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If Circassians Do Not Seek The Restoration Of Their Confiscated Rights, Then Who Would?

posted by eagle on January, 2012 as CIRCASSIA ADIGA

Adel Bashqawi: if Circassians do not seek the restoration of their confiscated rights, then who would?

J.T.: Hello Adel,

Thank you for giving me an interview. First I would like to give our readers some information about you, your profession and your activities for the Circassian topics. Can you tell us something about your background?

Adel: Thank you Jinal for allowing me to speak through "CHERKSSIA.NET” which would make me glad to appear on your Website to talk about what wanders in my mind through answering your questions. I was born in Amman, Jordan in a Circassian family of Shapsough father’s side and Hatuqwai mother’s side. I am married and I have the privilege to be a father and a grandfather. I worked for few years in the Jordanian Armed Forces, and then continued in Aviation profession. I started since I was young to search and examine through referring to books and asking the elderly about the whereabouts of the Circassians, what happened to the nation and what caused that dispersion. I started writing, translating, researching, investigating and posting on the Circassian issues and other topics of the North Caucasus as there is similarity between Circassians’ fate and other peoples of the North Caucasus. There was also an interest to follow activities on the international level which made me attend conferences at Harvard and William Paterson Universities in April, 2008, when I had moderated part of the one day event, and in another part I had given a speech in Arabic Language in the title of "Circassia The Homeland, Where To”, and the Circassian Day in the European Parliament in October, 2008. I also participated in March, 2010 in the first international conference held in Tbilisi, Georgia, in the title of "Hidden Nations, Enduring Crimes: The North Caucasus Between Past and Future”, and I gave a speech in the title of "Circassia Our Motherland”. I had the opportunity to attend in 20, May, 2011, the Georgian Parliament’s session when the Circassian Genocide was officially recognized by Georgia. In between I attended some activities in Jordan among them was a speech at the main Khasa in Amman in the year 2008 about the activities took place at Harvard University in April, 2008 in regard to the Circassian Question, and another one a speech in 20, May, 2009, in the title of "The Circassian Mobility Between the North Caucasus and Diaspora”, which was given in Arabic language but was translated to English language as well.

J.T.: You are active in Jordan. What are the topics, you are working on?

Adel: When time permits I attend certain activities held at the Khasa, and that is why I have limited activity in that level; but I try as much as possible to follow what is going on, and I would always advise Circassians to give the necessary importance in the direction of self preservation which is the first law of nature.

J.T.: What can you tell us about the situation of the Circassian Diaspora in Jordan? How are you living there? What are the main targets and outcomes of the Circassian there?

Adel: Circassians in Jordan are well respected as a distinguished community due to their positive and keen roll in the social and daily life of the country, as they participated in the foundation of modern Jordan since the Jordanian Monarch arrived to Jordan from Hejaz, who was welcomed and supported by Circassians and other Jordanians as well. Circassians are open towards others and they are not introverted, they are active in all walks of life and they keep their characteristic and particularity as a recognized minority. Circassians are well known among Jordanians of their honesty, loyalty, devotion and truthfulness; also there is mutual respect and trust with all factions of the Jordanian society. Being living in Jordan for more than 140 years, Circassians are interactive with the environment that they found themselves in after they had to leave homeland, which the majority of them are engaged to get access to decent living and to educate their children, while asserting the fact that they are proud Circassians, and at the same time to get linked to Motherland, but with difference of depth, methods and priorities.

J.T.: Is there any support from the government towards Circassians?

Adel: According to the Jordanian constitution all citizens are equal under the law, and accordingly Circassians are getting their rights the way others should and they getting the benefits of the Jordanian citizens which is evidenced by allowing Circassians to work in the government and the army, and Circassians had reached the highest official positions such as the positions of Prime Minister, Ministers, Senators, Members of Parliament, Judges, High Ranking Officers in the Armed Forces, Security Department and the Intelligence Department.

J.T.: On the 20th of May, this year, the Georgian parliament confirmed, that Tsarist Russia conducted crimes against humanity against the Circassian nation – genocide and extreme ethnic cleansing. What do you think about this conclusion? What does it mean for our nation’s future?

Adel: Circassians had never given up hope, because hope springs eternal. I had the honour to attend and watch that important event at the Georgian Parliament. I observed the representatives of the Georgian people commenting on the Draft Resolution then the Members of Parliament voting by absolute majority of the attending members for the recognition of the "Circassian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing” that had been committed against the Circassian nation by the Russian Tsarist Empire in the Nineteenth Century. The conclusion is unprecedented and it is the most important recognition and/or positive gain that the Circassian nation has ever gotten since the end of the Russian-Circassian (Caucasian) War that had ended in 21, May, 1864, which will open closed doors in order to retrieve Circassians’ rights. Truth will prevail.

J.T.: You had been there in Tbilisi. What happened there? What is the attitude, Georgia has for the Circassians and our genocide? Do you think, they just want to make their politics with us and use us for their own?

Adel: True, fortunately I was there to observe an important event that would affect solving out the Circassian Question later on. The Georgian nation as one of the nations of the Caucasus and a member of the United Nations, has shown a sensible attitude and a degree of moral responsibility by uncovering the overwhelming documented proof presented by specialized committees, scientists, historians, academic institutions, university professors and experts from many countries even from Russia itself and had in earlier stages testified to the dedicated Parliament Committees about the scientific findings, which made the committees reach a resolution in order to be submitted to the Parliament for voting, which had occurred and the world was informed that Circassians were oppressed and had been subjected to Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing with all its consequences, based on irrefutable evidence. All that showed Georgian willingness to recognize the injustice suffered by Circassians, "Example is better than precept”. Circassians are not naive to look at facts in a different angle than they actually are. There are mutual interests between peoples and nations, each working to ensure their basic rights to freedom and human dignity. When Circassians know what they want and consequently they can distinguish between good and evil, they will be able to see and select their path and choose a way that makes them take what is appropriate for them and leave what is wrong and mischievous. The principle of reciprocity should be the dominant. I would comment on suspicions in that regard by saying: None are so blind and so deaf than those who neither want to see nor hear.

There is no way that the perpetrators would get away from the penalty of crimes committed against the Circassian nation and humanity. That is the law and that is a moral obligation towards civilization, that no crime goes unpunished and/or without accountability.

J.T.: There are many Circassian organisations, like KAF-FED, Kafkasya Forumu, the Circassian head organisation of Europe – FDTKV and others, who are against this conclusion or at least try to ignore it. What do you think about this?

Adel: Being exiled away from homeland is no sin, but forgetting homeland is evil. With respect to all associations and organization that called either Circassians or Caucasians, the rule or the most important issue should be how serious and effective these particular parties are in serving the very essential concerns of "Adiga Circassians” and to adopt and implement fateful commitments; but the query arises about what are the principles that those organizations and associations were created for! Are their objectives sports, culture, social, business, professional, interethnic or national?  People tend to talk in subjects of their interest or speciality. The answer would determine the speciality, therefore it is possible to judge, and they should practice what they preach. Real "Adiga Circassians” will be the ones who are suppose to give their opinion, because they are the real victims of hostilities that ended in deportation and exile away from Motherland.  I believe the answer of who is with and who is against the conclusion of Genocide recognition cannot be answered without real scientific method of research, but it is absent from some  minds that "still waters run deep”! "Adiga Circassians” who are not under the influence of "Self Ego” or other Non-Circassian sides should have an organized conference or collateral activities to cover all topics that pertain to Circassians, and accordingly they will come up with the real Circassian decision.  At the end what is useful for Circassians will remain and what is bad will end. Georgia as a good gesture towards the Circassian nation has announced adopting a project for respecting Immortal Memory of Victims of  the Circassians’s Genocide, Carried out by Russian Empire, on the basis of which the Georgian Government would frame a plan in memory of the victims of Circassians’ genocide  and the framework will compose a victims’ memorial.

Anyone is welcome to recognize the Circassian Genocide even Russia itself.

J.T.: Here in Germany we often heard phrases like:

"If you want to make politics, than go to homeland and make it there, but not here, where you are sitting in your warm and save place!”

"If we start making politics here, our sisters and brothers in the homeland will suffer from it, so be quiet!”

"We should do nothing, to make Russia angry; otherwise they will stop the ability of contact to homeland!”

"Our xases cannot do politics, because we were established, just to keep our culture; and it is against the laws of Germany, to do political work with such organizations!” (What is not true)!

Or they are manipulating xase-votings, in order to hamper open political discussions. (What is against the democratic law of Germany)!

From my point of view, the deeper meaning of these sayings and actions are just, to keep us silent and inactive and to hold our new generations stupid in relation to politics. What is your opinion about it? Do you have similar experiences in your Xases there?

Adel: Being away from Motherland for more than 147 years didn’t make Circassians forget their precious homeland. If we look at extinct civilizations and nations and we compare them with our nation, we find out that our nation’s history is rooted in the human history for more than 6000 years, and the Circassian nation being subjected to the disastrous and grave circumstances of oppression, genocide, expulsion & deportation, oppression and disguise in addition to destroying its cultural heritage did not extinct and still exist but on the contrary, the Circassians still more determined to preserve their distinctive identity and to adhere to its unique culture, values, customs, traditions and ethics, which have distinguished them from others, gives hope because Almighty God helps those who help themselves.

Sometimes "Speech is silver, but silence is gold”. Your question has reminded me with an important statement that Mr. Paul Goble had said in an event on Circassians that had taken place in Harvard University in April, 2008, when he said that based on facts remembered from the Soviet era that relate to Polish and citizens of the Baltic Republics at the time,  the strength of Circassians lies in the number of Circassians living in exile (90% live outside homeland) which gives them freedom of movement in terms of the dimension of pressure placed on those who live at homeland.

Those who issue rumours and who try to drop morale should know that ill-gotten gains never prosper and bullying policy they are adopting will not succeed. Good citizen will serve own country wherever he/she lives, as long as Motherland is not forgotten, and preserving the national identity is the real compass for exploring and choosing the way that leads to the objectives.

No matter what is done in Diaspora, how that would make our brothers and sisters suffer in homeland, while the occupation had already committed the Genocide, deported 90% of Circassians in difficult and tragic circumstances, resettled settlers from different origins instead of the Circassians who were uprooted from their Motherland, Circassia was totally deleted from the map, and the remaining 10% of Circassians in the North Caucasus were scattered in different autonomous republics and enclaves.

Russia looks at its own interests and if Circassians do not seek the restoration of their confiscated rights, then who would? Russia wants to keep Circassians wherever they are through vague promises and assurances that are with empty contents. How could we whip ourselves and ignore our rights for a mirage of "presumed good faith” of the descendents of those who committed hostilities against the Circassian nation by offending the nation with tight sanctions that affected its existence, present and future.

You don’t have to be involved in politics to claim your right of your very existence! Khasas are not asked to proclaim a state, a political existence or to declare war against anyone. They must have a little respect to their ancestors who had perished with the weapons of treachery. Being Circassians does not mean that we are members of an international dance, sport or social club. It is much deeper than that. Culture is part of integrated elements that would form a nation or a people.

Manipulating voting will one day end when kidnapped institutions regain their status and opportunists stop their dirty games of falsification, and a good example about this is what is called now the "Arab Spring” when we see that peoples and nations were ignored for decades, elections fraud had been the common factor, abuse of power was in force, and peoples’ rights were not respected; but when the peoples woke up, in matter of no time circumstances have changed completely.

People do not hear from a silent individual, and at the same time "beggars cannot be choosers”. When Circassians demand to restore their legitimate rights they must do it properly and to be addressed to the right side which can be done in a non-violent and peaceful way that reflects the level of civilization that Circassians had reached even during the defensive wars that they had to face for defending their existence as they were pioneers in the enrichment of others’ cultures. The people should be united because "union is strength”.

J.T.: What is your attitude toward the International Circassian Association? There are some organizations that have no hope about the ICA and are not a part of it? What should they do, in order to promote their politics?

Adel: Unfortunately Circassians have bad experience with ICA in the form that the association was transferred and kept in Nalchik after it was considered sanctuary and people held high expectations which had meant hope for all Circassians around the world. The organizations that have no hope built on the ICA which are not part of it  as you mentioned in your question, are mostly in obvious conflict with its current policies and objectives. They must individually and collectively meet and revise the Circassian disastrous consequences that had followed the genocide and the exodus of the majority of the nation and to contact the Circassian public to spread and circulate information to explain the task and the way needed to decide on, to be able to build an agenda and a Circassian national plan in order to address the world, starting from the Republics of the Caucasus, to the European Union and even the Russian Federation in a civilized way to request the recognition of the Circassian Genocide and to end up all hostilities against the Circassian nation. In addition to recognition of the Circassian Genocide, Russia is obligated to present apology, compensation, rehabilitation, and to assure legitimate rights in self-determination on own soil.

J.T.: How do you see the Diaspora in Jordan in the worldwide Circassian political movement? What can you contribute to the whole?

Adel: From my point of view, there is a contact between the Diaspora in Jordan and worldwide Circassian political movement on individual bases, apart from the organic link between Jordan’s main Khasa and the ICA, which are in direct contact in accordance with the rules that pertain to their going on contact due to the fact of well-known membership. It is worth to mention that Circassians of Jordan had demonstrated for the first time ever in front of the Russian Embassy in Amman, Jordan on the 21st of May, 2011, and they held signs that were similar to signs held in Turkey, Europe and USA, such as "NO FOR SOCHI 2014, SOCHI LAND OF THE CIRCASSIAN GENOCIDE”.

J.T.: And what about those, living in Europe?

Adel: It is obvious that Circassians living in Europe are experiencing high ceiling of freedom and free movement; but there is no tangible and positive result to their activities in regard to the Circassian issues, most probably due to the multiplicity of the number of associations and organizations, beside their contacts and loyalty to well established ones in other countries of origin especially Turkey. Unity between associations would contribute in strengthening the Circassian communities and would enhance the awareness of contacting all branches of the European Union especially the European Court of Human Rights, the European Parliament and the European High Court, in addition to Non Government Organizations. That would lead to opening new horizons to explain the Circassian Question and all its issues to a majority that had not heard of before. Circassians in Europe and their friends should mobilize their efforts to oppose the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games which are meant to erase the memory of what Sochi had meant when it was the last capital city of Circassia.

The darkest hour is that before dawn.

J.T.: Thank you very much, for sharing your viewpoints with us.

Adel: You’re quite welcome.

This Interview was performed by Jinal Tamszuqo for and has been sent by Adel Bashqawi to be published in "Radio Adiga"

By: Radio Adiga

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