Inga Popovaite

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So far Inga Popovaite has created 52 blog entries.

Akhalkalaki media: Tbilisi should not fear Armenian separatism

By | July 24th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|

Meeting with journalists in Javakheti ( Tbilisi, DFWatch – Georgia should not fear separatism in Samtskhe-Javakheti, writes jnews, an Akhalkalaki-based news website. In a meeting, organized by the Go Group Media back in June, journalists […]

Sleazy 90s transition – Paul Manning on “Shevardnadze Era” in Georgia

By | July 6th, 2015|Categories: Interviews|

Khevsur girls – girls in the village of Khakhmati, Khevsureti in 2002 (Paul Manning) TBILISI, DFWatch–When I heard Paul Manning, an anthropologist from Trent University (Canada) is visiting Tbilisi, I knew I had to meet him. Not only because of his papers on  toasts and supra culture, cartoons during the Rose Revolution, notion of terror in Pankisi, […]

LGBT* community in Georgia has bigger concerns than same sex marriages

By | July 5th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|

Invisible Protest for May 17, 2014, Tbilisi, Georgia (DFWatch) TBILISI, DFWatch–Same sex marriage legislation in the U.S. is a landmark decision, but LGBT* people in Georgia have bigger problems than not being allowed to get married. On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriages country wide […]

On the road. A story of one Iraqi refugee in Georgia

By | June 30th, 2015|Categories: News|

Mustafa Shalan Tbilisi, DFWatch – According to the estimates from the UNCHR, as of December 2014 there were over 1200 asylum seekers and over 800 refugees in Georgia. 26 year old Mustafa Shalan is one of them. His story, which he told me one spring afternoon in a sunny balcony in the center of Tbilisi, is a tale of a young man seeking a place to settle, as he is no longer welcome at home. […]

A small crowd in Tbilisi rallied to support Yerevan protesters

By | June 24th, 2015|Categories: News|

A rally of solidarity at Armenian Embassy in Tbilisi (DFWatch) Tbilisi, DFWatch — A crowd of a few dozen gathered in front of the Armenian embassy in Tbilisi on Wednesday afternoon to show their solidarity with protesters in Yerevan.  One of the rally organizers Rezo Karanadze […]

Pankisi residents want moderate Islam lessons to counter radicalism

By | June 17th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: |

Imam Omar. (DF Watch.) PANKISI, DFWatch–Pankisi residents suggest to counter radical Islam by providing moderate Islam lessons for the young generation. Recently, four people were detained for recruiting new ISIS members in Pankisi Gorge. Journalists on a media tour here organized […]

Tbilisi residents mobilize for flood relief

By | June 15th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi residents are mobilizing to help victims of the flood via social media, people are encouraged to volunteer and to donate money or things needed.  People working in Mziuri park. (DF Watch.) A Facebook group 13 June – Volunteers currently have over 12,000 members, and the number is still growing. They […]

Javakheti people excited over year-long visa-free stay comeback

By | June 12th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|

Local residents queuing at the Public Service Hall in Akhalkalaki for the residency permits in January ( Samtskhe-Javakheti Armenians applaud the comeback of the year-long visa-free stay permit in Georgia, as those who hold Armenian or Russian passport no longer need a residency permit to stay in the country.  As DFWatch has reported […]

Georgian artists are not welcome in Britain

By | June 4th, 2015|Categories: News|

performance 'Welcome' by the New Collective about immigrant women in the UK Tbilisi, DFWatch - A group of Georgian artists, invited to perform a play about immigration in the international theater festival in the UK, got their visa applications rejected. Mareike Wentzel is a German actress and performance artist, who frequently visits Georgia and [...]

Zezvaoba – a traditional horse race between Kists and Georgians

By | June 2nd, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , , , , |

(DF Watch.) ALVANI, DFWatch–The last Sunday of May is a day of celebration in the Tush villages Kvemo Alvani and Zemo Alvani in Kakheti. Zezvaoba is the festival to honour the warrior Zezva Gaprindauli, who lead the Tush alongside the Georgian army against Persians at the Bakhtrioni […]

The EU promises decision on visa liberalization by the end of 2015

By | May 22nd, 2015|Categories: News|

Members of the EaP Civil Society Forum From Georgia and Ukraine rallied in Riga demanding including in the Declaration European perspective for their countries and a visa-free travel to the EU. The Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit in Riga did not bring unexpectedly good news to Georgia. The EU restated their support for Georgia’s European path and congratulated it on achieved progress. But Georgians will have to wait visa-free travels at least […]

Georgia’s disappointment in Riga?

By | May 21st, 2015|Categories: News|

Tbilisi, DFWatch – This week’s Riga summit for Georgians will not result in the visa-free travel to the EU. Moreover, the final summit declaration, according to the media reports, is even more vague about the possibility of the EU membership than the 2013 Vilnius declaration. […]

How to empower women in business?

By | May 18th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Deputy Energy Minister Mariam Valishvili said it is difficult for a woman in Georgia to concentrate fully on her career due to culture. (EBRD publicity photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Only 3.9% of CEOs around the world are women. And only 14% of the richest 500 companies in the world have female executives. What can be done to include more women to predominantly male world of business? May 14-15 the European Bank […]

A trip to Georgia’s savannah

By | May 10th, 2015|Categories: Photo gallery|Tags: , |

Vashlovani national park. (DFWatch) VASHLOVANI, DFWatch–A few hours east from Tbilisi lies a magical place, where lonely pistachio trees give shade to rear birds and rolling hills slowly turn into sharp limestone cliffs, which once were deep under a sea. Vashlovani National Park was established […]

Asureti – a German village in Georgia

By | May 2nd, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

ASURETI, DFWatch–In the 1940s, there were over 20,000 Germans living in Georgia. Today almost none are left. Stalin deported them in 1941-42, and barely anyone came back. Now, Germans are rediscovering this part of their past. Luiza and Manfred. (DF Watch.) Manfred Tikhonov (67) moved to Asureti […]

The lords of the streets and their big black cars

By | April 28th, 2015|Categories: News|

Photo from the young environmentalists’ social campaign against big cars In western Europe, people in cities opt for small, economy class cars. But Tbilisi is clogged with huge SUVs, which are more suitable for off-road travels than for daily home-work-home commute.  […]

Woman forced out of her job because she took maternity leave

By | April 23rd, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Medea Kuzanashvili is suing her former employer for forcing her out of her job. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–It is illegal to fire anyone on maternity or paternity leave. It is also illegal to harass someone into quitting their job. But it is not uncommon for a woman to come back to work after a maternity leave, and realise that the employer will do anything […]

“He will walk free, because he didn’t kill me”

By | April 21st, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: |

“When a man beats a woman for the hundredth time, something happens to him. He starts jonesing for it,” says Lali, who has fled Abkhazia to hide from her abusive husband. I met Lali (her name has been changed) in a shelter for victims of domestic violence. […]

A gay man from Tbilisi: ‘I haven’t told my mother yet’

By | April 15th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: |

Illustration photo. (Interpressnews.) A country in which the Church is a powerful presence, which strongly advocates for traditional values, probably would not be the first place of choice for LGBTQ people. But what if it is your homeland? […]

Homophobia in Georgia: tolerance is a myth

By | April 3rd, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , , |

From left to right: Levan Berianidze, Tamta Mikeladze, Ana Lobzhanidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgians like to talk about tolerance as a part of the national psyche. But the ability to accept and live alongside people who are different from yourself seems to end when it comes to gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities. According to NDI, […]

Tsalka – a Greek ghost town in Georgia

By | April 2nd, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , |

TSALKA, DFWatch–Tsalka in southern Georgia used to be home to more than twenty thousand Greeks, but today there are only 1,500 left. ”My parents, grandparents and great grandparents, they all were born in Georgia. This is our home. Sadly, […]

Women in Georgia do thirteen times more housework than men

By | March 27th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–According to global data from the UN, women spend at least twice as much time as men doing unpaid domestic work. All across the world, women on average work more, but earn less than men, as their domestic chores are not paid for. In 2008, Eka […]

Preventing child brides in Kvemo Kartli

By | March 25th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , , |

Samira Bayramova. (DF Watch.) Marneuli, DFWatch–“The man thinks that she is still a child, she doesn’t know anything, and that is a good thing for her,” says Samira Bayramova, a women’s rights activist in Marneuli working to prevent young girls from becoming child brides. “Mothers-in-law […]

Every third woman in Georgia has experienced domestic abuse

By | March 19th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

From left to right: Inga Popovaite, Nana Chabukiani and Salome Chagelishvili. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Every third woman in Georgian has been victim of domestic abuse, but it is not socially accepted to discuss it outside the family. We sat down to talk about the problem with Salome Chagelishvili from Anti-Violence Network of Georgia (AVNG), an […]

Traditional gender roles cause inequality in labor market

By | March 16th, 2015|Categories: News|

Women from Chiatura (Photo: Mari Nikuradze) Tbilisi, DFWatch – In Georgia, a woman make less than ⅔ of a man’s salary due to segregation in labor market and prevailing traditional gender roles. Gender pay gap Washington-based Institute […]

Meskhetians are denied residency permit in Georgia

By | March 11th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

The House of Justice in Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Meskhetians who are being repatriated to Georgia are facing obstacles when trying to obtain a residency permit. Now human rights groups are defending their cases in the courts. Iunis Arifov has been living in Akhaltsikhe for the last eight years. […]

Activists rally in Tbilisi to demand women’s quotas in politics

By | March 9th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

“More women in parliament!” (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Women comprise 53 percent of the Georgian population but are heavily underrepresented in politics, say activists from Georgian Women’s Movement (GWM), a non-governmental organization working to promote women’s rights. On March 8, […]

World famous game designer gets inspired by Georgian myths

By | March 1st, 2015|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Mark Rein-Hagen in a game convention. TBILISI, DFWatch–“Amirani is the legendary first Zombie, some worship him. Legend has it that he is the original Prometheus and still chained to the Caucasus Mountains, he brought fire to humans and half life to us. Three Angels made him […]

Islam expert doesn’t see any rise in islamophobia in Georgia

By | February 23rd, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: |

Ruslan Baramidze (on the left) during a field work It is harder to be a Muslim anywhere, when international media headlines are dominated by terrorist groups, such as ISIS or Boko Haram. In Georgia, one out of ten citizens is a Muslim. What do we know about Islam in Georgia? Is Islamophobia on the rise here as well? […]

Georgia wants to give locals preferential treatment in labor market

By | February 4th, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian government is preparing to impose a protectionist labor migration law, under which local employees only will be allowed to hire a foreigner if they cannot find a local who satisfies their requirements. The draft law on Labor […]

Quota system in Georgian universities helps ethnic minorities, but is easy to abuse

By | January 30th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch- The possibility to study Georgian intensively for one year and then to continue studies in any Georgian university seems like a great opportunity for students coming from ethnic minority background. How helpful is the integration program […]


By | January 15th, 2015|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , |

Victims of the Paris terror comemmorated in Tbilisi. (Interpress “Freedom of speech and the press are supreme values that must be duly protected everywhere and at all times,” Irakli Garibashvili stated before flying to the global peace rally in Paris. These are the words of the man who was the head of the Ministry of Internal […]

Weak ruble and new immigration law impacting Armenians in Georgia’s south

By | January 8th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , |

Statue in Akhalkalaki of Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet. (Interpressnews.) It is a hard winter for ethnic Armenians living in Georgia’s southern Samtskhe-Javakheti region. The fall of the ruble has led to less money being sent home from relatives who have found jobs in Russia, and Georgia’s new immigration law is forcing people […]

Armenians in Akhalkalaki struggle to learn Georgian

By | December 26th, 2014|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Armenians from Samtskhe-Javakheti have a dilemma: They feel isolated from Georgian society because they don’t speak the state language, but at the same time they don’t have enough motivation to learn it. Shushana Shirinian, a journalist from […]

Brain behind Georgian charity success shares his secrets

By | December 19th, 2014|Categories: Youth|Tags: , |

Boris Kiknadze. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–According to the official data, one out of three young Georgians (20-29 years old) is unemployed.  But a senior student at the University of Georgia Boris Kiknadze is not one of them. Less than one year ago he established a crowd-funded […]

Controversial bilingual education program to be changed

By | December 14th, 2014|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , |

(Photo by Ministry of Education and Science.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The current bilingual education program does not serve its purpose, according to Armenians in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Georgia. A specialist from the Ministry of Education and Science agrees with the critique and says that the current program […]

Respect will not save women from violence

By | December 5th, 2014|Categories: Opinion|Tags: |

Arguably the most influential person in Georgia, the Patriarch Ilia II, does not agree that a woman should be equal to a man in  a family. Instead “she must be respected by her husband. She [a wife] has been always holding high authority in Georgia, and so it shall […]

Foreign students facing bureaucracy and complex visa procedures

By | December 5th, 2014|Categories: Youth|Tags: , , |

Regina Jegorova-Askerova. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–How attractive is Georgia as a country for young students looking for a career path? At the moment, there are 19 public and 47 private higher education institutions in Georgia. According to the National Statistics Office, there were 2,297 foreign students […]

Pankisi youth choose radical Islam over grim reality

By | November 21st, 2014|Categories: Minorities, Youth|Tags: , , |

(DF Watch.) DUISI, DFWatch–The people in Pankisi Gorge have been under increasing scrutiny for the last few months, as fighters from this region have become high-ranking commanders in the forces of the Islamic State. Pankisi is merely a 34 square kilometers cut into the Greater […]

Ashamed of being straight

By | November 13th, 2014|Categories: Opinion|Tags: |

A trans gender woman was killed in Tbilisi Tuesday. (Interpressnews.) I am lucky to be born straight. I am lucky to be one of those people who are not stigmatized on the basis of their sexual affection to a certain human being; who can kiss and hold hands in public without being attacked or bullied for it; who can get officially married […]

Transwoman killed and flat set on fire in Tbilisi

By | November 11th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A young transgender person was killed in her apartment last night on Pekini street, Tbilisi. The victim’s apartment was set on fire, apparently in order to destroy the evidence. Local media report that the victim was a 23 year old transwoman, who has appeared […]

Pankisi women challenge traditional law

By | November 11th, 2014|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

Duisi. (DF Watch.) DUISI. DFWatch–Centuries-old mountain traditions and customs still regulate daily life in Pankisi, a valley in the northeast of Georgia populated by Kists and Chechens. Now the old ways are challenged by a new women’s council. Traditionally, the highest decision […]

Changes in Georgia’s immigration law expected in December

By | October 31st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Georgia’s new immigration law will be amended. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The criticism of the new immigration law in Georgia seems to have yielded some results: lawmakers are contemplating amendments to existing legislation concerning visa and residency permit. The parliament of Georgia has already received […]

Georgia’s new immigration law criticized for flaws

By | October 16th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s new immigration law has created a lot of problems for foreigners who already live, study or work in the country. People DF Watch spoke to say their applications are being rejected for unclear reasons. They also question why it is required to file […]

A red ghost of virginity

By | October 10th, 2014|Categories: Opinion|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) “Inga, can I stay with you for a week? Something terrible happened.” This is a message I got from a  close friend earlier this week. Apparently, she went out with her friends and did not hear her brother calling. Then, in the middle of the night, her brother and her […]

Deadly ‘bridenapping’ in Kakheti

By | October 8th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, Society, Youth|Tags: , , , , |

Few girls finish secondary school in Sagarejo, because they get married at a young age. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–When a young man was murdered last weekend in Kazlar, an Azeri village 40km east of Tbilisi, it could have been one among many stories of violence and homicides in rural Georgia, but the circumstances of this case makes it stand out. 21 year […]

Kobuleti, where Muslims are not welcome

By | October 4th, 2014|Categories: Minorities|Tags: |

Locals in Kobuleti have set up barricades and keep guard 24/7 to prevent Muslims from entering a planned madrasa. (DF Watch.) KOBULETI, DFWatch–In the past couple of years, Muslims in Georgia have experienced more and more animosity directed toward them. In 2012, Muslims were opposed when they tried to open a mosque in Nigvziani; in 2013 villagers in Samtatskharo were not allowed to perform […]

Western Georgia flooded by heavy rain

By | September 24th, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: |

Unusually high water levels caused damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure in the southwest of Georgia Wednesday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A storm of strength five hit western Georgia early in the morning on September 24 and caused damage to infrastructure, floods and landslides in the Adjara and Guria regions. In Guria, a river flooded a school in Shemokmedi, students and staff were  evacuated by the […]

Being a foreign ‘gogo’ in Georgia

By | September 22nd, 2014|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , |

Contestants in the 2011 Miss Georgia competition. (Interpressnews.) It is always challenging to be a foreigner. But being a foreign woman in the Caucasus is even harder. “You will see that in Georgia women are treated like queens, like princesses”. This was one of the first sentences I heard when a Georgian man picked me up at […]