Policy Memos

Circassian World: Responses to New Challenges

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Every tourist who comes to Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, visits a famous gift shop called “Adyga Una” (“The Circassian House”). The owner of this gift shop is a well-known Circassian businessman who was born in Turkey and moved back to the Caucasus, the homeland of his ancestors. He is a living example of the Circassian dream. Three quarters of the Circassian population do not live in their historic homeland and very few of them believe they will return. Some of them try, but cannot get through the process, and very few are able to obtain citizenship and adjust to their new life. This man, however, used the first opportunity he had after the end of the Cold War to attain his dream and managed to overcome many obstacles – even divorcing his wife in Turkey, who did not believe in coming back. He then obtained Russian citizenship, built a new family, and made his own successful business in Nalchik. [...]

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About the author

Associate Research Professor
George Washington University