symbol for the multi-ethnic Abanotubani district. "There can be no quarrel between us, as the sulfur always soothes your mood," says Glonti jokingly. "We just weren't born in here, otherwise we spend a lot of time in the bath."

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Minorities in Georgia (5 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
13 Oct 2012

Roman Glonti, 42, a bathhouse attendant in Tbilisi baths. Glonti, born to Armenian father and Georgian-Iranian mother, has his mother's last name. He says that sulfur baths are the ultimate symbol for the multi-ethnic Abanotubani district. "There can be no quarrel between us, as the sulfur always soothes your mood," says Glonti jokingly. "We just weren't born in here, otherwise we spend a lot of time in the bath."

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Minorities in Georgia (6 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
13 Oct 2012

Roman Glonti, 42, a bathhouse attendant in Tbilisi baths. Glonti, born to Armenian father and Georgian-Iranian mother, has his mother's last name. He says that sulfur baths are the ultimate symbol for the multi-ethnic Abanotubani district. "There can be no quarrel between us, as the sulfur always soothes your mood," says Glonti jokingly. "We just weren't born in here, otherwise we spend a lot of time in the bath."

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Minorities in Georgia (7 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
19 Dec 2011

A Hanukkah prayer in Tbilisi synagogue. The Jewish communities of Georgia were oppressed during the Tzarist and Soviet times, but since the fall of the latter, the situation has improved dramatically.

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Minorities in Georgia (8 of 37)
Pankisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
02 Oct 2008

Kists, or Georgian ethnic Chechens, pray at the sufi mosque in Duisi, a small town in Pankisi gorge on the border with Chechnya. Kists are one of the small minorities in Georgia. According to Koba Chopliani, an expert on ethnic minority issues at the Georgian Public Defender's office, even though the situation with minorities has significantly improved over the last ten years, smaller minorities are still widely neglected. "Maybe it's because they're less important voters. Or Georgian government treats the problems with bigger minorities a bigger challenge," says Chopliani.

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Minorities in Georgia (9 of 37)
Pankisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
02 Oct 2008

Kists, or Georgian ethnic Chechens, pray at the sufi mosque in Duisi, a small town in Pankisi gorge on the border with Chechnya. Kists are one of the small minorities in Georgia. According to Koba Chopliani, an expert on ethnic minority issues at the Georgian Public Defender's office, even though the situation with minorities has significantly improved over the last ten years, smaller minorities are still widely neglected. "Maybe it's because they're less important voters. Or Georgian government treats the problems with bigger minorities a bigger challenge," says Chopliani.

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Minorities in Georgia (10 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
09 Apr 2010

A Roma community in Tbilisi. Roma are one of the most stigmatized small minorities in Georgia. “They are savages,” “they all should be in prison,” “are they human beings at all?” These are some of the answers for a poll conducted by journalists in the middle of Tbilisi. The question that random Georgians were asked was “what do you know about the Roma people?” In Georgia at best they are associated with street sellers, beggars, fortunetellers, that is people, who bother you while you’re walking in the street. In a worse case - they are thought of as thieves and swindlers.

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Minorities in Georgia ( 11 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
27 Apr 2010

A Roma community in Tbilisi. Roma are one of the most stigmatized small minorities in Georgia. “They are savages,” “they all should be in prison,” “are they human beings at all?” These are some of the answers for a poll conducted by journalists in the middle of Tbilisi. The question that random Georgians were asked was “what do you know about the Roma people?” In Georgia at best they are associated with street sellers, beggars, fortunetellers, that is people, who bother you while you’re walking in the street. In a worse case - they are thought of as thieves and swindlers.

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Minorities in Georgia ( 12 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
09 Apr 2010

A Roma community in Tbilisi. Roma are one of the most stigmatized small minorities in Georgia. “They are savages,” “they all should be in prison,” “are they human beings at all?” These are some of the answers for a poll conducted by journalists in the middle of Tbilisi. The question that random Georgians were asked was “what do you know about the Roma people?” In Georgia at best they are associated with street sellers, beggars, fortunetellers, that is people, who bother you while you’re walking in the street. In a worse case - they are thought of as thieves and swindlers.

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Minorities in Georgia ( 13 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
18 Aug 2009

Tbilisi Molokans celebrate Transfiguration day. Molokans, sectarian Christians deported to the Caucasus in the 19th century from Russia, are one of the small minorities living in Georgia. Despite the religious difference, Molokans are usually treated respectfully in Georgia. "Somehow Molokans are taken by Georgians more as an ethnic minority, rather than a religious one," says Koba Chopliani, an expert on ethnic minority issues at the Georgian Public Defender's office. Chopliani says that in Georgia there's much less religious than ethnic tolerance.

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Minorities in Georgia ( 14 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
18 Aug 2010

Tbilisi Molokans celebrate Transfiguration day. Molokans, sectarian Christians deported to the Caucasus in the 19th century from Russia, are one of the small minorities living in Georgia. Despite the religious difference, Molokans are usually treated respectfully in Georgia. "Somehow Molokans are taken by Georgians more as an ethnic minority, rather than a religious one," says Koba Chopliani, an expert on ethnic minority issues at the Georgian Public Defender's office. Chopliani says that in Georgia there's much less religious than ethnic tolerance.

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Minorities in Georgia (15 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
19 Aug 2010

Tbilisi Molokans celebrate Transfiguration day. Molokans, sectarian Christians deported to the Caucasus in the 19th century from Russia, are one of the small minorities living in Georgia. Despite the religious difference, Molokans are usually treated respectfully in Georgia. "Somehow Molokans are taken by Georgians more as an ethnic minority, rather than a religious one," says Koba Chopliani, an expert on ethnic minority issues at the Georgian Public Defender's office. Chopliani says that in Georgia there's much less religious than ethnic tolerance.

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Minorities in Georgia (16 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
19 Aug 2010

Tbilisi Molokans celebrate Transfiguration day. Molokans, sectarian Christians deported to the Caucasus in the 19th century from Russia, are one of the small minorities living in Georgia. Despite the religious difference, Molokans are usually treated respectfully in Georgia. "Somehow Molokans are taken by Georgians more as an ethnic minority, rather than a religious one," says Koba Chopliani, an expert on ethnic minority issues at the Georgian Public Defender's office. Chopliani says that in Georgia there's much less religious than ethnic tolerance.

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Minorities in Georgia ( 17 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
18 Aug 2010

Tbilisi Molokans celebrate Transfiguration day. Molokans, sectarian Christians deported to the Caucasus in the 19th century from Russia, are one of the small minorities living in Georgia. Despite the religious difference, Molokans are usually treated respectfully in Georgia. "Somehow Molokans are taken by Georgians more as an ethnic minority, rather than a religious one," says Koba Chopliani, an expert on ethnic minority issues at the Georgian Public Defender's office. Chopliani says that in Georgia there's much less religious than ethnic tolerance.

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Minorities in Georgia (18 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
18 Aug 2010

Tbilisi Molokans celebrate Transfiguration day. Molokans, sectarian Christians deported to the Caucasus in the 19th century from Russia, are one of the small minorities living in Georgia. Despite the religious difference, Molokans are usually treated respectfully in Georgia. "Somehow Molokans are taken by Georgians more as an ethnic minority, rather than a religious one," says Koba Chopliani, an expert on ethnic minority issues at the Georgian Public Defender's office. Chopliani says that in Georgia there's much less religious than ethnic tolerance.

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Minorities in Georgia ( 19 of 20)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
14 Oct 2009

The members of The Union of the Orthodox Parents rallies in front of the Vatican embassy, protesting against the opening of the Assyrian-Chaldean centre in Tbilisi, under which "a Catholic church is lurking." The banners the protesters were holding read: "Vatican is a spiritual aggressor," and "Papists, stop recruiting the Assyrian Christians." The Union is notorious for its frequent protests, some of them ending with violence, against religious and sexual minorities, as well as public celebration of such "satanic" holidays as Halloween. Talaveri, 2010

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Minorities in Georgia (20 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
14 Oct 2009

The members of The Union of the Orthodox Parents rallies in front of the Vatican embassy, protesting against the opening of the Assyrian-Chaldean centre in Tbilisi, under which "a Catholic church is lurking." The banners the protesters were holding read: "Vatican is a spiritual aggressor," and "Papists, stop recruiting the Assyrian Christians." The Union is notorious for its frequent protests, some of them ending with violence, against religious and sexual minorities, as well as public celebration of such "satanic" holidays as Halloween. Talaveri, 2010

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Minorities in Georgia ( 21 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
14 Oct 2009

The members of The Union of the Orthodox Parents rallies in front of the Vatican embassy, protesting against the opening of the Assyrian-Chaldean centre in Tbilisi, under which "a Catholic church is lurking." The banners the protesters were holding read: "Vatican is a spiritual aggressor," and "Papists, stop recruiting the Assyrian Christians." The Union is notorious for its frequent protests, some of them ending with violence, against religious and sexual minorities, as well as public celebration of such "satanic" holidays as Halloween. Talaveri, 2010

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Minorities in Georgia( 22 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
19 Sep 2009

A Meskhetian community celebrats the end of Ramadan month in the house of one of the Meskhetian families. The Abastumani Meskhetians take turns to host people gatherings for religious services. The village mosque was destroyed shortly after their deportation in 1944, and now the returned ones do not have means to reconstruct it. However, they hope to make it happen some day soon.

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Minorities in Georgia ( 23 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
13 Jun 2011

Farida Dorsumova, a Meskhetian ninth-grader, laughs as she prepares comes out from behind the curtain during a performance dedicated to the high-school graduation. During the performance, classmates - ethnic Meskhetians, Ajarians and Ossetians, introduced each other by personal characteristics, danced and read poems in front of their teachers and other students. Dorsumova's family has recently returned to Georgia from Central Asia, where their ancestor's were deported to from Georgia in 1944.

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Minorities in Georgia ( 24 of 37)
Abastumani, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
18 Nov 2009

Ali Mekhriev (standing), a Meskhetian who recently returned to his ancestor's village Abastumani, is talking to the locals. Ali's father told him their family would one day return to their motherland, Georgia, where they were deported from in 1944 by the Soviet government.

However, upon their return they found problems in their native village of Abastumani. The family home had been leveled. And the mosque had been turned into a cattle shed by the village’s new Christian inhabitants, who were not happy to see the Meskhetians back. “’Go back to where you’re from,’ they told us,” says Ali. “You are not Georgians and we don’t need Muslims here.”

It took years for the Meskhetians to build a peace with Abastumani’s Christian community. “We have perfect relationship now,” says Ali. “The only thing that matters is the kind of person you are: if you are a normal person, you won’t have problems with others.”

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Minorities in Georgia (25 of 37)
Tsalka , Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
15 Apr 2008

A Greek neighborhood in Tsalka region, Southern Georgia. Until 1990s Tsalka region was mostly populated by ethnic minorities, such as Greeks, Armenians and Azerbaijanis. In 1990s Georgians from the avalanche and landslide prone mountain regions have resettled to the villages around Tsalka. According to Koba Chopliani, an expert on ethnic minority issues at the Georgian Public Defender's office, says that the ecomigrants started oppress the local minorities. "[The ecomigrants'] attitude was: 'you are guests here and we, Georgians, are the hosts.'," says Chopliani.

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Minorities in Georgia ( 26 of 37)
Bolnisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
14 Oct 2012

A cross overlooks a few villages in Bolnisi region in Southern Georgia. Bolnisi region is traditionally populated mostly by ethnic and religious minorities, mostly Azerbaijanis. Such crosses are common throughout the country and are usually symbolically installed by local Orthodox priests and their congregation. In 2003 such cross was installed right at the town square of one of the biggest villages in Bolnisi region, populated mostly by Muslim Azerbaijanis. Offended, the villagers were ready to dismount the cross. After receiving the call about this incident sheikh of Georgia Vagif Akperov, then a mollah in Tbilisi mosque, told villigares to guard the cross day and night, so that nobody would touch it, while he settled the issue down with the Georgian Church officials. "It was a provocation," says Akperov. "Whoever installed this cross, wanted us to destroy it, in order to say later that we're aggresive towards Christian symbols." The case has been quickly settled and the cross has been removed peacefully.

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Minorities in Georgia (27 of 37)
Bolnisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
14 Oct 2012

A cross overlooks a few villages in Bolnisi region in Southern Georgia. Bolnisi region is traditionally populated mostly by ethnic and religious minorities, mostly Azerbaijanis. Such crosses are common throughout the country and are usually symbolically installed by local Orthodox priests and their congregation. In 2003 such cross was installed right at the town square of one of the biggest villages in Bolnisi region, populated mostly by Muslim Azerbaijanis. Offended, the villagers were ready to dismount the cross. After receiving the call about this incident sheikh of Georgia Vagif Akperov, then a mollah in Tbilisi mosque, told villigares to guard the cross day and night, so that nobody would touch it, while he settled the issue down with the Georgian Church officials. "It was a provocation," says Akperov. "Whoever installed this cross, wanted us to destroy it, in order to say later that we're aggresive towards Christian symbols." The case has been quickly settled and the cross has been removed peacefully.

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Minorities in Georgia (28 of 37)
Bolnisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
14 Oct 2012

A cross overlooks a few villages in Bolnisi region in Southern Georgia. Bolnisi region is traditionally populated mostly by ethnic and religious minorities, mostly Azerbaijanis. Such crosses are common throughout the country and are usually symbolically installed by local Orthodox priests and their congregation. In 2003 such cross was installed right at the town square of one of the biggest villages in Bolnisi region, populated mostly by Muslim Azerbaijanis. Offended, the villagers were ready to dismount the cross. After receiving the call about this incident sheikh of Georgia Vagif Akperov, then a mollah in Tbilisi mosque, told villigares to guard the cross day and night, so that nobody would touch it, while he settled the issue down with the Georgian Church officials. "It was a provocation," says Akperov. "Whoever installed this cross, wanted us to destroy it, in order to say later that we're aggresive towards Christian symbols." The case has been quickly settled and the cross has been removed peacefully.

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Minorities in Georgia (29 of 37)
Bolnisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
14 Oct 2012

A cross overlooks a few villages in Bolnisi region in Southern Georgia. Bolnisi region is traditionally populated mostly by ethnic and religious minorities, mostly Azerbaijanis. Such crosses are common throughout the country and are usually symbolically installed by local Orthodox priests and their congregation. In 2003 such cross was installed right at the town square of one of the biggest villages in Bolnisi region, populated mostly by Muslim Azerbaijanis. Offended, the villagers were ready to dismount the cross. After receiving the call about this incident sheikh of Georgia Vagif Akperov, then a mollah in Tbilisi mosque, told villigares to guard the cross day and night, so that nobody would touch it, while he settled the issue down with the Georgian Church officials. "It was a provocation," says Akperov. "Whoever installed this cross, wanted us to destroy it, in order to say later that we're aggresive towards Christian symbols." The case has been quickly settled and the cross has been removed peacefully.

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Minorities in Georgia ( 30 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
13 Oct 2012

Marina Oganezova, 25, a waitress at a Tbilisi chaikhama, serves tea to customers. Oganezova, an ethnic Armenian herself, says that here, in the heart of Tbilisi, it's normal to see Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Kurds, and Georgians at the same table. The chaikhana Oganezova works at is itself owned by Azerbaijani-Armenian couple.

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Minorities in Georgia (31 of 37)
Tbsili, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
13 Oct 2012

Residents of Abanotubani (Bath District), one of Tbilisi's oldest districts, enjoy tea at a local chaikhana. The Abanotubani chaikhanas have long become a symbol of ethnic tolerance. Here you can easily see Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Kurds, and Georgians sipping tea at one table, discussing local news, and planning common business.

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Minorities in Georgia (32 of 37)
Marneuli, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
19 Jan 2012

A weekly cattle market near Marneuli, Georgia. Marneuli, a town in southern Georgia, close to both Armenian and Azerbaijani borders, is widely populated by ethnic Azerbaijanis, traditionally sheep and cattle herders. The market is a place of cattle trading not only for local Azerbaijanis, but also for Georgians, Armenians and others, who come here every sunday looking for a good deal.

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Minorities in Georgia (33 of 37)
Marneuli, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
19 Jan 2012

A weekly cattle market near Marneuli, Georgia. Marneuli, a town in southern Georgia, close to both Armenian and Azerbaijani borders, is widely populated by ethnic Azerbaijanis, traditionally sheep and cattle herders. The market is a place of cattle trading not only for local Azerbaijanis, but also for Georgians, Armenians and others, who come here every sunday looking for a good deal.

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Minorities in Georgia (34 of 37)
Marneuli, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
19 Jan 2012

A weekly cattle market near Marneuli, Georgia. Marneuli, a town in southern Georgia, close to both Armenian and Azerbaijani borders, is widely populated by ethnic Azerbaijanis, traditionally sheep and cattle herders. The market is a place of cattle trading not only for local Azerbaijanis, but also for Georgians, Armenians and others, who come here every sunday looking for a good deal.

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Minorities in Georgia ( 35 of 37)
Talaveri, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
15 Nov 2010

The construction of Talaveri mosque. In 2009 the construction of the mosque has stopped after a few Georgian Orthodox priests and members of ultra-religious organization The Union of the Orthodox Parents arrived to the village and demanded to stop the construction. The construction resumed in 2010 after the case was widely covered in the local media. The Union is notorious for its frequent protests, some of them ending with violence, against religious and sexual minorities, as well as public celebration of such "satanic" holidays as Halloween. Talaveri, 2010

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Minorities in Georgia (36 of 37)
Talaveri, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
15 Nov 2010

Villagers cut meat for Eid al-Adha festival near the mosque in Talaveri village, populated mostly by ethnic Azerbaijanis. In 2009 the construction of the mosque has stopped after a few Georgian Orthodox priests and members of ultra-religious organization The Union of the Orthodox Parents arrived to the village and demanded to stop the construction. The construction resumed in 2010 after the case was widely covered in the local media. The Union is notorious for its frequent protests, some of them ending with violence, against religious and sexual minorities, as well as public celebration of such "satanic" holidays as Halloween. Talaveri, 2010

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Minorities in Georgia (37 of 37)
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
12 Oct 2012

Residents of one of Tbilisi's oldest districts Abanotubani (Bath District) play backgammon next to the dome of one of the baths. Keram Rashoev (left-most), a 46-year-old an ethnic Kurd and a local backgammon legend, says that in Abanotubani there are no ethnic differences and people treat each other based on the deeds, not a blood. "Politicians come and go, but in this district human relations remain the same," comments Rashoev on whether the politics can influence people's attitude towards in other. Tbilisi, 2012