Ethnic Incompatibility or Coexistence? Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Georgia
In July 2023, as one of many trips made until September, the authors of this report traveled by bus to the village of Sadakhlo, an ethnic Azerbaijani village in Georgia close to the country’s border with Armenia. Before interviewing residents there, however, the first order of the day upon disembarking was to grab lunch from one of a few cafes and chaikhanas (teahouses) along the roadside in the center of the village. As we sat down, the woman who approached us to take our order instinctively spoke Azerbaijani, but after some general conversation, she identified herself as an ethnic Armenian from Armenia. Thinking of us as tourists, she also said her husband, a taxi driver and an ethnic Azerbaijani, would be able to drive us around if we planned any sightseeing. We agreed, and while waiting for his arrival and as we finished our lunch, she told us her story. Meanwhile, on the main road, dozens of cars and trucks with Armenian number plates driving to and from Tbilisi passed by as we spoke. A few kilometers down the road in this almost totally ethnic Azerbaijani part of Georgia, dozens more trucks from Armenia awaited customs clearance that can take days.
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