GEO / RUS       12+

Tbilisi-Cyprus – Tbilisi

"History " is a personal emotional experience, which happen a thousands years ago - seems like it is your own history, which happen now - like it is a distant story of your people..." - I could emotionally precipitate the words of famous Georgian writer Grigol Robakidze, only on my return from the Cyprus. Returning to the homeland I understood that the "history" is a personal emotion, not only distant, but happening now, "the story of your people..."


* * *

We arrived to Cyprus... For the first hand it is known only that the international conference, which will host the Cyprus National Agency (CNA) will be the great opportunity to meet with our colleagues, of course this is a very good opportunity to define the spectrum of the guests which will arrive the next year to Tbilisi for the international forum. We will as well determine some organizational questions. The other things will go as usually everywhere it goes: the meetings, the discussions, the cultural program. The Cyprus is attractive country in many aspects. This is a member of EU facing at this moment irresolvable territorial problem. Other important subjects which can be discussed about this country is its economic success. Cyprus is build up and is getting nicer... For any Cypriot, his own personal success is connected with the success of the country. This increases the motivation of the population. Here must be noted that the success of the country is more or less supported by the 7 thousand Georgian emigrants living here.

"... they were trying to make me evil,
they were trying to make me sly...
What helps you to defeat a devil -
To keep a honesty to the end of life..."

Ketevan, teacher, said this at the pike of her emotional state, standing up with a tears on her eyes. Who? Why?... everything later.
When the emotions are at a highest level, everything may become clearer. We are guests in the Georgians' home in Cyprus - Kakha, Bondo, Savle, Malkhaz and his wife Ketevan. In the two rooms apartment in Cyprus the Georgian traditional dinner is... TV is turned we are watching Georgian news by Anuka Qinqladze...

They have here own Georgia, own views on the events in the country, war, politics and future...

If only the people like we could earn enough to feed own families in Georgia in own homeland, - Malkhaz said - I am so missing for my school in Georgia for my pupils in the classroom. I am seeing them in my dreams; I think that they are crying over my fate. My child passed the National Exams for the 100% financing in higher school, but I could not even to buy a computer for him. What could I do... So we leave homeland... - Cries Ketevan about her fate.

- Here very good people are. They are treating with us very politely. At least they are giving to us the opportunity to earn enough to live with dignity. We have nothing to complain in this respect... - said Kakha most young from the family members...

- If only I could now to watch my children which are now in Georgia. To walk in my garden. My God!, - said Bondo, whose family survived the Russian aggression in Tserovani and now are in refugee. Bondo himself is in Limasol (a very attractive town in Cyprus) to earn for living.

Savle is asking us about the political events in Georgia: What happens there? Will we have a peace, how the events will be developed? - It is clear, these questions are not easy to answer with one phrase. He needs a hope that in his homeland everything will be OK.
Kakha is suggesting to me a khachapuri baked by his mother-in-law and said to me -
- Do you know what I am missing for? - my ensemble, my friends. They are grown up already. But when I will return to home I will have my own dancing ensemble and I will have all the best dancers. - Kakha dreams about future - Do you know what happens in fact? Do you know the dance "Khorumi", those who knows it never will be defeated in war...

-Our smile is half a cry, our laugh is half a sobbing, our sing is sadness. But do you know what is major? This phrase of the poet Ioseb Noneshvili :

"... they were trying to make me evil,
they were trying to make me sly...
What helps you to defeat a devil -
To be honest to the end of life..."

Gives me strength and I am repeating it often. Yes they could not manage to make us embittered. And it is major that our children to be safe, all other troubles we will resist.


* * *

We are singing... "Tbiliso..." , "My homeland is my icon..." , only emigrants may sing with such feelings and such sadness.

Suddenly, I am remembering the film "First swallow"... Do you remember the Turkish ship in the Black sea, and the defeated Georgian football team staying at the seaside? And at the end the song "Mravaljamieri" ("Many times again") very strong and full of cry but with the hope of future victory. Here the same sounds are in our singing ... sounds! - exactly the same, slightly angry, but astonishingly hopeful and sincere, and it is to believe that the homeland is only one and it is its icon... And finally one can feel oneself shameful that could even doubt about the sincerity of its words...


* * *

The icon... The local dwellers asked about the St. Nino icon which is placed in Limosol in the Georgian church of St. Mamai - who's icon is it? Then they discovered that this is an icon of St. Nino, (who came to Georgia to preach Christianity in 4-5 century A.D. who is as well St. Nino enlightening. She was a cousin of St. George and has a great mission to enlighten Georgia, to preach the Christianity to the country which is special in that - this is a land a share of St. Mary).
They expressed its worship when discovering the history of St. Nino connected with our country. The tablet at the entrance of the temple reads that "this is a Georgian Church of St. Mamai of the town Limosol". Metropolitan Atanase blessed the church for the Georgian orthodox congregation. Father Andria (Skhiladze) talks about the congregation with great sympathy. He talks in the yard of the church with his congregation about its problems and achievements. Father Andria and Father Zaqaria are caring about the Georgian congregation in Cyprus with great love. The Greek Orthodox Church cares much about the Georgian orthodox congregation, this is in most part thanks to the high authority of our Cathalicos Patriarch of all Georgia, Illia II.
- I do not know if any other Church has a similar relationship with Georgians, such tender and kindhearted. We can only thank for this - Father Andria said. He blessed us as well. I am asking him about the Ghalia monastery and his eyes brighten.
- Very soon near to the Ghalia monastery the Georgian Church will be constructed and this will be a very important point, which is supported by the local government and Church, - Father Andria said. He stressed as well the upholding in this business of our envoy in Cyprus.


* * *


The conference will be started very soon. Vladimir Constantinidi is our envoy, he came... God bless you. We are so proud that our envoy is a refined intelligent person. In such moments one feel such great support from the state.

- Is this your envoy? - asked one colleague.
- Yes
Then the representative one of our neighbor country said bitterly:
- As I remember nobody was from your embassy in Sophia - he said this remembering the assembly in Bulgaria a few days ago. He received such a response that even lost the interest to look at my side to the end of the conference.

During the breaks of the conference our colleagues and partners are determining when they have to arrive to Tbilisi to the assembly of the news agencies (at this time Georgia became the chairman country of the Assembly of BSANNA with the leading news agency GHN). Some questions we are asking to them. Our envoy is getting interested with the details of the forthcoming conference in Tbilisi and commented about the willingness of the representatives of different countries to arrive to Georgia in such way: "I am really astonished how much these countries are interested in upholding of Georgia, I am so impressed they are interested in success of Georgia much more then we are. " What makes me believe to our envoy is the willingness of Associated Press to participate in the conference in Tbilisi.

I could not even imagine that the conference in Bulgaria which was held in the first dates of November will be so reverberate. And so many leading news agencies of Europe and all over the world will be willing to participate in the next one in Georgia. The envoy said to us good bye, and agreed with us to meet in two days...



* * *


The culture part of the conference is in the town Paphos. The talks about the Aphrodite, Collos, then Temple of Dionysus, architecture muse, everything what we managed to see in one day. Such great positive feelings... in some moment you may became a pert of the myths. This was already known from books and you feel that now you will hear the song of Orpheus... And somewhere near there is a Narcissus, Ikarus, and you will fly over the island... And even maybe you will embrace Aphrodite... But we are interested in different things, as we have other interests, other chapel and we are aspired with other grandeur...



* * *

There is a saying that the young Georgian king George "brought the corps of his mother over the sea to the Cyprus and buried her there"... Many say that that king was Lasha-Giogi and the corps of the great Queen Tamar was buried by him in Cyprus. Now for Georgians the most saint place in the Cyprus is a St. Mary's monastery in Ghalia. If we suppose that namely here is a tomb of great queen...

The envoy came in time and we departed for Ghalia. On the way he tell us about the monastery. At these days I have to meet with the government representatives. We are going to construct a Georgian orthodox church near the monastery. We have a general permission for construction of church. It is very important that near the monastery the ruins of the St. Nikolas church are found. Now the excavations are pending. After we expressed the willingness for construction the Cyprus Department of Ancient Culture looks after the heritage very carefully. Now we have to thing about the roof we need a financing for this. The most works will be done by the Cyprus party, but we will have as well the responsibilities.

-The Georgian Patriarchy actively supports us. And what is major, the government of the country is fully in agreement of the local church attitude to the Georgian Orthodox Church. Illia II has a big prestige here.

Mr Vladimir is telling all this stories in such way that one can easily guess that this is not a part of the diplomatic mission and etiquette. To talk in such way you must to feel what are you telling about, you must to love what are you doing and what is major you have to believe that the business that you are doing inevitably will be successful.



* * *

God be praised! ...
What happen with me? I forget all pries. God forgive me! I forget even the "Our Father.." I am mumbling something. I am speechless... God help me... What happen with me... Jesus...
Again I forget.
And suddenly I remember it flows independently.
God be praised!

I feel tingles down the spine.

-Here a great work is done. This place was totally covered by the soil, but now you see what is done. Here the divine services are conducting systematically. And thanks to Father Zaqaria and Father Andria the services are not stopping. And this makes us to hope that very soon here Georgian Church will be constructed. Here will be a monastery life. In a touristic map of Cyprus the monastery of Ghalia will be placed in a high position.

And again it flows itself...

-In the eleventh century here very important work was done by the Georgian monks. They were translating, writing, served to God in Georgian language far away from the homeland. They believed to the victory of the country. And the construction of new church will be of much importance because we did not construct churches abroad since the 16 century. I hope that this business will be accomplished successfully, - Constantinidi said.


* * *

We are returning back to home. We have to flay to homeland. The envoy and other Georgians makes fond farewell. Now we are hiding our wet eyes. Now it is our weakness to cry. Not here... Only not now... only not to show tears, only not to break the voice... But let it be, if so,..

"The homeland is our icon!.."


Gocha Mirtkhulava