I write this post on May 21, 2013- the 149th anniversary of the Circassian Genocide, several hours before participating in annual actions.
Every year – I use this time to assess how much was accomplished since the early days of these modern Circassian activism. How have we as a nation come to face the challenges that arise when we do not have a homeland? Do these actions really work? And personally, how was my “job performance” in telling the world the story of my people? Have I done enough?
A tragedy like the Circassian Genocide cannot be forgotten easily. Its wounds are still fresh in our hearts. Adyghes today – no matter where they are in the world- are literally bloodbrothers. We share the emotional burden; this is something that was inherited in every generation. We will pass this onto our future.
So, the next questions that follow are, what will I show future my children, grandchildren, and future generations? What will the Circassian state of affairs look like when they take over the mantle? How will I leave it to them? What can I do now, that will make it easier for them to identify being Adyghe?
As we go into Year 149, there are many challenges that Circassians face. Russia’s continual genocidal policy of “Circassia without Circassians” is still in effect. Many of our nation are facing very real life and death circumstances. Our language is on the brink of dying, and our khabzas are slipping away.
Yet, I have hope.
Since the start of modern actions, Circassian gained the attention of the the world media, academic circles, NGO’s, and other nations. This international focus on Circassian affairs is considerable progress.
But perhaps the greatest achievement of these actions is the strengthening of our Circassian identity. We became more comfortable when we demand our fundamental rights.
“Activism” was the word to describe the work to bring awareness and directly address the challenges of our nation.
At the beginning, the word “genocide” was almost taboo to say. Today, thanks in part to available materials, education and research, this is the only way to describe our national tragedy, and was first officially recognized as such in 2011.
The sentiment, “Free Circassia Now” is a deep-seeded wish of every Circassian since the time of our exile. Its why we fought a war for 101 years. Today, saying the phrase frees our minds, and feeds our souls which in turn, will make our dreams of Home a reality.
On the this 149th anniversary I say, action is what is restoring hope and making our future a little brighter. The fate of our nation is determined by what actions (or inactions) we take. We will never forget the past – but let us also not forget how we want our future to look like either, and work towards it.
With all my love, and all my faith …
Long live Circassia. Адыгэ пco.
PS. Happy Birthday to my wonderful mother. She’s the source of my light, the pillar of my strength, and purveyor of love and knowledge. On a day like today, I’m so thankful that I have a woman like her in my life.