Inside a tea factory in the western Georgian town of Tsalenjikha, 72-year-old Nargiza Gvinjilia sits before a dark mahogany-brown pile of freshly dried tea on a makeshift desk. While she removes stems and twigs with tweezers, her face blooms into a smile. Chinese investment means that tea from Tsalenjikha, once a Soviet tea powerhouse, again has a future, and Gvinjilia’s passion for tea plants a revived purpose.
What China Means for a Georgian Tea Town
When 28-year-old manual laborer Elshan Gulmammadov took to the slot machines in the Georgian town of Marneuli last year, all he wanted was money for the birth of his second child and some fun.Instead, he became a victim.
Gambling Life Away in Georgia
Sixty-year-old Angela Rustamova still cannot forget that day in 1975. She was a teenager, thinking of her beau, Vagif, an ethnic Azerbaijani from Georgia, and counting the days until he would visit her in her hometown of Alaverdi, Armenia. When he finally came, Vagif Rustamov, then a 32-year-old barber, proposed. He promised 18-year-old Angela “a real life” together. Despite pressure from their families and others, they had one. Their love story continued for 42 years.
No Borders: An Armenian-Azerbaijani Love Story
Women in rural areas are particularly susceptible to socio-cultural barriers that hold them back from political participation and economic opportunities. Yet, some female role-models in small communities manage to lead the way and hold positions many Georgians still consider for men only. Take Samegrelo. One of Georgia’s largest region in the west of the country, it is home to a large internally displaced persons’ community resulting from the war in the neighbouring region of Abkhazia in the early 1990s. Here a few women are pushing the boundaries and redefining traditional gender roles.
Women in Rural Georgia: Meet Three Game Changers
There is no sign to Ulyanovka, an abandoned Pontic Greek village in southern Georgia, 1,300 feet up a mountain near the Armenian border. Only two men – 67-year-old Muraz Shersevadze and 20-year-old Yuri Rurua – call this ghost village home.
Ulyanovka: Living on the Border of Existence
Throughout the Caucasus, many believe that the community in which you were born determines who you are and what you become. But three ethnic Azerbaijani women in Georgia have found ways to defy those barriers and to craft their own identities as independent professionals.