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Thursday, June 30, 2011
The game was arranged at the Tskneti’s Kopala Sports Complex near Tbilisi which also contains a bowling center. In total, 26 local and foreign bowlers took part in the championship, from which 13 were local players, four from Lithuania, four from Ukraine and five came from Azerbaijan.
In the tense semifinal, the representatives of Azerbaijan, Lithuania, and Ukraine put on an impressive performance so that the prize fund of $ 3000 introduced by Axis, a local developer, was distributed among them.
In particular, Zilvinas Perminas from Lithuania became the number one bowler. He has been the champion of Europe several times over and a world champion. Elhan Faizullaev and Ramil Hamidov, both from Azerbaijan took second and third place respectively.
Irakli Tsuladze of Georgia, who is the Vice President of the Bowling Federation of Georgia and has created hand-made cups for bowling championship winners, was named as the best player at the competition.
Interestingly, Elhan Faizullaev, who is the Vice-President of Azerbaijan’s Bowling Federation, contributed his prize money to a special fund which will support the development of bowling in Georgia.
According to the championship’s organizers, the first competition has proved to be a success, so they plan to arrange additional competitions in the future as well. Mako Jaoshvili, Vice President of the Bowling Federation of Georgia, said that in the fall the Federation plans to organize its next competition, which will be on an “even more attractive and larger-scale.”
“Bowling, which is both enjoyable and helps to burn calories, is being developed actively in the country. We plan to make all efforts to support the development of this game as a sport,” Jaoshvili commented. She added that despite the Georgian players that were not present in the championship’s final game, organizing such an event is “already a victory for Georgian bowling.”
Bowling in some ways is a quintessentially American pastime and has struggled in the past to gain a foothold in the Georgian imagination. Georgian bowling does not have a rich history; the country’s single bowling center built a decade ago was closed five or six years ago and it was only last year that Bowling Central at Tbilisi Central Shopping Mall opened its doors for bowling lovers.
Apart from this single opportunity in the capital, there is also Tskneti’s Kopala Sports Complex available for bowling fun.
Renowned Yale Alumni Chorus tours Georgia this summer - performance at Tbilisi Centre for Music and Culture
On June 23 the renowned Yale Alumni Chorus of 220 members gave a large-scale concert at Djansug Kakhidze Tbilisi Centre for Music and Culture together with Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra. Jeffrey Douma and his Georgian counterpart Vakhtang Kakhidze conducted the concert in succession. “It is always interesting to have contacts with the musicians of different nations. The visit of such a large-scale chorus is a great present for us from the US which would even deepen our friendship,” Vakhtang Kakhidze told us.
At the first part of the event Yale Alumni Chorus presented a new song which was specially commissioned for this tour called “a Dream and a Song” written by a young composer who is a student at Yale; later they sang American a capella pieces, spirituals and folksongs known all over the world. The Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra treated the audience to a Porgy and Bess Orchestra Suite composed by George Gershwin. Georgian prominent soprano Mariam Kobaliani and Jeff Rouse, Yale tenor soloist, performed Ralph Vaughan Williams’ magnificent cantata called Dona Nobis Pacem (Give Us Peace). This piece has captivated audiences all over the world presenting a vision of harmony and friendship among the nations of the world.
Prominent Georgian soprano Mariam Kobaliani performed her parts with great pleasure. “It was absolutely unexpected for me to get an invitation from Maestro Kakhidze to participate at the concert with Yale Alumni Chorus. I like the part of soprano which I am performing and I took part with great pleasure,” Kobaliani told us welcoming the pleasant atmosphere during the rehearsals. At the final stage the foreign guests performed Make Our Garden Grow from “Candide” with Yale Alumni Chorus and Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra. Sharing his impressions of Georgian musicians to The Messenger Yale Alumni Chorus soloist John Rouse said “it has been a joy to work with Maestro Vakhtang Kakhidze at this magnificent concert hall”.
Read full article: http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/2386_june_28_2011/2386_yale.html
Monday, June 27, 2011
In Eye On Georgia – part of the popular strand which has already visited India, Germany and Ukraine this year – CNN’s Paula Newton is live in key locations across Tbilisi every night of the week at 2030 local time, presenting a mix of packages and interviews as the network takes stock of the opportunities, innovations, challenges and traditions in this country redefining itself eight years on from the Rose Revolution.
Here is a clip from Eye on Georgia that features South African farmers moving to Georgia - we've been discussing in our previous post.
Original article source: http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/2385_june_27_2011/2385_CNN.html
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Boers.ge: It's the online portal for the project Van Zyl, the director of the Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU), has been masterminding for nearly a year now: to send South African farmers to Georgia to rehabilitate the Georgian agricultural sector, which has languished since the end of communism.
Many of the TAU's (predominantly white) members are fed up with farming in South Africa, hence the flood of queries. But mountainous Georgia is also so far away, it's almost unimaginable. On the wall behind his laptop, Van Zyl has pasted a map he uses to conjure up soothing, familiar images. Ajara, the province in the west by the Black Sea, "looks like Tzaneen", he told me, pointing, and Kakheti, the wine-growing region in the east, "reminds me of the Franschhoek or Paarl area, or the eastern Free State".
Farmland looks like farmland anywhere, to some degree. But here's the distinction Van Zyl draws between Georgia and South Africa that makes Georgia appear to be a promised land: he perceives a sense of possibility suffusing the landscape, of flush times to come, as opposed to already receding into the past.
|Leading farmers to Georgia: Bennie van Zyl, director of the Transvaal Agricultural Union .|
Read full article about white South African farmers planning to relocate and settle down in Georgia here: http://mg.co.za/article/2011-06-24-georgia--and-congo-on-south-african-farmers-minds/
Saturday, June 25, 2011
|Rules Committee Chairman Rep. David Dreier (R-CA)|
US congressman David Dreier reiterated the US support towards Georgia in his speech on June 22. Dreier, who visited Georgia earlier in June told the US congressmen that the consequences of the military conflict between Georgia and Russia of August 2008 are still being felt. “For the people of the republic of Georgia, this conflict has been going on for nearly three years. They live with the tragic consequences that follow any conflict including thousands of displaced persons and significant economic hardships,” Dreier noted “Beyond a human cost, they face a long term strategic challenge of an occupying force in regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Where Russia continues to violate the terms of the ceasefire to which it agreed,” he noted.
Dreier went on saying that “as occupiers, they [Russia] the sovereignty and territorial integrity of an independent state – one that has chosen a path of integration with euro Atlantic institutions and more important one that has chosen integration with euro-Atlantic values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Russia’s reccoucentracies left the region in a bitter stalemate as flouts international norms and its own commitments.”
The US congressman stressed on the recent alleged terrorist attacks and foiled terrorist acts, claimed to be staged by the Russian special agencies on the Georgian territory. “Since 2009 the republic of Georgia has experienced 12 acts or attempted acts of terrorism within its borders which the Georgians believe are linked to Russian forces. One such bombing of September 22 of 2010 took place near the US embassy in Tbilisi, two thwarted attempts took place just this month. One improvised explosive device was intercepted on June 2 two days before several colleagues and I arrived in Tbilisi. Another was intercepted on June 6, while we were still there,” Dreier said, adding that he had discussed the recent incidents during his meeting with the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. “He and his administration is increasingly concerned about what they perceive to be a systematic effort to target the Georgian people and undermine their progress towards a peaceful, stable, independent and democratic nation,” the congressman said.
He noted that the intended targets of recent bombing attempts “seemed to suggest an increased focus on civilian casualties.” “This is particularly troubling,” Dreier stated. “As the investigation proceeds to determine the origin and intent of these bombings, it is more important than ever that we stand with our Georgian friends, that we stand with their right to sovereignty and territorial integrity, that we stand with their efforts to build a stronger democracy,” the congressman noted.
Dreier touched upon the US’s reset policy with Russia, saying that Obama’s administration has attempted to reset relations with Russia for a number of “pragmatic and strategic” reasons. “I believe they were right to do so. But it is important to differentiate between those relationships which are important for inescapable geopolitical considerations and those which are based on shared values and goals,” he said “As a major international player and a prominent member of the United Nation’s Security Council we must engage constructively with Russia, but that does not mean that we must turn a blind eye to its tactics or strategic aims towards the former soviet sphere, on the contrary we must engage with eyes wide open,” Congressman Dreier added.
Original article: http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/2384_june_24_2011/2384_mzia.html
Thursday, June 23, 2011
The FINANCIAL -- SilkNet, one of the leading communication operators in Georgia, is offering Silk TV users a new video collection for free until September.
Silk TV subscribers are able to order over 400 movies through the VoD (Video on Demand) service.
Silk TV is new generation interactive television being implemented by Silknet since September 2010. Currently the service is available in Tbilisi and Batumi with already 14,000 subscribers switched to the Silk TV service. Batumi is the second city in Georgia where Silknet has been implementing its project. According to Ramaz Kukuladze, Deputy Director General of Silknet, the next destination will be Kutaisi.
“Silknet invested tens of millions of GEL in the development of Silk TV. The major investments were in modernization of the network: converting from copper cables to fibre optic cables and the proper functioning of infrastructure,” said Kukuladze in his last interview with The FINANCIAL.
According to the order issued by the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) all of the cable companies operating in Georgia, whose number tops 90, have been demanded to quit the rebroadcasting of NTV channels”. The order was based on the statement by Super TV cable company.
Silk TV has already replaced NTV channels with Video on Demand (VoD). The novelty was introduced at a press conference last week.
“Due to the fact that our company is first of all oriented at its consumers, we are implementing a new, unprecedented video collection on the market. It’s a completely new service. At the moment together with the 400 films we also offer 187 Georgian movies,” said Daraseli, Head of the PR Department of Silknet.
“We are holding negotiations with different movie rental companies and movie studios including Georgian ones. Every Friday we are going to add 5 new films, including documentary films, cartoons, high ranked soap operas and classic movies. We are giving our subscribers the gift of movie collections,” Daraseli said.
According to Kukuladze all of the movies that will be included in the video collection will be licensed. The company will try its best to give subscribers the opportunity to see all new movies, for that reason it is negotiating with movie directors and movie rental companies.
“This is a very new service that we are offering our consumers. VoD service is only implemented in a few countries, where it works successfully. We will always try to offer people the highest rating movies in order to satisfy the needs of our consumers. We do promise that this is not the final version of the product and we will be trying to improve it constantly. We will be offering many novelties soon,” Kukuladze said.
“At the same time we are holding negotiations with the company НТВ and we do hope that they will be successful,” Kukuladze said.
According to company officials, Silknet is going to open 7 innovative service centres in 2011. New service centres will be opened in Saburtalo, Gldani, and Avlabari districts of Tbilisi . The company is planning to develop fibre optic internet and TV service throughout the whole territory of Georgia including the different regions.
Silknet offered a new, joint Triple Pay package to its consumers not long ago. Silknet offers its subscribers 3 services, phone, internet and TV in one joint package. Subscribers who accept the triple offer enjoy special discounts and have to pay much less than if using the products separately.
“Subscribers who use this triple offer may be able to pay from one account which makes payment procedures easier. Permanent improvement of our internet network has made us get closer to this new package. DSL and optic network subscribers are able to use this package. The minimum cost of the package is 44 GEL. This sum includes the cost of telephone and internet andTV channels,” Daraseli said.
Original article URL: http://www.finchannel.com/Main_News/Geo/89135_Summer_Gift_for_Silk_TV_Subscribers/
Saturday, June 18, 2011
|Tbilisi, Georgia Botanical Garden Waterfall|
Georgia’s tourism industry may grow to as much as 11 percent of economic production over the next few years, from 5 percent in 2011, said Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Vera Kobalia.
“Tourism is growing fast, but we must not be dependent just on it,” Kobalia said in an interview today after appearing at a transportation conference in Tbilisi, the capital. “Agriculture and transit routes are also important.”
Georgia will attract as many as 3 million visitors this year, up from 2 million in 2010, Kobalia said in April. That would be the highest figure since 2003, when President Mikheil Saakashvili came to power in the so-called Rose Revolution.
The economy expanded 6.4 percent last year to $11.7 billion, according to the statistics office.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at email@example.com
Saturday, June 11, 2011
If you were trying to find this movie in stores and online you've probably realized that it's not yet available. Most websites I visited either don't have it or say that it will be released later this year.
However, the good news - you still can order it now, original DVD and it is just for $16 USD with shipping fees to the US. From Amazon! (to be precise, from Amazon.co.uk). Although it is a UK online store they can easily deliver to the US or elsewhere (excluding may be few countries like Cuba or North Korea). Click on this link and it will take you to the amazon.co.uk website. They have price in British pounds (7.93) but they charged me less (about 6 pounds) when I requested delivery location in US. After conversion and delivery fees final price was about $16 USD which I think is a good deal for the original DVD of "5 Days of August", "5 Days of War" or how Netflix calls it on its website, "Georgia" (2010).
One small catch - this is a pre-order and Amazon says that shipping can happen on or after June 13, 2011. Today is June 11 and I think I can easily wait just for 2 days. And by the way, amazon.co.uk delivery to US usually takes 10-12 days. So my order should be at my place by June 25 latest.
I heard from many who watched "5 Days of August" in movie theaters that it's not an easy watch and emotionally some times very difficult, especially if you know Georgia, Georgian people and have any relationship with Georgia. Anyway, I wish everyone who will be watching "5 Days of August" movie to enjoy it and have good time. Renny Harlin is a great filmmaker and I am sure the movie won't disappoint us.
June 11th - the official opening day of the tourist season in Georgia in 2011. The opening ceremony was held on Rustaveli Avenue in front of the cable car that leads to Tbilisi funicular.
At the ceremony were displayed photos and information materials from all over Georgia, as well as the presentation of a documentary about Georgia, "That Crazy French Woman in Georgia", shot by famous TV channel – „Travel Channel".
Tourist information centers have been opened at Tbilisi airport and in several towns where the tourists are expected. This makes it easier for tourists to find their way around Georgia.
"We worked on the development of infrastructure that will improve the tourist routes and make it more convenient travel for foreign tourists, and also for residents of Georgia" said Sidamonidze.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Eurasia’s oldest and earliest species - Homo Erectus (Homo Georgicus) - discovered in Dmanisi, Georgia
Stone artifacts unearthed at Georgia’s Dmanisi archaeological site, 90 kilometers southwest of Tbilisi, suggest that early man may have gotten his start in Eurasia and then migrated to Africa, an international team of scientists contends.
The team’s findings, published in the June 6, 2011 print edition of the Washington, DC-based scientific journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), hold that “Eurasia was probably occupied [by early humans] before Homo erectus [the species from which a straight line of evolution to modern humans begins -- ed] appears in the East African fossil record.”
The sediment in which the artifacts, crude stone tools, were found is “almost 70,000 years older “ than the 1.85 million-year-old early human fossils, also found at Dmanisi, that date as Eurasia’s earliest homo erectus, Reid Ferring, a professor of geoarcheology at the University of North Texas and a member of the research team, told EurasiaNet.org. The sediment is located “several meters below” that earlier find, he said.
No human fossils have been found next to the tools, but the researchers believe that the artifacts -- stones sharpened for cutting -- belonged to humans more primitive or from the same era as Dmanisi’s 1.85-million-year-old homo erectus (known as “homo georgicus”). The artifacts will be kept at the Georgian National Museum run by team member Davit Lordkipanidze, a prominent archaeologist-anthropologist who discovered homo georgicus.
The evidence has prompted the Dmanisi researchers to consider the strong possibility that some more primitive form of human evolved in Africa, came to Eurasia, and there evolved into homo erectus.
“For a long time, everyone assumed that homo erectus evolved from homo habilis [1.44 million to 2.3 million years], but later it appeared that homo erectus and homo habilis lived side by side in Africa for hundreds of thousands of years, so one cannot evolve into another and both survive,” Ferring said. “That raises the question where homo erectus came from.”
“Very importantly, the Dmanisi fossils are just barely homo erectus. They are the most primitive of homo erectus . . . very small-brained, very short people,” he continued. “Most of the skulls in Dmanisi have a brain size of 600 cubic centimeters, while the first homo erectus found in Africa is almost 850 cubic centimeters; more than one-third bigger.”
Researchers on the ground in Dmanisi also do not rule out the possibility that Eurasia’s homo erectus may have evolved in parallel with homo erectus in Africa.
Ferring describes homo erectus as the “first cosmopolitan” human, with an apparent penchant to travel. The hominid is believed to have spread quickly from Eurasia to China, Southeast Asia and Europe.
The possible reasons for such a move may not be immediately clear, but, to the homo erectus of the time, territory was territory, one American anthropologist noted.
"Remember, it would not have been obvious to the hominins they were leaving Africa. There were no signs saying 'You are leaving Africa now — come and visit us again!'" George Washington University Professor of Human Origins Bernard Wood joked to the weekly journal Nature.
While few doubt the importance of the Dmanisi find for the study of human evolution, some observers caution that only new human fossils could warrant a conclusion in favor of the hypotheses of the Dmanisi team. Ferring acknowledges that “very aggressive surveys” are needed to find “even older fossils,” but underlines Georgia’s potential role in providing answers to key questions about human evolution.
“Once again the answers may come from the Caucasus, “ he said. “We may even say maybe from Georgia.”
Editor's note: Giorgi Lomsadze is a freelance reporter based in Tbilisi.
Original URL: http://www.eurasianet.org/node/63662
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
First Open Air AlterVision Song Contest was held in Tbilisi (Georgia) on May 15-17, 2009. The main idea came after Georgia refused to participate in Eurovision annual contest. On 11 March 2009, Georgia withdrew from the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, refusing to change the song lyrics and alleging that the decision to ask Georgia to revise its entry came about as a result of pressure from Russia. The song We Don't Wanna Put In caused controversy as it was seen to contain political references to Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin in the lyrics. The defining idea behind the festival is freedom. This is freedom from stress, clichés, social controls, freedom to create and express, freedom to experience what is valued by every single one of us as individuals.
Watch this video from the First AlterVision in 2009 to get a feel of this great event, truly free from bubblegum pop of Eurovision, fake and artificial in everything.
To mark the first ever event of this kind in Tbilisi, the festival will include live appearances by many acts from different countries.
This year Tbilisi Open Air AlterVision 2011 will be held at Tbilisi Hippodrome on Jun 11-12.
Tbilisi Open Air 2011 Participating Bands:
June 11, 2011
Ketrine and Me
Tako and Green Mama
Me and My Monkey
Z for Zulu
Herr Styler (France)
Wallace Vanborn (Belgium)
June 12, 2011
The Fades (UK)
Greenbeam and Leon
Monday, June 6, 2011
The 2011 Kavkaz Jazz festival will be conducted from June 6 to June 9 in Tbilisi, Georgia with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia at Kote Marjanishvili theatre. The festival will be opened by the Tbilisi Big Band and continued by bands and musicians from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Headline acts of the event include Tbilisi Big Band Georgia, Ulvia Rakhimova (Azerbaijan), The Crossroad Band (Armenia) and Artak Nersesyan (Armenia) Dini Virsaladze Trio (Georgia).
The Kavkaz Jazz festival is non-commercial festival, which is aimed at the popularization of Jazz music in the South Caucasus region. It will also provide an intercultural dialog among participating bands and musicians finding jazz as a symbol of peace, tolerance and freedom. Simultaneously within the framework of the festival workshops, discussions, and master classes for younger musicians will also be conducted.
K A V K A Z J A Z Z
"We, Caucasians are esthetic people. Our culture is oldest and significant one in the world history. It is enough to mention Mtkvar-Arakisi culture, which was created in IV-III thousands before Christ - at dawn of civilizations. This is really a special and specific region, a boundary of civilizations. We always were characterized with tolerance towards each other and with political, spiritual and cultural tolerance. This is proved by the fact that in Tbilisi, beside each other there are built Orthodox, Armenian, Gregorian churches, Synagogue and Moslem Mosque.
Today, we, musicians shall meet once again in order to strengthen our traditions and relations. Jazz is the best means for this, as it is the symbol of tolerance, unity, freedom, peace and friendship. It is a mediator between representatives of different nations and religions of modern civilization."
Sunday, June 5, 2011
"Five Days of August", directed by veteran Renny Harlin and co-produced by a Georgian minister, focuses on a fictional American reporter trying to establish the truth about atrocities committed during the five-day conflict in 2008.
"It's an anti-war movie," said Garcia, who plays the role of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, at a news conference in Tbilisi.
"We see the tragedies that arose so hopefully they won't happen again," said the actor, once Oscar-nominated for his role in "The Godfather: Part III".
Director Harlin, best known for action thrillers like "Die Hard 2" and "Cliffhanger", said the film was about "a small country fighting for independence and freedom".
"It was the most powerful experience of my life and my career," he said of making the film in Georgia.
Hundreds died in the brief war which saw Moscow's forces pour into neighbouring Georgia to repel Tbilisi's attempt to retake the Kremlin-backed rebel region of South Ossetia.
One of the film's producers is a minister in the pro-Western Saakashvili administration, although he rejected suggestions that the film was a biased portrayal of the conflict.
"Of course it is not propaganda," Minister for Diaspora Issues Mirza Davitaia told AFP. "They based this movie on international reports from Human Rights Watch and the European Union," he said. The Georgian authorities allowed Harlin to use their soldiers, tanks and helicopters to shoot scenes of firefights and fleeing refugees, although they have denied directly funding the film.
Harlin told reporters that the project cost $12 million, refuting previous estimates of $20 million, although it remains one of the most expensive films ever shot in the impoverished country. Books portraying the Georgian soldiers who died during the fighting as heroes were distributed at the Tbilisi screening.
Sharon Stone did not appear in the film but attended the premiere and a charity event that followed to raise money for the families of those who suffered during the war. Several hundred people gathered near the cinema where the premiere was held to cheer the US stars, whose appearance was a rare sight in the small Caucasus republic.
"I've very happy that a Hollywood director has filmed what happened in our country, where we have a big enemy," one onlooker, Niko Bagashvili, told AFP. "This is a small country and it's great that famous people like Garcia and Stone have come here," said another, Nana Ivanishvili.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Yet another Hollywood star Sharon Stone will arrive in Tbilisi. As reported, the Hollywood star is going to attend the opening night of the 5 Days of August directed by Renny Harlin.
Reportedly, before the face-to-face meeting between Georgia's President and the U.S Vice President, Biden got interested in Hollywood movie shot on Russia-Georgia war of 2008 and Mikheil Saakashvili told him about details of the 5 Days of August.
Reportedly, Renny Harlin and Andy Garcia playing one of leading roles in the movie are also arriving in Georgia.
As reported, Sharon Stone considered Hollywood's most intellectual actress will arrive in Georgia a day earlier the opening night. She is expected to stay in Radisson hotel in Tbilisi.