Pheri Ismailova was born and raised in the Kabali community of the village Uzuntala, in Kakheti region. She still lives here with her mother and studies at the Faculty of Philology at Ilia State University. She calls this stage of her life "when dreams come true." She studies and teaches Georgian and dreams of playing the Fanduri (traditional Georgian musical instrument). To fulfill her long-held dream, she saves money to buy Fanduri one day.
When almost all of her classmates got married in school, Pheri set out to learn and use her knowledge to help the Azerbaijani community. Today, she helps her fellow villagers in many ways; for example, she teaches Georgian to children and is an interpreter in her village. She also has many other passions, such as knitting and selling clothes, and has her online bookstore.
Ethnic Azerbaijanis densely inhabit the village of Uzuntala. Most of the ethnic Georgians live in the neighboring village of Baisubani. These two villages are so close to each other that sometimes Pheri can even hear the Georgian conversation of the neighbors. Pheri calls the friendship of ethnic Georgians and ethnic Azerbaijanis "spiritual kinship." Many things separate them: stereotypes, sometimes alienation, and a language barrier, but many things come together: friendship, hospitality, and interest in each other's traditions.
Location: Lagodekhi, village Uzuntala
Special thanks to Taso Modebadze and Gulnaz Mukhdarova for their help in preparing the video.
Director and Cameraman: Mariam Samushia
Assistant: Liaman Mamedova
Project Manager: Eka Chitanava
This video has been produced with the support of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED).