With the participation of the Georgian-Abkhaz historian Gia Anchabadze in the Biographical Salon on April 4, a dream came true for the team of the project "Through history dialogue to future cooperation". The Professor, teaching in Tbilisis and Sukhum/i universities, whose family stems from Suchkukm/i and who was born in Tbilisi, where he lives also today, is well known on both sides and internationally renowned as expert in Abkhaz history.
Before the beginning of the war, he was active in the moderate Georgian national movement and was in close relations with the Abkhaz Intelligencija and national movement Aydgylara. In the salon he participated as eyewitness and expert.
The audience was so big that folding chairs had to be used, to accommodate all interested listeners. They engaged vividly with questions and remarks, so that the event took twice as long as planned.
Anchabadze reported, that, as a child, he identified as Georgian and Abkhaz at the same time. He underlined, that his Abkhaz background was very well received in his Tbilisi environment.
In the beginning of the 1990ies, he strove for mutual settlement of interests as a member of the Abkhazia Commission and promoted understanding for Abkhaz interests. As one cause of the conflict he described a growing estrangement and lack of interest between the Georgian and Abkhaz parts of society in Abkhazia in the late Soviet years.
In a short interview after the event, Anchabadze underlined the significance of working with War Memories: "Such events are very useful, because they preserve information, that is not usually conveyed in the media and books. Peoples histories are a very interesting source, that will be used by historians in the future. (...) Therefore, I actively support this work." Asked about his wishes for the future, Anchabadze underlines: "The most important thing is mutual respect. What we have gone through, that there was no more interest, in what the others think and suffer from, this must not be repeated. If there is quarrel, One always needs to put oneself into the partner's position, ask oneself, how does the other perceive this? Then it becomes easier to find common ground. I am in favor of compromise."
The event will be broadcast on Abkhaz television in May.
The project "Though history dialogue to future cooperation" is financed by the German foreign office.
The full text of the short interview can be found here.