MINORITIES IN GEORGIA - Editor's Picks 23 Oct 12

Collection with 8 media items created by Editor's Picks

23 Oct 2012 02:00

Many Georgian civilians were deported or fled their homes during the past century's conflicts and found refuge in other parts of the country or neighboring Central Asian countries. While some managed to start a new life, the majority of internally displaced people still struggle with housing and unemployment issues. In Tbilisi and other regions of Georgia, thousands of displaced families are claiming ownership rights to buildings they have occupied since the conflicts. In other cases families are returning to villages from where their parents were deported decades ago and face integrating into new communities.

Roma are one of the most stigmatized minorities of Georgia, associated with street vendors, beggars and in many cases thought of as thieves and swindlers.

Villagers cut meat for the Eid al Adha festival near the mosque in Talaveri village, populated mostly by ethnic Azerbaijanis.

Civilians Minorities Families Communities Deport Squat Conflicts Internally D... Roma Beggars Thieves Ethnicity Culture Society Religion Politics Eastern Europe Central Asia Photo Essay Photo Collec... Photojournalism Editor's Picks

Thumb sm
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

Thumb sm
Meskhetian Family
Nasakirali, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
12 Jul 2011

Meskhetian family in Nasakirali, Georgia.
In mid-November 1944, around 100,000 Georgian Muslims from the southern region of Samtskhe-Javakheti were deported to Central Asia. The vast majority of them were Meskhetians (or Meskhetian Turks). In the course of WWII, they were perceived by the Soviet government to be Turkey's potential allies. More than 60 years after the deportation, a few families managed to return to their ancestors' land.

Thumb sm
After the Friday prayer in Tbilisi mo...
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
19 Oct 2012

Roma beg at the entrance of Tbilisi mosque as worshipers are coming out after the end of the Friday prayer.

Thumb sm
A Nigerian in Tbilisi
Tbilisi, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
19 Oct 2012

Erunz Nelson, 54, an immigrant from Nigeria by his store in Tbilisi. He arrived in Tbilisi in 1995, got married to a Georgian woman, and now owns a mixed goods store. He says back when he just arrived in Georgia, there were "only 3-4 black people [in Tbilisi]." He says that during the last fifteen years the situation with tolerance has changed significantly, Georgians "got used to the foreigners," and it became safer to go to the street after dark.

Thumb sm
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.

Thumb sm
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.

Thumb sm
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.