The 153rd Circassian Memorial Day
May 21, 2017
By Adel Bashqawi
One more annual commemoration is looming to remind of one of the most ancient and deep-rooted nations of the North Caucasus. Circassia had to cope with imposed harsh consequences due to a destructive war that led to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. Since then, the results of which have remained before us unresolved, with no thoughtfulness by the concerned. All this despite the irrefutable evidence of indifference to the fate of a devastated people.
It is not surprising to conclude that the state, which has consecutively inherited a colonial legacy left by the Tsarist Russian Empire to act or react in a blunt way and uncivilized manner. That emphasizes the lack of interest in an immediate resolving of pending peoples’ issues and problems. Such suspended matters require substantial and honorable solution. Certainly, one day, world Consensus would lead to the liquidation of colonialism and its consequences.
Nevertheless, officials have exaggerated in reducing the value and importance of those who got their rights in their homeland confiscated and/or deprived. It is not the custom or tendency of peoples to refrain from claiming their natural and legitimate rights. It is well-known about the occupiers that they tend to ignore the language of logic and reason, taking into consideration imperial interests aiming at preserving the status quo and denying the right of peoples to self-determination and the restoration of their rights that can not be denied in any way.
This particular day reminds of the last Circassian capital city, where Russia in coordination with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), had engaged three years ago to hold the Winter Olympic Games in February 2014, on the land of Circassian Genocide. Joshua Keating has published an article entitled: “Did the Age of Genocide Begin in Sochi?” The author stated: “In one small but significant development, the governor of Krasnodar province, where the games will take place, acknowledged that ‘This land has not belonged to the Russian Empire, it belonged to Caucasus nations, to Circassians’.” (http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_world_/2014/02/05/the_circassians_and_the_olympics_did_the_age_of_genocide_begin_in_sochi.html)
He continued, to emphasize the reality of reminding the world of the Circassian tragedy: “Given the painful memories associated with Sochi, it’s understandable that Circassians have reacted with outrage to the choice of venue. But it also may be the only thing that could have reminded the world of a largely forgotten tragedy.” (http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_world_/2014/02/05/the_circassians_and_the_olympics_did_the_age_of_genocide_begin_in_sochi.html)
In addition, an article entitled: “Skiing On Mass Graves.” was published on the 7th of February, 2014, has affirmed: “The date of 1864 makes 2014 the 150th anniversary of the Circassian expulsion. From the Sochi coast, ships loaded with Circassian refugees set sail for the Ottoman Empire. Circassians died in thousands on the journey, of hunger and disease. The triumphant parade of Russian troops, marking the end of the war, took place on May 21, 1864 in Krasnaya Polyana, site of the Sochi Winter Olympics.” (http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/02/07/skiing-on-mass-graves/)
Currently, there are many countries, from the recently collapsed Soviet Union, neighboring the Russian Federation. Countries such as the three Baltic republics, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (https://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/10/putins-dangerous-games-in-the-baltic/#), Georgia (http://www.wnd.com/2015/09/nato-facility-in-georgia-evokes-russian-threat/), Belarus (http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/02/18/russia-belarus-rift-grows-as-putin-loses-patience.html), Moldova (http://112.international/opinion/ukraine-moldova-relations-russian-threat-as-a-cure-for-jealousy-16071.html), Ukraine (http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/the-rio-olympics-are-a-distraction-russia-is-positioning-itself-for-further-action-against-ukraine-a7186736.html), and others are facing a risk of being involved in conflict of interest in the face of a Russian desire, to subjugate and/or dominate them to its imperialist and colonial influence, in whole or in part.
Concerning the Circassian Question, the time will not pass in vain or without drawing lessons. Also it will lead to solving all dangling issues in accordance with rules of logic and wisdom. Thence, that will shape an appropriate resolution when the circumstances generate adequate solution by forming relevant conditions that will allow the occurrence of change at a proper time. Circassians treated their homeland like their mother, as Pope John Paul II said: “I kiss the soil as if I placed a kiss on the hands of a mother, for the homeland is our earthly mother. I consider it my duty to be with my compatriots in this sublime and difficult moment.” (https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/popejohnpa114671.html)