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Samegrelo (Mengrelia)
Notable people of Samegrelo:
Konstantine Gamsakhurdia 
Konstantine Gamsakhurdia (May 3, 1893 - July 17, 1975) was a Georgian classical writer of the 20th century and a famous public benefactor, Academician of the Georgian Academy of Sciences (GAS), Ph.D. of the Berlin University, and Laureate of the Shota Rustaveli State Prize of Georgia.

 Zviad Gamsakhurdia
Zviad Konstantinis dze Gamsakhurdia, (March 31, 1939 - December 31, 1993) was a dissident, scientist and writer, who became the first democratically elected President of the Republic of Georgia in the post-Soviet era. Particularly in Soviet-era sources, his patronymic is sometimes given as Konstantinovich in the Russian style.

Lavrenti Beria    
Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria: (March 29, 1899 – December 23, 1953), was a Soviet politician and chief of the Soviet security and police apparatus.

  Giorgi Jordannia
George (Giorgi) Jordania - conductor at Z. Paliashvili Tbilisi State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet and has been the principle conductor of the Georgian State Chamber Orchestra. After finishing his studies in Tbilisi Conservatory and the Leningrad Conservatory in 1989, Jordania continued his education in the United States, completed his Master's Degree at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He worked as an assistant conductor while at the University, conducting numerous symphony concerts.

Dodona Kiziria    
Professor Dodona Kiziria teaches Beginning Georgian at SWSEEL (Summer Workshop in Slavic, East European and Central Asian Languages) Indiana University. She is also a full-time professor at IU, where she has been teaching since the 1970s. Her courses include Russian and Soviet Film, Central European Cinema, and courses on Russian literature and Georgian language.

   Zurab Sotkilava
Zurab Sotkilava: (March 12, 1937) - musicant, tenor, compositor; Professor at the Moscow State Conservatoire.

Ilia Vekua          
Ilia Vekua (April 23, 1907 – December 2, 1977) was a distinguished Georgian mathematician, specializing in partial differential equations, singular integral equations, generalized analytic functions and the mathematical theory of elastic shells. Vekua studied at Tbilisi State University. He was made a professor there in 1940. He was also deputy-director of the Steklov Institute of Mathematics (1954–1959), the first rector of Novosibirsk State University (1959–1964), and vice-president (1964–1965) and president (1972–1977) of the Georgian Academy of Sciences.

Alexander Basilaia
Aleqsandre Basilaia - composer, people’s artist of Georgia, founder and group leader of vocal ensemble "Iveria". Famous Filmography: "Ostrov pogibshikh korabley" (1987); "Argonavtebi" (1986); "Vesyolaya khronika opasnogo puteshestviya" (1978); "Suveniri" (1986); "Chiora" (1984); "Chkhikvta qortsili" (1984); "Sizmara" (1983); "Iveria, da sikvaruli" (1978); "Mkhiaruli mogzauroba" (1978);

Levan Gotua        
Levan Gotua (March 10, 1905 - January 30, 1973) was a famous Georgian writer. He has written fabulous historical novels. One of his most famous works was "Gmirta Varami", which is fueled by the writer's great love of his country and the rich history of Georgia.

   Zaza Pachulia
Zaza Pachulia - (February 10, 1984) sportsman. After distinguishing himself in Skerspor squad, Pachulia was drafted in the second round by Orlando Magic in 2003 NBA Draft. Zaza ended up spending the 2004-2005 season with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Position Center, Power Forward; League NBA; Height 6'11" (211 cm); Weight 265 lbs (120 kg); Team - Atlanta Hawks; Nationality - Georgia; Born - February 10, 1984; Tbilisi, Georgia; Draft 2003 NBA Draft; Pro career 2003 – present

Robert Sturua        
Robert Sturua (July 31, 1938) is a Georgian theater director, who gained international acclaim for his original interpretation of the works of Brecht, Shakespeare, Chekhov. He is based at the Shota Rustaveli Dramatic Theater in Tbilisi, and has staged productions throghout the world.

   Ziuli Shartava
Zhiuli Shartava (March 7, 1944 - September 27, 1993) was a Georgian politician who was killed by Abkhaz rebels during the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia in 1993. He was officially honored as the National Hero of Georgia posthumously in 2004.

Levan Tsaguria          
Levan Tsaguria - was the first ever European sumo wrestler to enter the topmost division in sumo: the makuuchi. Known by the shikona, or ring name, Kokkai, which is Japanese for "Black Sea" he has made his presence felt in the upper layers of sumo rankings.

   Merab Kostava
Merab Kostava (May 26, 1939 – October 13, 1989) was a Georgian dissident, musician and poet; one of the leaders of the National-Liberation movement in Georgia. Merab Kostava was active in the underground network of Samizdat publishers, co-publisher of the Georgian underground periodical "Okros Satsmisi" ("The Golden Fleece"). He was the author of many important literary and scientific works.

Lia Eliava          
Lia Eliava (May 28, 1934) - famous actrees, the People's Artist of Georgia (1975). Leading star of Georgian cinema. With her husband Otar Koberidze formed one of the successful star-couples in USSR.

   Geno Adamia
Geno Adamia (March 8, 1936 – September 28, 1993) was a Georgian military commander who fell in the war in Abkhazia. One of the most energetic and popular Georgian commanders, he refused to surrender when Sukhumi fell on September 27, 1993. With a tiny force, he continued to fight in the vicinities of Sukhumi and was killed at the action at the Kelasuri Bridge on September 28, 1993.

Arnold Chiqobava      
Arnold Chikobava (March 14, 1898 - November 5, 1985) was a Georgian linguist, philologist and public benefactor, one of founders and Academician of the Georgian Academy of Sciences (GAS), founder of the scientific school of the Iberian-Caucasian linguistics, Meritorious Scientific Worker of Georgia, Doctor of Philological Sciences, Professor.

   Giorgi Eliava
Giorgi Eliava (January 13, 1892 - 1937) - famous scientist, bacteriologist, worked at the Paris Pasteur Institute where he came across with Professor Felix D'Herelle the discoverer of bacteriophages.

Eldar Shengelaia      
Eldar Shengelaia (January 26, 1933) - creative artist and famous producer and his Blue Mountains, or Unbelievable Story (Tsisperi mtebi anu daujerebeli ambavi) (1983) are Classic satire about the attempt of a young writer to have a story published in a literary magazine, in the midst of absurd bureaucracy.

   Akaki Khorava
Akaki Khorava (April 29, 1895 – June 23, 1972) was famous actor and honoured worker (cultural workers) was awarded several times as honor the USSR Prize laureate/winner in 1941, 1943, 1946 and 1951; People’s Artist of USSR (1936).

Irakli Pirckhalava      
Irakli Pirckhalava (September 13, 1977) - creative talanted artist, hip-hop singer and dancer. He was dreamed to be a bootball player...

   Shalva Eliava
Shalva Eliava - (September 18, 1883 – December 3, 1937) was a Georgian Old Bolshevik and Soviet official who contributed to Sovietization of Central Asia and Caucasus but fell victim to Stalin’s Great Purge. He was a deputy People’s Commissar of Foreign Trade and a deputy People’s Commissar of Light Industry of the Soviet Union.

Etheri Gvazava      
Etheri Gvazava (March 14, 1970) - great opera singer who gained world fame by singing in film productions of famous operas. She worked with Giorgia Strehler and sang a leading part in Andrea Andermanns film version of the Traviata a Paris.

   Etheri Lamoris Chkonia
Etheri Lamoris Chkonia is great singer comes from Georgian family of a great musical background. She studied with her mother Lamara Cicognia (famous opera singer in formed USSR), Renata Scotto, Ruthilda Boesch and Dolores Ripolles (a pupil of Elvira Hidalgo).

Kako Topuria      
Kako Topuria was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, on December 8, 1960. Graduated from the arts history and theory department of Tbilisi State University in 1983. Took up painting in 1979. Has been living and working in France since 1990. He is prominent French based artist. Claudia Schiffers favourite painter.

   Maya Chachava
Maya Chachava is Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing. She was born in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia in 1961. In 1993 she moved to United States. She has accepted a position at CWU in 2005 and is currently teaching Painting and Drawing at the Art Department.

Alexander Korsantia      
Alexander Korsantia Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Alexander Korsantia began his musical studies at an early age. Among his mentors are his mother, Sventlana Korsantia and Tengiz Amiredjibi, Georgia's foremost piano instructor. In 1992, he moved his family to the United States and joined the famed piano studio of fellow Georgian, Alexander Toradze, at Indiana University. Korsantia resides in Boston where he is a professor of piano on the faculty of the New England Conservatory.

   Georgi Danelia
Georgi Daneliya (August 25, 1930) is a Georgian film director, who became known throughout the Soviet Union for his "sad comedies" (as he styles them). Multiple winner at Cannes, Venice and other festivals. His films include I am Walking Along Moscow, Mimino, Autumn Marathon, Seryozha, Passport, Cheer Up, etc.

Alexander Kordzaia      
Alexander Kordzaia a conductor and pianist, was born into a musical family. At the age of seven, he began serious study of the piano and composition in Georgia’s premiere music school. By the age of 12, he was performing as a soloist with orchestras and was considered a child prodigy as a composer. Soon it was evident to his teachers that Mr. Kordzaia also had great talent and desire for conducting. By the time he graduated from the Tbilisi V.Saradjishvili State Conservatoire. Mr. Kordzaia was the Music Director and Conductor of the Georgia State Cappella and assistant conductor at the Tbilisi Opera House, the two most prestigious musical ensembles in the nation. Mr. Kordzaia led both of these groups on triumphant tours of the former U.S.S.R.

   Vazha Chachava
Vazha Chachava (April 20, 1933) is the most outstanding ensemble-pianists of our time, famous musician, graduate from V. Saradjishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire. In 1962-1977 he taught at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire and worked as an accompanist at Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre. He is Professor, Head of the Accompanying Art Chair at the P. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory.

Lamara Chkonia      
Lamara Chkonia (December 27, 1937) is one of the most popular opera singers (soprano). Performed as a lead at all important venues from La Scala Milan to Carnegie Hall New York. People’s Artist of USSR (1976). From 1956 to 1960 and from 1968 she was at Georgian Opera and Ballet Theatre, from 1969 to 1968 Ukrainian Opera and Ballet Theatre. Second Prize in 1967 in Tokyo (Japan) and third in 1963 in Sofia (Bulgaria).

   Natela Chkonia
Natela Nicoli Chkonia was born in Georgia into a reputed family of singers. She completed her studies in piano and voice with distinction and perfected her talent with Renata Scotto, KS Christa Ludwig. After her debut at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, she moved to Austria, where she has been living since 1991. She was for several years a permanent member of the Graz Opera, where she performed important roles such as Octavian, Carmen, Cenerentola, Rosina, Brangäne in "Tristan und Isolde", Meg Page in "Falstaff", Dorabella in "Le Nozze di Figaro", and Maddalena in "Rigoletto".

Nana Alexandria      
Nana Alexandria (October 13, 1949) was born in Poti, Georgia. Awarded the Woman International Master (WIM) title in 1966 and the WGM title in 1976, she was USSR Women's Champion in 1966, 1968 (jointly) and 1969. Alexandria was the Women's World Championship Challenger in 1975 and 1981. In 1975 she lost to Nona Gaprindashvili (+3 =1 -8). In 1981 she drew with Maia Chiburdanidze (+4 =8 -4), with Chiburdanidze retaining her title as champion. Alexandria is now an administrator to FIDE. She became the chairperson of the FIDE Women's Committee in 1986.

   Vakhtang Jordania
Vakhtang Jordania (December 6, 1942 - October 4, 2005) was a Georgian conductor. Jordania was born in Tbilisi where he studied piano from the age of five. After graduating from the Tbilisi Conservatory, he studied symphonic and operatic conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory, graduating with honors. A top prize at the 1971 Herbert von Karajan Competition catapulted him to the highest circle of Soviet artistry. From his assistantship with the legendary Yevgeny Mravinsky until his defection to the United States in 1983, Mr. Jordania held positions as music director of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra, the Saratov Philharmonic, and the Kharkov Philharmonic.

Ia Parulava      
Ia Parulava's acting career began at the age 12 when a respected Georgian stage and film director, Nana Khatiskatsi, discovered her for the part of an orphan in the popular film "A Difficult Beginning". The young actress’s talent was obvious; she was hired by Kartuli Filmi [Georgian Film] where she acted in numerous films and television productions, as well as produced and hosted a weekly musical show.

   Lela Tsurtsumia
Lela Tsurtsumia (February 12, 1969) is a Georgian pop singer. She's popular since 1999 and nowadays is the most popular Georgian singer. Her's music is more pop and soul, but there's tunes of ethno/folk music. Earlier in her career, some electronic tunes too. e.g her track "Idumali Game" was remixed by DJ AKA. In 1999 she has recorded her first video on her song "Rad mindoda". In 2002 Lela started working with the label "Art Imedi". Lela has won more than 15 prizes in varous festivals.

Joseph Jordania      
Joseph Jordania - Doctor of Music, Professor, Research Associate of the Faculty of Music at the University of Melbourne (Australia). Graduate of the V.Saradjishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire (1978) he is the author of more than 90 publications in several languages, including major articles in "The New Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians", "Garland Encyclopedia of World Music" and a book "Georgian Traditional Polyphonic Cultures" (Tbilisi University Press, 1989). He is one of the organizers of international conferences "On Problems of Traditional Polyphony" in Georgia (1984, 1986, 1988).

   Vladimir Papava
Vladimer Papava (March 25, 1955) is a Professor of Economics, a Senior Fellow of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS) and a Member of the Parliament of Georgia (Committee for Finance and Budget). In 2005-2006 he was a Visiting Scholar at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of nearly 200 publications, including many influential works on the theoretical and applied studies post- Communist economies and economic development of the Central Caucasus countries. His research efforts are underpinned by practical experience gained during his work for the Georgian Government: from 1994 to 2000, as Minister of Economy he was actively involved in currency reform, liberalization of economy, including liberalization of foreign trade, institutional transformations and other ambitious governmental programs.

Mikhail Khvitia      
Mikhail Khvitia (1924 - 1994) graduated from Tbilisi Art Academy under the direction of Professor Alexandre Tsimakuridze, who is considered to be the first distinguished landscape artist. Mikheil’s collection of paintings is also dominated by landscapes of Georgia’s nature at different times of the day, weather and seasons. He has visited every corner of the county of Georgia, clearly evident within his paintings – “Borjomi Valley,” “Autumn in Raja,” “Maple Trees in Kartli” and many more. The paintings of his home region Samegrelo are especially distinguished within his body of work.

   Meliton Kantaria
Meliton Varlamovich Kantaria (5 October, 1920 – 27 December, 1993), Georgian Hero of the Soviet Union (8 May 1946), was a Georgian sergeant of the Soviet Army credited to have hoisted a Soviet flag Banner of Victory over the Reichstag on April 30, 1945, 21.50. Despite Soviet records, the iconic picture showing him fixing a pole with the hammer-and-sickle flag blowing in the wind was posed on the Reichstag roof two days later, on May 2, 1945.

Radish Tordia      
Radish Tordia (August 21, 1936) is a painter of figurative art from Georgia (was born in Abasha). He works in oil painting, with particular emphasis on colouristic features. His preferred subject is women, who he regards as "the most beautiful creation in the world".

   Vitaly Daraselia
Vitaly Daraselia (9 October 1957 - 23 December 1982) was a famous Georgian football player. He played for FC Dinamo Sokhumi, FC Dinamo Tbilisi and Soviet Union national team. Daraselia is mostly remembered for his wonderful winning goal for FC Dinamo Tbilisi in 1981, in the final game of UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, rushing into the penalty area past two defenders, just 3 minutes before full time whistle. He died in a car crash in 1982, the same year he played his only World Cup, at the peak of his career.

Zurab Zhvania      
Zurab Zhvania (December 9, 1963 – February 3, 2005) was a prominent Georgian politician and former Speaker of the Georgian Parliament. From November 25, 2003 to February 18, 2004 he was Minister without Portfolio. He was the Prime Minister of Georgia from February 18, 2004 until his death. Zhvania had a wife and three children, and in addition to his native Georgian, he spoke English, German, and Russian. read more about those people please click on the link in main menu.

 Mengrelians in the World new
 Notable people of Samegrelo
    * Adamia Geno 
    * Alexandria Nana 
    * Basilaia Alexander 
    * Beria Lavrenti 
    * Chachava Maia 
    * Chachava Vazha 
    * Chiqobava Arnold 
    * Chkonia Etheri 
    * Chkonia Lamara 
    * Chkonia Natela 
    * Danelia Georgi 
    * Daraselia Vitaliy 
    * Eliava Giorgi 
    * Eliava Lia 
    * Eliava Shalva 
    * Gamsaxurdia Konstantine 
    * Gamsaxurdia Zviad 
    * Gotua Levan 
    * Gvazava Etheri 
    * Jordania Giorgi 
    * Jordania Joseph 
    * Jordania Vakhtang 
    * Kantaria Militon 
    * Khorava Akaki 
    * Khvitia Mikhail 
    * Kiziria Dodona 
    * Kordzaia Alexander 
    * Korsantia Alexander 
    * Kostava Merab 
    * Pachulia Zaza 
    * Papava Vladimir 
    * Parulava Ia 
    * Pirckhalava Irakli 
    * Shartava Zhiuli 
    * Shengelaia Eldar 
    * Sotkilava Zurab 
    * Sturua Robert 
    * Topuria Kako 
    * Tordia Radish 
    * Tsaguria Levan 
    * Tsurtsumia Lela 
    * Vekua Ilia 
    * Zhvania Zurab