Salafism in Georgia and World: Theological and Political Aspects

On May 16, sal4the public discussion on topic “Salafism in Georgia and World: Theological and Political Aspects” was held in Caucasian House.

Meeting incorporated several topics, including Muslim community in Georgia and Islam, in particular, one of its movements called Salafi. This topic is not new for Caucasian House, as the organization has worked on this issue from different standpoints. This year Caucasian House has conducted a research on Islamic community and state policy toward its integration, which will be published soon.

During the discussion, reporters spoke about the history of Salafi movement, the aspects of its consistent formation, religious, social and political activism of Salafi movement in Caucasus and current condition in Pankisi gorge.

Giorgi Sanikidze, the professor at Ilia State University, made opening remarks on topic: the history of Salafi movemensalt and the aspects of its consistent formation. Giorgi Sanikidze also talked about main Islamic schools and branches, distinctive theological signs of Salafi school and reasons of its transformation into the political movement.

Gela Khmaladze, the invited researcher at Caucasian House delivered a speech about Salafi movement in North Caucasus, the reasons of the popularization of Salafi movement, Islam’s reaction to pressure from the Russian government and social and political activism.

The Imam of Salafi Mosque in Pankisi, Vakhtang Pareulidze talked about the current condition in Pankisi gorge and state policy towards the Salafi population of the gorge. Imam also referred to distinctive theological aspects of Salafi movement and underlined the basic differences between Salafi and Wahhabi movements. Vakhtang Pareulidze also emphasized the Islam’s role in the stabilization process at Pankisi gorge.

Representatives of state agencies, local and international non-governmental organizations, universities, embassies and experts expressed their views during the discussion

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Videoconference on Georgian-Russian Relations

On April 15, on the initiative of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) alongside Caucasian House organized a conference on the Georgian-Russian relations.

During the conference, Georgian and Russian analysts discussed current tendencies and possible scenarios of development of Georgian-Russian relations.

From Georgian side the first report was delivered by Giorgi Gobronidze, the invited lecturer at Georgian-American University. The report covered the topic on Challenges of International Terrorism in Georgia. The speaker described in detail the overall situation in the country and based on examples of other countries’ experience explained why Georgia does not represent the foreground target for international terrorism.

Maia Urushadze, the project manager at Caucasian House, presented a detailed report “State Policy of Georgia toward Muslim Community on the example of Pankisi Gorge”, which was based on the results of the research, conducted by the staff of Caucasian House. The speaker focused on the problems of Pankisi gorge and analyzed the state policy implemented in this direction. Moreover during the discussions, the author underlined the negative role of media coverage of events as well as the attempts of international actors to have a negative impact on the region.

The last speaker from Georgia was Mariam Gachechiladze, the researcher at Caucasian House, who covered the topic “Georgian Diaspora in Russia and Georgian-Russian Relations”. The reporter analyzed the activities of Georgian diasporic organizations from 2004 until 2012, based on main tendencies and on the results of research.

The following Russian counterparts took part in the discussion: director of the Department for Problems of Ethnic Relations at the Institute for Political and Military Analysis Sergey Markedonov with a report “Russia-Georgia: The Limits of Normalization or Normalization without Passing “Red Lines” and Nikolai Silaev, Senior Research Advisor at Center for the Regional Security and Caucasus Studies at MGIMO University, presented a report on scenarios of the development of Georgian political system after parliamentary elections 2016. The last two speakers from Russian side were: Andrei Diogtiov, the graduate student of MGIMO University in Comparative Politics with a report on Georgia’s Economy in the Space Regional Powers’ Contradictions and a member of the Georgian club of MGIMO University Zurab Shavlidze, who during his speech covered the topic on “Formats of Interaction between Russia and Georgia in the Absence of Diplomatic Relations.”

After the presentations, students of MGIMO and invited representatives of Georgian diaspora had an opportunity to ask questions and express their opinion.

The videoconference was organized by the Students’ Scientific Club of MGIMO University, supported by Aleksey Tokarev, analyst of the Global Problems Study Center at MGIMO University.

 

 

Islam in Georgia: State Policy and Vision from Regions

On April 5, Caucasian House held a conference on Islam in Georgia: State Policy and Vision from Regions”. The opening remarks included the discussion on religious and political aspects and the significance of secularism in a contemporary state building process. The head of Asian direction at Caucasian House Giorgi Lobzhanidze, the professor at Ilia State University Giorgi Sanikidze alongside the philosopher Zaza Shatirishvili presented reports on aforementioned topics.

The second session was dedicated toward State policy on religion. The Chairman of State Agency for Religious Issues Zaza Vashakmadze analysed the state policy toward dominant confessions presented in Georgia, especially focusing on Muslim community. During the third session, Ramin Igidov, the Sheikh of all Georgia and Iasin Aliev, Mufti of all Georgia talked about the priorities of Muslim Division and emphasized the importance of the establishment of the Muslim education institution in Georgia.

Moreover, the researchers of Caucasian house Archil Sikharulidze and Gela Khmaladze presented the results of the qualitative social research regarding the integration process of Muslim community in Georgia and elaborated on main findings.

Representatives of state agencies, local and international non-governmental organizations, embassies and experts took part in the conference.

The conference was held with the financial support of British Embassy in Georgia.

Conference: Islam in Georgia- State Policy and Vision from Regions

 

On April 5 a conference – “Islam in Georgia– State Policy and Vision from Regions’’  will by held by the Centre for Cultural Relations – Caucasian House

The Conference covers such issues as theological and political aspects of Islam, also Georgian state policy toward Muslim minority. One session will be dedicated to the representatives of Muslim community from the regions. During the conference, the results and main findings of the qualitative social research on integration process of Georgia’s Muslim community conducted by Caucasian House will also be presented.

For further inquries please contact  Rauph Chichinadze (+995 592 810 810 E-mail:rauphi.chichinadze@caucasianhouse.ge )

 

The conference is held by Caucasian House with the financial support of British Embassy Tbilisi.

New Vision of Diaspora – International Experience and Georgian Reality

On March 23,  Caucasian house held a conference “New Vision of Diaspora  –  International Experience and Georgian Reality” in Rooms Hotel Tbilisi. The conference was organized in the framework of the project “Georgian-Russian Dialogue for Peace and Cooperation”, funded by British Embassy in Georgia.

The aim of the conference was sharing of the international diasporic experience and its promotion  regarding Georgian Diaspora in public-political spheres.  The conference was opened by the executive director of Caucasian House Giorgi Kanashvili alongside the representative of the British Embassy Tbilisi in Georgia Sopho Berishvili. Giorgi Kanashvili introduced the content of the project and emphasized the importance of paying attention to large Georgian Diaspora in Russia.  Sopho  Berishvili  talked  about  the  general directions and priorities of Conflict, Stability and Security Fund of British Embassy.

The  first  session  included  the  discussion  of  concrete  countries’  diasporic  experience  by Armenian,  Israeli and Ukrainian experts  and  academics, who focused on characteristics and development  of  diasporic  network,  the  possibility  of  diasporas’  contribution  to  the  social-economic development and how effectively counties with strong diasporas use those resources.

State  Minister  of  Georgia  for  Diaspora  Issues,  Gela  Dumabdze  talked  about  the contemporary approach of government of Georgia toward Georgian Diaspora.  The minister also mentioned that in this direction the work is in the process of rapid development and the interest from Georgian Diaspora’s side is growing as well.

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The second part of the conference was dedicated to the Georgian Diaspora living in Russia which is the biggest Georgian community living abroad. The speakers of the panel were Zurab Abashidze, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy in Relations with Russia and Boris Berulava, the representative of Georgian diasporic organization “Iveria”.  Zurab Abashidze, during his speech, emphasized the possible ways of incorporating Georgian Diaspora in the normalization of Georgian-Russian relations, though at the first stage Georgian Diaspora itself should be strengthened on the ground. As for the Boris Berulava, he spoke about the history of establishment of Georgian diasporic organization “Iveria” in St. Petersburg, its activities and underlined the importance of participation of Georgian side in their work.

Mariam Gachechiladze, the researcher at Caucasian House made the presentation of main findings of the research done by Caucasian House. The research was conducted in the frames of the project “Georgian-Russian Dialogue for Peace and Cooperation” and its main aim was to identify how strong the Georgian Diaspora organizations are in Russia, how they manage to cooperate and what main problems they are facing during their work. According to the results of the research Georgian Diaspora in Russia has some tangible influence on Georgia; mainly on economy of Georgia (money transfers).  Finally, as Georgian Diaspora doesn’t have institutionally established forms of network it should be enhanced by Georgia.

Competition for Participation in the Forum: New Challenges in the South Caucasus and the Georgian-Russian Relations

The Centre for Cultural Relations – Caucasian House invites Georgian experts to participate in the upcoming meeting between Georgian and Russian analysts. The meetings will be held in the framework of “Georgian-Russian Dialogue for Peace and Cooperation” project on February 27-28, 2015.

Project description

Caucasian house has been implementing the project “Georgian-Russian Dialogue for Peace and Cooperation” since 2011 with the financial support of British Embassy, Tbilisi. The aim of the project is the encouragement of open dialogue between Georgian and Russian researchers and the development of recommendations and political alternatives for the decision makers.

In the framework of the above mentioned dialogue, Georgian and Russian experts regularly visit Georgia and Russia. The participants of the projects are granted an opportunity to meet officials and independent experts and to take part in bilateral roundtables in order to discuss current issues related to Russian-Georgian relationship and regional issues as well.
The next meeting will be held in Bakuriani on February 27-28. The topics for discussion are: the security of the South Caucasus – the radicalization of Islam and the deterioration of the relations between Russia and Turkey; Russian-Georgian economic relations and energy security of the region.

All costs including transportation, accommodation, meals are covered by The Centre for Cultural Relations – Caucasian House.

Eligibility

In order to be considered eligible to apply, you must fulfill all of the following criteria
Call for: citizens on Georgia
Age: 23-45
Professional qualification: researchers, journalists, academics, the representatives of non-governmental organizations and state agencies.
Working language: Russian

Selected candidates will be interviewed. Georgian participants will be selected by The Centre for Cultural Relations – Caucasian House. Russian participants will be selected by the A.Gorchakov Fund in Support of Public Diplomacy

Application procedure:

Please send you CV and cover letter in which you express your motivation to participate in the project to the following e-mail: maia.urushadze@caucasianhouse.ge
Deadline for accepting the applications: 09.02.2016

 

The project is funded by the British Embassy Tbilisi.

Conference on: Policy of Conflict Resolution: Achievements and Challenges of the Last Three Years

The Centre for Cultural Relations – Caucasian House and the Institute for Study of Nationalism and Conflicts are organizing the conference “Policy of conflict resolution: Achievements and challenges of the last three years” which will be held on November 27th, 16:00 at Tbilisi Marriott.

The conference aims at formulating the proper recommendations while assessing the existing approaches of the government’s policy regarding the Georgia’s conflicts.

Focus of the meeting will be on the state policy of conflict resolution during the last three years. This period of time requires objective analysis and assessment in order new ways of solving problems to emerge and to avoid new challenges.

The meeting will bring together the members of the government and non-governmental organizations, experts and representatives of embassies accredited in Georgia.

Meeting is held in the frames of the project “Revitalizing Dialogue Process through Engaging Young Professionals” with the financial assistance of the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland