In a ceremony held on Friday in the Duisi village, Georgia’s Muslim-populated Pankisi Gorge, President Salome Zourabichvili posthumously awarded writer Khaso Khangoshvili with the Order of Honor.
The honor was bestowed in recognition of Khangoshvili's contribution to fostering amicable relations between Caucasian communities, particularly the Kists and Georgians.
The President visited the writer's family in the village, expressing heartfelt condolences and personally presenting the prestigious award to the writer's widow.
In her address, Zourabichvilii remarked, "it is a great honor for me to be with you today. I acknowledge the profound grief that engulfs not just your family but all of Pankisi and Georgia. Every loss of a remarkable individual is a loss for our small yet significant country. Mr. Khaso's impact extended beyond his role as a writer".
"As a writer, he had already received recognition. The state award we bestow upon him today is a token of the nation's gratitude to this exceptional individual. Khaso played a vital role in preserving the rich culture of the Caucasus, contributing to the continued understanding and safeguarding of this integral part of Georgia".
The President emphasized the significance of preserving cultural diversity and tolerance, stating, "Our true culture, true Georgianness, lies in embracing the diversity of ethnic groups that have shaped and continue to shape Georgia. As we remember Mr. Khaso, let us not forget our culture, ensuring that Georgia remains as resilient as the Pankisi Gorge and other localities renowned for their unique customs".
She praised Khangoshvili's work on old customs and ancient legal monuments, highlighting the importance of returning to historical roots. "Mr. Khaso, as the chairman of the Council of Elders, represented the ancient institutions that once formed the backbone of our country. Sometimes, we need to revisit our roots to construct the future that our nation requires."