Bridgewater State University
Minnock Institute for Global Engagement
Bridgewater, MA 02325
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The region of present-day Georgia contained the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Kartli-Iberia. The area came under Roman influence in the first centuries A.D. and Christianity became the state religion in the 330s. Domination by Persians, Arabs, and Turks was followed by a Georgian golden age (11th-13th centuries) that was cut short by the Mongol invasion of 1236. Subsequently, the Ottoman and Persian empires competed for influence in the region. Georgia was absorbed into the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Independent for three years (1918-1921) following the Russian revolution, it was forcibly incorporated into the USSR until the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. An attempt by the incumbent Georgian government to manipulate national legislative elections in November 2003 touched off widespread protests that led to the resignation of Eduard SHEVARDNADZE, president since 1995. New elections in early 2004 swept Mikheil SAAKASHVILI into power along with his National Movement Party. Progress on market reforms and democratization has been made in the years since independence, but this progress has been complicated by two civil conflicts in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. These two territories remain outside the control of the central government and are ruled by de facto, unrecognized governments, supported by Russia. Russian-led peacekeeping operations continue in both regions. The Georgian Government put forward a new peace initiative for the peaceful resolution of the status of South Ossetia in 2005.

"Georgia (Georgian:, transliterated as Sakartvelo), known officially from 1990 to 1995 as the Republic of Georgia, is a country in Eurasia to the east of the Black Sea, most of which is located in the South Caucasus, while a portion of the territory lies in the North Caucasus. It shares borders with Russia in the north and Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan in the south. Georgia is a unitary, emerging liberal democratic[1][2] nation-state with an ancient historical and cultural heritage. Georgian civilization stretches back for more than three thousand years of history with an exclusive literary and artistic heritage.[3] Culturally, historically, and politically Georgia is considered part of Europe; however, the official geographic classification of the country varies according to different sources. Sometimes Georgia is considered a transcontinental nation.[4] The English name Georgia is a transliteration of the Hellenistic term (Greek: Gea) derived from Georgios (Greek: Ge), a Greek name meaning ""farmer""; Georgia here is indicative of a farmland. Georgians used the Greek and Aramaic alphabets before adopting the Georgian alphabet, reformed by King Pharnavaz I of Iberia,[5] which is not directly related to any other alphabet in the world.

 In 337, Christianity was declared the official state religion in the ancient Georgian Kingdom of Iberia, making Georgia the second oldest country after Armenia (301) to declare Christianity its official state religion. The Bible was translated into Georgian in the 5th century.[6] Geographically, Georgia is diverse and its natural resources are abundant. The mixture of Alpine zone in the Caucasus mountains and the subtropical Black Sea coast of western Georgia attracts many tourists, because the country is considered both an excellent ski resort and an excellent sea resort. Georgia has one of the most ancient wine-making traditions in the world. Georgian wine is characterized as naturally semi-sweet and very competitive to French, Spanish and other Western European wines and is well known around the world, especially in Eastern Europe. Georgia has been called the birthplace of wine, due to archeological findings which indicate wine production back to 5000 B.C

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Quick Facts

Population: 4,570,934
Capital: Tbilisi
Per-capita GDP: $ 5600
Size: 69,700 km2
Time Zone: (GMT + 04:00 hours) Abu Dhabi, Muscat

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