It is a high time to review the past and to choose
ways for the future. However, in order to anticipate the future it is necessary
to comprehend thorougly the meaning of the past and the main trends
of the current actuality.
Looking back to the past one can“t help seeing that the fortune
has not always been favourable to Circassian (Abkhaz-Adyg) people. The
recent centuries were especially tragic when our people underwent terrible
ordeals - genocide, exile from the historical homeland, life in foreign
strange land, etc. As a result of colonial policy which were conducted
in the Caucasus in XIX century by different countries today Circassian
people is in the state of a dispersed nation - only less than 20% of the
people“s general amount live now in their homeland.
Historical past can, for the large part, predetermine social aspect
of anticipated future, but our fate is not predetermined yet and we can
and must take part in its formation. However, to do so, we must realize
who we are, in what world we live, in what society we would like to live
and how it can be created. It is a high time for us to identify ourselves
in the context of the current historical events and social processes and
to find our place in the world and way to the future. It would be naive
to think that somebody else or some mysterious power would do for us what
we must do ourselves.
In the current historical situation we may hope for the prospects
- social and cultural survival - only if we self-determine spiritually.
Historical events develop in such a way that in the future Circassian people
can become either inert historical material or one of the subject of History.
If we do not determine us ourselves we will be determined by others as
was the case with us in the last century. It“s getting more and more evident
that policy which is conducted now in the Caucasus not always takes our
national interests into consideration. Our negative attitude to this policy
often manifests itself only emotionally and doesn“t attain the level of
our national interests in the frame of this policy. History itself set
us this task - determination of our national interests.
It is very difficult to preserve today ourselves as a united people
without definitely comprehended national interests and general national
idea which would unite us. Our people continue to be dispersed and live
in the situation when their integrity and unity of their social and cultural
system are substantially destroyed. More than 80% of Circassians are forced
to live in more than 40 countries and condemned for loss of their national
identification. Even in their historical homeland in the frame of the same
state system Circassian people remain divided into different autonomous
national and state formations, and Abkhazia which already twice during
the current century has been compelled to defend its state independence
against Georgia continues to be in isolation not only from the world community
but also from consanguineous Adyg people.
Traditional way of life of Circassian people and their spiritual
foundations were destroyed into structural parts which were dispersed all
around the world. Now we have to remain divided in different social and
political systems and state formations which prescribe us to perform functions
that are alien to our mentality. Such conditions inevitably cause a breach
of social inheritance law“s continuity what leads to the people“s disappearance.
Such dissociation leads to destruction of spirutual foundations of the
people and to loss of their self-identification. All these factors make
our task - preservation of our social existence - extremely difficult.
This task“s solution requires not only comprehension of our real
social and political conditions on our part but also formation of adequate
comprehension on the part of the world community. Such direction in our
work has a great importance since the world community, in spite of the
evident and incontestable historical facts, hasn“t still recognized act
of genocide and exile of Circassian people and hasn“t assessed it from
the political and legal points of view. So, we should require from the
world community to make special efforts to provide for moral and political
rehabilitation of our people and defence of its right for national revival.
Restoration of our national organism capability requires from us thoroughly
thought-out and considered actions that are adequate to the current cultural
and historical realities. Now, after all these deformations we have undergone,
Ciracassian world can“t restore without our purposeful and energetic efforts.
It is to this idea - idea of cultural and historical revival of
Circassian people - that International Circassian Association (ICA) serves.
Its creation became possible due to changes that take place in the world
and also to our people“s striving for restoration of its spiritual unity.
In order to express and realize the people“s will its elite representatives
from all over the world met in May of 1991 in Nalchik to initiate restoration
of their social and cultural unity. So, ICA was born whose objectives correspond
to universally recognized legal norms and conform with interests of the
Caucasus peoples and Russia as a whole. National restoration of Circassian
people may not and must not infringe upon interests of other citizens and
peoples. Creation of such an organization whose objective is to collect
and concentrate cultutal and intellectual potential of the dispersed nation
became an important landmark and event in our people“s life.
Today it is important that the idea of Circassian people“s cultural
and historical revival and restoration of its spiritual unity should become
moral imperative for each of us. Only then this idea can become a trend
in the nation“s life. Quite evidently that without participation of wide
sections of Circassian community and, first of all, the people“s intellectual
elite in the process of revival we will not preserve our national originality.
That“s why measures for consolidation of our national culture“s position,
development of the native language and building up intellectual potential
of Circassian people have so great importance.
We realize that history can“t be turned backwards, that today it
is impossible to redraw boundaries, return all Circassians to their
homeland and create united statehood. But we are obliged to use all modern
communication means for spiritual and ethnic unification of all Circassians
irrespective of country of residence, create united information network,
obtain a right to come back freely to the historical homeland for those
desiring, preserve the native language and adopt united alphabet for its
development, advocate learning the native language in all countries of
compact residence of Circassians, teach children Adyg-Abkhaz etiquette
and history with united textbooks. Absence of united and objective textbook
on history of our people makes it difficult for young generation to realize
who we are, where we came from and where we go to.
Magazine «Circassian world» whose publishing ICA begins serves to
the task of spiritual revival of our people. Appearance of the magazine`s
first issue should become an event in our people`s spiritual life. The
magazine will perform its task if our best intellectual powers gather around
it and its pages will be devoted to sore point problems of our national
life. It can and should accumulate intellectual potential of Circassian
people and serve to revival of its spiritual unity.
It is not necessary to prove here how difficult is our way to the
future. However, in spite of all difficulties we believe in possibility
of restoration of Circassian cultural and historical world, the fortune
gave us such a chance and we must use it.