Phenomena In The Circassian World
Despite the serious challenges facing the Circassian nation especially at this time, threatening its national identity and ideology, and aimed at the elimination of its uniqueness, a nation - like all nations - with an ideology, culture and identity that distinguishes it from other nations. But it is noted that there’s an absence of any integrated project with national dimension that aims to Preserve the national identity of the Circassian people, and even the on-ground projects do not live up to the level of challenges that threaten the elimination of the nationalism of this nation. No wonder that there are some Circassian point of views that are seen by some people as flimsy to explain the absence of any national projects of national standard until now, where the Observer who follows the Circassian issues is shocked by the destruction of ideology and Circassian national identity at the hands of the Circassians themselves, and the Circassian people appears as if they were in a relentless war against their own nationality and identity, then Circassian intellectuals and Literates (call them what you want) try to find a definition -for example- for the word ‘nationality’, while forgetting the crux of the problem, and pushing to distort the truth and away from its core while involving every single one in the problem of defining the word ‘nationalism’, and in a way that shows vanity and extreme selfishness and other elements of psychology expressions. And some people try to find some arguments to explain the condition of debasement of the Circassian national ideology by relying on the inappropriate circumstances that happened to the Circassian nation while forgetting that not only the Caucasian people have suffered from these conditions, but there are other peoples that had suffered far worse conditions but still maintained their ideology and national identity, and the talk prolongs about the crime that is committed by the descendents of the Circassians against their own people, and the strange insistence on the (Byzantine discussions)that with God’s well, would change with time elapsed into (Circassian discussions) for striking example of the futility of talk. This article deals with some of the phenomena existing in the Circassian world, namely:
- The absence of financial support.
- The Circassian Oration.
- National distorted perceptions.
First: the question of the financial support: One of the reasons for the absence of any Circassian national project that rises to the challenges facing this nation is the financial support, where we can say that this reason comes after the Main reason, which is the absence of patriotic upbringing that aims to the existence of an undistorted ideology and true national identity like the existing one now like some see. As the financial support is ambiguous and raises many particular questions, especially with the existence of a significant class of the rich in the Circassian society and the presence of huge untapped potentials that are able –if used- to establish many national projects that would be very effective and can stand against any challenge of any kind, and it can be said that the financial support is very important for the success of any normal project, so what would be the case for the “National Project”! Since the addition of the financial support to other elements such as organization, planning, directing, monitoring and others, would lead ultimately to achieve the desired result, but in the Circassian situation, some see the existence of ambiguity as we have stated previously in addition to a wide range of obstacles, so it the following points has to be referred to and clarified to find an explanation for the lack of the financial support element in the national Circassian projects until now and the attempt to reach solutions or proposals to solve out this dilemma, and these points are: 1. The absence of Circassian civic education.
2. The importance of the financial support.
3. Obstacles of providing the financial support.
In regard to the first point, it is considered by some people as the fundamental problem, since the absence of civic education is regarded as the first hampering and most important to find national projects and therefore talking about the existence of financial support can not be imagined in the absence of this point as some people deems, but on the other hand others find that surrendering to the status Is unacceptable and that there are many of the Circassian people who are inspired by the national spirit and despite being a minority, they could play a fundamental role in saving their own people as it is usually the elite would lead peoples to achieve their goals, and therefore the elites must take the initiative, and derail the so-called “dominant groups” in the Circassian communities. And those see that the time has come for these nationalists to come and save their people through the creation of an institution, organization, council or others to be the sole and legitimate representative of the Circassian People that works on the transfer of the Circassian Question to international forums and to promote the internationalization and integrated national project that will take the duty of protection of Circassian Human Rights and the compensation of long years of displacement, genocide, loss, the elimination of the soul, and self-tore, and to fly the banner of the people who played the role of savior of other nations for long decades, and to restore own historical prestige and achieve the goal of the first Circassian immigrants who were forced to leave their homeland while in their minds they had only one plan, which was: “we did not and we will not forget our homeland in the Caucasus, and we will return no matter how long it would take”, where it is noticed that there is a large number of institutions or organizations representing the Circassian people (various kinds), but without any tangible impact on the Circassian existence as a result of lack of integration between these institutions or organizations, which all of them share in several key points namely:
- Lack of a cohesive intellectual nationalist ideology (the absence of one reference for the national joint action).
- Weakness in the organization and planning.
- The lack of tools to influence and the inability to influence or guide the Circassian Nation.
- The apparent incapability to accommodate the national needs of the Circassian People.
- The domination of the in-control groups on most of these institutions.
The previous talk leads to the second point, which is the importance of the financial support for any Circassian national project, as this support provides a solid ground for the launch of any project as it also furnishes financial independence and avoiding the possibility of others exploiting this issue to settle other accounts. And here shows many trends in the Circassian society circles, which vary between supporting and opposing, and who believe that such talk is just a waste of time, where it is shows the complete lack of interest by members of the Circassian society. With regard to the so-called obstacles to the existence of financial support, it can be said:
1. 1- The first of these obstacles is linked to Intellectual faith and civic education of Circassian individual which demonstrate several questions such as: Does the Circassian individual realize the need to establish a project such as a Circassian Support Fund for example?? Is he aware of the fact of his reality?? Does he feel that there is a risk in melting in the constituency around him and losing his contents as a people?? Has the Circassian human being received or receives at any stage of his life some guidance in nationalism?? Whether it is linked to motherland - the land of his ancestors?? Does he accommodate the concept of homeland?? And does it represent any sense to him?? Does he differentiate between the present homeland and Motherland??
All previous questions and others do not receive satisfactory answers, and sometimes the answer would cause panic, fear, and certainty of the approach to the end of the Circassian People as some consider, and anyhow the following case appears as the following: One of the initial Obstacles are the lack of national awareness and therefore the question of the existence of a fund for national support does not receive any interest or attention by the Circassian People (Lack of intellectual national ideological thought and the absence of a single reference for the national joint activity). Some felt that there was a problem in: Why, for who, and who would collect donations? The answers to these questions are available, if you take the first question: Why collect donations? You can say that the answer to this question lies in reviving the national Circassian identity and dedication, where the task lies upon the nationalists of the community to represent their own people and to overthrow the group of the dominant parties (referring to some of the leaders and dignitaries of various Circassian communities, who are the product of a natural process of displacement and migration in Diaspora, a natural product also for the Russian colonial policy in the Caucasus) that are not concerned except for their selfish affairs, and who do not have any national sense but a huge stockpile of ignorance and lack of familiarity with the requirements of their people. And the emergence of the nationalists or even their participation to those dominating groups to influence their own people into being able once again to plant a standard national concern that is based on the principle of association with their motherland while never forgetting the sacrifices of their forefathers and achieving their dream of returning to their homeland, and to preserve the independent Circassian personality, also to maintain and restore Circassian People's rights, as well as the cohesion between the descendants of the Circassian People in any society everywhere; organizing the ranks for a single idea and ideology will lead to competing for accomplishing the best interest of all members of the Circassian People, and by dumping personal differences (most importantly) aside, and after the implantation of the national spirit and the creation of a single nationalism ideology, the followers of the dominating groups will not find, but to stay away from Circassian communities, and then every Circassian individual will be willing to donate and to participate in national projects, and will become closely following up news of interest to Circassians wherever they are, but a problem arises that is based on the assumption that the rejection of donation by the rich individuals of the Circassian society (which is their right from the standpoint of anti-nationalist Circassians) and it can be said that after the human being attains a wealth of money, he will try to find a social status within the community, and the Circassian rich who refuses to participate in the process of donation could simply be marginalized away from the Circassian society and this of course needs unprecedented courage by all constituents of all the Circassian society, as the marginalization will set the uncooperative person in front of two options either desertion or succumbing, and there is no fear of departure because the other communities whom he will try to seek leadership and presence within, will require same demands of him, and then it would depend upon the ambition of that person who is uncooperative; if he is ambitious, he will return to the Circassian community complying with his people’s national demands. And when he is marginalized by his own society, he would also be marginalized by others from the other societies and thus would not get any attention from the official authorities, who would not heed to a person rejected by his own society. And on the other hand, it might be worthwhile to follow up and urge the rich people who do not seek to gain social status, through encouraging and honoring their contributions, an even to make it possible for them to represent the Circassian People in case they met the appropriate conditions and characteristics (this is just a suggestion). In regard to the question: for whom those donations will be collected? The answer here is through two parts: First: The poor class in different Circassian societies, which is according to some viewers, is the first to be considered to receive some portion of these contributions, specially the Diaspora communities, Circassians had not been received with flowers when they immigrated, but there were several clashes and chaos, in which Circassian communities couldn’t withstand except by uniting their people, and though the rich ones were few then, that did not prevent uniting and connecting the efforts of everyone, the rich and poor together to ensure the survival and endurance of their communities, and therefore everyone must remember those tough periods where the funds of rich Circassians were not as indispensable as his poor Circassian brother, and that is the idea of preserving and asserting the proposal for the need for cohesion, for Survival must be pursued. Second Part: The existence of a differentiation between Circassian communities in Diaspora is a feature that must be taken advantage of, and that can be explained by a simple example (for clarification), there are Circassian communities in Diaspora that their constituents suffer from the widening of the gap Between the rich and the poor and that leads to increased rates of poverty, and a large number of Circassians without property (real estate such as homes or lands) and many of them started looking for work outside the country in which they reside in, so it is possible to get the benefit from this distinction by providing housing and small projects for the poor from the Circassian People and those who wish to return, or who (if the expression is true) got nothing to loose in case they return except that they would miss their friends and loved ones, and with the donations from rich Circassian People (taking the advantage of the difference in currency exchange between the ruble and other foreign currencies) securing housing and employment for Circassian returnees. In this way the poor will provide the human element while the rich provide the financial element for the success of the Circassian national project – which is the most important- :”the return to Motherland” as some people believes. This also needs providing a high level of coordination and cooperation between Circassians in Diaspora and Motherland to avoid falling in clashes in between Circassians themselves, and this is just an example to explain that was mentioned earlier, and it is not easy, it needs localized and realistic studies that are associated with high level of thought, planning, organization, and a tremendous capacity or powerful mechanism capable of translating studies onto the ground of reality. As for the question of who Collects donations, or what are the sources of these donations?? The presumed answer may be voluntary contributions from the Circassian People, but who collects those donations?? Would they be societies, institutions (if available) or organizations?? Concerning associations, it must be remembered that they are in the Diaspora countries where they belong to certain laws and regulations, for example that do not allow them to fund returning some Circassians to their homeland or provide financial support for a Circassian Organization on the ground of the Caucasus, and this is perfectly normal where it is unreasonable to divert charitable work to a national work with further extents, but as for the associations (societies) in the Caucasus, the existing monitoring would prevent them even from opening their premises’ windows, so how to collect donations??!!! The Circassian organizations or institutions are as previously reported, that there are many of them and scattered and there are not capable of representing the Circassian People, (weaknesses of the organization and planning, and the lack of effective tools, especially the media tools), they do not have any means to affect or steer the Circassian individual, some even do not enjoy any sort of Credibility with the Circassian individual, and noting as previously stated on the groups that dominate most of these institutions. But if there was coordination and joint action between the Circassian institutions and associations (societies) it would make it possible to establish a Circassian organization that would specialize in this work, which should be located in one of the countries that enjoys wide margin of freedom (one of the Circassian organizations in Europe or the United States, for example), and this organization would work to open bank accounts in all Circassian Diaspora countries with a task of collecting donations to support Circassian national projects such as the “Return Project” or establishing a global TV satellite channel, or the investment in the Caucasus (earnest and clear). And it is worth mentioning that there is a new Circassian organization that aims to achieve the above mentioned goal and was established in the town of (Kfar Kama) and it is interested only in the “Return Project” and it is collecting donations to provide housing and employment for those of the Circassian people who wish to return. And it is planning to take the roll of the returnees where a council must follow the returnees situation and to provide advice, guidance and various types of assistance to them (in addition to financial support), and of course, this organization as a result of lack of cooperation between the Circassian institutions, is still unknown and may not be able to achieve its goals due to the inability to communicate with the Circassian People, and this restricts its mission and makes it very difficult.
Second: The Circassian Oration: Others see it in a way that it is too late to even talk about such a subject thus, while some believe that the solution is possible and coming soon. For the first vision, its authors deem that it is inevitable to think in a realistic approach, and the recognition or the conviction that the talk about the nationality of the Circassian people and what emerges from it is something that is time worn in which the Circassian people had produced through the years a national consistent of their own that is harmonized with the surroundings, and that is the fact and it is a reality. For example, Circassians in Diaspora proclaim their utmost loyalty to the societies that they live in, and they adjusted and integrated within, with the preservation of their Circassian character, and therefore vocabulary such as nationalism and the return and the dissolve of the Republic of Adygea and other items are only meanings to be compassionate with, and it should not go beyond that. In regard to the Republic of Adygea problem for example, it only concerns the people of the Republic of Adygea, and can only be rejected by speech and by the expression through rhetoric methods (if it is correctly expressed), and this is what’s already noticed on the ground of reality, if for example, steps of “compassion” with the Adygea problem taken by Circassian associations were tackled, , it would be noticed that it focused on rejection, sending letters to the Russian authorities for that reason and talking about the subject only when asked about it!! It could be agreed that the measures were definitely much less than required, what is the meaning (as some believe) of sending these rejection letters to the Russian authorities at the time that those authorities are considered in the world public opinion a totalitarian state where human rights conditions are poor despite its transformation into a free democratic system!? In the view of one of the Circassian nationalists and intellectuals, it was more worthy for Circassian associations and institutions to take a series of steps which are:
- To start a media campaign among the Circassian communities to attract the attention and to show the seriousness of the situation in order to awaken the national feeling and use it as an influencing factor, by overflowing their issued magazines and publications with topics to talk about dissolving the republic. Hold seminars and lectures on relevant subject and address the issue through many dimensions such as the International Law and other means, and the dissemination of images of significance in all its divisions (such as the image of the Presidency building in Adygea with the Circassian flag flying on top) to show the need for a sense of national concern and make this issue the main concern of the heads of associations and institutions and consecutively the talk of the street or the Circassian community (meaning the deployment of the problem and the introduction of it in a purely national style), then to start the process of an organized campaign for collecting signatures in support of the survival of the Republic in an orderly way, and to attach those signatures to well-prepared letters.
- The cooperation between the Circassian associations and institutions to dispatch these signatures to a Circassian institution or organization that enjoys a wide margin (high ceiling) of freedom (such as the Circassian associations and institutions in the States United States of America) which will send these letters along with the large number of signatures to the specialized international organizations such as (the General Assembly of the United Nations or the Organization of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples – minorities or the European Parliament, High Court and others) and to send those letters to the international media in an effort to win its support and then to the Russian embassies abroad and then to the Russian authorities.
- To send those letters to the media in the Republic of Adygea, the republic presidency and the Circassian institutions there, and it can be imagined what the feeling of a Circassian citizen in Maykop would be for example, when he knows that there are one million signatures that signed refuse to dissolve the republic and what accompanies that of high spirit of all parts of the Circassian people as a result of this sense of national unity at the slightest estimation.
The foregoing certainly would bring excellent or good results, which will not come totally counterproductively, which means that the maximum benefit will be obtained. Another example that reflects the inability of leaderships in the Circassian institutions and societies to accommodate the national needs of the Circassian people is that one of the Russian human rights organizations had allowed the visitors of its site on the Internet to address questions to the future Russian President(www.8voprosov.ru), and the surprise was that a large number of questions were sent by the Circassians which focused on the policy that the next Russian President intends to follow towards the Circassian Issues, and the odd thing is that most of the heads and representatives of the Circassian institutions and societies have no information about this matter, there isn’t even any sort of follow-up by them for such subjects, which shows the necessity of Circassians with national tendencies to take over the responsibilities if the Circassian People is still pulsating.
That matter extends to cover the private address of institutions of Circassian communities’ institutions and societies. The Circassian people need a standard speech that all spokespersons should address in the name of the Circassian people, and they are in need of a speech of a national objective that depends on a well organized scientific approach that focuses on the provision of problems with the attempts to solve in a practical method. This speech should elect transparency, and the speaker should have the ability to answer many different questions and the speech should not be focused on the loss of value, title and goal, because the reliance on verbal speeches (which does not contain any sense of national political value) is the dominant feature of most sermons and speeches that are presented at the Circassian events, for example the decision of the Organization of Unrepresented Nations and Peoples - minorities - on the status of the Circassian nation, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the letter of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin on the outcome of the Caucasian/Russian Wars, is not adopted in their sermons and speeches, not even referred to and is replaced with the usual historical narrative to remind with the Circassian tragedy at the beginning of each speech, address the good Circassian human qualities and then move to talk about the need to move beyond the past and refrain from tears and grief, and how is that done? Certainly by forgetting Motherland and the consolidation of assimilation in Diaspora, so consequently the Circassian speech remains with no substantive value, and does not in any way reflect the reality of the Circassian situation, it even contradicts and opposes to all national concepts of any nation. It also establishes the concept of apathy and irresponsibility towards issues affecting the Circassian individual’s life, and the reason behind the continued existence of the worthless and aimless Circassian speech might be the lack of awareness of the spokesperson, where the person is often from the controlling groups (mentioned earlier), who lacks the basis of a true patriotic Upbringing and not interested neither closely nor remotely in anything but his tidiness or the occasion and banquet to be attended in order to show off himself, accordingly the Circassian speech remains without a title or content, a speech that is only interested in the historical narrative without linking it to developments of concern to the Circassian people which lacks scientific method and does not contain a nationalistic objective. One of the Circassian nationalists inquires about the status of the Circassian people by saying:
“Didn’t the Circassians take a lesson from the Circassians of Kosovo? Didn’t they see how Motherland was the solution for them? Didn’t that pick them out of the ethnic cleansing and genocide? It’s true that their return was not 100% successful, but at least they escaped death. Some remained in homeland and some went back but stayed alive, and the reason for that was Motherland, regardless of the views of some people who want to keep the obstacles against the return of Circassians to their Motherland through talking about these obstacles in a way that brings self-depression, and without providing any solutions or proposals to overcome the issue, so the Kosovo Circassians had provided a very valuable addition to the work for Circassian nationalism.
Third: National distorted perceptions: (a view of one of the Circassian intellectuals is mentioned here), where some wonder why is the absence of competent centers for Circassian studies? Why is there no follow-up or monitoring of events or news in the Caucasus? Why there is no documentary programs produced about the Caucasus or the translation of existing ones? Why are there no Circassian newspapers or magazines that got interest fully on Circassian issues? For those and other questions, the “ready” and already prepared answer by all Circassian institutions (with all its different types) is: “no money, the budget doesn’t allow”, or “these things do not matter to the Circassian people”??!! Which is the knock out? But if the following subject is taken:
Circassian folk dance groups receive financial support and an exceptional attention, because it is in accordance with the current concept of Circassian nationalism, it is the only certain way to preserve the national identity and the Circassian culture, and there must be more than one group for all Circassian communities alike, but documenting Circassian history, the translation of some books, printing, encouraging literature production, setting up a center for studies, a news agency, newspapers, magazines, and other such things of this sort, are considered expensive matters and they are not considered of any value, but the Circassian dance, it shows the deep rooted history of this nation and it glorifies its Martyrs, heroes, talents and intellectuals in the past and at the present time. A more than a strange equation, when the yearly cost of the dance groups is approximately (10) thousand dollars each at the least estimates, and every Circassian community has got three to five or even more of those groups, which –as mentioned previously- are the core focus of attention of the Circassian people, who managed to resolve all their tragedies and worries and is only left with dancing to enjoy the results of their efforts, and whom is said to be a fighting struggling people, but prefers the status of the dancing people!! Ten thousand dollars can translate a large number of books, establish a newspaper or a magazine that follows-up events and developments in the Circassian world, and it is sufficient to finance many of the important researches. And the most important is that it can be collected and even dozens more to finance a Circassian national project. It could for example adopt only one dance group in every Circassian community, which would provide a sum of money that would support any Circassian national project, in which documentary films can be translated or even produce them, there is also a possibility to support a private satellite station channel. A real strange equation glorifying dance artists who are the heroes of the Circassian People, but the leaders and heroes who were martyred on Motherland’s soil do not deserve a book that lament or a documentary program to mention their heroism!
Even heroes and leaders in the modern era, Abkhazian and Chechen heroes of war, the founders of republics and Confederation, the defenders of the Circassian people in all walks of life and even literary intellectuals do not deserve to spend the ten thousand in their commemoration!
Several international articles and studies attribute those leaders, writers and intellectuals while they are forgotten and neglected by the Circassian people, aren’t they the core of genuineness? Aren’t they the pride of the Circassian nation? Isn’t it enough, a single dance group for every Circassian community?! Art has its consideration and importance, but it is neither the mainstay of the people, nor it is the objective. The Circassians’ slogan in no way was the dance, the Circassian flag bears the arrows, that is a warfare tool, and the Circassian history is full of bitterness, full of sacrifice, tragedies and death, no one has the right to deprive an entire people of the truth and establish a fake fact such as dance!!
But as long as thought is missing, work is imperfect, and as long as each speaker of nationalism is crazy and coward, then false reality would cover the true certainty. And the follower of the Circassian issue reaches another odd equation, in the shadow of fragmentation and lack of coordination and when those who do not fit take the task to represent the Circassian people, a strange and amazing phenomenon appears and inspires self-optimism, which is the horror and threat posed by the small number of Circassian nationalists for any project that is trying to undermine the rights of the Circassian people and its nationalism, to the extent that many global political articles had started talking about re-creating Circassia and have begun offering scenarios for that, and suffice it to say that the Russian authorities has started reviewing the case towards the Circassian issues, during last January, one of the specialist Russian magazines had published an article under the title of (Circassia - Atlantic ), Where the article dealt with the recognition of some rights of the Circassian people, and the importance in this article is that its writer is one of the Russian experts in the national policies and largely close to former Russian President Vladimir Putin, which is considered a gain for the Circassian nationalists, despite the Lack of resourcefulness and the humiliation by their own Circassian compatriots!!! The support for the nationalists will achieve the Circassian nation’s national goals and objectives. The time has come for the heads and leaders of the Circassian communities to depart, enough of what they carried out of devastation and distortion in the Circassian nationalism, but leaving them alone would mean that the Circassian nation is in its final Sunset.