World Abaza Congress

12 December 2019
14:32
United and indivisible
About the history of the World Abaza Congress
On October 7 and 8, 1992, the First World Congress of the Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) People was held in the village of Lykhny. The Congress was attended by representatives of the Diaspora of the far and near abroad, delegates from Kabarda, Adygea, Shapsugia, Abazashty. This event became extremely important for raising the spirit and support of the Abkhaz people during the Patriotic War of 1992-1993. Divided by a century and a half as a result of historical upheavals, the Abkhaz people remained united, having rallied in the most difficult moment for modern history.
Vladislav Ardzinba and Ibrahim Yaganov (left) at the First World Congress of the Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) People, October 1992
© Charitable Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Abkhazia
Vladislav Ardzinba at the First World Congress of the Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) People, October, 1992
© Charitable Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Abkhazia
At the Congress, the creation of the World Association of the Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) People was announced. Participants elected the presidium, the editorial commission and the press secretariat of the organization. The Executive Committee of the Association was headed by Doctor of Law Taras Shamba
At the First Congress of the Abaza People, a number of documents were adopted: the Declaration, as well as appeals of the meeting participants to the UN, the peoples of the Caucasus, the President and the Supreme Council of Russia, to apply sanctions against Georgia and help end the war in Abkhazia
From the speech of Vladislav Ardzinba at the First World Congress of the Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) People
© AGTRK
From the speech of a delegate from Turkey at the First World Congress of the Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) People
© AGTRK
Delegates of the I Congress declared that the Abaza ethnic group can be preserved only by returning representatives of the Diaspora to their historical homeland. At the same time, it was noted that this process should be carried out on the basis of generally accepted norms in the world community.

The first meeting of the Executive Committee of the World Association of the Abaza People or the International Association of the Abkhaz-Abaza People (IAAAP), as it subsequently became known, was held on October 9, 1992 in Gudauta. At the meeting was adopted the Charter, which reflected the main objectives of the organization: the revival of the ethno-cultural unity of the Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) people; creation of necessary conditions for the voluntary return to the historical homeland of representatives of the Diaspora; participation of compatriots in the economic, social and cultural development of Abkhazia; restoration of true history, preservation of national identity, traditions and customs of the Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) people.

Consolidation of the people, to whom the participants of the First Congress of the Abkhaz-Abaza People called, played a significant role in the liberation of Abkhazia. Victory in the Patriotic War was won, and the 2nd Congress of the people of Abaza was held in free Abkhazia in July 1994.
More than 240 delegates from dozens of countries around the world, including from Russia, Europe, the Middle East and the US gathered on the margins of the forum in Sukhum and Pitsunda. Now the main directions of work were proclaiming the revival of the Abkhaz-Abaza ethnos and the participation of compatriots from all over the world in the formation of Abkhaz statehood.

The organization expressed its readiness to contribute to the study of the native language by compatriots living in more than forty countries of the world. In the first years of its existence, IAAAP prepared collections of fairy tales, songs, stories for children of school and preschool age, provided courses on the study of the Abkhaz language in Turkey.

The offices of the organization were opened in Turkey, Syria, Germany, Cherkessk and Jordan. At the same time, the central office of the International Association of Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) People is located in Sukhum.
From Valery Khatazhukov's speech on repatriation issues
© AGTRK
June 2, 1995 Sukhum hosted a presentation of the IAAAP's magazine "Abaza". The first issue of "Abaza" was printed in the Sukhum printing house of the Abkhazian publishing and printing association and was issued in 5,000 copies, which were soon distributed in Abkhazia and the countries of residence of the Diaspora.
August 24, 1997 in the capital of Karachay-Cherkessia, Cherkessk, the III World Congress of the Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) People was held. In the center of attention of the delegates of the Congress were the problems of development of the Abkhaz and Abazin languages, culture, increasing the people's self-awareness, rapprochement and mutual understanding of the representatives of the Abaza people.
The IV World Congress of the Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) People was held in Sukhum on September 29, 2003. Vladislav Ardzinba noted that the Congress successfully performs work on the unification of peoples, and its main goal is the creation of a common spiritual, cultural, political basis.

On October 6, 2006, IAAAP sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the international community with a call to pay attention to the need to address the issue of the return of Abkhaz repatriates to their historical homeland.

In the letter, in particular, it was noted that in the second half of the XIX century, as a result of the Caucasian War, Abkhazians and Abazins were forcibly expelled from their native land, after which Abkhazia was inhabited by Georgians. "This event changed the demographic balance in Abkhazia and spurred the imperial ambitions of Georgia, which resulted in a bloody war between the two peoples," the document says.
On December 14-17, 2006 in Sukhum under the slogan "Independent recognized state - the guarantor of preservation of the Abkhazian ethnos" the fifth World Congress of Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) People was held. Participants of the congress were representatives of the Abkhazian Diasporas living in Turkey, Syria, Holland, Canada, Germany, USA, Bulgaria, Egypt, Morocco, France etc. The delegates of the forum adopted an address to all peoples and parliaments of the world with an appeal to recognize the independence of Abkhazia.
V forum of the World Abaza Congress, address by the President of the Republic of Abkhazia
© Naala Avidzba
Speech by the delegate from Turkey, Jamalattin Ardzinba, at the V World Congress of the Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) People
© AGTRK
On April 22, 2012, the Day of Abkhazia was held in the Museum of Ethnography of the German city of Hamburg in the framework of the annual conference dedicated to the countries and peoples of the Caucasus. The guests of the museum were presented with scientific reports on the history and ethnography of Abkhazia, the Abkhaz language and the art of Abkhazia. The Abkhaz delegation was headed by Taras Shamba, the President of IAAAP, under whose aegis the action was held.
The VI World Congress of the Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) People was held from 22 to 25 November in 2012 - the anniversary year for IAAAP. It summed up the work of the organization over 20 years, in particular, noted the growing ties between compatriots around the world, numerous meetings with international organizations and heads of countries of residence of Abazins and Abkhazians.
On June 27, 2013 in the European Parliament was held a conference "Abkhazia and Europe: ways of mutual understanding and rapprochement." A large delegation of Abkhazians and Abazins who arrived in Brussels was headed by the president of the IAAAP, Academician Taras Shamba.

From December 7 to 9, 2017, the VII forum of the organization was held in Sukhum, which now officially became known as the World Abaza Congress (WAC).
VII forum of the World Abaza Congress. Report of the State TV and Radio Company of Karachay-Cherkessia. December 2017
During the forum, for the first time in 25 years of work, the leadership of the organization changed, its structure changed. The Chairman of the Supreme Council elected under the new Charter was the scholar and patron of arts Mussa Ekzekov.
VII forum of the World Abaza Congress. Report of AGTRK. Interview with Mussa Ekzekov
Inar Gitsba, formerly the Plenipotentiary Representative of Abkhazia in Turkey, and the head of the department of Turkey and the Middle East department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia became the Executive Secretary (a new post established in lieu of the Secretary General - ed.).
The future information portal of the WAC was also presented at the Second session of the Congress www.abaza.org
The work of the World Abaza Congress will be aimed at strengthening the ties of the Abkhaz and Abazins. The organization plans to create a network management structure, special programs for each country of residence of the Diaspora, promote active work of the Information Portal, designed to tell about the history and culture of the Abkhazians and Abazins in various languages of the world.ото

Author of the text - Astanda Ardzinba, photo-editor - Naala Avidzba, editor-in-chief - Amina Lazba