A memorial in memory of the Honorary President of the WAC Taras Shamba was opened in Sukhum during the days of the anniversary events for the 30th anniversary of the Congress. 

Naala Chkadua

The opening ceremony of the monument to the Honorary President of the WAC, the Abkhazian and Russian public and political figure Taras Shamba was held in Sukhum on Wednesday, December 7. The memorial on the territory of the park, known to Sukhum residents as "Skazka" and located at the intersection of Voronova and Dbar streets, was opened by the President of the Republic of Abkhazia Aslan Bzhania and the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the WAC Mussa Ekzekov. It was solemnly announced at the ceremony that the park where the monument is located would henceforth be named after Taras Mironovich Shamba.

Taras Shamba was the first head of the organization transformed into the World Abaza Congress - the International Association of the Abkhaz-Abaza People (IAAAP) - and headed it for 25 years.
Public and political figures of the Republic of Abkhazia, representatives of the creative intelligentsia, colleagues and friends of Shamba gathered at the opening of the monument.

Mussa Ekzekov noted the most important role of Taras Shamba in the development of the World Abaza Congress and the unification of the Abaza people. According to the Chairman of the WAC Supreme Council, the Honorary President of the organization was an example of wisdom and patriotism. 

"Dear brothers and sisters, today we are witnessing an event that is very difficult to overestimate. We are opening a monument to a great man, for whom serving the Motherland, his people has become a vocation, the meaning of his whole life. For 25 years, he headed the World Abaza Congress, changing the lives of his compatriots for the better. I am proud to have known and worked with the greatest son of the people of Apsny," said Ekzekov.

A member of the Supreme Council of the WAC, Beslan Kobakhia, noted the symbolism of the opening of the monument to Taras Shamba on the day the VIII Convention of the World Abaza Congress began. According to Kobakhia, the first president of the organization was a patriot of the Abaza people, an outstanding scholar and public figure. 

"Taras Shamba has headed the Congress since its foundation. He did a tremendous job of uniting representatives of the Abkhaz-Abaza people around the world: during his leadership of the organization, our compatriots from 52 countries of the world learned about the Congress. Today is the 30th anniversary of the World Abaza Congress, and the work of Taras Mironovich Shamba continues," Kobakhia noted.

Remembering his elder brother and mentor at the same time, Secretary of the Security Council of the Republic of Abkhazia Sergey Shamba said that Taras Mironovich devoted his life to serving the Abaza people. 

"As a student, in 1958 Taras founded the Moscow Abkhazian Diaspora, which he headed for many years. All his activities were devoted to proving to the whole world that we are rightfully fighting for our independence. Today, his contribution to the formation of our state was appreciated," Sergey Shamba concluded.

Guests from among colleagues and friends of Taras Shamba also shared their memories of him; spoke about the life principles, ideals and aspirations of the Honorary President of the WAC.

Poet, public figure Gennady Alamia is a close friend and long-term colleague of Taras Shamba. Together, side by side, they worked all the years in the IAAAP. Alamia used to be the General Secretary of the organization. He shared fondest memories.

"No matter where in the world Taras was, his soul has always been in Abkhazia. The Motherland has always been in his heart. Once his father, Miron Shamba, told me that in no case should Taras be separated from Abkhazia. I publicly assure you: he never parted from it; he lived with his homeland. It is impossible to imagine modern Abkhazia without Taras," concluded Gennady Alamia.

Earlier in the morning on December 7, the Chairman of the Supreme Council and representatives of the WAC laid flowers at another memorial - in honor of the people of Abkhazia who fell in the Patriotic War of 1992-1993.

The Chairman of the Supreme Council of the WAC, well-known public and state figure, philanthropist Mussa Ekzekov is visiting Abkhazia as part of the VIII Convention of the World Abaza Congress, which involves a number of meetings with officials, the public and representatives of various social groups. The Convention will be held in Sukhum on December 7-8.

The well-known Abkhazian and Russian public and political figure Taras Shamba headed the World Congress of the Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) People for more than 25 years and played a key role in uniting representatives of the Diaspora around the world. He is the author of more than 300 scientific papers on issues of statehood, law and order. In 2018, he was awarded the I degree "Akhdz-Apsha" ("Honor and Glory" in translation from the Abkhaz - ed.) Order "for a significant contribution to the development of the Abkhazian statehood, great merits in strengthening ties between the peoples of the Caucasus and years of hard work." Taras Shamba passed away in 2020, in Moscow, at the age of 83.   

Information partners of the VIII Convention of the World Abaza Congress: Abkhazian State Television and Radio Company (AGTRK), Abaza-TV channel, Sputnik Abkhazia news agency.