Georgia is ready to welcome Assyrians

  • Written by:

Giorgi Kalatozishvili, Tbilisi. Exclusively for Vestnik Kavkaza
Georgian TV-channels have showed videos of awful executions of Assyrians, ancient residents of the Middle East, who found themselves in the center of the war which is going on in Syria and Iraq. Crying Assyrian children say that they are being killed and raped by fanatics of Islamic State and beg for help. The address caused a great public response in the country. Not only television, but also social networks demonstrated their influence once again: in a few hours, about 15,000 people approved an appeal to the government to consider the issue on granting political asylum to Assyrians, even though more than 200 thousand refugees already live in Georgia.

In Tbilisi, Batumi and other cities, solidarity demonstrations took place, while 500 families who were ready to adopt Assyrian children and save them from genocide, addressed the apparatus of the State Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Gela Dumbadze. Many of them are from the Assyrian Diaspora, but the majority of families who are ready to adopt children are Georgians.

The demonstration was organized by Liza Gegechkori who said that the Movement for Solidarity with Assyrians was free from any political or religious grounds. However, a religious aspect is obvious, considering the active involvement of the Georgian Orthodox Church. And not all forces in Georgia like this; as victims of genocide cannot be divided according to religious principle.

Not only Christians, but also Muslims participated in the solidarity demonstration in the Autonomous Republic of Adzharia. “Muslims of Adzharia stand against murders of children and violence against them,” said an initiator of the meeting on a square in Batumi, Lasha Adamia.

At the moment it is not clear whether the Georgian authorities will manage to take certain steps to fulfill the population’s request. A desire to adopt children is not enough; state structures should participate in this. Vestnik Kavkaza was told by the Ministry for Refugees and Diaspora Affairs that since 2012 several thousand residents of Syria and Iraq had appealed to Tbilisi to issue them refugee status; only 83 of them received a positive response. However, the office of the State Minister for Diaspora Affairs has initiated the establishment of a special committee with the participation of representatives of the Assyrian Diaspora for a more detailed consideration of the issue on Assyrian children who lost parents and faced dangers.

Minister Gela Dumbadze promises that the government will consider the issue on certain forms of help. If Georgia, despite its numerous great problems, saves at least some children, notwithstanding their religious affiliation, then the solidarity demonstration will be considered successful.