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When God had created the earth, he allocated each tribe its ethnic homeland, according to the number of its people and the services they had rendered him. The Abkhazian leader was the last to make an appearance and God asked, „Where were you when I was handing out the countries? I‘ve got nothing left for you.“ The Abkhazian replied, „We had guests at our house, Lord, and we couldn‘t leave them without showing proper hospitality.“ As a reward for such generosity of spirit, God gave the Abkhazians the most beautiful piece of earth, that he had set aside for himself. The Abkhazians keep on telling this story with a lot of pride. 

Situated in the north-western corner of Georgia with the Black Sea to the south-west and the Caucasus mountains to the north-east, Abkhazia was once known as a prime holiday destination for the Soviet elite. After a short violent war in 1992, Abkhazia broke away from Georgia. In 2008, Russia finally recognized the region as an independent state.


But the cost they had to pay for their independence was very high. The resulting war claimed thousands of lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Not only in shattered lives and lost loved ones but also in terms of an international economic embargo that left the disputed territory in ruins. 

What happens when lives are interrupted by war? What makes people decide that, rather than start over elsewhere, they’ll stay in a place with ghosts of the past, even if it means being alone or living in ruins. More than 20 years after the conflict, the country is still ravaged by war. Nonetheless, people have to move forward and slowly fall back into their old routines and normal lives before war.

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