SOCHI’S TRAGIC LEGACY
New York Dr. Cesar Chelala
As the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi is broadcast, a little-known tragedy continues to be ignored: The terrible fate of hundreds of thousands of Circassians who inhabited that area. They were the victims of one of history’s greatest genocides. Continue reading
POSTED BY SARAH LEWIS
a security guard on a beach in village Loo points out where main olympic venues are to an out-of-town volunteer.
With the end of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, there has not been so much global attention paid to the Black Sea city since the time of the American Civil War. In the eighteen-sixties, it was hard to read the news and not see a mention of the Caucasus Mountains, made famous by Leo Tolstoy, Alexander Pushkin, and Lord Byron. These writers were among the many who extolled the beauty of the women from the region, particularly the Circassians, an indigenous group in the Caucasus. The plight of Circassian women sold into what was called white slavery—sexual slavery in Ottoman harems—led to intense interest from abolitionists across America and Europe. When Alexandre Dumas began his 1859 book, “Adventures in Caucasia,” with the declaration, “I have no doubt that my readers know of the region as well as I do,” he was probably right. Continue reading