Pankisi and Syrian civil war: By Madina Gaurgashvili and Mariam Margoshvili

Syria and Syrian civil war has become a topical issue in Pankisi, but why? Because today from Pankisi there are about 150 youths, 20-30 years old, struggling there. Many of them are coming back but many of them die and are buried there. But the question arises why they go there? Why do they think that if they will die in this fight they will get into paradise forever? The reason is that they believe that God (Allah) appeals them to fight. So religiously to say they are making jihad (in Islamic terms, is religious duty of Muslims) and they are called mujahids.

But parents of these boys don’t think so. For example, a mother of two boys who died in Syria (Khalid 25 and Hamzat 25 years old) think that that they are being persuaded to go in Syria and perform jihad. Shortly after they arrive at a special facility, people psychologically impact boys and advice them to struggle and fulfill God’s command and  these people manage to convince them they will get a lot of money. Thus these young boys go to struggle, but there are other people who get the money. The reason is that in Pankisi there aren’t any jobs.

Women also tell us the situation. One went to Syria to ask her boy to come back and take care of her and his children, but all was in vain. She returned alone. She tells us of the horrors she encountered during her the stay in Syria. Explosions, dead, children who run with guns. She returned to Pankisi disappointed. After a month she heard that her son was killed in Syria. And after all two months ago her second son also went in Syria and also he was killed there. And here, her life ended. A very famous commander from Pankisi, Omar Al Shishan (Omar Batirashvili) has in his subordinate group approximately 10,000 people and they are fighting together against Assad. Today in Pankisi no one is surprised if someone dies in Syria from Pankisi because people got used to death. Yesterday in Pankisi it was reported that a famous Kist commander Ruslan Machalikashvili was killed in Syria and was buried there) Today In Pankisi his family is mourning. There are other Kists who has shared Ruslan`s fate. We think it is very bad and unfortunate. First of all their families will be affected by this. They only think of going to Syria and death, when they should have thought about family, children and parents.