It has nothing to do with respect for the Abkhazians’ rights" />

Mshibzia flashmob resembles a ‘rahat loukoum’, proposed by Georgians to Abkhazians

It has nothing to do with respect for the Abkhazians’ rights

Georgian colleagues and journalists wonder what the reaction to Georgian flashmob in Abkhazia is. For those who don’t know, the matter concerns a video featuring 8,000 people, some on their own, others-in groups, who are greeting Abkhazians with a banner in their hands that reads: ‘Mshibzia’ (Good day!).

Frankly speaking, when I was first asked about it, I did not know anything about the campaign. Then, having searched on social media, I found a video in one group there. A well-staged and well-edited video would touch anyone, unless that person is aware of the context it was shot in.

I don’t mean the Georgian-Abkhazian war, fought some twenty years ago. No. It seems that Abkhazians are doomed to remember the conflict forever. For this ethnic group, 4% of which perished in the ‘meat grinder’-mostly youths-it’s like having one of your limbs amputated: no matter what prosthesis they equip you with, you still feel some physical discomfort and, consequently, always remember it.

I’m talking about how things are now. Of course, Georgia is not killing us and isn’t even threatening to do us any physical harm. Ivanishvili’s Georgian “dreamers” have replaced ‘the stick’ that Mikheil Saakashvili inherited from Edurad Shevartdnadze with ‘a carrot’.

At present some of our citizens are treated free of charge in Tbilisi hospitals. They are not even forced to obtain a Georgian or the so-called ‘neutral’ passport which they are required to present (on a side note, Megrelians from the district of Gali are deprived of such an opportunity). 

It is normal that if your beloved one is on their death bed and you have no money to cover the costly surgery, you may even pray to the devil for help.

Tell Paata Zakareishvili, the Minister for Reconciliation, that if the matter concerns one’s health, ‘carrots’ just won’t do the job.

For example, a huge supermarket was built on a wasteland, right next to the Georgian-Abkhazian border, along the Ingur River. For some reason someone in Tbilisi concluded that Abkhazians were dying of hunger and they needed a place where they could acquire the products they needed. However, if they had really been dying, I am afraid they would not have even had enough strength to crawl to that gastronomic paradise.

Despite my critical attitude towards the situation in my own country, I would like to make it clear for the record that there is no famine in Abkhazia. Moreover, our people are full and even too well-nourished in some areas. Like our neighbor, Georgia, we also have manufacturing problems, but there are so many groceries to be found in our country that we can supply food to the whole Punjabi state, no matter whether it’s the Indian or Pakistani one.

My friend, who is employed at one of the influential international organizations, recently decided to check the efficiency of that sotre. He asked two of his employees to stay on duty near the shop and count the visitors. It turned out that only 14 people visited it during the day, which means approximately one client an hour.

Manush, an elderly woman, who sells steamed milk to me, is sure to have more clients than the gastronomic paradise in Inguri. To be honest, the income it receives is not that impressive, especially compared to the amount of money it spent on the project.

In short, the supermarket on the border is ‘a splash out’ of either Georgian taxpayers or western donors’ money. There is no third option, since no businessmen, not even a very reasonable one, would have had such a ‘brilliant’ idea.

In order to distract one from the supermarket flop, the ‘dreamers’ have clearly invented a new illusion, as if Abkhazians are looking forward to the day when visa-free travel in Schengen countries will become a reality for Georgia. And they will certainly rush en masse to Tbilisi, obtain Georgian citizenship and with their new passports, will immediately leave for Berlin, London and Paris on the first flight to take off from Tbilisi airport.

I don’t know, maybe some Georgian officials will read this and having believed my word, will immediately express to the government the idea that there is no need to hurry to open some additional passport issuing departments, to select their staff, to rust to print forms and documents. And there is no need at the moment to reconstruct the Tbilisi Airport in the hope that the passenger flow will increase at the expense of Abkhazians.

Abkhazians won’t agree to become Georgian citizenship, and there’s no need to explain why. It is as obvious as the nature of affection of Georgian to Abkhazians. All that ‘rahat-loukoum, addressed to Abkhazians from Georgia, and savored with songs, dances and flashmobs, has nothing to do with respect for Abkhazians’ rights.

All these pleasantries for my people, all these attempts to feed us, serve just one single goal-to drag us and our territory into Georgia, by any means possible. Honesty has no place here. It’s just about pure economics

In addition to the flashmob, the Georgian Foreign Ministry reported with deep satisfaction that Tbilisi had prevented the opening of an Abkhazian Cultural Center in Rome. This had nothing to do with a diplomatic representative office, but rather a mere cultural center.

There have been already huge volumes of such démarches from the Georgia side during the post-war years. Due to such things, a Danish dance ensemble didn’t give a performance and decided to call it off before taking the stage.

Do you expect that if you smile naively and greet us in the Abkhazian language, you will hear ‘gamarjoba’ (Georgian for ‘hello’) in response? Or do you expect that we will fall right into your arms and hug you?

Thank you, but it seems like we have already bid each other farewell. I have never spoken on behalf of the nation, but in this case I don’t feel that I am mistaken.

The opinions expressed in the article convey the author’s terminology and views and do not necessarily reflect the position of the editorial staff.

Published: 23.06.2016

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