Joseph Alexander Smith

Freelance Multimedia Journalist based in Tbilisi, Georgia
The Guardian

Insider's guide to Tbilisi: protests, free wine and salted fish

Arriving at Tbilisi International Airport in tourist season, surprised visitors are handed a bottle of local wine at passport control and are greeted with billboards welcoming them to Tbilisi: “The city that loves you.” Stroll down the city’s main thoroughfare Rustaveli Avenue on any given evening and you’ll come across groups of young musicians busking. Rock music is the order of the day, but you will occasionally hear groups of teenagers playing the phanduri (a traditional string instrument),
Jako FM

Sustaining bio-diversity a top priority for Caucasus Nature Fund

The Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF) is a conservation trust fund that was created to protect the Caucasus eco-region, one of the most biologically rich and diverse areas on the planet. Specifically, the organisation provides financial and management assistance to the protected areas located in the South Caucasus, which include the protected areas found in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Additionally, CNF functions as a capacity-building body that aims to help sustain the ecological marvels of the p

საქართველოზე შეყვარებული ჯოზეფი

თბილისის სასწავლო უნივერსიტეტში ჟურნალისტიკის ფაკულტეტის სტუდენტებს, შეხვდა ახლგაზრდა ბრიტანელი ჟურნალისტი – ჯოზეფ ალექსანდერ სმიტი. ჯოზეფი უკვე სამი წელია, რაც საქართველოში ცხოვრობს და გამართულად საუბრობს ქართულად (ფლობს არაბულ ენასაც) და როგორც აღნიშნა, საქართველოში დარჩენასაც აპირებს.
The Guardian

The human cost of the Tbilisi floods: 'The truth is, I'd really lost all hope'

While viewers around the world were entranced by TV images of wild animals wandering free in the streets of Tbilisi, residents of the Georgian capital faced up to the human and material cost of the floods that hit on 13 June. The flooding, which left 19 people dead and caused damage put at $50 million (£32m), was the biggest natural disaster to befall the city in living memory. With the painful and slow cleanup operation still ongoing, Tbilisi’s residents are now asking whether this disaster wa
Caucasus Nature Fund

Lone Ranger-Georgia’s Only Female Park Ranger

Patience, charm and a good sense of humour are all desirable qualities in a park ranger. Luckily, Salome Idoidze, 23—Georgia’s only female ranger serving in Tusheti National Park high in the Caucasus mountains—has all these qualities in abundance. When we meet, Salome leafs through a pile of photographs of her riding a horse against a backdrop of dramatic mountain scenery. “Last time I was in Tbilisi I saw an old leather horse whip I wanted to buy at Dry Bridge flea-market” she says grinning. “The guy wouldn’t sell it to me though, saying he didn’t believe I had a horse and that I was probably a sado-masochist! I brought these photos to show him so he’d sell me the whip” she adds, gurgling with laughter.
The World of Interiors

Golden Handshake

After a Soviet edict in the 1950s, Tblisi's State Academy of the Arts faced closure, but thanks to a delegation of Georgian artists who travelled to Moscow, Khrushchev agreed to reprieve it. Built as a palace for an Armenian merchant some 90 years before, this dizzying blend of Russian Neoclassical architecture and Persian decoration symbolised the capital's ethnic diversity. But now it's in jeopardy again, finds Joseph Alexander Smith. Photography: Ricardo Labougle

Abkhazia rejects claims it is being annexed by Russia

Abkhaz Deputy Foreign Minister Kan Taniya tells the new treaty with Russia has nothing to do with annexation. On November 24th this year, Abkhazia signed a "Treaty on Alliance and Strategic Partnership" with the Russian Federation, which further bolstered the already solid relationship between them. The treaty's announcement drew international criticism particularly from Georgia's European partners wary of a repetition of this year's crisis in Crimea, and brought thousands of demonstrators onto the streets of Tbilisi to protest against the "annexation" of Abkhazia by the Kremlin. The treaty envisions the creation of joint command structures for security forces and law enforcement agencies, the extension of some social benefits to Abkhazia and a coordinated foreign policy shared by Moscow and Sukhumi.
Caucasus Nature Fund

Biodiversity: A bird’s-eye view

CNF’s partner Nacres is currently developing and testing a drone device which will be used to monitor bio-diversity in Georgia’s Borjomi-Kharagauli national park. The custom-built device is currently being developed by a technology firm in Tbilisi, as part of a project co-funded by CNF and the GEF Small Grants Pogramme implemented by UNDP in Georgia. Although unmanned drone craft are more famously used to collect military intelligence, their ability to collect data over large areas of sometimes
Caucasus Nature Fund

On the Front Line of Nature Protection: Borjomi-Kharagauli’s Longest-Serving Ranger

In the chaos and economic collapse of post-Soviet Georgia, the country’s natural riches were seen by many as a resource to be plundered, rather than to be preserved. The last decade, however, has seen intensified efforts to protect the country’s unique ecosystems and biodiversity in a way that is both effective and sustainable. Standing on the front line of nature-protection in Georgia is an army of rangers that act as the eyes, ears, hands and feet of Georgia’s Agency for Protected Areas acros
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