Please join the Georgian Association in the USA as we celebrate the Association’s 90th anniversary. On October 2, 2022 – at the 2pm closing matinee showing of Synetic Theater’s acclaimed “Host and Guest”, we will experience an ancient Georgian story of a family who takes in a lost stranger as a guest only to discover he is from an enemy clan, and their valiant efforts to protect him when their village seeks vengeance. The performance will be followed by a panel discussion featuring director Paata Tsikurishvili and former president of the Georgian Association, Dr. Nino Japaridze, to discuss the cultural significance of Vazha-Pshavela’s “Host and Guest” and the parallels between the piece and Russia’s ongoing aggression against its neighbors. The themes covered in this play continue to reverberate in Georgia’s political narrative and everyday life to this very day.
Tickets for the show can be purchased here. You can use a special 35% discount code using GA90 for any date. Panel discussion attendance at 3:30pm on Sunday is free and separate from attendance of the show, but registration is required and donations are welcome. All donations will be used to support the Georgian Association in the USA.
Trailer for the show can be viewed below
You can also read the review of the performance by Washington Post
The Georgian Association in the USA co-sponsored event jointly with the Davis Center’s Program on Georgian Studies at Harvard University, on the history of Georgian Cinema has been cancelled. The Association is working to schedule a separate lecture by Levan Lomjaria at a later date and will provide the updated information as soon as it is scheduled.
In November 1896, just months after appearing in Paris, cinema arrived in Georgia. It became very popular – especially in the independence period (1918-1921), with several Georgian filmmakers producing Georgian movies. After the Soviet takeover in 1921, cinema became a chief method of propaganda. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Georgian cinema sector faced 10-12 years of stagnation during which only a few films were made. In recent years, Georgian cinema has been witnessing an astonishing period of revival. A new generation of filmmakers has emerged who have managed to find a new and strong language of cinema in order to speak with international audiences about contemporary issues of Georgian society. Levan Lomjaria will explore these and other aspects of the history of Georgian cinema in his lecture.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary in fall of 2022, the Georgian Association in the USA is an organization committed to the preservation of Georgian culture among members of the Georgian Diaspora in the United States. The Association has been actively supporting music, film and theater events such as the screening of Nana Ekvtimishvili’s film In Bloom and Zaza Urushadze’s film Tangerines in the US.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is spurring the US and NATO members to revisit security in the Black Sea region. This online event took place on Thursday, September 15, 2022 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EDT.
The panel aimed at examining the new bipartisan Black Sea Security Act (S.4509) and the United States’ new policy toward the six countries of the region (Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey) that hold the keys to the collective security of the US and NATO members.
Mr. Ian Brzezinski – Senior Fellow Atlantic Council
Ambassador Kurt Volker – Former US Ambassador to NATO
Michael Hikari Cecire – Senior Policy Analyst – U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Michael Sawkiw – Director, Ukrainian National Information Service
As part of our mission to promote Georgian culture, we were pleased to launch the “Virtual Georgian Literature Reading Series.” The goal of the series is to create an informal and interactive forum for those with an interest in Georgian history and culture to read and discuss important Georgian books, both classic and contemporary.
Guram Dochanashvili’s The First Garment (სამოსელი პირველი)
We are delighted to announce that the next edition of the “Georgian Literature Reading Series” will discuss Guram Dochanashvili’s novel The First Garment (სამოსელი პირველი). For this edition of our series, the meetings will be conducted in Georgian – though you don’t need to be a native speaker to join us. There will be a total of 4 meetings virtually via Zoom on Saturdays from 10:00am to 11:15am ET on the following dates: July 16, July 30, August 13, and August 27. You can sign up here.
Meetings will be discussion-based and facilitated by Georgian theater and film director, professor Manana Anasashvili, who is currently teaching this novel at Ilia State University. As before, our goal will be to create an informal/interactive forum that allows the participants to share their thoughts about the book. To help make the digital environment as interactive as it can be, participants will be asked to enable their device’s video functionality and have it on during the meetings. The book can be accessed in Georgian on Saba book app as an e-book — Georgian Association might also be able to assist in accessing a PDF version of the book for those who sign up.
The deadline to sign up is June 16. You can sign up by clicking here.
— About the Book —
The novel follows a young, inexperienced, adventure-seeking man named Domenico who is deeply affected by the appearance and stories of a mysterious refugee in his village, and thus decides to take his inheritance and leave the village to go on adventuring. In this novel, traditional motifs of good, evil, love, morality, and the like are illuminated in a new light and unfold as a dramatic narrative against a background of an odd merging of humor and aesthetics.
The second edition of the series discussed Mikheil Javakhishvili’s classic novel Kvachi Kvachantiradze. Members of the Association’s Board of Directors, Stephen Jones and Valerian Sikhuashvili, led the sessions.
— About the Book —
An epic landmark of Georgian literature, Javakhishvili’s novel was published in 1925, 12 years before its author’s murder in the Stalinist Purges; but given its treatment of the Russian elite, it’s a grim marvel he was able to escape the authorities so long. Kvachi Kvachantiradze is a born conman, a wily and indefatigable survivor—as much a distillation of the Georgian character as a great anti-hero in his own right. Beginning as a charismatic youth on the outskirts of Tbilisi, Kvachi demonstrates a taste for money and a talent for obtaining it, posing as a noble after traveling to Russia to seek his fortune.
— Additional/background Reading —
– Charles King. The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus.
– Stephen Jones. The Making of Modern Georgia, 1918-2012: The First Georgian Republic and Its Successors.
– Stephen Kotkin. Stalin, Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928.
Nino Haratischvili’s The Eighth Life.
The first edition of the series discussed Nino Haratischvili’s internationally acclaimed novel The Eighth Life. Members of the Association’s Board of Directors, Stephen Jones and Valerian Sikhuashvili, led the sessions. The association will provide complimentary copies of the book to those who are currently undergraduate students.
— About the Book —
At the start of the twentieth century, on the edge of the Russian empire, a family prospers. It owes its success to a delicious chocolate recipe, passed down the generations with great solemnity and caution. A caution which is justified: this is a recipe for ecstasy that carries a very bitter aftertaste… Stasia learns it from her Georgian father and takes it north, following her new husband, Simon, to his posting at the center of the Russian Revolution in St Petersburg. Stasia’s is only the first in a symphony of grand but all too often doomed romances that swirl from sweet to sour in this epic tale of the red century. Tumbling down the years, and across vast expanses of longing and loss, generation after generation of this compelling family hears echoes and sees reflections.
Georgian Association in the USA is pleased to invite you to a panel discussion on current challenges and opportunities for strengthening the rule of law in Georgia. This webinar will feature experts from Georgia and the US who have been working to strengthen various aspects of the rule of law. The World Justice Project defines the rule of law as a durable system of laws, institutions, norms, and community commitment that delivers: Accountability, Just Law, Open Government, and Accessible and Impartial Justice. These principles have been ideals that Georgia has been striving towards since the country reclaimed its independence in 1991.
Georgian people have on multiple occasions expressed their commitment to a democratic, western oriented future, which hinges on a strong rule of law. While important strides have been made in the areas of curbing corruption, strengthening transparency, and improving the legislative framework, strengthening the rule of law requires a sustained effort, especially at a time of rising trends in authoritarianism around the globe.
The panel will feature experts looking back at the thirty years of successes and challenges, and looking into the future and discussing ways that Georgia and the United States can work together to support the Georgian people on this arduous and virtuous journey.
David Usupashvili – Former Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, former chairman of the Republican Party of Georgia, current chairman of the Political Council of Lelo for Georgia. Founding member of Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association
Suren Avanesyan – Democracy and Governance Division Chief, former Senior Rule of Law Advisor, USAID
Giorgi Chkheidze – Chief of Party, USAID Promoting Rule of Law in Georgia Activity (PROLoG), East West Management Institute
David Rubino – Director, Europe and Eurasia Division, American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative
Time Jul 13, 2021 11:30 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Is the Georgian government prepared to hold free and fair elections at a time of the pandemic? What’s at stake for the Caucasus Region?
On behalf of the Georgian Association in the US we delighted to invite you for a virtual discussion on “Georgian Parliamentary Elections 2020.” The panel will examine and assess how prepared the Georgian government is to successfully hold the elections at a time of the pandemic. The speakers will highlight the role of the United States in supporting Georgia’s efforts to hold free and fair elections and to combat disinformation efforts on the part of the Russian government and other actors. The panelists will also address the importance of the election from the regional perspective.
Ambassador David Bakradze, Embassy of Georgia to the United States
Alex Sokolowski, The United States Agency for International Development
Cheryl Fernandes, U.S. Department of State
Melissa Muscio, National Democratic Institute
Nino Japaridze, Edison Research
Stephen B. Nix, International Republican Institute
Ia Meurmishvili, Voice of America
Date And Time
Fri, October 16, 2020
10:00 AM ET
PLEASE REGISTER DIRECTLY ON ZOOM:
In partnership with the Georgian Embassy, the Association hosted Lyn Coffin, a widely published poet and translator, to discuss the poetry of Galaktion Tabidze and Nikoloz Baratashvili as well as her translation of ვეფხისტყაოსანი – The Knight In The Panther’s Skin.
In the US the book is available through Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08FBJPZV2/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0
In Georgia the book can be found at Prospero’s Bookshop https://prosperosbookshop.com/en/5702/detail_info/The%20Knight%20In%20The%20Panthe
August 23, 2020 marks the 31st anniversary of the Baltic Way when over two million people joined hands to form a human chain across 400 miles connecting Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn to protest Soviet rule.
To mark this anniversary, Lithuanians are forming a new human chain from Vilnius to the border with Belarus to show support for Belarus’s struggle against Lukashenka’s dictatorship. The dictator has claimed 80% of the vote in the elections that took place on August 9. The people of Belarus have been peacefully protesting ever since despite the brutal crackdown by the riot police. At least 5 people have died so far, dozens are still missing, several are expected to remain severely physically disabled for life, and hundreds more will endure PTSD.
Since Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia have embassies in Washington, DC, and the diaspora populations of all four countries are large, we have decided to replicate the human chain on a smaller scale and connect the four embassies.
People are asked to start at the Embassy of Lithuania, 2622 16th Street NW in DC by noon and take a spot in the human chain down 16th Street NW toward the Embassy of Belarus at 1619 New Hampshire Ave NW, and then possibly on to the embassies of Estonia and Latvia on Massachusetts Ave NW.
We are inviting anyone who cares about free and fair elections, freedom of speech, and separation of powers to join us.
MASKS ARE MANDATORY FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS. GLOVES STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. SOCIAL DISTANCING WILL BE ENFORCED TO COMPLY WITH MPD REGULATIONS.
PLEASE BRING SASHES, LINENS, RIBBONS TO ASSIST WITH DISTANCING.
SIGNS and POSTERS CAN SAY:
BALTIC WAY – 1989 – LITHUANIA – LATVIA – ESTONIA
FREEDOM WAY – 2020 – VILNIUS – BELARUS
Please dress or bring ribbons and/or balloons in these colors:
Belarus – white and red (more white)
Estonia – blue, black, and white
Latvia – red and white (more red)
Lithuania – yellow, green, and red
If you are coming to represent another diaspora, feel free to display your colors, too.
On April 23, 2019, Georgian Association partner StartupGrind Tbilisi hosted an event at Tbilisi State Conservatoire which featured successful Georgian entrepreneur Valeri Chekheria, CEO of the Adjara Group Hospitality. The event attracted 500 attendees in Tbilisi and another 60 “virtually” through live stream in Zugdidi. Mr. Chekheria discussed the growing international recognition of Georgian brands. Many in attendance were Georgian startups as well as Georgian tourism and hospitality community representatives.
Startup Grind Tbilisi is dedicated to growing and fostering the startup community in Georgia. Networking is key to their efforts so the first hour of the event provided time for networking among startups, businesses, investors and ecosystem representatives. The networking session was followed by remarks by high level speakers from the US Embassy, Tbilisi City Hall, Georgian National Tourism Administration and private sector representatives. The key note speaker, Mr. Chehkia, is an author and manager of the successful Georgian hotel brand “Rooms” which has become a landmark in Tbilisi and elsewhere, with outstanding hotel interior design concepts. The key takeaways of his talk were what social responsibilities a business can bear for local community development, how big companies can avoid competing with local SMEs and instead stimulate their growth, and finally what should the management culture be that can lead to building a successful brand.
The next event is planned for May 25th in Tbilisi and will feature Lowell Ricklefs, an American businessman from Seattle, WA who launched his business Traction to help fellow entrepreneurs scale and sell their business. Mr. Ricklefs will conduct private advisory meetings with Georgian startups, and participate in a “fireside chat” with Startup Grind Tbilisi.
The Georgian Association is pleased to be able to partner with Startup Grind Tbilisi to help expand opportunities for the Georgian Startup community by linking them with possible mentors in the United States.
On March 5, the Georgian Association in the USA, along with Johns Hopkins SAIS Eurasia Club, hosted a discussion with Ambassador of Georgia to the United States David Bakradze and President of the America-Georgia Business Council Dr. Mamuka Tsereteli. The event took place in Kenney Herter Auditorium of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and focused on the security, political, and economic pillars of U.S.-Georgia partnership.
Ambassador Bakradze began his remarks by examining the persistent threat facing Georgia’s security and stability from the Russian Federation. He reminded the audience of Moscow’s aggression in 2008 and underlined the continued presence of Russian troops and military bases in the occupied regions. Shifting to Georgia’s future, the ambassador then spoke of the country’s Euroatlantic aspirations. Explaining that Georgians share conviction in the values and principles of democracy and human rights, he declared joining the transatlantic community to be the country’s “civilizational choice.” Thus, he continued, “every government serves this choice of Georgian people to become part of the European Union and NATO.” He also touched on Georgia’s bilateral security relationship with the United States, stressing the country’s contribution in the resolute support mission in Afghanistan.
Dr. Tsereteli continued the discussion by focusing on Georgia’s bilateral economic relationship with the United States, which he noted started to develop in early 1990s and evolved into a serious business and economic partnership. Though the level of political engagement is larger than business and economic ties, he explained that there are always quality U.S. investments in Georgia. This has set up high standards for future Foreign Direct Investments and over the years contributed in how businesses operate in the country. He noted that Georgia is consistently ranked among the top countries to do business in by the World Bank.
The opening remarks were followed by a Q&A segment moderated by Ms. Darina Markozashvili, who serves on the Board of Director of the Georgian Association. After the formal dialogue, the speakers and guests moved to the reception where the they continued the conversation over Georgian food and wine.
The full event can be viewed with the link bellow:
President of the Georgian Association in the USA, Elisso Kvitashvili was recently in Tbilisi where she had an opportunity to discuss possible collaborative projects with the Department for Relations with Diaspora in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In discussions with Aliona Chkhouta, Head of the Division for Relations with the Diaspora, and Giorigi Merabishvili, Head of the North American division, ideas were exchanged about furthering Diaspora Department support for existing or additional Georgian Sunday schools (kindergardens) in the US, and enlisting young Georgian-Americans as possible “Young Ambassadors” as part of a broad outreach effort by the Diaspora Department. As the Georgian Association plans further cultural events in the US later in 2018-2019, Chkhouta and Merabishvili confirmed interest in supporting our efforts perhaps through the sponsorship of young Georgian speakers and scholars. Now that the relationship has been established check our facebook page in particular for more announcements on additional collaboration.
The Georgian Association in collaboration with the Levan Mikeladze Foundation and the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) held a widely attended conference celebrating the Centennial of the Georgian Democratic Republic (1918-21) with the theme of Past, Present and Future of Georgia. The conference was held on May 9, 2018 at CSIS headquarters in Washington DC with opening remarks by Elisabeth Kvitashvili, President of the Georgian Association in the USA, Redjeb Jordania, son of the first president of the Georgian Democratic Republic, Tina Mikeladze, President, Levan Mikeladze Foundation, and Ambassador David Bakradze, Ambassador of Georgia to the United States. Three speaker’s panels included several distinguished guests, including former US ambassadors to Georgia and former Georgian Ambassadors to the US. Featured speakdrs included Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Bridget Brink, Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and Foreign Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister of Georgia, Tedo Japaridze. The conference was attended by representatives from government, academia, and the Georgian community who at the conference, heard about the many challenges faced by Georgia in the last 100 years, but also of the bright future ahead for the country.
Following the conference, a reception included performances by Georgian and American singers who provided a medley of folk songs and chants, as well as national anthems of the Georgian Democratic Republic and of the current independent state. Two special guests of the reception, Ms. Toby Davis from the Department of State and Ms. Danica Starks from the Department of Commerce were recognized for their long-term service and contribution to the strengthening of the US-Georgian strategic partnership and friendship. Two members of the Georgian Association Board of Directors, Dr. Mamuka Tsereteli, and Dr. Stephen Jones, who are stepping down from the board, were recognized for their many years of service.
Georgian Association in the USA
In collaboration with
Levan Mikeladze Foundation
Center for Strategic & International Studies
Invite You to a Special Anniversary Conference:
Centennial of the First Georgian Republic:
Past, Present and Future of Georgia
May 9, 2018
9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Center for Strategic & International Studies
1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
09:30 –10:00 Registration
10:00 – 10:30 Welcoming Remarks:
Elisabeth Kvitashvili, President, Georgian Association in the USA
Redjeb Jordania, Son of the First President of the Georgian Republic Noe Jordania
Tina Mikeladze, President, Levan Mikeladze Foundation
Ambassador David Bakradze, Ambassador of Georgia to the United States
10:30 – 10:40 Address by Bridget Brink, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
10:40 – 12:00 Panel 1 – First Republic: Connecting History to Modernity
Speakers: Stephen Jones, Professor, Mount Holyoke College
Beka Kobakhidze, Visiting Fellow at the Center for Russian and East European Studies, University of Oxford/Associated Professor at GIPA
Grigol Gegelia, Doctoral Candidate, European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Italy
Discussant: Laura Jewett, Regional Director for Eurasia Programs, NDI
Moderator: Jeffrey Mankoff, Deputy Director, Russia & Eurasia Program, CSIS
12:05 – 13:00 Lunch
Remarks and Introduction by Ambassador Tedo Japaridze, Foreign Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister of Georgia
Keynote Speaker: Hon. Richard Armitage, Former Deputy Secretary of State/Co-Chairman, Supervisory Board, Levan Mikeladze Foundation
13:00 – 14:30 Panel 2 – Georgia’s Evolution, 1991-2018: Internal and External Dynamics
Speakers: Ambassador Archil Gegeshidze, Executive Director, Levan Mikeladze Foundation
Svante Cornell, Director, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute
Luke Coffey, Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy, Heritage Foundation
Nino Japaridze, Vice President, Edison Research
Miriam Lanskoy, Senior Director for Russia and Eurasia, NED
Michael Carpenter, Senior Director, Biden Center
Moderator: Olga Oliker, Director, Russia & Eurasia Program, CSIS
14:30 – 14:45 Coffee Break
14:45 – 16:15 Panel 3 – Economic Security of Georgia: Domestic, Regional, Global Perspective
Speakers: Mercedes Vera-Martin, Mission Chief for Georgia, IMF
Anthony Kim, Editor, Economic Freedom Index, Heritage Foundation
Jonathan Elkind, Former Assistant Secretary of Energy
S Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute
Kenneth Angell, Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Anita Baracsi, JSC Bank of Georgia
Moderator: Mamuka Tsereteli, AGBC/CACI/Georgian Association
16:15 – 16:30 Coffee Break
16:30 – 18:00 Panel 4 – Western Strategies Towards Georgia: 1991-2018
Speakers: Ambassador Kent Brown, Former US Ambassador to Georgia
Ambassador William Courtney, Former US Ambassador to Georgia
Ambassador Kenneth Yalowitz, Former US Ambassador to Georgia
Ambassador Richard Miles, Former US Ambassador to Georgia
Ambassador John Tefft, Former US Ambassador to Georgia
Ambassador Alexandra Hall Hall, Former UK Ambassador to Georgia
Moderator: Hon. S. Enders Wimbush, Senior Partner, Stratevarious Inc.
6:00 Closing Remarks by Tsotne Dadiani, Board Member, Georgian
Association in the USA
6:05 – 8:00 Reception
The Georgian Association is organizing a peaceful rally in front of the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC to protest the occupation and creeping annexation of Georgian territories by the Russian Federation. We will also protest Russia’s annexation of Crimea, aggression in Eastern Ukraine and against other neighbors in Central and Eastern Europe.
Please join us from 12:30PM to 2:00PM on September 6, 2017. The Russian Embassy is located at 2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW. We will gather in the lot which is across the street from the embassy entrance gate.
Thank you. We look forward to seeing you there to help us protest Russia’s continued aggression towards its peaceful neighbors.
On June 12, 2017, the Georgian Association in the US hosted its traditional annual reception to celebrate Georgian independence and recognize friends of Georgia who contribute to the US-Georgian partnership and who help and support Georgia. This year the Georgian Association honored Mr. Kenneth Angell, Managing Director, Project Finance, Small and Medium Enterprise Department, Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Mr. Angell was awarded for his tireless effort for almost two decades to facilitate US investments, economic development and job creation in Georgia. He is a true friend of Georgia. Mr. Tsotne Dadiani, member of the Board of Directors of the Association, read a message from the President of the Georgian Association, Ms. Elisso Kvitashvili, announcing the recipient of the GA’s annual award. Mr. Mamuka Tsereteli, also a Board Member, introduced Mr. Angell to the audience and presented the award to him.
The Georgian Association also announced its continued support for the Academy of the Georgian Heritage, an important organization dedicated to the education of Georgian American children in the Georgian language and cultural heritage. The Georgian Association awarded the Academy with a grant of $4,000 to support the development of new educational programs at the Academy.
Traditionally, Guests enjoyed Georgian wines and food.
Georgians should be proud of the many contributions and tremendous sacrifices made in Afghanistan as part of the international war on terror. Georgian troops arrived in Afghanistan in 2004. Georgia became the largest non-NATO and the largest per capita troop contributor to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan by late 2012. At its peak deployment, Georgia provided two full infantry battalions serving with United States forces in Helmand province, primarily a United States Marine Corps (USMC) area. Since the beginning of their mission, more than 11,000 Georgian soldiers have served in Afghanistan. In June 2016, Georgia still had 861 troops, the largest non-NATO contributor to the Resolute Support Mission follow-on to ISAF, second only to the United States.
While the Georgian combat mission in Helmand ended in July 2014, Georgia pledged troops to the new NATO-led non-combat, training, advisory, and assistance mission called “Resolute Support” launched in January, 2015. At various times, Georgia has also deployed an infantry company serving with the French contingent in Kabul, medical personnel within the former Lithuanian Provincial Reconstruction Team and some individual staff officers.
Georgia’s commitment to supporting international forces has come at a price. Since 2010, 31 Georgian servicemen have died, all in the Helmand campaign, and over 400 wounded, including 35 amputees. Many of the amputees received medical treatment in the United States, mostly at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, MD. Some soldiers with severe burns and traumatic brain injuries were treated at other specialized military medical centers. The amputees included single, double, and triple loss of limbs. At WRNMMC, they received excellent care including state-of-the-art prosthetics and rehabilitation. Some of the wounded warriors had their families residing with them during their stay in Bethesda, and two of the amputee families gave birth to children who will have dual citizenship.
During their rehabilitation, some lasting several years, the soldiers were often visited by Georgians living in the Washington, D.C. area, as well as Americans who learned of their sacrifices. At the recommendation of the Georgian Embassy, the Wounded Warrior Mentor Program (WWMP) started an English as a Second Language program to help the wounded soldiers benefit from their time in the lengthy treatment and healing involved in amputations. The WWMP, with a dedicated group of volunteers and six Georgian wounded with their relatives who act as Non-Medical Assistants (NMA) and two Georgian medical personnel, met weekly at Bethesda to study English as a second language, and also to socialize, watch sports and share food; Georgian food of course.
One of the most severely wounded was LTC Alex Tugushi, a highly decorated battalion commander of the Georgian forces. LTC Tugushi, served two eight month tours in Iraq, and two in Afghanistan, the second cut short by his wounds from a roadside bomb. While recuperating at WRNMMC he was visited by many USMC officers and President Barack Obama. LTC Tugushi has since been promoted to full Colonel and lives in Georgia. By 2015, all the soldiers at WRNMMC had returned to Georgia to regain their lives with family and friends.
United States Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta visited the Georgian 31st Battalion in March 2012. “I wanted to come here and thank you for your sacrifices,” the secretary said. The secretary read a letter he said Tugushi had given him for the battalion. Dated March 12, the letter read, in part: “It has been an honor to serve with you. You are Georgian heroes. … The Armed Forces of Georgia, serving together with international forces in Afghanistan, are making a large contribution……” “It is a great honor to serve shoulder to shoulder with the United States in one of the most troubled regions of Afghanistan,” the letter continued.
“Unfortunately, I could not complete my service with you. But I am proud of all of you — those who have fallen and those who continue to serve. You are all heroes who will go down in Georgian history.”
When the secretary finished reading Tugushi’s letter, he said it expressed his own feelings about the accomplishments of Georgian troops over the past eight years as part of the 50-nation coalition.
“You are an example of that international partnership, fighting for stability in Afghanistan,” Panetta said.
Georgia, a small country that more than lived up to its commitment to the international community has yet to be accorded a Membership Action Plan which would pave the way for Georgia to become a member of NATO.
The Georgian Association participated in a meeting on June 21 of the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright who is advising presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on foreign policy. The CEEC reiterated its mission of coordinating mutual concerns of the member countries regarding United States policy toward Central and East Europe. Among the topics discussed were the concern about the future of Russian aggression especially in the Ukraine, and continued occupation of territory in Georgia. Sanctions imposed on Russia have not impacted Putin’s behavior in the region, and how the United States deals with the aggression will send a strong signal throughout Europe. Also discussed were Brexit should it occur, refugee migration, visa waivers, and the need to strengthen NATO. Secretary Albright welcomed the CEEC’s concerns and suggested a follow-up meeting in late summer.
Georgian Association Officials Lead Discussions on Georgia’s Security at Washington, D.C. Conference, co-hosted by Levan Mikeladze Foundation for the Caucasus Studies
On May 12, 2016, the Levan Mikeladze Foundation and the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of International Studies (SAIS) co-hosted a conference “Strategic Pillars of Security for Georgia:Trans-Atlantic Integration, Economy and Democracy”. Former President of the Georgian Association Mamuka Tsereteli and President of the Levan Mikeladze Foundation of the Caucasus Studies Tina Mikeladze opened the conference on behalf of the organizers. The conference brought together in two panels noted scholars, policy analysts, program implementors and representatives of the U.S. Department of State. The Georgian government was represented by the State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Mr. David Bakradze, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs David Dondua. The Georgian Embassy was represented by both Ambassador Archil Gegeshidze and Deputy Chief of Mission George Khelashvili. The Georgian representatives expressed concern about the “creeping annexation” of their country and their disappointment at the lack of movement towards a Membership Action Plan (MAP) for NATO. For their part, a number of American panelists, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Bridget Brink reiterated continued US support for Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.
There was much discussion, particularly during a second panel moderated by the GA President Elisso Kvitashvili, on Georgia’s ongoing need to implement internal reforms that some panelists believed would enhance Georgia’s overall security through greater legitimacy of the government. Several panelists decried the lack of job creation, poor social service delivery, and lack of innovation in the business sector as stumbling blocks to Georgia’s economic development. There was agreement that the West needed to devote more attention on Georgia especially in her role as a hub in the developing Silk Road Transport Corridor.
The conference was followed by a reception celebrating Georgia’s upcoming Independence Day. This year, 2016, Georgia celebrates its 25th anniversary of regaining of independence. This year’s special guest of the reception was the co-chair of the Georgia Caucus in the House of Representatives of the US Congress Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-Va) who, together with Congressman Ted Poe (R, Texas) is a co-sponsor of a draft congressional resolution supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity. Congressman Connolly received a special award from the President of the Association Elisso Kvitashvili.
The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive joins forces with The Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film to present the largest-ever retrospective of Georgian cinema in the United States. This passion project, undertaken by successive curatorial staffs at the two organizations over more than 20 years, brings together 45 programs in prints sourced from multiple archives throughout Europe, the U.S., and the republics of Georgia and Russia encompassing the history of Georgian film production from 1907 to 2014. The exhibition traces the development of Georgian cinema from classics of the silent era to great achievements of the early sound and Soviet era, through the flourishing 1980s and the post-Soviet period to today.
Throughout the turbulent history of the last century, Georgian cinema has been an important wellspring for national identity, a celebration of the spirit, resilience, and humor of the Georgian people. These filmmakers, working across a broad range of styles and thematic concerns, have created everything from anti-bureaucratic satires of the Soviet system, to philosophical studies rooted in a humanist tradition, to lyrical, poetic depictions of the region’s spectacular landscape.
Part I of the retrospective focuses on one of the particularities of the Georgian cinema: the remarkable lines of familial relationships that weave through and connect its cinematic production from the 1920s to the present, where we find several third-generation filmmakers active. Part II, Blue Mountains and Beyond, runs November 22 though December 21, 2014.
Film notes are adapted from research and writing by the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Film titles are listed with English translations first, followed by Georgian and, where applicable, Russian.
The celebration took place at St. Regis Washington D.C. and brought together many distinguished guests. Among them were the association Board members and officers, the Georgian soldiers wounded in Afghanistan, the former American ambassadors to Georgia, Richard Miles and John Bass, friends of Georgia representing different ethnic communities, representatives of diplomatic community. The anniversary reception, which was co-hosted by the America-Georgia Business Council, followed the 15th annual conference of the Business Council held earlier that day. The attendees of the Business Council conference, including the Georgian Minister of agriculture Mr.Kirvalidze also participated in the event. The guest honor of the anniversary celebration was United States Senator of Indiana, Richard Lugar. The Georgian Association presented Senator Lugar with an award for his unwavering support of Georgia. Nino Japaridze, the board member and former president of the association, opened the formal part of the reception with a speech of thanksgiving. Mamuka Tsereteli, the president of the association, then presented the Senator with a painting by a Georgian-American artist Nana Bagdavadze. Dr. Tsereteli thanked Senator Lugar and emphasized the symbolic nature of the painting.
Painting represents Cross, symbolizing faith and spiritual past of Georgia. Cross is painted with the DNA spirals, that symbolizes common nature and origin of all human beings, and DNA spirals are constructed with molecules that have shape of grapes, that is symbol of both spirituality, but also optimism and abundance. Nothing can have better representation of our gratitude for Senator Lugar for his service to his country, and for his support to free and democratic Georgiaâ€ Said Mr. Tsereteli. Senator Lugar responded with a speech of appreciation. Before leaving, he personally thanked the wounded Georgian soldiers for their service.The guests enjoyed the rest of the celebration and the many great Georgian wines provided by the Georgian Wine House of the Greater Washington.
SACRED GEORGIAN CHANTS
By The Georgian Harmony Choir
(Sherman Oaks, CA) On November 18, 2008, Jade Music with the support of the Georgian Association in the United States is proud to release the first US album by The Georgian Harmony Choir.
Sacred Georgian Chants, a compilation of songs and chants from the war-torn region, reflects the vigor and beauty of polyphonic chants from one of the oldest Christian countries. In today’s uncertain political climate preserving the Georgian musical heritage in Georgia itself and around the world has become of incomparable importance.
10% of the proceeds will go to the Georgian Association in the United States of America, Inc., the oldest nonpartisan nationwide membership organization of Georgian-Americans and friends of Georgia. The Association strives to strengthen the Georgian- American community on a national level, and supports an independent, democratic and prosperous Georgia.
Chant expert Dr. Jean-Claude Larchet wrote extensive liner notes on the history of Georgian Chant and its peculiarities.
Georgian religious choir chant seems to have reached its apogee between the ninth and 10th centuries, when it developed considerably. It was codified as much inside the country (particularly in the monasteries of the Tao-Klarjeti region) as it was in many Georgian monasteries or those with a significant Georgian presence located in Palestine, in the Sinai desert, at Mount Athos and in Bulgaria.
Under its basic and normative form, Georgian religious chant is a three-voice polyphony (called mzakhr, zhir and bam as early as the sixth century in a treatise by Ioane Petritsi), characterized by particular vocal techniques and the use of close tones. Usually the highest voice provides the melody and is supported by two other voices.
Contemporary Georgian liturgical chant is a witness of its fidelity to the tradition of polyphonic chant and its various variations, but also of its ability to innovate within traditions.
The Georgian Harmony Choir
The Georgian Harmony Choir was founded in 2006 by Nana Peradze. Its members are passionate amateurs and professionals from Georgia. Its vocation is to raise the awareness of religious and popular Georgian chant following tradition and authenticity. The Choir has performed in Belgrade (Serbia), Tbilisi (Georgia), where it participated in the international music festival “Chveneburebi,” and Paris.
Nana Peradze was born into an Orthodox family in Georgia. She received a chant and piano education and pursued theological studies. She took part in many piano concerts and won several national contests. Since 1984, she has actively taken part in the religious rebirth of Georgia under communism, creating choirs in several monasteries and churches.
From 1993 to 1997 she taught music in several religious schools and was the head of the choir at the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Tbilisi and at various churches in the Margveti region. In 1998 she went to France to pursue choir-conducting studies at the National Conservatory of Paris. In 2002 she founded the religious choir of the Georgian church in Paris before becoming the head conductor of Saint Simeon’s Choir, at “Saint Sava” Serbian Cathedral, in Paris, where she still sings today.
She currently conducts the Georgian Harmony Choir and is still studying Byzantine chant, of which she has considerable knowledge.
The Georgian Association in the United States of America
The Georgian Association in the United States advocates for Georgia and Georgian issues in the United States. The Association was founded in 1932 by Georgian immigrants following Russia’s occupation of Georgia in 1921. In 1960, it became a non-profit charitable US 501(c)(3) corporation. Since then, GA has assisted in maintaining public awareness of the Georgian nation and preserving Georgia’s identity and culture. The Association has provided a forum for discussing Georgian issues and has been a unifying entity for Georgian concerns.
Jade Music has a proven dedication to releasing quality classical and sacred music for more than 20 years. Its catalog includes works by the world-renowned Byzantine Choir of Greece and Lycourgos Angelopoulos, the choirs of Saint-Wandrille, Notre-Dame De Ganagobie, and Saint-Madeleine du Barroux, among others.
It has also established itself as the premiere record label of the choir of the abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, Spain. In 2007, Jade Music released the first US album of Serbian singer Divna Ljubojevic, Divna in Concert.
Jade Music, an independently owned operation with offices located in Sherman Oaks, California and Paris, France is distributed by Ryko Distribution in the United States, Universal Music in France, JVC in Japan, and Warner Music International in the rest of the world.
1. Easter Processional
2. Matins Stichera
3. O come, let us worship
4. Thou art the Vineyard
5. Troparion of the Cross
6. Trisagion (Thrice Holy)
7. Kontakion of Saint Nino
8. As many of you who have been baptized into Christ
10. O Heavenly King
11. Christmas Chant
12-13. Cherubic Hymn
14. Litany for the Deceased
15. Easter Troparion
To stream the record, please visit http://milanrecords.com/jbox/jademusic/
For photos, music, and additional information about the album, the Georgian Harmony Choir and Nana Peradze, please contact Stefan Karrer:
Jade Music / Milan Entertainment, Inc.
14724 Ventura Blvd. Suite 910
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Phone: (818) 849-3349
Fax: (818) 849-3341
For additional information about the Georgian Association, Georgian musical culture in the United States, please contact Maka Gabelia:
Georgian Association in the United States
2300 M Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: (202) 234-2441