'Together' Launches Active Network for the ‘Scattered Generation’ of Abkhazians

On July 15, more than 100 people assembled at the National Library of Georgia to form a network focused on solving the issues related to occupied Abkhazia. The idea, created by initiative group 'Together' aims at bringing motivated, successful and future-oriented people together to push issues connected to Abkhazia and its occupation more broadly within Georgia and abroad.

The gathering, entitled ‘Abkhazia Unites Us,’ involved a wide variety of people from different fields including Arts, Academia, Business and NGOs. The event organizers declared that despite a myriad of setbacks and lifelong obstacles, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Abkhazia, especially the youth, have achieved remarkable successes in Georgia and beyond. “At the same time, full-fledged integration in many environments has shown a reverse effect, with the issue of Abkhazia becoming unintentionally overshadowed,” they stated.

Nino Akhalaia, one organizer of the event and coming from Abkhazia’s Gali district, told GEORGIA TODAY that she hopes the majority of IDPs will be keen to contribute to raising the Abkhazia topic more at any level. “What we see is that these tremendously valuable people have been scattered throughout Georgia and the world and we need to unite them to create real power at the grassroots level,” she said.

Zviad Adzinbaia, a young researcher who was a co-host of the gathering, told us that it is of utmost importance to have the existing intellectual power united for the benefit of Abkhazia and to work towards the final restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity. “People frequently say that the majority has forgotten our beautiful region [Abkhazia] and there are no real prospects of its reintegration,” he said. “But that’s wrong- each of us needs to take a share in the work at hand.” Adzinbaia was a two-year old when he and his family were forced out of their home in Mukhuri, a village in Abkhazia.

‘Abkhazia Unites Us’ invited guests who believe that Abkhazia is not a lost territory and, regardless of the current frozen state of the conflict, are optimistic toward Georgia’s eventual territorial unity. The assembly plans to contribute to creating a network of people in the ‘scattered generation’ who can each play an existential role in developing novel approaches and searching for alternative ways to solving the current problems.

The event’s official part was concluded by the signing of a 12-point Symbolic Convention by all the attendees who agreed on doing their own part for Abkhazia in the future.

The initiative group ‘Together’ is to be transformed into an association and plans to expand in terms of its members and activities.

Immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian-backed rebels in Abkhazia broke away from Georgia. Moscow occupied and effectively annexed the area, as it did Georgia’s other breakaway region South Ossetia, later, in 2008.

Moscow recognized both regions as independent states following the 2008 war, yet international law and the United Nations continue to state that the regions remain part of Georgia.

Steven Jones

28 July 2016 20:52