2009-03-29

CEEC Commemorates Nato Enlargement And Supports Open Door Policy.

Washington, DC On Wednesday, March 25, 2009, the Central and Eastern European Coalition(CEEC), of which the Georgian Association is a member, hosted a policy reception on CapitolHill to honor the NATO enlargement of 1999 and 2004, and to support a continued open door policy.

CEEC comprises 18 national membership organizations representing more than 20 million Americans who trace their heritage to Central and East Europe. The program of Wednesday’s reception featured Senator Mikulski and Senator Voinovich, Mr.Zbigniew Brzezinski, Mr. Kurt Volker, the current U.S. Ambassador to NATO, and Mr. Michael Hatzel, a Senior Fellow at SAIS and former Senior Staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. U.S. Senators expressed their support for continued NATO open door policy, and indicated their willingness to fight for it. Mr. Volker highlighted the importance of maintaining an open door policy. In his view, NATO has become a stronger alliance by opening doors to new members. Mr. Brzezinski stated that it is in the interest of both the United States and Europe that Central and East European countries remain genuinely free. He advised countries who wish to become members of NATO one day to work toward membership in the European Union to keep this important alliance strong. Dr. Brzezinski emphasized that Ukraine and Georgia must eventually become NATO members and contribute to a collective European security, as well as benefit from this membership for their own security.

The Georgian Association hopes that NATO leaders will fully implement the 2008 Bucharest Summit decision with respect to Ukraine and Georgia, and will provide a clear road map for their eventual membership in the Alliance.

The Georgian Association in the United States of America (GA) is the oldest nonpartisan nationwide membership organization of Georgian-Americans and friends of Georgia. It strives to strengthen and support the Georgian-American community on a national level, and supports an independent, democratic and prosperous Georgia.

SACRED GEORGIAN CHANTS

SACRED GEORGIAN CHANTS
By The Georgian Harmony Choir

(Sherman Oaks, CA) On November 18, 2008, Jade Music with the support of the Georgian Association in the United States is proud to release the first US album by The Georgian Harmony Choir.

Sacred Georgian Chants, a compilation of songs and chants from the war-torn region, reflects the vigor and beauty of polyphonic chants from one of the oldest Christian countries. In today’s uncertain political climate preserving the Georgian musical heritage in Georgia itself and around the world has become of incomparable importance.

10% of the proceeds will go to the Georgian Association in the United States of America, Inc., the oldest nonpartisan nationwide membership organization of Georgian-Americans and friends of Georgia. The Association strives to strengthen the Georgian- American community on a national level, and supports an independent, democratic and prosperous Georgia.

Chant expert Dr. Jean-Claude Larchet wrote extensive liner notes on the history of Georgian Chant and its peculiarities.

Georgian Chant

Georgian religious choir chant seems to have reached its apogee between the ninth and 10th centuries, when it developed considerably. It was codified as much inside the country (particularly in the monasteries of the Tao-Klarjeti region) as it was in many Georgian monasteries or those with a significant Georgian presence located in Palestine, in the Sinai desert, at Mount Athos and in Bulgaria.

Under its basic and normative form, Georgian religious chant is a three-voice polyphony (called mzakhr, zhir and bam as early as the sixth century in a treatise by Ioane Petritsi), characterized by particular vocal techniques and the use of close tones. Usually the highest voice provides the melody and is supported by two other voices.

Contemporary Georgian liturgical chant is a witness of its fidelity to the tradition of polyphonic chant and its various variations, but also of its ability to innovate within traditions.

The Georgian Harmony Choir

The Georgian Harmony Choir was founded in 2006 by Nana Peradze. Its members are passionate amateurs and professionals from Georgia. Its vocation is to raise the awareness of religious and popular Georgian chant following tradition and authenticity. The Choir has performed in Belgrade (Serbia), Tbilisi (Georgia), where it participated in the international music festival “Chveneburebi,” and Paris.

Nana Peradze

Nana Peradze was born into an Orthodox family in Georgia. She received a chant and piano education and pursued theological studies. She took part in many piano concerts and won several national contests. Since 1984, she has actively taken part in the religious rebirth of Georgia under communism, creating choirs in several monasteries and churches.

From 1993 to 1997 she taught music in several religious schools and was the head of the choir at the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Tbilisi and at various churches in the Margveti region. In 1998 she went to France to pursue choir-conducting studies at the National Conservatory of Paris. In 2002 she founded the religious choir of the Georgian church in Paris before becoming the head conductor of Saint Simeon’s Choir, at “Saint Sava” Serbian Cathedral, in Paris, where she still sings today.

She currently conducts the Georgian Harmony Choir and is still studying Byzantine chant, of which she has considerable knowledge.

The Georgian Association in the United States of America

The Georgian Association in the United States advocates for Georgia and Georgian issues in the United States. The Association was founded in 1932 by Georgian immigrants following Russia’s occupation of Georgia in 1921. In 1960, it became a non-profit charitable US 501(c)(3) corporation. Since then, GA has assisted in maintaining public awareness of the Georgian nation and preserving Georgia’s identity and culture. The Association has provided a forum for discussing Georgian issues and has been a unifying entity for Georgian concerns.

Jade Music

Jade Music has a proven dedication to releasing quality classical and sacred music for more than 20 years. Its catalog includes works by the world-renowned Byzantine Choir of Greece and Lycourgos Angelopoulos, the choirs of Saint-Wandrille, Notre-Dame De Ganagobie, and Saint-Madeleine du Barroux, among others.

It has also established itself as the premiere record label of the choir of the abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, Spain. In 2007, Jade Music released the first US album of Serbian singer Divna Ljubojevic, Divna in Concert.

Jade Music, an independently owned operation with offices located in Sherman Oaks, California and Paris, France is distributed by Ryko Distribution in the United States, Universal Music in France, JVC in Japan, and Warner Music International in the rest of the world.

Track listing:
1. Easter Processional
2. Matins Stichera
3. O come, let us worship
4. Thou art the Vineyard
5. Troparion of the Cross
6. Trisagion (Thrice Holy)
7. Kontakion of Saint Nino
8. As many of you who have been baptized into Christ
9. Alleluia
10. O Heavenly King
11. Christmas Chant
12-13. Cherubic Hymn
14. Litany for the Deceased
15. Easter Troparion

To stream the record, please visit http://milanrecords.com/jbox/jademusic/

For photos, music, and additional information about the album, the Georgian Harmony Choir and Nana Peradze, please contact Stefan Karrer:

Stefan Karrer
Jade Music / Milan Entertainment, Inc.
14724 Ventura Blvd. Suite 910
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Phone: (818) 849-3349
Fax: (818) 849-3341
stefan@jade-music.com
www.jade-music.com
www.milanrecords.com/spiritual
www.youtube.com/jademusic54

For additional information about the Georgian Association, Georgian musical culture in the United States, please contact Maka Gabelia:

Maka Gabelia
Executive Director
Georgian Association in the United States
2300 M Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: (202) 234-2441
georgianassociation@gmail.com

Documentary Film about Vachtang “Botso” Korisheli

An American film crew is working on a production of a feature-length, non-profit documentary film on the life and legacy of Vachtang “Botso” Korisheli. Mr. Korisheli is a Georgian composer, teacher and sculptor who lives in California.

The filmmakers will finish the production of “BOTSO: The Passion of Music, The Passion of Art” by the end of 2008. The documentary will explore the life and philosophy of Botso Korisheli. Also, it will showcase life in Georgia and the Georgian culture.

For more information about Mr. Korisheli and this film, please visit www.aspectstudios.com/botso.

Research Georgian Biographies Online

The online Dictionary of the Georgian National Biography is the first English-language compilation of some 400 biographies of individuals, whose lives have influenced the Georgian culture and history. This resource provides information about people of every ethnic background, who contributed to the cultural diversity of the Georgian society. You may access this resource at http://www.georgianbiography.com

Association Forms Working Groups

The Georgian Association has formed Advocacy, Press and Education working groups. Volunteers who kindly agree to participate in these groups will advocate for Georgian issues with the United States government and other relevant organizations, ensure fair coverage of Georgian issues in the press, and build a framework to help preserve the Georgian language and culture in the U.S.

Soon, the Association will issue a formal position paper on key issues and priorities important to the Georgian community in the U.S. and the organization as well. Support for territorial integrity of Georgia and stability in the Caucasus will be top priorities.

A coordinator will lead and manage activities of each working group. We are still looking for enthusiastic volunteers. If you would like to join any of the above-mentioned groups, please contact us. For logistical reasons, it is easier to participate in these efforts if you live in the Greater Washington area. However, there will be many opportunities to contribute from afar. Therefore, if you live in a different state and are interested in helping, please let us know.

Russia Continues Bombing Georgia

 

  • Georgias existence is under attack by an authoritarian and imperial Russia that has flouted international law by bombing the country, slaughtering civilians and occupying its territory. This is a situation that the West has encountered numerous times in the past in Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1968, in Hungary in 1956 and in Afghanistan in 1979. We have seen the failure of appeasement before, and while international condemnations of Russia have proliferated, they will not prevent further dominoes from falling. Concrete actions must be taken.

    If Russia fails to cooperate with calls for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of its troops from Georgia, we urge the United Nations, United States, European Union and NATO to consider taking the following actions to prevent further aggression and preserve global stability:

  • Immediately Recall US Ambassador to Russia
  • Grant Georgia MAP for NATO
  • Remove Russia from the G-8
  • Strip the 2014 Sochi Olympics from Russia
  • Freeze Russian assets abroad
  • Enact economic sanctions on Russia
  • Continue to block Russian membership in the WTO
    This is a decisive moment for the West and the world more broadly. The Georgian Association in the United States hopes that the global community clearly recognizes the danger to its stability that Russian actions present.

    Georgian Association in the United States of America, Inc.

 

Georgia Under Attack

 

  • Georgia is under attack by an authoritarian power that refuses to recognize international law. This is a situation that Western powers have encountered many times before in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan. The US must take the lead in fiercely condemning Russian aggression, which is a threat not only for Georgian independence but for many other Russian neighbors such as Ukraine and the Baltic states where Russia also has territorial disputes. The issue before the world community not only concerns Georgian democracy and respect for national sovereignty, but how to control the growth of a dangerous imperial and authoritarian regime in Russia. Should Russia pursue its war with impunity, we can expect continuing instability in the Caucasus for decades to come. No new democracy will be safe or able to thrive on Russia’s borders.

    This is a decisive moment for Western policy toward Russia. Do we allow a Russian military victory in Georgia which will reinforce Russian militarism and further weaken its democratic forces (the Russian media is already a propaganda machine for the state), or do we take the proper action that will reinforce democracy and international law.

    The Georgian Association appeals to the US government to:

  • Demand the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia from Russia
  • To take the diplomatic lead and dispatch US envoys to the EU, Russia and Georgia to coordinate international action
  • To demand an immediate ceasefire and the end of civilian targeting by Russian planes
  • The establishment of a new international peace keeping regime in South Ossetia to replace the failed Joint Control Commission controlled by Russia. If Russia fails to cooperate and continues bombing of Georgia and occupation of the parts of its territory, the international community must take the appropriate action including measures to ensure the diplomatic isolation of Russia. This is a decisive moment for Western powers and the Georgian Association hopes that both the USA and EU clearly recognize the danger to political stability in Europe that Russian actions present.

    . The Georgian Association in the USA Inc.

 

A new Senate Resolution (S.Res.391)

A new Senate Resolution (S.Res.391) on the Latest News page under the title “The United States Senate Calls on the President of the United States to Engage in an Open Discussion with the Leaders of the Republic of Georgia”.
Calling on the President of the United States to engage in an open discussion with the leaders of the Republic of Georgia to express support for the planned presidential elections and… (Agreed to by Senate)
SRES 391 ATS
110th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. RES. 391
Calling on the President of the United States to engage in an open discussion with the leaders of the Republic of Georgia to express support for the planned presidential elections and the expectation that such elections will be held in a manner consistent with democratic principles.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
December 6, 2007
Mr. LUGAR (for himself, Mr. BIDEN, and Mr. DODD) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
December 13, 2007
Committee discharged; considered and agreed to
RESOLUTION
Calling on the President of the United States to engage in an open discussion with the leaders of the Republic of Georgia to express support for the planned presidential elections and the expectation that such elections will be held in a manner consistent with democratic principles. Whereas the Republic of Georgia, which is an emerging democracy strategically located between Turkey and Russia, is an important political and geopolitical ally of the United States;Whereas Georgia has made significant economic progress since 2000, with an economic growth rate that now exceeds 9 percent on an annual basis, and was named the top economic reformer in the world by the World Bank in 2006; Whereas the Government of Georgia has been a leader in addressing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction under the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program; Whereas the Government of Georgia is working to become a candidate for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union;Whereas the United States Government strongly supports the territorial integrity of Georgia and works actively toward a peaceful settlement of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia conflicts that might lead those regions toward greater autonomy within a unified Georgia; Whereas the popular uprising in Georgia in 2003, the Rose Revolution, led to the establishment of democracy in that country;Whereas opposition parties in Georgia engaged in demonstrations lasting several days beginning on November 2, 2007; Whereas the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, declared a state of emergency on November 7, 2007, after which the country’s main opposition television station, Imedi, was closed; Whereas Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza visited Georgia on November 10-11, 2007, and urged the Government of Georgia to reopen its private television stations, stating on Georgian state television: `A cornerstone of democracy is that all TV stations should remain open.’;Whereas President Saakashvili ended emergency rule on November 17, 2007, and announced presidential elections to be held on January 5, 2008; Whereas the Government of Georgia has announced the reopening of the major opposition television station, Imedi; Whereas the Government of Georgia has invited international election monitors to oversee the elections and thereby contribute to greater international recognition of the Georgian political process; and Whereas freedom of the press, freedom of political expression, and a fair and impartial judiciary are among the most fundamental tenets of democracy:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved,
That it is the sense of the Senate that–
(1) the President should publicly state strong support for free
and fair elections to be held in Georgia on January 5, 2008, in accordance with democratic principles; and
(2) the Government of Georgia, in order to restore faith in the democratic evolution of the country–
(A) must conduct free and fair elections, without government interference; and

Statement of Senator Obama on Tensions in the Caucasus Region Between Georgia and Russia.

Chicago, IL — “Over the last several weeks, Russia and Georgia have been engaged in a steadily more dangerous confrontation over two secessionist regions of Georgia — South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Although these territories are located within Georgia’s internationally-recognized borders, the Russian government seems determined to challenge Georgia’s territorial integrity in both places. Developments took an especially provocative turn several days ago when four Russian warplanes violated Georgian airspace close to the Georgian capital for forty minutes.

All parties — Russia first and foremost — must now reduce tensions, avoid the risks of war, and reengage in peaceful negotiations.

As I stated in April of this year, I am committed to upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. This commitment has long been a fundamental building block of U.S. policy, and it will not change under an Obama Administration. I also affirm Georgia’s right to pursue NATO membership. This aspiration in no way threatens the legitimate defense interests of Georgia’s neighbors.

Only a political settlement can resolve the conflicts over Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia needs to roll back the aggressive actions it has taken in the last three months. The Georgian government must resist the temptation to be drawn into a military conflict. All parties must make clear that they are committed to a diplomatic settlement and will not seek to resolve this dispute by force.

The international community must become more active in trying to defuse this confrontation. The fact that Russia has become a party to the conflict means that Russia is not qualified to play the role of a mediator. The visit to Georgia by German Foreign Minister Steinmeier this week was a positive, important step towards establishing a larger role for the European Union. The Euro-Atlantic community must speak with one voice in helping to promote peace in this volatile region. As part of the de-escalation process, a multilateral peacekeeping force must eventually replace the Russian peacekeeping force currently deployed in Abkhazia.”

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Policy Discussions with Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright

Washington, DC-On Wednesday, February 27, 2008, the Georgian Association in the USA along with its colleagues from the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC), representing more than 22 million Americans, discussed a range of policy issues with presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton’s advisor, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Also present at the meeting was Lee Feinstein, Senator Clinton’s Campaign National Security Director. The Georgian Association was represented by Mamuka Tsereteli (President), Maka Gabelia (Executive Director), Zacharia Kiknadze (Member) and Nino Japaridze (Board Member). One hour long discussion was moderated by Nino Japaridze.

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The meeting focused on key areas of concern for the Georgian Association, including Russia’s actions against Georgia and Ukraine and other Central and East European countries, energy security and diversification, and NATO enlargement. Secretary Albright fondly remembered her collaboration with General John Shalikashvili as she recalled her work on NATO enlargement. “NATO enlargement, the removal of the divide between East and West Europe, opened up a new chapter in the history of Europe. John and I stood side-by-side during this momentous time,” Albright noted.

Secretary Albright speaking on behalf of Senator Clinton reaffirmed Senator’s support for NATO’s “open door” policy. She welcomed Ukraine’s and Georgia’s aspirations for full NATO membership. Secretary Albright made it clear that the Membership Action Plan (MAP) criteria constitute a roadmap for full NATO membership, and MAP will be the measure determining the timeline of the actual membership in NATO for Ukraine and Georgia.

Albright expressed confidence that Senator Clinton would continue to advance issues of concern to the Georgian Association and the CEEC and she urged the group to remain engaged on the issues in Washington DC.

For more information contact:
Contact: Nino Japaridze
Tel: (301) 263-0808