God almighty granted people the most precious gift immediately after birth – happiness of freedom and since then the human being is trying to be free or has been fighting to get back the freedom granted by God. However, to define the godly present - it is equally important to mention the substantial circumstance that in the history of the earth there is a period when the so-called “tamer torturers” composed of the same people deny the creator of the universe - God - and are trying to take away or restrict freedom.
Therefore, I as an independent reporter, dedicated my newspaper article to the person whose dreams scattered in childhood were taken away by the soviet regime. The Dutch painter of Caucasian origin Ismal Bashirov belongs to this soviet era generation. Together with time change, he completely buried the past full of ache and made his creative dreams dispersed in childhood come true in one of the most beautiful countries of Europe.
There is a period in the history when deeply educated people, excellent commanders-in-chief, politicians, diplomats and public figures of all the time are born. However, I do consider that among the greatest people craftsmen are distinguished who are united with many inter-related feelings with people. At the same time, art is the world where it is still possible to find people and exchange pleasant emotions.
I happened to find myself in such a pleasant world, the so-called Mecca of art in the Netherlands and became the co-participant of the personal exhibition at the gallery “Art of Stream” in Rotterdam. The author was a Dutch painter of Chechenian origin Islam Bashirov.
A true environment of art was created in the area where the colleagues and friends of the artist arrived from Paris, Brussels, London and Amsterdam to assess his art created in several months.
Mr. Bashirov is a special case for this sphere of art since he is still a doctor by profession. At the beginning, together with developing a medical career, art was a certain type of hobby for him by means of which he got closer to the border of real mythological colors. Later on, similar to numerous people of other profession, he emancipated himself and got born in a new space.
He dipcted the brush as his personal soldiers whose main responsibility is to assist the master - with oil, tempera, watercolor or gouache paints, distribute on the painting the gamma of colors found on the planet, the one which has not been noticed so fat by anyone apart from him. All this had a significant impact on getting him shaped as the free creator and contributed to the creation of his pseudonym as a painter Islam Abd An-Nur-kant, which replaced the surname on the actual painting.
The fact that Islam Abd An-Nur-kant belongs to the contemporary followers of avant-garde art of the 21st century who make bold steps in abstractionism and het born with new volcanic ideas for the development of this direction of art every coming day.
Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso cubic school influence can be observed minimanistically in his art. However, despite this, his paintings to a great extent resemble performance of colors and rebellious feelings of his soul characteristic to the abstractionist. At the same time, his paintings are the poetry of thoughts which takes us to the spiritual harmony through abstract paths.
In terms of content, some paintings even resemble the surrealistic life, in which the distracted character of the painter like mist is shown as well as the ocean-type of depth. He belongs to the invisible inhabitant of the universe who is free from the iconographic world and by means of realized or unrealized memory paints eternal life wrapped in the air of the Earth together with all the fragrances of continuing this life. This makes the visitor feel the aesthetic emotion to a full extent and gives him/her the feeling of travelling in the mystical world together with the painter.
Obviously, the works of the painter is available for all the strata of society. However, at the first stage it is possible for the visitor to understand his/her work and compare the colors scattered on the canvass with the revolutionary chaos. However, let me define that to understand the scientific work of Zigmund Freud, it is necessary to have the face to face dialogue with him. Therefore, what this implies is that if the person, with sub-conscious emotional feelings looks through the works of the painter several times, s/he will unexpectedly discover how the unlimited world of the creator gets awaken on the canvass together with the philosophy of cosmic colors dispersed in this world. After this, the visitor gets the desire to liberate him/herself from being liberated from being bound to everyday problems.
After the end of the personal exhibition of Islam Bashirov, my emotions towards his paintings appeared to be extremely impressive. I immediately got the feeling that he, as the infinite experimentalist painter achieved special creative maturity. He is a true discovery of avant-garde art and it is difficult to convey his narrative of words.
I am sure, the world will soon see ascending of the creator known under the name of Islam Abd An-Nur-kant to the highest peak of abstractionism.
Additionally, the desire to buy work of Islam Bashirov is increasing day-by-day and one of the first buyers were his colleague doctors and rich patrons.
The exhibition was wonderful and I am still under pleasant impressions which will follow me in the long run.
By: Ilia Zukakishvili
The Chinese language will be to be introduced as an elective subject in Georgian schools from 2019-2020.
Georgia’s Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport says the Chinese language will be the second foreign language in schools that are interested.
The ministry added that the Chinese language will be taught as a second foreign language from the 5th grade.
"The Chinese language program has already been developed. As you know, the English language is the first foreign language in our schools, while the Chinese language can be chosen by schools as the second foreign language together with other European languages ," the Ministry reports.
Several days ago Mikheil Batiashvili, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia and Ambassador of the People's Republic of China Ji Yanchi signed a Memorandum of Understanding aiming at promoting the Chinese language in Georgia.
The memorandum is based on an agreement signed between Georgia and China in the field of education, which envisages boosting relationship and cooperation between the two countries in all directions of education. It also envisages the development of relations between the educational institutions, exchange of academic staff and creating student exchange programs.
According to Batiashvili, China is one of the main partner and friend countries of Georgia and cooperation in education and science fields is crucial.
The minister noted that learning the Chinese language will give the youth new opportunities to implement business projects with Chinese partners.
Biopic (biographical movie) about Lesya Ukrainka will be directed by Georgian movie director and scriptwriter - Nana Janelidze. Also, casting will be held shortly and the project team will start filming a teaser.
Cinematic portfolio of Nana Janelidze includes 5 feature-length works directed by her and 6 works in which she is the author of the script. In particular, she wrote the script of Repentance (მონანიება) (directed by Tengiz Abuladze, 1987). The movie received the Grand Prix of the Cannes Film Festival and was also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.The movie about Lesya Ukrainka will be the first filmstrip of Nana Janelidze made in Ukraine.
“Lesya Ukrainka – it is a dusty portrait on a school wall, this is a live, passionate, jealous and dedicated woman who is fighting a deadly disease. She spent greedily and “felt” each moment, given to her by her fate, in order to depict in her work the heavy burden of her big talent. As soon as I heard about the project, I instantly felt that I wanted to work on it because this is really inspiring” – Nana Janelidze says.
The movie with the working title “Lesya Ukrainka. Forest Edge (Uzlisia)” is the story of a great poetess from her early years until her last days of life. The two realities – daily life and Lesya’s inner world are closely intertwined and depict all key turns of her fate. Alexander Lavrenchuk is working on the script of the biopic. Experts of the life and work of Lesya Ukrainka are actively involved in the process of work on the picture by the team. Julia Sinkevych (JS Films, General Producer of Odessa International Film Festival) is the creative producer and author of the idea, and Maria Moskalenko (FX FILM Georgia) is a co-producer of the movie.
"To us, the story of Lesya Ukrainka is very personal. We wanted it to be filmed by a woman. We discussed directors from Ukraine and from Georgia – because Lesya Ukrainka’s life is closely linked to these countries. We needed a director with a new and unbiased view and all these characteristics are wonderfully combined in Nana Janelidze. The script inspired her from the first lines – and now we are actively working on it and will soon start filming a teaser” – say the producers: Julia Sinkevych and Maria Mosalenko.
On September 12, a grant agreement on the support of the project was signed between the company JS Film and Ukrainian Cultural Foundation. The project “Lesya Ukrainka, Forest Edge (Uzlisia)” won the competition of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation and took the first place among international cooperation projects in the category of audiovisual art and the 3rd place among all international projects.
Notably, the biopic script was selected for participation in the program ScripTeast.
Ukrainian Cultural Foundation is a state organization established in 2017 in accordance with Ukrainian law. It is aimed at promoting development of national culture and art in the country, ensuring favorable conditions for intellectual and spiritual development of the society, wide accessibility of national cultural heritage for the citizens, promoting cultural diversity and integration of Ukrainian culture in the world cultural space. In accordance with the effective legislation, Ukrainian Ministry of Culture carries out management and coordination of the foundation activity.
Integration of ethnic Azeris starts with language: challenges in economic integration, access to public services, media and political participation
The Constitution of Georgia stipulates that the state language of Georgia is Georgian. The status of the official language creates grounds for, on the one hand, the social isolation and exclusion from economic and political spheres of people who do not speak Georgian and, on the other hand, the banning on the use of a minority language in administrative domains.
79 year old Nargila Hamidova, a resident of Sadakhlo village of Marneuli district says that the linguistic barrier has made them feel isolated from Tbilisi and they have little interaction with the majority Georgian populations: “Our social and economic links are overwhelmingly to Azerbaijan. Trade is done in Azeri or Russian, rarely in Georgian. We feel alienated and isolated from the rest of the country that we reside in. Although we are the citizens of Georgia and said to have equal rights as citizens, the lack of the knowledge of the state language has formed us into secondary citizens, in fact”.
In Kvemo Kartli, Azeri is predominantly spoken. Even though the region is close to Tbilisi, ethnic Azeris maintain less economic and social ties with Georgia than they do with their kin state. Linguistic isolation makes these ties ever closer.
According to head of Borchali Public Union Zalimkhan Mammadli, if this situation continues, minorities risk soon being unable to communicate with the rest of the population and suffering harder economic and social marginalization. “The state should implement programs to maintain dialogue between ethnic Azeris and majority Georgians and further promote flexible Georgian language trainings in the regions densely populated by minorities to encourage their social and economic mobility, which will subsequently contribute to balanced socio-economic development throughout the country.”
The language of administrative proceedings shall be Georgian, in accordance with the applicable Law of General Administrative Code of Georgia. As all communication and correspondence are conducted in Georgian, ethnic Azeris who do not speak Georgian struggle to access public services. 24 year old Tajir Jalilov, a native of Iormughanlo village of Sagarejo district says: “Azeri language may be spoken when accessing public services in our village. However, no multilingual public services are officially provided. Because all official documentation and correspondence have to be submitted in Georgian, there is no guarantee that we can access those services in or mother tongue”.
As reported by the Community Center of Iormughanlo village, Azeri minorities need to acquire official documents, submit official complaints only in Georgian. Applications submitted in languages other than Georgian are not reviewed. An official of the community center said that if non-Georgian speaking citizens want their concerns represented at the community or higher level, they have to use translation services at their own expense. Legislation is only published in Georgian and not available in minority languages, added the official of the community center.
Ethnic Azeris of Georgia also face difficulties accessing information in the Georgian media because of the language barrier, the phenomenon which can only accentuate the isolation and alienation felt by these communities in the Georgian society. According to Musa Musayev, a 62 year old native of Sadakhlo village of Marneuli district, on account of the information vacuum, even sometimes they are becoming vulnerable group for hostile propaganda: “As little information from the Georgian media is available in languages understood by us, we often rely on foreign news sources for information, such as Azerbaijani or Turkish media. As a result of the information vacuum, the information is late to reach, sometimes even in a marred form. Some foreign, including Russian channels also accessible through satellite, but the programmes they broadcast are highly politicized and biased against Georgia.
The media is referred as the forth branch of a government and people may very well be affected by hostile media. Therefore, according to head of Borchali Public Union Zalimkhan Mammadli, the people need to be better and duly informed about the life of the state if they are to be expected to integrate into mainstream Georgian culture. Zalimkhan Mammadli says that considering the low level of knowledge of the state language and significant number of ethnic Azeri population living in Georgia, at least it is advisable to broadcast special media coverage with simple texts in easy Georgian read at a slower speed, along with ensuring media pluralism: “This would not only ensure to keep abreast of the ongoing developments, but also benefit the learning of the state language and encourage the non-Georgian population to practice understanding and speaking basic Georgian”
Regarding this issue, Alibala Asgarov, who heads the NGO Geyrat, mentions that it is important to encourage the production of programs with translated subtitles and dubbing in the minority languages.
Ethnic Azeris political participation and representation – a key to more effective integration – is disturbingly low. In the 150-member Georgian Parliament there are only 4 Azeri representatives. Very few government officials at higher levels are of Azeri origin. This reflects the general situation in Georgia, where all decision-making positions are held by ethnic Georgians. The predominantly Azeri populated Kvemo-Kartli region has never had an ethnic Azeri governor. Only the deputy governor is ethnic Azeri. Azeris are also significantly underrepresented in local government. In Marneuli the mayor, in Gardabanai, Dmanisi, Bolnisi the deputy mayor are Azeris. This is mainly due to the fact that the government relies on only ethnic Georgians run local affairs and partly because of the insufficient knowledge of Georgian by ethnic Azeris. According to the Report on the Situation of the Protection of the Human Rights and Freedoms in Georgia in 2017 released by the Public Defender of Georgia, ethnic Azeris tend to be better represented only in local councils at town and village level in the regions they densely populate.
Member of the Georgian parliament Azer Suleimanovi stresses that active involvement of ethnic Azeris in the political life of the country largely depends on the government’s efforts to encourage them to start working in the public service. According to Azer Suleimanovi inability to speak the state language was ethnic Azeris’ biggest problem in the 1990s and there are currently significant number of highly-educated ethnic Azerbaijanis with fluent Georgian, who are even well-suited to hold senior posts at the government and politics. “Lack of Georgian among the newer generation of ethnic Azeris is no more than an illusion intentionally contrived to put artificial barriers to ethnic Azeris. It is because of the current state program and the government policy that the ethnic Azeris are subjected to failure to hold civil service posts and excluded from political participation. We have always raised this issue before all levels of government, but not any action is taken.”
As reported by the Public Relations and Communications Department of the Administration of the President of Georgia, the government of Georgia has always emphasized high importance of ethnic minorities to Georgia’s political and social development: “Various projects, “Learn Georgian” that has been held for almost three years being one of them, are being implemented within the framework of Presidential Reserve Fund to support the integration of ethnic minorities, including ethnic Azerbaijanis, and encourage their participation in political and social life of Georgia.”
The opinion of interviewees and experts make it clear that ethnic Azerbaijanis of Georgia should have the right to an identity, and the right to participate in the social, economic and political life of Georgia. This implies, first of all, the need to promote the official language of Georgia. At the same time, the right of ethnic Azeris to use and develop their native language should not be undermined as it should be recognized as part of the linguistic and cultural heritage of Georgia. It is also undeniable proof that strong integration of ethnic minorities into the whole society of a country would prevent a possible outbreak of any interethnic tension and conflict.
This article was prepared within the framework of the project implemented by the Human Rights House Tbilisi and cofunded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and National Endowment for Democracy. The article does not express opinions of Human Rights House Tbilisi or the donors. The views expressed herein are those of the author only.
By Ramil Huseynov
Integration of ethnic Azeris starts with language: challenges in quality education and employability
In Soviet times, the great majority of the population of Georgia spoke Russian, which served as the language of inter-ethnic communication. 66 year old Bayram Abbasov, an intellectual from Telaveri village of Bolnisi district describes that since Russian was the common language, they had little or no knowledge of Georgian. “We did not feel disenfranchised if we did not know Georgian. Education at our school was provided only in Russian. Our teachers did not speak Georgian. As a result, we did not receive adequate Georgian language educational opportunities. After Georgia gained independence, Georgian became the only official language and Russian, the lingua franca from the Soviet times, is no longer accepted for communication. The decline of Russian as the language of communication and poor command of the Georgian language has been a severe obstacle to quality education, employability and thereby our integration into the Georgian society.”
A number of development challenges caused by the lack of knowledge of Georgian are pervasive in the today’s Georgian society. This is especially true for the Azeri communities living compactly in areas bordering their kin-states, with which they have closer ties than with the rest of Georgia, largely because of the so-called ‘language barrier’. In order to tackle the problem, the state first of all has to create appropriate conditions for learning Georgian because integration starts with language.
Ethnic Azeri minorities are marginalized through their lack of access to quality education, particularly with regard to the teaching of the Georgian language.
Preschool education is a level at which ethnic Azeri children in Kvemo Kartli is to start to acquire basic knowledge of Georgian. But the children in this region suffer from the lack of kindergartens, although the number of parents wishing to bring their children to Georgian kindergarten has increased significantly for the recent years. On account of the lack of kindergartens, children cannot master the Georgian language. Subsequently, primary education becomes much more difficult for them.
27 year old father of two little children Samir Bayramov who lives in Imiri village of Marneuli district says that because there is no kindergarten in Imiri village his children cannot acquire elementary skills in Georgian. Children who do not go to kindergarten, fall behind those going to one. “Some families sent their kids to the kindergartens in adjacent Tsereteli village and these kids already know Georgian. But we cannot afford it. If we had our own kindergarten in our village then all our kids would go. Because children are better prepared for schools in kindergartens where they start to learn Georgian”.
Photo 1. Samir Bayramov’s children are among the thousands left without a kindergarten
According to head of the preschool center of Marneuli district Zaur Karamov, the lack of kindergartens is not a problem only in Marnueli district, but it is a common problem in Kvemo Kartli region. “There are 12 kindergartens in the whole Marneuli district, meeting only about one-third of the demand. New kindergartens are built when the budget allocated is sufficient. Every year at least a new kindergarten is built and 2 more kindergartens are to be commissioned soon”, he notes. Zaur Karamov added that school readiness groups are functioning under the schools. The aim of the program is to develop Georgian language, cognitive and communication skills of 5-6 year-old children before entering school.
Another major issue is the lack of adequate teaching of the Georgian language in minority schools. According to the Law of Georgia on General Education, teaching of the Georgian language is mandatory in general education institutions providing education in minority languages. But the quality of the teaching of the Georgian language is not promising.
Georgian history teacher of Sadakhlo village school number 2 of Marneuli district Khayala Sharifova says that this is mainly due to the ineffective bilingual textbooks. “Only 70% of the material in textbooks is translated into the Azerbaijani language, while the remaining 30% is left in the state language. In many cases, the translation is so erroneous that it can hardly be understood by the teachers, pupils and parents. Subject teachers who do not speak the state language sometimes leave out and do not explain the content of the 30% of the textbooks left in the state language or have to seek assistance from Azeri speaking Georgian teachers for translation.”
Photo 2. Ethnic Azeri school children still have to use erroneous and poor quality textbooks.
Appointment to minority schools of Georgian teachers who are not proficient in minority languages is also a main obstacle to quality education. In these schools, Georgian is not used as the language of instruction and many of the students do not speak it.
According to 17 year old Eltun Karimov studying in the 11th grade of Didi Muganlo village school of Marneuli district, on account of the lack of bilingual teachers they cannot learn Georgian at school. “Our Georgian teacher does not speak any Azeri and we do not speak any Georgian. How can we communicate? This is an issue for us”, says Eltun Karimov.
Georgian language teacher of Sadakhlo village school number 2 of Marneuli district Lala Jalilova agrees that the state language should be taught by qualified bilingual teachers who are capable of delivering lessons in the state language and making meaningful comparisons in the native language, when necessary. It is also stipulated in Article 13 of the Hague Recommendations Regarding the Education Rights of National Minorities that the state language should be taught as a subject on a regular basis, preferably by bilingual teachers who have a good understanding of the children's cultural and linguistic background.
The Report on the Situation of the Protection of the Human Rights and Freedoms in Georgia in 2017 released by the Public Defender of Georgia reaffirms that teaching the state language remains a serious challenge in the regions with compact settlements of ethnic minorities. In order to enhance the effectiveness of the teaching of the Georgian language and resolve the problem of integration caused by this language barrier, Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia have been implementing various civil integration programmes aiming at the integration of minorities into society through improving the teaching of Georgian. In the report the Public Defender reiterated the inefficiency of existing bilingualtextbooks. As reported by the Ministry of Education and Science, an intensive work is underway for the creating of new bilingual textbooks.
Georgian remains the only language of higher education, as predicated by the applicable Law of Georgia on Higher Education. Access to higher education in Georgia is therefore impossible in practice for ethnic Azeri young adults who cannot master Georgian. They have to turn to their kin-states or Russia if they wish to pursue their studies.
23 year old Mirza Ismayilov who is a graduate of Azerbaijan Technical University and native of the Vake village of Dmanisi district notes that Georgian language was taught in their school, but not to the extent that fluency was achieved. “Those seeking to go to university preferred to go to Baku to study in Azeri rather than to Tbilisi”, mentioned Mirza Ismayilov.
Bringing minority students into Georgian universities is very important for their integration. As stated by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, the quota system for national minority students, which was put into practice by the government since 2010, resulted in substantial increase of the number of ethnic minority students enrolled in higher educational institutions of Georgia. A research report on “The effectiveness of one year Georgian language program for ethnic minorities at higher education institutions” released by Center for Civil Integration and Inter-Ethnic Relations also revealed that the number of Azeri speaking enrolled students tripled (the number of enrolled students was 194 in 2010 and 556 in 2015).
Knowing Georgian is mandatory for employability in Georgia. Therefore unemployment related to the lack of Georgian language skills remains a big problem for Azeri minorities. 79 year old Nargila Hamidova, a resident of Sadakhlo village of Marneuli district says that she has 3 children, all of whom are out of work. “All my daughters are university graduates. Even one of them has 2 diplomas. They cannot find jobs in Georgia, due to inability to speak Georgian”
The language issue is also a serious setback for the participation and representation of minorities in the state apparatus. The applicable Law of Georgia on Public Service stipulates that public servants are obliged to speak fluent Georgian as it is a basic requirement for holding a post in public service. As reported by Alibala Asgarov, who heads the NGO Geyrat, all powerful and decision making positions are occupied by ethnic Georgians. Alibala Asgarov adds that even Azeris with excellent Georgian have little chance of jobs in policy-making and administrative bodies.
According to the applicable Law of Georgia on Official Language, the State shall provide persons employed in the public service with opportunities to study the official language. In 2017 Report on the Situation of the Protection of the Human Rights and Freedoms in Georgia, the Public Defender of Georgia highlights that public servants with insufficient knowledge of Georgian are provided with the opportunity to study the Georgian language. But according to Alibala Asgarov, there have been reported cases of some Azeri minorities being fired from their posts on account of the insufficient level of the Georgian language, without giving them an opportunity to develop their Georgian language proficiency.
Photo 3. Alibala Asgarov, the head of NGO Geyrat
Alibala Asgarov also mentions that the government of Georgia has never had an elaborate State Program to teach Georgian to and increase employability among ethnic minorities. Instead Georgian has been dictated to minorities as a demand. It is high time to act rather than demand something, concludes Alibala Asgarov.
This article was prepared within the framework of the project implemented by the Human Rights House Tbilisi and cofunded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and National Endowment for Democracy.
By Ramil Huseynov
Source link of the article http://dfwatch.net/integration-ethnic-azeris-starts-language-challenges-quality-education-employment-50003
Today, as never before we feel the importance of motherland, language and faith and we all can sense this unity, - Prime Minister of Georgia noted after the event commemorating Ilia Chavchavadze in Saguramo.
According to the Prime Minister, the day when Ilia Chavchavadze was murdered is the day when Saint Ilia Martali. "On this day they tried to murder Ilia Chvchavadze and to murder Georgia, but they failed miserably, because Ilia managed to convey all his messages to the Georgian nation," - Prime Minister noted and indicated that this day shall be celebrated in Georgia to make sure that everyone knows who Ilia Chavchavadze was and what he preached.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, his preaching is relevant today as never before. I congratulate you on the birthday of the Saint Ilia Martali. This is a big day and I am glad that it is celebrated here," - Prime Minister noted.
According to him, Ilia also elaborated on the benefits of education and it is a welcoming fact that the construction of grand project - campus university has commenced.
"This is unique educational and scientific facility in the region - technological institute that will accommodate 60 000 students and that will become the hub of future education. I am glad and would like to congratulate all Georgians on this day. We are very glad today and we would like to share this mood with you all," - Prime Minister noted.