About the organization
The autonomous non-profit organization "International Association for the Promotion of the Development of the Abaza-Abkhaz Ethnos "Alashara" was established in early 2011. A division of the organization in the capital of Karachay-Cherkessia, Cherkessk, has been operating since 2013, and since 2019, "Alashara" has been implementing projects in Abkhazia.
Goals and objectives
The main objectives of the organization are to preserve the unique intangible cultural heritage: national identity, traditions and customs of the Abkhaz-Abaza people, as well as the unique Abkhaz-Abaza language; in addition, among the main tasks is the creation of a single ethno-cultural space and the involvement of people in public life.
The goal of "Alashara" is to strengthen spiritual and cultural ties, form a sustainable civil society in which mutual assistance, care for each other and the environment, and the desire to improve living standards are valued. In addition, "Alashara" through various projects encourages the participation of compatriots in the economic, social and cultural development of Abkhazia.
The organization is financed mainly by voluntary donations: grants from "Alashara" President Mussa Ekzekov, proceeds from Russian non-profit organizations, Russian entrepreneurs and citizens, as well as from the budget of Karachay-Cherkessia. The bulk of the budget is spent on projects in key areas of work and administrative expenses, and part is spent on activities under government contracts.
Main areas of work
"Alashara" implements the program "Development of the people of Abaza", which consists of several areas: the preservation and development of traditional culture and the Abaza language; healthy lifestyle, physical culture and sports; promoting the development of civil society. In these areas, the organization holds events of various formats - competitions, film screenings, readings, festivals, scientific conferences.
The work of circles for different age groups and the "Alashara" language club helps to preserve and develop the Abaza language. Well-known representatives of the people - writers, scientists and cultural figures are invited to classes. With the assistance of the organization, an online manual for students of the Abaza language was published. In 2016, a ten-year scientific program "Abaza and Abkhazians: preservation and development of languages and historical and cultural heritage" was launched. It was developed with the participation of leading scholars and experts in the field of the Abaza language, history and ethnography from Karachay-Cherkessia, Abkhazia, Moscow, Stavropol and Turkey.
As part of this line of work, "Alashara" republishes rare books and publishes works by contemporary Abaza authors. With the participation of the organization's employees, films, cartoons and animated series for children are dubbed into the Abaza language. With the assistance of "Alashara", the first ever feature film in the Abaza language "Three Brothers" was shot. During the work of "Alashara" several dozens of literary works and scientific works have been digitized, which are posted on the website of the organization. Thanks to the musical projects of the International Association "Alashara", more than a hundred new songs appeared, and dozens of songs from previous years sounded in a new arrangement. The organization also provides large-scale grant support for projects.
Initiated by the "Alashara" association, the Day of Culture of the Abaza people has become a national holiday. It was first celebrated on July 23, 2014. This date is celebrated as the day of the release of the first issue of the Abaza newspaper "Cherkes Kaapsh" (today - "Abazashta"). Since then, the holiday has been held annually, gathering more and more people living not only in Karachay-Cherkessia, but also in Stavropol, Kabardino-Balkaria, Moscow, Abkhazia, and Turkey.
Another important area of work of "Alashara" is concern for the health of the population. The organization regularly purchases medical equipment, helps to conduct examinations for the early detection of cancer. Vegetative-resonance testing of the population in Abaza villages is being carried out for the "Alashara" grant. With the participation of the organization's specialists, the quality of water in the villages is monitored and subbotniks and other environmental events are held.
The Games of the people of Abaza, which every year gather hundreds of amateur athletes from all regions where Abaza live, have become a real national Olympiad.
In all Abaza settlements, the local population built yard sports grounds with the assistance of "Alashara". Courtyard sports tournaments, football and athletics competitions are held annually.
Public councils and other civil associations
On the initiative of "Alashara", Public Councils appeared which took upon themselves the solution of many social issues. Increasingly, women's councils, also created at the initiative of the organization, and councils of elders are participating in the management of the territories. Projects proposed by rural activists receive grant support from "Alashara". This work also includes the youth movement organized during the association.
Additional initiatives and projects
"Alashara" unfolded a great deal of work in Mussa Ekzekov's native Krasny Vostok. A large-scale project for the development of the village as a tourist, cultural, sports and business cluster has been developed. The park around the Narzan spring has already been landscaped, a sports complex has been built, and an ethnographic museum is under construction. The plans include building an ethnographic village and equipping several hiking and horseback trails. The experience of Krasny Vostok will be applied in other settlements.
To speed up the improvement of the Abaza villages, "Alashara" actively promotes the work of the National Fund of the Abaza People. It accumulates funds from everyone who wants to solve the problems of the Abaza people and specific settlements. "Alashara" also provides free legal assistance to residents, in particular, in obtaining the required benefits and various public services.
International activities of "Alashara"
ANO "Alashara" actively interacts with the Abkhaz-Abaza Diaspora in different countries of the world. Any representative of the people, regardless of the country of residence and the presence of foreign citizenship, can become a member of the ANO "Alashara" and the "World Abaza Congress".
Thanks to the international relations of the ANO "Alashara", awareness of the culture of the Abkhaz-Abaza people is increasing, its customs and traditions are becoming known all over the world, in different countries speech is heard in the Abkhaz and Abaza. Representatives of foreign states participate in the events held by "Alashara" - especially guests from Turkey and Abkhazia.
Books and methodological manuals, which are published with the financial support of the ANO "Alashara", are distributed free of charge by direct mail to the Abkhaz-Abaza Diaspora in other states.
ANO "Alashara" has developed an action plan for the preservation and development of the Abkhaz-Abaza language, literature and history, which runs until 2026. It includes work in several areas: training and retraining of teachers, training of scientific personnel, development and publication of educational literature, conducting theoretical and applied research of the Abaza and Abkhaz languages. In addition, the plan involves activities to popularize the knowledge of the Abaza language and literature of the Abaza people. An important part of the plan is the development and testing of an experimental Abaza-Abkhazian alphabet based on the Cyrillic alphabet.