The Elder of Pankisi Gorge, prominent Kist writer, and a patriot of Georgia, Khaso Khangoshvili died at 81.
He was born in a heavenly village near the Alazani River, East Georgia. Young Khaso was taught to embrace values such as dignity, loyalty, love of the homeland, and hospitality.
The teacher by profession, Mr Khangoshvili taught Georgian language, literature and history to the people of Pankisi Gorge for 28 years. He was not only a great writer, but also a wise public figure who reconciled mortal enemies. Mr Khangoshvili was constantly involved in the issues of positive regulation and resolution of the ongoing processes in the turbulent reality of the world that affected life in the Gorge. He hosted the personal program "Georgian-Kist Relations" on Pankisi community radio "Way" (FM 101.1).
The Elder of Pankisi published his research on the history of the Caucasian people, their lives and struggles. Khaso Khangoshvili authored the historical reports: "The Kists", "Outlaws", "Sacred Books", "Kist Customs", and "Memories of a Hunter". He was the editor of the published book "The Kist Code of Law". In 2021, Khaso Khangoshvili was nominated for the Georgian Literary Award "Saba" for the best documentary prose with his book "Kists: 100 Stories."
Khaso Khangoshvili admitted that he started to write when he noticed a danger of alienation between Kists and Georgians. He was never relaxed throughout his lifetime because he cared about the Kist people and his native Georgia.
After the tragic death of his only son, Gebish Khangoshvili, in a car accident last year, the father devastated with grief was continually unwell but doctors managed to save his life several times. "He was such a forgiving man! He pardoned the murderer of his son. He was a man who set an example for everyone, a standard of bravery. It is a great loss for the Gorge; he participated in numerous generous and benevolent activities. All people of the Caucasus respected our Elder who was quite famous," residents of Pankisi Gorge recall.
Georgian folklorist Amiran Arabuli wrote on social media: "We never had a greater Georgian (yes, he was a Georgian) and a more devoted supporter of Georgia in Pankisi Gorge. The author of professional books written in outstanding, high-standard Georgian comprised infinite wisdom and eternal knowledge. An intelligent conversationalist and a sociable, friendly person, such is rare. He was deeply concerned about the centuries-long distress and injustice his nation suffered, and thus, he constantly thought about the present and future of Chechnya."
Khaso Khangoshvili as the Chairman of the Council of Elders of Pankisi Gorge was widely known and respected by both the Muslim and Christian communities. Georgia and Kisteti lost a great man today.
BRAMS Institute offers condolences to Khaso Khangoshvili's family, grieving Pankisi Gorge, and all of Georgia.