Friday, August 8, 2008

On Georgia Today

Many people underestimate the value of real human relationships we make with our online "virtual" friends on websites such as Myspace, but at times when that "human factor" is much needed, somehow the line between online and offline friendships is so blurred - it becomes too minuscule a difference.

With the most recent escalation of conflict back in my home country, Georgia (Georgia the country, not the state, remember that blog post early on? :-) and the growing interest of western media about the events taking place in Southern Ossetia, I - among many, many Georgian expatriates witnessed the genuine concern of the westerners, and in my particular case - the friends that I have recently made on Myspace have really demonstrated such heart-felt support and interest in the current events... It's staggering and heart warming. Thank you all so much for your sweet messages and concern.

Years after Southern Ossetia along with another Georgian region - Abkhazia - declared their independence from Georgia in the mid 90's, Georgia's President Mikhail Saaakashvili has vowed to bring both regions back into the fold. Over the past several months, the tensions between Moscow and Tbilisi have increased most significantly and the fighting has intensified - most recently, since earlier this week - even more so, as most of you may already know.

World leaders and international organizations, including the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council, have been actively calling for an end to the fighting in Georgia's de facto breakaway region, South Ossetia, but unfortunately as we have seen the news unfold throughout the day, the conflict is only escalating at a significant rate.

And with governments of Georgia, Russia and the de facto leadership of the de facto region of South Ossetia aside, civilians are truly the ones least deserving of this nightmare. While all parties are eagerly blaming each other, the ordinary civilians are being affected by the fighting not only in Ossetia, but even, for example, in the capital of Georgia - having spoken to my family back home last night, they voiced their worries about the younger male members of my family being forced by this current situation to join the local troops to fight in Ossetia... Scary... And unpredictable....

One wonders if this is just the beginning of something even more complicated and frightening due to all the political mayhem... And who gets stuck in the middle of it? People... People who want nothing more but to live in peace in their own homes with their family members all being well and alive.

As my compatriots and I keep our fingers crossed for a peaceful solution to this long-term conflict that has been going on for ages now, let's just hope it really doesn't get much worse before it's too late...

And thank you all once again, dear friends, for your thoughts and care - being born in Georgia and having moved to Russia quite early on, I can't help but feel torn and extremely uneasy about this, hoping somehow the international interference brings the right kind of resolution to this newly enraged... No, don't want to say the word "war".

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