“Georgians Have No Analogue”
19 April, 2012
“Georgians Have No Analogue”

 

Aiming to become the Ambassador of the Year

Iran is the land of wonders. A history is a history but we are happy that in spite of countless wars, we have let bygones be bygones. Nowadays, we can enjoy the visa-free regime, 8 flights per week and a lot of things in common in our cultures. Meet with H.E Majid Samadzadeh Saber, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran and read about the relations between the two countries.

 

G.J: When did you

arrive in Georgia?

M.S. My mission started on April 6, 2010. On the same day of 1991 I began to work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I consider the coincidence of these two dates as a sign of good luck and success in my private life as well as in the professional career. Before coming to Georgia, I worked as a director of the Department of the Caspian Region of the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Earlier, I was a deputy director of the Department of CIS  countries. I worked as a deputy head of Public Relations Department for three years. I have also served on diplomatic positions in Ukraine and Azerbaijan.

G.J: What were your first impressions?

M.S: As soon as I came to Tbilisi, I felt like arriving in the northern regions of Iran – your nature is very similar to the cities located at the coast of the Caspian Sea –water surrounded by high mountains. Spotting the Mtkvari River while riding from the airport, I remembered Isfahan, which is divided by the Zaianderud River. The  small houses of Tbilisi city with their balconies also reminded me of Isfahan. While passing Freedom Square, the stones on the facades of main buildings looked very much like the ones in the Iranian Squares. Later on, I was told that these stones had been brought from Iran.

G.J: What can you say about Georgia as a person and as a diplomat?

M.S:  Georgian natural beauty is widely known as well as its historic monuments and tourism potential. However, I want to point out that the most beautiful and interesting in this country is its people. This is my personal opinion. As a diplomat, I can say that I am happy that I have been assigned to this country and not to other more well-known state with high standard of living and strong economy. I cannot compare Georgians to the people of those countries, as Georgians have no analogue for their warmth anywhere in the world.

G.J: What can you say about the Georgian cuisine?

M.S: I am fond of Ajarian Khachapuri and Nadughi. I have never tasted anything like that either in Iran or in any other country. I also like Iranian “Korme Sabzi” and therefore, I have immediately fallen in love with Georgian “Chakapuli”, which is very much like that dish. Tarragon lemonade is my favorite soft drink. I offered several owners of factories in Iran to arrive in Georgia and cooperate with the Georgian side in producing Tarragon lemonade. There are a number of essences that Iranians use in soft drinks, but tarragon is not included in that list. Georgian spices are very much like the Iranian ones; that is why I like them.

G.J: What is your opinion about the Georgian culture?

M.S: I am particularly fond of Georgian painting. I like Georgian architecture too. Many beautiful buildings in Tbilisi and other towns of Georgia represent a synthesis of Iranian and Western style. The folk instruments like Kamancha, Panduri, Zurna, Daira and Changi are  common for Georgians and Iranians. Their names even sound in the similar way.

G.J: Do you have a favorite Georgian artist?

M.S: I find it difficult to answer, as I can name from 10 to 20 representatives of various spheres of Georgian culture. It is the fact that there are a number of artists who are very popular but I am not aware of them. But I know that I have to answer  your question and therefore, I would name Ilia the Second, Patriarch of Georgia, as well as Shota Rustaveli. His poem “The Man in the Panther’s Skin” has been translated two times into Persian language. I have read it. I recall its initial phrase that says “this Persian story, translated into Georgian.” Out of the modern painters, I would point out Rusudan Petviashvili and Gia Bughadze.

G.J: What does your daily schedule look like?

M.S: I start my working day 45 minutes before the sunrise. After a toilet, I say the morning prayer that is essential for Muslims. Afterwards, I have a short rest, then I look through daily news, have a breakfast and I am at my office at nine o’clock. During the first half an hour, I get acquainted with the details of the news, taking place in Georgia, South Caucasus, Iran and the rest of the world. I also read reports of my employees. I have several meetings before the noon. I also attend different events. Before dinner, I read Namaz (Muslim prayer). After that, I have dinner. I often attend official dinners or I give banquets myself. Durin the second part of the day, I usually have several meetings at the embassy or outside it. Despite such a busy timetable, I look through letters. If I attend the receptions at night, I try not to be late home and have supper with my family. I always keep TV on in my study and I try to keep track of the news. I use the rest of the time for my family and praying.

G.J:  What about your weekends?

M.S: If there are no delegations, I try to spend my days-off with my family members, be it a picnic in the open or a culture tour. However, I keep in touch with ongoing news all the time. I work until the noon on Saturdays.

G.J: What is your favorite pastime?

M.S: I am fond of Georgian historic monuments and I have seen almost all of them.

G.J: What is your opinion about Georgian political culture?

M.S: As a diplomat, I respect the choice of Georgian  nation

 

and its government. I express my esteem towards any political course, which will help Georgia stay independent and transact politics without the influence of other countries, which will guarantee its security, stability and welfare. The independence of the country is not merely the UN membership and recognition by other countries. It is also that all decisions are made in accordance with the will of  its population.

G.J: What do you think of Georgian media?

M.S: About 15 years ago, I hosted an 11-men delegation from Georgia; at that tme I  served as a deputy director of the Press and Information Department of the Foreign Ministry of Iran. I spent one week with them. It was the first Georgian delegation that I met. It was made up of the representatives of the press. I can say that Georgian media is staffed with professionals. Unlike many other international colleagues, they do not resort to immoral tricks and methods.

G.J: What about Georgian Judiciary?

M.S: The independence and transparency of this system is of utmost importance for the state. There are a lot of reforms that have been implemented. I think that there are still more reforms to be made, as this is the sphere that should be constantly refined in accordance with time. I don’t believe that there is a state in the world that has the ideal judicial system.

G.J: Please, say a few words about the penitentiary system.

M.S: Many reforms have been made in the system, but again, much is in store, as the up-to-date situation in this sphere is directly reflected on the image of the country. Fortunately, there are not many Iranian prisoners in Georgia. However, at least once a year, I visit them at the prisons and learn about their dwelling  conditions directly from them. Generally speaking, I want to mention that even the best prisons in the world are horrible judging by their conditions and treatment. I would not wish  anybody to ever become a prisoner. However, I hear from my compatriot prisoners that the conditions in the Georgian jails are becoming better every day. I would also like to express my cordial thanks to the Georgian President, to the Minister of Justice, General Prosecutor and Minister of Penitentiary System because of their help to the Iranian Embassy and the Iranian prisoners.

G.J: What should the Georgian authorities do first and foremost in order to develop the country in the right direction?

M.S: Every state, that will direct its political course in accordance to the will of its people, will be able to maintain the independence, stability and unity.

G.J: Have you heard about the event recently organized by Georgian Journal, entitled ‘the Ambassador of the Year’? What do you  think about it?

M.S: If I were Georgian Journal, I would name myself ‘the Ambassador of  the Year’ considering the important events taking place during one year. When I arrived to Georgia, there were no flights from Iran; therefore, I arrived via Turkey. Today, eight flights are performed between Iran and Georgia per week. The flow of visitors has increased by 300%. There is a visa-free regime. We have opened the Consulate General in Batumi. The trade turnover that amounted only to $36 million in 2009, reached $82 million in 2011. In all events taking place in Iran, be it conferences or exhibitions, we are by all means inviting Georgian representatives and vice versa. Considering all these, it would be unfair if I don’t become the ambassador of the year at the next event.

Georgian Journal congratulates Iran on receiving Oscar prize for the best foreign film “Separation”. We thank the entire embassy for cordial and hospitable reception and wish H.E. Majid Samadzadeh Saber to become the ambassador of 2012. (It does not depend only on us to decide, though).

 

 

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