BBC - As I observe the situation in Abkhazia, I have seen some positive developments the past couple of months. The process of establishing civil society is becoming more lively now and more and more people are getting involved in the social, cultural and political life of their country. Our society is starting to react to events outside the country and in the wider world, people care about what the government does, whether they are in agreement or disagreement, in short society has become more interested and it is alive. I can't help saying that it has also become more politicized and this is not that good in my opinion. Some may argue that I sound too positive about the whole process, but no one says that there is a perfect country with a super active civil society. We are moving forward, slowly but surely. There is a variety of different cultural events for example, which attract people of different ethnicities and backgrounds as both participants and audience. Of course you can see it more in Sukhum, because it's the capital. Unfortunately in other towns and villages the process is much slower.
Closer to the New Year holidays, I can feel a little change in people, no matter what age and profession. Everyone becomes a little bit happier, more attentive to others, more helpful, more kind. Sukhum has become a cleaner town, because of several social campaigns against trash in the streets; and now when it is clean, it is even nicer. For the holidays it is being decorated with bright and sparkling lights everywhere, and Santas are all around. Maybe it's a common characteristics of holiday time in all countries, but the spirit and atmosphere are unique everywhere. I am enjoying it and I'm delighted to see people forgetting their worries and frustrations. Our recognition in 2008 provided us with a feeling of security and it gave our society a new breath of air, new hope, and an inclination towards positive things. Now that society feels secure, people feel more confident and can fully devote themselves to see the New Year in. Probably it is the best thing about the recognition so far. Another development that i would like to highlight is the diversity of people in the streets. Besides Abkahz, there are Abkhaz from the diaspora, Russians, Armenians, Megrelians (more of them are coming to Sukhum to work and that is good), Uzbeks, Turks, and foreigners coming from Western countries, visiting Abkhazia for various research activities or business. I see this diversity as a positive sign, because i hope it can somehow help our country to grow and develop. We just need to promote more tolerance and treat each other with love and respect. As for myself, I feel i have more opportunities to pursue my goals and work for the better of my country and society, because i am a part of it. There are of course still very many obstacles and negative moments that we face but its a challenge, for me as much as for everyone.
Source: BBC Azeri