Vicken Cheterian

The fact that Salome Zurabishvili belongs to the Georgian diaspora is another positive factor. In a post-Soviet country where all foreign born could be suspected of being spies, where minorities are treated as second class, where concepts such as “the nation” or “the citizen” have a very narrow definition, to have a foreign born president who speaks Georgian with heavy accent is again positive.

If you ask me whether there is a link between the deportees walking in the hot summer of 1915 in the Syrian desert southwards, and the refugees of 2012 escaping barrel-bombs northwards, I would intuitively say yes, there should be one, but as a historian I would say “we don’t know”. We, historians, simply did not pose this question.

In Cambodia I often heard that the particularity of the Cambodian genocide is the fact that “they killed their own people”. They mean by it that Khmer Rouge killed their ethnic kin, other Khmer.