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Dwellers of a village in Afghanistan call themselves Gurjis
13 March, 2019
The 31st battalion of Georgian armed forces in Afghanistan has brought great news to Georgians. The dwellers of a village in Helmand Province call themselves Gurjis. Helmand, also known as Hillmand or Helman, and, in ancient times, as Hermand and Hethumand is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, in the south of the country. Historically, Georgians were referred to as Gurjis (Gurdi) by Persians and Arabians.
George XI of Kartli
George XI of Kartli, Photo courtesy: en.wikipedia.org

The village is located on a remote
mountain. The locals identify themselves with the descendants of the Georgian King George XI of Kartli who conquered Afghanistan in the 18th century. During the king’s invasion to Afghanistan, George XI of Kartli was poisoned and a group of soldiers then remained in the village.

The dwellers are said to be a very well-respected community and the rest of Afghans, Americans or even the Taliban stand in awe of them. They speak Pashto, one of the official languages used in Afghanistan. However, they are quite different from other Afghans in their appearance – They are characterized by lighter-colored skin and colorful eyes.
Irakli_alasania_afghanistan
The former Minister of Defense of Georgia with the Georgian soldiers fighting in the Helmand province, Photo courtesy: www.amerikiskhma.com

The second names of their ancestors used to be the Georgian ones namely Kipiani, Rostomashvili, Kargadze, etc. As the soldiers would not be able to bring Georgian wives to Afghanistan, they had to marry Pashtun women leading to the disappearance of the Georgian origin. But the memory of their long-dead ancestors has remained with them until now.

First photo courtesy: www.mod.gov.ge

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