Circassians Must Govern Themselves, Nalchik Roundtable Participants Say

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Circassians Must Govern Themselves, Nalchik Roundtable Participants Say

Paul Goble

Staunton, May 18 – Yesterday, a group of experts from the Kabardino-Balkaria section of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Circassian activists took part in a roundtable in Nalchik devoted to the problems of federalism in Russia. The participants boldly declared that the Circassians must make decisions about their situation rather than having them made by outsiders.

That may seem anodyne to many, but in the context of Russian rule over the North Caucasus in general and the Moscow-divided Circassian nation in particular it is almost a revolutionary act, an indication that the power vertical is beginning to collapse in the region and nations without hope are beginning to recover it.

The Circassian portal Habze.org promises to post a video of the session in the coming days, but it has already published the speeches of two men who took part, Martin Kochesoko, the president of the Habze organization, and Azamat Shorman, a Nalchik Circassian activist (habze.org/у-черкесов-должно-быть-свое-самоупра). Read more

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Moscow, North Caucasus Republics Making It Even Harder for Circassians from Syria to Immigrate

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Moscow, North Caucasus Republics Making It Even Harder for Circassians from Syria to Immigrate

Paul Goble

Staunton, May 15 – Two weeks ago, Vladimir Putin signed a decree making it easier for Russian compatriots to enter Russia and become citizens; but that decree, like all earlier actions of the Kremlin leader, does not apply to Circassians in war-torn Syria because they were never Soviet or Russian citizens.

The Kremlin leader’s failure to modify the rules so that Circassians from Syria could be admitted in an expedited way comes despite numerous appeals from Circassians both in Syria and in the North Caucasus homeland.  But what is especially distressing is that the authorities in Russia are in fact making it more difficult for Circassians from Syria to enter and live in Russia. Read more

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России не нужны черкесы зарубежья

«России не нужны черкесы зарубежья»

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10,000 Windows on Eurasia

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

10,000 Windows on Eurasia

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 29 – This is the 10,000th Window on Eurasia in the new series I launched seven years ago after our house burned and I was diagnosed with leukemia. I did not expect to reach this milestone; in fact, I did not even expect to reach the number of roughly 5,000 WOEs I prepared in the first series between 2004 and 2011.

            But as I often say to myself, better preparing WOEs than feeling woes.– not an especially clever observation but one that is very much heartfelt. And I want to say thank you to all of you who have sent me comments, corrections, and suggestions.  I have learned an enormous amount from you. I only hope I have been able to return the favor. Read more

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Gertrude Bell’s Latter to her Father, Sir Hugh Bell

Gertrude Bell’s Latter to her Father, Sir Hugh Bell

26 April 1900

Thurs 26. [26 April 1900] We got off at 6.30 and rode all up the Wady Sir [Wadi es Sir], a most beautiful green valley full of oaks growing in clusters as though they were in an English park. Corn and water mills and every sign of prosperity showed us that we were reaching the Circassian country. Their first village was Es Sir at the head of the valley, good stone built houses, with verandahs supported by wooden pillars, neat clean courtyards with a couple of figtrees and a few willows growing in them and a tidy well clad population – it was extraordinarily un-Arabic. Read more

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Circassian Center Opens in Istanbul as Link Between Homeland and Diaspora

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Circassian Center Opens in Istanbul as Link Between Homeland and Diaspora

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 27 – Some 500 people came to the opening of a Circassian Cultural Center in Istanbul, a center that intends to play a role linking the more than three million Circassians in Turkey with the three-quarters of a million of their fellow ethnics in the North Caucasus homeland.

            Even though there are questions as to how freely the Turkish government and the Russian government will allow it to operate given that each has concerns about Circassians as minorities, this is an important symbolic “embassy” of the Circassian communities in both countries and elsewhere as well (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/334841/). Read more

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Republic Officials Caught between Moscow and People on Circassian Flag Day, Beshto Says

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Republic Officials Caught between Moscow and People on Circassian Flag Day, Beshto Says

Paul Goble
Staunton, April 25 – Many countries around the world celebrate their respective “flag days,” but for most, this is at best a secondary holiday, typically one that doesn’t involve a day off or have deep meaning for those who do mark it. For the Circassians, however, because of their situation and because of the flag, it is a vastly more important date. Read more

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