Georgia went from having no democratic institutions and no clear path to freedom to having a relatively stable and well respected system of democratic institutions in the span of 25 years since independence. The path to democracy started at independence, but one could argue that legitimate democracy began with the 2003 rose revolution. Obviously there … Continue reading Georgia’s Path to Full Democracy
In the hills that surround and define Tbilisi, a solitary villa overlooks the city, a testament to the power of capitalism and the free market. It is an obscene display of wealth, complete with security, a giraffe, and a shark tank. The villas owner has a personal fortune of several billion, equal to 50% of … Continue reading Communism in 21st Century Georgia
I arrived in Tbilisi calm, without expectations. Maybe because it was almost 4 am when I finally stepped into my cab, or maybe because of my exhausting two-day layover in Munich, which included a missed flight and an unexpected friendship with a stoic Romanian stranger. In any case, my excitement quota had already been fulfilled … Continue reading An Armenian-American in Georgia
I consider myself very lucky to be in Georgia and to have lived here for the past year. Sakartvelo, as the country is known in its native tongue, is a beautiful and geographically diverse state which offers a number of exciting opportunities for students and travelers alike. The cuisine, culture, and especially the Georgian people … Continue reading Cross at Your Own Risk
As a participant in American Councils' Peace and Security in the South Caucasus program, I am thoroughly impressed with the opportunities this program affords. Even after nearly eleven months in the country, this experience has allowed me to gain a better understanding of the courses' subject material and introduced me to a number interesting people. … Continue reading Georgia On My Mind
Throughout its history, Georgia has been a land at the crossroads. Walking along the streets, it is easy to see the influence that different empires and cultures that have had on her. I took some time during my first few days in Tbilisi to explore the city, to try to get off the beaten path. … Continue reading Why Georgia?
I think every student going on a study abroad trip gets a lecture on culture shock. A long, somewhat boring, mostly unintelligible lecture to anyone who has not spent a significant amount of time in a foreign country. The general idea is this, when living in a culture different from their own, a person will … Continue reading Culture Shock, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Carbonated Water (sort of)
Like many Eurasian counties, Georgia enjoys a wide variety of regional diversity and local differences. Whilst all are patriotically Georgian, each region of the country maintains its own local customs and traditions which fascinate the curious westerner. Over the course of the past month, I have been fortunate enough to be able to visit some … Continue reading The Real Georgia