... In Fereidani once again

         It is said that history repeats itself, which turned to be true in my case. I had to visit far and yet so close Fereidani... This is how it all began: in May of 2007 I was contacted by the manager of mountaineers’ club “Ailama”. Mr Zurab Kapanadze congratulated me upon “Giorgoba” (Georgian traditional holiday), then he offered me to travel to Iran with the group of alpinists. My first journey to Fereidani was also connected with him as he was the one who showed me the way and helped me to dare to walk towards my dream.
         So, on 13 May 2007 I travelled to Islamic republic of Iran, again. My companions in this Journey were Zurab Kapanadze – 49 years old mathematician, principal of the gas service, and the manager of the club “Ailama”; Afi Gigan – 51 years old dispatcher of air navigation of Georgia, who has been on summits of Caucasus, Pamir and Tian Shan. He has also been on Everest and other summits higher than 8000 metres from the level of sea. He has been at Tsikhemta, Damavand and Hashdaat in Persia. He was awarded with "Tovlis Jiqi" in South America; Idris Khergiani - 45, linguist, amateur alpinist, he has just been to 20 mountain; Ivane Jafaridze - Speaker of "Georgian public radio" (politics), the author of the program "Chveni sagandzuri" and radio series "irao", the member of the presidium of "National alpinism federation", scientist.

         We went by train from Tbilisi to Baku. Mr. Nodar Kochlashvili, Mr. Givi Mefurishvili, Mikheil and David Kusian came to railway station to see us off.

         We took a direct fly from Baku to Tehran. Mr. Azghafar Gugunani - was waiting for us. While we were on our way to Isfahan, Azghafar was trying hard to polish his georgian. Then I asked what the meaning of his name was, he answered "a lion", I explained that this wasn't a natural name for Georgians and I called him Vepkhia. By the way I taught him new Georgian words "Godfather".

         Vepxia leaded us to the hotel like building, where we found a letter for us on the table:
         "We adore our brothers from Georgia! Those good alpinists, welcome to Iran!
         My brothers, Ivan, Zura, Anfi, Idris and George! There may be the meeting in the club Faiab, Isfahan, on Wednesday. We can go to Martkopi (Fereidunshahri) on Friday thanks god. There's the mountain 4020 m. we may climb. Good bye. I'm looking forward to seeing you soon, best wishes!"
         The letter was signed by Ali Onikashvili (Rahim) 05/14/2007.

         After a long journey we took a rest. Soon after my old friend, the member of "Ailama" (from part of Iran) Kondrat Tavazohi (Tavadze), visited us. We talked a lot. The most touching moment was giving to Kondrat a gift - 21 plants of "Rqatsiteli". Ivane Jafaridze brought it, whole the way we were taking a singular care of it, as it's hard and risky to transport it without damages.
         Kondrat was so happy, when he got sure, all of them alive, and had their roots in the Georgian land.
         You may remember, during my first journey, how I got to the family of Kondrat's father-in-law, Ali Reza Rahimi. I left my "Pocket poems" there. After returning I bought a proper gift for Mrs. Turani and I gave it to her after a year and a half.
         After a pleasant conversation we all left to walk the streets of Isfahan. First of all we went to see the bridge "Siosipeli" built by Alaverdi-khan Undiladze.

         It looked much better, there were beautiful gardens at both ends of the bridge, and whats more important, parts of old bridge were covered by the glass so that it was accessible for tourists. We saw the palace of Shah-Abase, which always causes negative emotions deep in the soul of every Georgian. Our mood got better when we saw the nest full of nestlings. Kondrat invited us to the restaurant, and treated us with national food, and famous Persian sweets.

         We took some photos in the garden and walked back to hotel. What is to be mentioned is that bicycles and motorcycles are too popular in Iran. They drive in pairs, sometimes even whole family together. While being in a supermarket you can leave a bike right outside, and be sure no one will touch it. Despite you can rarely meet a policeman there, thievery is not rampant. The streets are overcrowded; you can often see a woman on a wheel. People move freely. It's possible to cross a street where ever you wish. The building of Metropolitan is going to lessen the crowd walking in the streets.

         Kondrat Tavadze and Zurab Kapanadze were planning to go to the city at evening time to arrange organizing items. Ivan, Api and Idris were in the yard. Me and Mr. Vano had an agreement to visit the city once more. When I went to the yard, everyone was gone. So I didn’t return back and went to “Papa’s Bridge” alone.


         Ispahani was shining differently at night, even the bridge of Alaverdi-Xan Undiladze had a secret appearance. I viewed every corner, visited the palace of Shah-Abas, bought some souvenirs and went back to the “Papa’s Bridge”. To cut short, I kept on walking till seelling pain in my feet… I reached the hotel with difficulties. I didn’t know what was at fault: an unbearable temperature, my shoes or long-lasting travel… It was clear that I couldn’t walk any more.
         Next morning Kondrat Tavadze, Vepkhia (Agsanpar) Gugunani and the employee of: communication center visited us. Then, together we headed for the celebration ceremony dedicated to the International Communication Day. Ali Onikashvili (Rahim), Nikoloz Batvan and my first an unchangeable host from Fereidani – Revaz davitashvili, whose view made me extremely happy, – met us there.

         The celebration ceremony was opened with the speech of the head of Ispahani’s Communication Center – Mr. Zamar. Among the Iranian preienters, 85 years old Ahmad Marifat – who spent almost 60 years within mountains and who discovered nearly 120 caves, – was greatly appreciated. In the name of Georgian delegation, Mr. Zurab Kapanadze addressed to the attending society. As lately was discovered, an old climber (Quhnaverdi) – who ascended one of the low peaks with the bicycle – was attending the meeting.

         After the ceremony we had to attend the dinner which was a bit unusual for me as I had to sit in a pose of a lotus which is common to Persians but definitely not to me.

         After the dinner we divided this way: ivane Jafaridze, Zurab Kapanadze, Afi Gigani and Idris Khergiani and about 200 other mountaineers (including 20-25 women) headed for the peak Karkas (3864).

         As for me – due to my being disable even to walk properly – together with Kondrat Tavadze and Revaz Davitashvili I went directly to Fereidani. On our way, we passed through one of Isfahan’s fashionable districts where Kondrat lived. Before entering the house, when I was taking my shoes off through the open door I heard my name being called out in an exulted way. I was happy to see Mrs Turan who met me at the door. Then I met with Kondrat’s wife – Nazi and their 10-year-old son – Guram. The elder son 19-year-old Fedro – was in another city where he took his education.

         Guram turned out to be a quite gifted boy. He Showed me his nice drawings. Later I showed him my site – www.Fereidani.ge to the whole family.
         In the end, we took photos, bade farewell and headed directly for Fereidani. I learned a lot on the way, for example that Isfahan used to be called Sefahan. Kondrat was telling me about what he knew from his ancestors about Georgians in the exile. He was telling how those Georgians, who hadn’t denied Christianity, had been tortured and killed. When the executors were getting tired of slaughtering Georgians they drove them out to threshing-floors, where peices of glass were mixed with the mud. The true Georgians were bleeding and dying in this awful torture.
         As for Fereidani – its former name was Fartikan, which was completely razed during Arabic invasion, as well as entire territory of Iran. And in times of Nader-Shah’s governing afghan tribes invaded all the territory of Iran but Fereidani (the same Martkopi) which was settled by Georgians. The left flank of Nader-Shah’s Army used to be manned with Georgians. He later distributed them among other parts of Iran forces and thus, Nader defeated Afghans. Thankful Shah awarded Georgians with privilege of not paying tribute.
         The Georgians who compactly live in Fereidani have completely rebuilt their land. They are mainly engaged in cattle-breeding and agriculture. Even no 60% of the potatoes that grow In Iran are from Fereidani. They breed the most spread variety of the vegetable – for export and personal use- Pashandi – small, thick skinned and delicious. In addition they cultivate Kolza from which high quality eatable oil is made. Also they are adroit at making sweet and useful honey which is important component of Iranian sweets.
         Near Fereidani the silence came to us. Maybe we all thought about those evil times when 400 years ago Georgians were driven into exile. As if we all could see their blank faces and skeleton bodies. No tears to shed upon dead no energy to help those who couldn’t move themselves. As they are said many mothers choked their own children to ease their death... but now I could vividly see a picture of a woman moving slowly holding a child in one hand while grabbing the other child with the second one. She was carrying a beg where she kept clothes, in the clothes there were Icon of St Giorgi, and a bloody piece of Chokha – all that was left of her husband when he was swapped for one sheep.

         The first thing we did after entering Fereidan was visiting Kondrat Tavaze’s land. There on the left side from the gate stood a building, not finished yet. In front of the building there were terraces of vine, Persian vine, not Georgian. It grew close to the ground so the fruit was maturing almost at the soil. Kondrat promised us to breed Rkatsiteli as the Kakhetian vine deserves and that is not on the ground.

         There were lots ready to used for planting nut-trees.
         Later we went to Fereidani to his personal apartment which had all the comforts needed to lead a normal life.
         At the supper Kondrat’s brother Soso and Said Muliani joined us. Said told me that Soso was the father of the red dressed girl on my site who had neated her own name on the dress. Exulted by the news that his daughter was known to people from Georgia Soso invited us to his place.
         Said an talked much that evening and afterwards we saw him off.
         On the Second day I visited the Family of Revaz Davitashvili. Revaz’s consort Mrs Tahere and their daughters: Elnazi, Mithra and Anaida were very glad to see me. after delicious dinner we went for a walk along the streets of Fereidani.

         First of all we met old friends of mine: Ehsan and Alia, then we visited Tornike Paniashvili’s father – Mr Muhhamad (Giorgi). It is remarkable that Mr Giorgi had numerous Georgian posters and calendars on the walls, while surname – Paniashvili was written in Georgian on the door. when leaving we met Mr Nuri, Giorgi’s father. Let me remind you that Tornike and Giorgi are cousins and last year 2-3 hours after Giorgi’s arrival I took them both to Kakheti, for vintage. I told Mr Nuri how my mother Mrs Meri accosted his son, Giorgi, because of familiar countenance.

The Last photo depicts Abas Ali Rahim (Beqa Onikashvili), who was killed 24 Years ago at the age of 29 in Iran-Iraq war.

         Behind the Meteorological station, Revaz and I Also visited the Grave of a Georgian, where I pu a little field flower. The gravestone was dated to 1966.

         At the sunset Revaz, Kondrat and I climbed to the bottom of the mountains in order to glance at the famous streams of Fereidan. Streams were rather pure and cold. I even drank some water at the stream head. I wished to take small ston from the place without being noticed but in vain.. However, Kondrat told me earnestly not to be ashamed and to take the stone, as during his first visit to Georgia he had brought Georgian stones and soil with him... I told them that during the visit of Said Mulian to Georga, I had brought a stone from Vardzia, which I had put on the wardrobe.
         We took photos of remembrance as well. I would like to emphasize mulberry tree, which did not even have leaves yet, however was saturated with fruit.

         Late at night our mountaineers also returned from the top of the mount Karkas exhausted, though happy, with smiling faces. They appeared to have to have walked rather difficult path. They showed me the photographs taken there, depicting around 200 climbers making their way through snow and ices towards the peak. I felt very sorry for not being able to join them in their axpedition, but I had no other option... How would I have climbed the mountain when could barely walk on the plain?
         Next morning our mountaineers headed for the Top of Shahan (4050m). As for Ivane Japaridze, Said muliani and me, we embarked on visiting nearby Georgian villages and local Georgians.
         Due to my condition I could not even manage to climb on Tsikhemta, thus my liong aspiration remained unaccomplished. For remembrance I brought a small stone from the bottom of tsikhemta, climbing on which I delayed for the next arrival...
         First we visited the Georgian village of Dashkesan in which the brothers Aria and Shahin live. They had arrived in Georgia from Fereidan on foot. Unfortunately, the brothers weren’t at home and we continued our way. We visited village Khongi which earlier was settled by the Armenians as well. The Armenians moved away and now they reside various places, so Khongi represents pure Georgian village.

         We visited Said Muliani’s native village Chughureti. It should be noted that we paid a visit to the family of Hamid Aslanishvili as well. Entering the yard, we noticed an automobile with the sign on its back window: “I’m the Georgian of the Fereidan!” It turned out that Mr. Dimitri had traveled all over Georgia in this car together with his family. They invited us inside and treated with sweets and fruits. The head of the family, Dimitri’s father, spoke about their traditions and customs. Soon listeners of our radio will have the opportunity to listen to the marriage ceremony recorded by Ivan Japaridze. This recording will remain in Gold Fund of the radio.
         While talking we discovered that they had the pleasure of mother Paraskeva visiting their family. I promised to give her their best regards and fulfilled it.
         Then they showed us around the yard. Everything seemed to be done by the diligent person. Trimmed trees on the cultivated plot impressed us. Suddenly we heard the donkey’s voice. I felt myself in native surroundings and explained to my generous hosts that in Georgia Kakheti Region is perceived to be the homeland of this meek and assiduous animal. To our chagrin if was time to depart…
         We accosted young Mehdi Karim (Lekso Gogichashvili) in the village of Vashlovani. Lekso is studying to become a psychologist and he told us about his future plan: after graduating from the university he will join the army (which is compulsory) and then visit his historical homeland, Georgia. What we found most exciting were those few strophes from “the Knight in the Panther’s Skin” recited by Lekso.

         After coming back from Fereidan, we were welcomed an opportunity to visited the family of Said Mulian, where we came to see his wife Mrs. Irina and sun – Tarieli. For the first time, small Tariel looked like a shy boy, but later he’s got accustomed to us and we were rolling and somersaulting through the carpet. Mrs. Irina has introduced us her brother – Mehdi (imida) Ioseliani, who came as a guest.

         By the end of our visit at such a hospitable family, Mrs. Said’s enlighten us, that in a little while, we were supposed to meet him again in Georgia. As we found out, Said and his family were invited for the International Conference in Tbilisi, Georgia.
         While we arrived at Kondrati’s house, we were invited again by Kondrati’s brother, who wished to introduce us his family members and see around his newly constructed and furnished house. Therefore, we were honored to introduce his wife, beautiful daughter - Tiniko and good-looking sun – Armani (Tornike) Tavazo (Tavadze). Their house looked like sacred place. The dining room was decorated by attractive tapestry done by landlady. We all were looking through and navigating my web-site by the internet, which entertained small Tiniko most of all.

         We took lots of memorable photos. Tornike promised to send all other photos to me.

"უფალო ღმერთო" - ვიდეო


         On 19th of May, we had to leave for Fereidan. At first, we reached a small town Daran situated 25 km. away from Fereidan. Later, we took our direct way to Teiran.
         Our journey lasted around six hours and we approached Tehran. Here, I’d like to mention, Tehran occupies a large territory, but on my surprise, it is without “ lungs”, which means without trees and rivers. I’d like to add that, there is no shortage or lack of water at all.
         We continued our trip from auto station towards Mukhtar (aslant) Dachiashvili’s House, where the hosts were waiting for our visit from the morning. Unfortunately, the hosts were somewhere out and we were supposed to stay nearby in the street. It was pleasure when neighbor of our hosts’ have heard that we were the guests of Georgian Mukhran Dachiashvili’s family. Immediately, we were offered the jug of iced citrus juice by two youth Bahnam and Muhamed. On our surprise, the door was opened straight away and one lady looked at us…. As we found out, the bell of the entrance door was damaged at the previous day and hosts were looking outside just every 30 minutes to greet us.
         Mr. Mukhrad greeted us with great pleasure and the woman we saw at the door was his wife – Sedike (Seda). Mr. Mukhrad was invited for the international conference in Tbilisi and he was writing the acknowledgement for his speech. The acknowledgement was very insightful and I asked Mr. Mukhrad to make a copy for me. Please find the text bellow:
         “Georgia, you are my cradle and my grave!
         The child grown without mother’s care cannot be grown and trained properly. The child grown without mothers care will be yellow like the rose of shadow. I wonder, if the child’s heart can get the happiness grown out of its homeland!? The person without homeland looks like the person without parents – and the person without parents looks like the human being without homeland. Why do the parents want to live out of the homeland? Why the parents want to born their child out of their homeland? My lord, why do you give the birth for the baby without destiny? And when you give the birth, how do you see its’ destiny? When it gives the birth for the humankind, he knows its’ destiny and he has the power to know what is uncovered for anybody around!”
         Our attention was attracted by the Georgian souvenirs and Art covers hung over the wall. On the Georgian TV channel of “Imedi” the broadcasting interview was shown with Pikria Chikhradze. When I asked to take some photos around, Mrs. Seda brought her tapestry artwork from upstairs. On her tapestry, the dry tree was embroidered and on the branch instead of leafs the Georgian alphabet was embroidered. Some of the leafs were fallen on the ground… Mr. Mukhtar explained the artwork as follows: “When the wind blows, the alphabet falls slowly down on the ground and if the wind is strong, it can fall down the tree up by its’ root.

         Zurab Kapanadze, Afi Gigani and Idris khergiani went to the town to arrange some organizational duties. Ivane Jafaridze and I were still involved with a hostess’s gently conversation: Georgian people used to get up late…. Said Mr. Mukhrati. He also mentioned that we do not used to switch off the light and close the tap water after the usage (To my shame, I realized my tap was also damaged and I’ve fixed it the previous day of my departure). Generally, if I explain his love by his words towards Georgia, “It has neither length nor width” He also named Georgia as Haven.
         Mr. Mukhrat is 78 years old. During 45 years, he lived in Tehran and he is known as “uncle Mukhrad’ all around Iran. Unfortunately, they do not have children, but they’re defenders and tender-hearted towards the people around! I’m not surprised, they keep small Marikuna’s photo near the quite visible place of their bookshelf - Zurab has already visited this family almost five times. Mrs. Seda was enthusiastic by telling us how she recognized Marikuna in the TV show “Babilina”. She said: “I took her photo, rushed at the TV to compare. I started to fondle her on the screen as soon as I’ve confirmed, that she was really our Zurabi’s daughter”.
         “All around the day and night, I’m thinking, where can I see Georgians’ arrival”. – Said Mr. Mukhrat. He still remembers the visit of Ambako, Sara Chelidze and Nodar Kochlashvili. Mr. Mukhlat and Mr. Nodar used to walk around the whole Tehran together. Sometimes they walked till morning. During their walk and visit, he learned his mother tang – language of his countryside”. The book “MotherTang” was given as a present by Nodar Kochlashvili, which became the inspiration to make the wooden Georgian alphabet done by saw and file…
         Mr. Mukhrati is proud that he remained himself to be Fereidanian. He is astonished, that the people from Vashlovani, Jakhjakheti and Sibaketi identify Martkhofi as a village and they always state, that they go to the village Martkhofi. On contrary, residents from Dashkesani, Boinevi, Telavi always state, that they go to Martkof’s. “ I really wonder, why do they say like that…” said Mr. Mukhtari.
         I learned the meaning of the village Jakhjakheti from Mr. Mukhtari. – “The word “Jakh-jakhi” is used to be the wooden locker under the three seals and the person who has done this type of locker lived in this village. After fixing the locker, the locker maker always asked to the head of family to shake (which also means Jakh-jakhi). Although, there was no need to fix a locker. They said: “nobody is going to rob my fathers’ house. If anybody robed the house in the past, it was done by the robber who had the Persian mother or Turkish father. Usually, people never locked their houses when they went for work in typical Georgian villages during the summer time.
         While the Georgian character was known around, the Georgian villages were totally robed by other communities like Kurts, Bakhtiars and Lors. During the frequent stealing period, Georgian men were visiting, informing and encouraging each other: “Guys, do not fall in sleep!” At the edge of their villages Georgian were drilling the walls of their houses in advance to put through the trees between the walls for not allowing the robber’s horses to run over the trees. At the same time, Georgians were laying on the roof!”.
         In an effort to be protected against the enemies, Mr Mukhrat told us two important stories which points up the sharp-sighted mind of Georgian people: once, before the envision of Georgian villages, the enemies have been informed that Georgian army experienced the shortage of soldiers. In the late evening, the leader of the enemy wished to confirm this news and went to find out by himself…. All settlers of the village were spread under the burrow. Each of them set the fire by one meter distance within them and all firesticks were fixed into the ground around four different sides…. During the negotiation the Georgian soldiers were changing their clothes and holding different type of guns time by time, just to give the evidence that there were lots of solders in the Georgian Army. The leader of the enemy could not guess the trick of Georgian soldiers. He was sure that Georgian soldiers were a lot and in the morning, they left Georgian village without fight early. Georgians were saying with the fun: “Why are you hunting without skills of hunter!”.
         The second story was experienced by Mr. Mukhtar. When Georgian football team was supposed to play the football in Iran, Mr. Mikhtar grouped lots of Georgian people to attend this game. Unfortunately, they could not manage to approach Georgian football team players, but they used the trick and bought the valuable frames with the Shah pictures in it. Georgians went inside the hotel, they gave these gifts to the players and whispered to them: “The frames are valuable. After going away from Iran, please remove the photos out of the frame, tear them into pieces and insert your photos.”

         At this time, I want to present an orientalist, Mr. Giorgi Lobjanidze, who put a great deal in his work to translate the book Koran into Georgian language. In addition of his work, Mr. Giorgi writes very unique and pretty interesting lyrics. It’ll be enough to mention his lyric “The Arabian teacher”. I was invited by Ms. Tea Shurghaia for the special artistic evening dedicated to Mr. Giorgi Lobjanidze. I’m also very proud to have a chance to listen the abovementioned lyrics and many more read by the author. I’m also glad to be introduced with him personally.
         During our conversation, Zuram Kapanadze, Afi Gigani and Idri Khergiani arrived. At the same time, Mr. Aziz Seidi entered the house. He was the representative of alpinists club of “Ailama” in Iran. Later on, Mr. Niko Nakhutsrishvili appeared. He was the deputy of Georgian embassy in Islamic Republic. Mr Niko gave the present to Mr. Mukhtar the book about Persian tales translated by Giorgi Lobjanidze. As we found out, Mr. Niko as well as Mr. Jemshid Giunashvili used to be the friends of Mr. Mukhtar and Mrs. Seda before the Georgian embassy has been built.
         After the ‘leaving supper’, we travelled to the airport and took the direct flight to Baku. From Baku, we passed the Red Bridge and went towards Tbilisi.

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         On 25th of May 2007, Said Mulian with his family, Mr. Mukhrat Darchiashvili, Mr. Nugzar Lachiani and Mr. Babak (Beka) Zervan - /Georgian inhabitant , who comes from the district of Semiromi, lives in Holland and loves Georgian language and nation as well / arrived in Georgia to take part into the International Conference in Tbilisi. They were welcomed by Mr. Nodar Kochlashvili, Kakha Muliani and Tornike Faniashvili at the airport of Georgia.

         I greeted our guests at the Hotel “Mari’ on Gogebashvili’s street and they settled for a while. (www.g-housemari.ge; E-mail: ghousrmari@internet.ge). In the evening, Zurab Kapanadze, Ivane jafaridze and I visited our guests. Later, Mr. Mukhrat welcomed his niece, Lekso Darchiashvili, who is architect and studies at Art Academy of Georgia. Lekso was accompanied by his wife – Beautiful lady Natia, who turn out to be the niece of Kondrat Tavadze! Our visit was moved towards the real ethnographic restaurant – “Tamada”, in which the national artifacts, souvenirs, pitchers, fireplaces “ Zoadi” and Georgian bakery were demonstrated. (Orbeliani StN 37, Tel: 92-32-80, exotour@gol.ge)
         During the feast, we called to Kondrat Tavadze again and experienced memorable time during feast. When I was interested in a branch of Rkatsiteli, Kondrat responded with great pleasure and said that all of them branches were planted and none of them were damaged as well!

         God’s Power, let be blessed your justice!

Giorgi Alaverdashvili

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Grigol (Greg) Sanikidze – Born on March 11, 1990. Student of Caucasus School of Business.

გრიგოლ სანიკიძე – დაბადებული 1990 წლის 11 მარტს, კავკასიის ბიზნეს სკოლის
პირველი კურსის სტუდენტი.