On October 13, 2015, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, young representative of Georgia, Mariam Sikharulidze hosted a conference “Youth Role in Peacebuilding and Security”. The event was made possible through the cooperation with the young ambassador of Georgia, Ioseb Jorjoliani and young representatives of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Netherlands. The event was attended by 30 youngsters, who listened and engaged in discussion with three panelists from academia and non-governmental sector, among them were: Lincoln Mitchell, a writer and specialist in political development; Ariadne Asimakopolous, representative of the Network of Youth Peacebuilders, and Cecile Mazakurat, head of the UN Division for Peace Programs. The main topic of discussion was youth engagement and participation in the processes such as sustainable peace and national security. The meeting was opened by young representative of Georgia to the UN, Mariam Sikharulidze, ” Although, the majority of Georgian youth is willing to engage in a process of sustainable peacebuilding and has a big potential for bringing change in that matter, they still face many challenges, that could hamper the development of the process. The purpose of our meeting is to find reasons behind the probelms and discuss solutions in that regard. The representatives of the UN will fully engage in activities in regards to peacebuilding.
On June 18th, Georgian Art Historian, Giorgi Papashvili held a lecture about Georgia’s art history and culture at the Georgetown Unviersity. The event was supported by Professor of Theology at Georgetown University, Ori Soltes and the Young Ambassador of Georgia to the United States, Ioseb Jorjoliani. Ph.D candidate Papashvili who is now finishing his four months project in the United States, discussed the unique contributions of Georgia to the world, including the achievements of George Balanchine, John Shalikashvili, Alexander Kartveli and many more.
Young Ambassador of Georgia, Ioseb Jorjoliani came up with an initiative to express American public’s support to the victims of the flood, which hit the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi on June 13th. The address of TBC bank and link to Maka Meshveliani’s initiative to help Tbilisi recover from flooding were advertised in the lecture. Besides, that attendees took pictures with a sign “Support Tbilisi” to express their solidarity to Georgian people in this tough period of time.
Standing Stone Vineyards is a small winery at the Seneca Lake of Finger Lakes in the East of New York State. It is the first place to start labeling Georgian vinifera variety, Saperavi. Saperavi is an acidic, teinturier-type grape variety that has been growing in Georgia for about 6000 years and now is spreading all around the places. Standing Stone planted Saperavi a while ago but the owners of the winery could not label it as Saperavi, because it was not approved by TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) . Therefore they labeled it as the Dark Red. “Seneca Lake is not overwhelmingly famous for its red wines but we are trying to bring new viniferas so that we know what we can produce here, Saperavi is a proof that we should be growing more red here”, said the owner of Standing Stone vineyards, Marti Macinski.
2012 production of Saperavi has won a Gold Medal Award on New York Wine Fair. Therefore the owners of Standing Stone planted more Saperavi , increasing 3 acres of vineyards to 5 acres, “My husband and I decided to produce more Saperavi as we sold 200 cases of the Dark Red (Saperavi) in 8 months in 2013. We applied for a label to call it Saperavi and received approval in about a month”, said Marti Macinski who runs the winery with her husband, Tom Macinski. ” We are selling this delicious inky purple, deep, dark red, Saperavi at $29.99 which is not overly expensive and not overly cheap for New York market”, added Mrs. Macinski.
Tom and Marti purchased historic vineyards on the east side of Seneca Lake in 1991 and spent years researching the quality of these lands, “From ripe, richly flavored grapes we produce premium wines – each year making slightly more wine which is better than the preceding vintage”, said Marti Macinski. Standing Stone produced only 800 cases back in 1990s, now with increasing numbers of various wines including but not limited to Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Smokehouse Red, Saperavi and even Ice style wines, Standing Stone is producing about 8000 cases every year. “We get a fair amount of recognition, which is a little bit surprising, for our ice style wines. We harvest our grapes late, we freeze commercially and then make killer, delicious desert wines out of four different varieties” added Mrs. Macinski.
The wines made at Standing Stone Vineyards are made and sold in renovated barns, “The white wines are made in stainless steel tanks, allowing temperature control of fermentation and cellaring, and the red wines and Chardonnay are made in oak barrels – primarily American Oak but we also use Hungarian and French ones too. We spend many hours tasting the wines, both to follow their progress, and to assess the blends. We believe that the hands-on, vineyard based approach to our wines results in a superior wine finished in the bottle”, said Mrs. Macinski who hopes that her new production of Saperavi will be a huge success like the years before.
You can tour Standing Stone facility, often including a visit with someone from the wine making team, and often including samples of the current vintage from barrels or tanks.
On May 10th, the Young Ambassador of Georgia to the United States hosted an Intellectual Game,”What? Where? When?” at the Consulate General of Georgia in New York. The event was initiated by the young ambassadors of Georgia in ten different countries in cooperation with the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia and the Intellect Club of Georgia. The events took place in ten countries at the same period of time between 9th and 10th of May. 30 trivia questions were asked to 26 teams in total.
Two teams participated in the game from the United States. One of them leaded by Nini Khvedeliani (a student at New York University) collected 17 points, the other team leaded by Mark Sandler ( a student at Le High University) reached 9 points and held 6th and 16th places respectively among 26 participant teams . The jury and the host was Young Ambassador, Ioseb Jorjoliani.great assistance from Ana Lobjanidze, Vakhtang Gogsadze and Niko Bichiashvili.
This event was made possible through generosity of the Consulate of Georgia in New York.
If I was feeling safe I would have shared my name last name and even my address but now I cannot risk it, I have children, relatives and I cannot put their lives in danger, ”this is how a lady started her interview with “Tbilisi-24”, who is a member of Georgian-Abkhazian family. Her family lives in Sukhumi (de-facto capital of Abkhazia). She is currently visiting relatives in Tbilisi. Out of his three children, two live in Moscow, Russia. One of them resides in Sukhumi with his parents.
“We have raised kids grand kids, we are in a mediocre health and material conditions. We have enough to share with our neighbors but our soul is still missing contact with Georgians, it is much like oxygen for us”, said the lady and asked to bring her words to Georgians.
“Abkhazians are now regretting what happened back in 1990s. Now, Russians want to take everything under control here. Abkhazian people are very proud and cannot adopt with colonial rule over their place. After our patriarch expressed his wish to visit Abkhazia, hope emerged among most Georgians and Abkhazians. My Abkhazian friend in Sukhumi told me: ‘what if we can really set new relationship with Georgia.’ I know from him that most Abkhazians are looking for ways to connect to Georgians. I as a citizen feel that the hatred has disappeared. Earlier no one wanted to hear anything about Georgians. You know, how many new Georgian-Abkhazian families have been created? Do not feel offended but you journalists must be more active regarding Abkhazian issue, you always show conflicts instead of positive things that might have better impact on Georgian-Abkhazian relations.
My dear Georgians, I am a mother and that is why I dare to ask you to let our grandchildren grow up in Georgia with communal love and care. It indeed, requires huge effort to resolve the conflict . It is essential to reconstruct the trust between Georgians and the State of Georgia. We need to begin from public diplomacy and neglect the tone of order and aggression. Like I said, my friends returned to me, a lot of people want to return too. Of course, Russia plays a huge role but perhaps it is possible to talk to Russians. I believe that soon will come time when all Abkhazians will see news, development and will be willing to return to Georgia. Already, a lot of Abkhazians say- Abkhazia is Georgia.
t the end of the interview the woman said with her sorrowful voice: “We had a poster in Sukhumi, saying that Abkhazia is Georgia, you had to broadcast it on every channel. Media is the first step that could lead us to Georgian-Abkhazian reunion”.
Georgia wins Women’s World Team Chess Championship 2015. Georgia finished the tournament, by defeating the host country and three-times world champions China. The determinant game of the match was Meri Arabidze’s fine victory on the second board. From the early opening stage the Georgian put a strong pressure on her opponent Shen Yang, won a pawn and went on to convert into full point.
Georgia received the gold medal with 17 match points.
Bela Khotenashvili was the best top board, scoring 7,5/9 points for a 2699-elo performance. Meri Arabidze was the 3rd best board with 6/7. China is third with 11 match points, claiming the bronze.
Still holding a hoping for Georgia’s failure in the final round, Russia put up a powerful performance against USA, winning the match 3,5-0,5. Katerina Nemcova was the only to hold a draw, against the world championship finalist Natalija Pogonina. Olga Girya, playing as the 5th board, was the top performer of the event with 6,5/7 points or 92,9%.
Russia won the silver medal, with equal sum of individual points as Georgia, 25 each, but only 15 match points, having conceded ties to Kazakhstan and Armenia.
On March 26th 2015, the Young Ambassador of Georgia to the United States, Ioseb Jorjoliani, in cooperation with the Political Science Department hosted a Georgian Wine Tasting Evening at Washington and Jefferson College. The event aspired to promote Georgian wine culture and uniqueness of indigenous varieties of Georgian grape to a very eclectic audience, that comprised of American and foreign professors and students.
Ioseb Jorjoliani gave 10 minutes presentation on the potential of Georgian wine and the unique method of Kvevri wine-making. After Young Ambassador’s speech, four types of different varietals of wine were served, including: Mukuzani 2012 by Teliani Valley, Tvishi 2012 by Teliani Valley, Tsinandali 2013 by Teliani Valley and Mtsvane 2012 by Schuchmann. Guests enjoyed Georgian wine along with Georgian national food Megruli Khachapuri, (cooked by American Chefs). The event lasted about 3 hours and received about 60 guests.