Thursday, October 22, 2020

Tbilisi Loves You?

 I sat in a cafe in the old town and ordered coffee. My mobile phone rang after ordering. I talked to the other side in Persian for a few seconds and hung up. At this time a young man came to me and said: Get out of here. I asked why? He said this cafe is for Georgians and not you.

The story I told is not very important in itself. Maybe there are extremists all over the world who do not like a particular people or nation, so let me tell you another story. Once in last September, I went to the police office near Station Square. At first, the police officers greeted me with a smile. After some talking, one of the officers asked about my nationality. When I said I was Iranian, all the officers frowned and their attitude dried up. This was not the first time that the police in Tbilisi frowned at me because of my nationality.

Tbilisi has historically been a peaceful place for people of different faiths and religions. 10 years ago, when I was forced to leave Iran and came to Tbilisi, I did not see such encounters, but in last several years , it seems that Tbilisi only loves some people.

Monday, October 19, 2020

How Is Valid the Travel Document for Refugees?

In conversations with some asylum seekers in Georgia, I learned that one of their goals in applying for asylum was to obtain a Georgian passport. Rumors have spread among some asylum seekers that they can travel to 30 countries or even 80 countries without a visa with a Georgian passport for refugees. (It may have reached 100 countries today 😁).

Georgian government issues a travel document for refugees which sometimes named as blue passport. 

As we know, a blue passport  or travel document is different from a citizenship passport, and having it does not mean you can travel to any country without visa  ,so citizens can do. This means that Georgian neighbors countries such as Turkey and Armenia, which can be traveled without a visa, must also apply for a visa by blue passport holder.

An explanation is also needed for the 30 countries where it is said that one can travel without a visa. These are countries that do not require a visa from any passport holder in the world. Tuvalu, for example, is one of these countries. To reach this island you must first go to Australia and you will not be allowed to fly to Australia without an Australian transit visa. Therefore, in practice, travel to Tuvalu is possible with an Australian visa. All 30 countries have the same situation, which means that it is possible to fly to them from a specific country and you need a visa there. The result is that you must apply for a visa in advance to travel to any country with a Georgian travel document for refugees (blue passport).

The chances of obtaining a visa for other countries with a blue passport are very low. For a usual visiting  any country, there must be strong evidence that you will return to your country after the trip, and this is very difficult for a refugee. It is always assumed that a refugee who arrives at a better destination is more likely to not return, so countries are very strict in issuing visas to holders of  blue passports.

Another point about blue passports is that some countries do not recognize this passports, including Iraq and the UAE.

Summary of the post:

- To travel to any country with a blue passport, you must obtain a visa.

Issuing a visa for a blue passport holder is very difficult and often results a negative response.

-To  some countries absolutely can not travel with the blue passport.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Islamic Regime Disrupt the Asylum Process in Georgia

Based on my observations, in general, Iranian asylum seekers can be classified into 5 groups:
1 - Activists: Those who are wanted for political or civil activities in Iran.
2- Sensitive: They are tired of the bad social situation and lies and deceit in clerical regime, but they do not have enough money or expertise to immigrate, so they seek refuge.
3. Garbage: They want to immigrate, they have enough money and facilities, but they apply for asylum because they want to immigrate at a lower cost.
 4- Criminals: Those who have committed a crime in Iran and because of which they cannot get a police certificate to apply for residency, so they apply for asylum.
5- Officers: These people chose a way to seek refuge  under the guidance of a security-intelligence agency in Iran. They do and follow certain projects.
The most unfortunate asylum seekers are in the first group. They have no support, and immigration officials in Georgia have recently encountered Iranian asylum seekers and do not  have enough experience and information about the situation. A very important point about this group of asylum seekers:
⟢If a political activist is arrested in Iran, he will not be given any evidence to prove his arrest. Therefore, these asylum seekers often have difficulty in the asylum process and their application may not even be approved. But the fifth group provides every document and paper they need to seek asylum.
Mina Bayi an Iranian journalist in Norway says: Those who are real political activists do not have paper, but for other groups, the government of the Islamic Republic makes paper to say, for example, that I am a Baha'i  and this is the letter from the Baha'i Association. These people are seeking asylum and working for the islamic regime. *
According to my information, wanted political or civil activists  are less than 10 percent of Iranian asylum seekers in Georgia. This atmosphere has created a good opportunity for the Islamic regime to attract many asylum seekers to its connected network.This mafia network not only attracts and controls asylum seekers, but also tries to disrupt the asylum process by infiltrating various organizations. Although I know it's dangerous, there's no other way, I will talk more about it on this blog.
    (21:47 min to 22:20)

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Advertisement of Georgian Casino on Youtube

A YouTube channel advertises for a Georgian casino. Videos of the ad have been posted on without tagging or warning "inappropriate content for children."
This YouTube channel belongs to a Persian language TV channel called Manoto. The video clip does not use the words casino or gambling, but its services are described by the following phrases: nightlife and live music performances, a variety of dishes, exciting games.The roulette table is also displayed during the ad.
Certainly the introduced center is only a casino, and in Georgia its business is registered under casino laws. In general, casino advertising is prohibited, especially on sites and networks that children have access to. YouTube also asks if users upload inappropriate content.
To find referred video, just search this phrase in YouTube: "اتاق خبر-هشتم دی ", ads at 42:23 .   
Manoto TV channel broadcast both on air & cyberspace. The channel is famous in Persian speakers for its non-transparent financial resources.

How important is the Persian language market for the gambling industry in Georgia?
 Many casinos in Tbilisi have Persian-speaking staff. The content of the website of some casinos has been published in Persian too. There is also a Persian magazine on gambling and betting called Leylaj. Some media outlets have claimed that the site's content is produced and published in Georgia.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Mtskhetoba City Fest

On October 14, Georgia celebrates the  fest of Mtskheta city or Mtskhetoba. The festival has religious roots and is associated with the Svetitskholoba სვეტიცხოვლობა, but a national holiday.
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral  in the city of Mtskheta is one of the most important religious sites for Orthodox believers. It is said that the Seamless Robe of Jesus (Holy Robe) has been buried in the churchyard.
According to religious tradition, Holy Robe was brought to Georgia by Elias in the 1st century AD. Elias, a Mtskhetian resident, bought the robe from a Roman soldier in Jerusalem. When Elias returned to his hometown, he met his sister Sidonia. When Sidonia touched Jesus' robe, she was so moved that she died, and no one could separate the robe from her. So they buried Sidonia and Robe together. A tall cypress tree growd at Sydonia's burial place.
During the reign of King Mirian (early fourth century AD), they decided to build a church in the
place where the cypress was located. So they cut down the cypress tree, and Saint Nino (the holy Nino) built seven pillars by them. The seventh pillar, however, was magical and went to heaven. Saint Nino prayed all night until the pillar came back to earth. From the seventh column flowed a sap that healed all the sick. In Georgian, sveti means column and tskhoveli means life .The so-called Church means a pillar of life.
The current building of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral was built in the early 11th century. Svetitskholoba is the name of a ceremony held every year on October 14, during which people visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Because this ceremony is held in Mtskehta, on the same day, the celebration of the city of Mtskheta is also held, and it is called the Svtsitskholoba-Mtsekhetoba ceremony.
In recent years, however, the religious aspect of the ceremony has diminished, especially among young people, and October 14 is called Mtskhetoba or the day of celebration of the city of Mtskheta. Like other national festivals in Georgia, traditional dances and music and wine drinking are common in the fest.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Dry Bridge In Tbilisi

Dry Bridge (მშრალი ხიდი) is one of the historical monuments of Tbilisi, next to which there is a market of the same name. This proximity has led most sources to point to the "Dry Bridge Market" and pay less attention to the Dry Bridge, as many tour guides do not know the history of the bridge.
Today, the Dry Bridge is located on Zviad Gamsakhurdia Street (ზვიად გამსახურდიას ქუჩა).At the time of the bridge's construction, there was no such highway, but instead a canal through which
the water of the Mtkvari River flowed.
 The Dry Bridge was built between 1848 and 1851, in the mid-nineteenth century. The builder of this bridge is an Italian architect named J. Skuderi (Джованни Скудьери). At the time, Bridge was called the Small Mikhailovsky Bridge (Малым Михайловским) , which ran along the Great Mikhailovsky Bridge. In 1933, the water canal under this bridge dried up and was replaced by a street. Since then, the bridge has been known as the Dry Bridge. The bridge is now located along the the Bridge (ზაარბრიუკენის ხიდი) which is larger than that. The Dry Bridge Market was formed in the late Soviet era and has survived to the present day. In this market, antiques, Georgian rugs, churchkhela, second-hand accessories and in general, any object that people have at home are offered. Paintings are on display in some parts of the market, and some call it the Painters' Park. Part of it is the hangout of real estate brokers and intermediaries, who are engaged in renting houses and apartments and selling land. Here are some photos from the Bridge of Dry Bazaar and the Painters' Park:

Painting and artwork from production to consumption:

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Image Of Khamenei And Hitler

A banner depicting Khamenei and Hitler was displayed in front of the Islamic Republic's embassy in Tbilisi. The banner is reminiscent of two genocides at different times in history.
On the afternoon of December 26, 2019,  a banner featuring images of two criminals in history, Khamenei and Hitler, was displayed at the entrance of the Islamic Republic's embassy in Tbilisi. It was an unprecedented event that prompted the police to be curious before reacting. In the images obtained from this event, the face of the person who took the banner is hidden behind the banner, but considering the dimensions of the banner, it seems that the person is huge.
 An interesting point in this picture is the appearance of the Nazi logo and the logo of the Islamic Republic next to both dictators. After a while, the police appeared on the scene in front of the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran and warned the banner holder. Embassy staff appear to have asked the police for help.

 Is it possible to compare Hitler and Khamenei? 
The two have at least one thing in common. Hitler was anti-Semitic and Khamenei was anti-Iranian. Both wanted to destroy what they thought the enemy through genocide. Khamenei has repeatedly ordered the killing of Iranians in order to isolate or send the younger generation abroad with the aim of making the Iranian nation part of the provincial ummah. Apart from genocide, there does not seem to be another obvious common denominator between the two. Hitler's Germany was at the forefront of industry and military power, but the only industry and production under Khamenei's rule was lies, deception, and psychological warfare.