Local Georgians react to conflict

August 13, 2008 3:25:22 AM PDT
Philadelphia has a sizeable Georgian community in the northeast and predictably, the fighting back home has brought members of that community together.

Tuesday night, they called for peace. Many here fear for family back in Georgia. "It's like hell. Sleepless nights. You can see these faces. Everyone is unhappy about what's going on there," said Kakhabar Okropridze.

Six days of fighting in Georgia, and two separatist regions, finally ended Tuesday after Russia declared a cease-fire.The violence so far has uprooted close to 100,000 people.

George Qochiashvila has a 9 year-old daughter living near one of the bombed out villages.

He believes the possibility of Georgia becoming a member of NATO is what led Russia to attack.

Qochiashvila told Action News, "It doesn't mean Russians hate Georgians. It just wants to show the example that they are the super power, and nobody can do anything, not europe, not the united states."

Tamara Kobakahidze, who helped organize Tuesday night's rally, says she's grateful for the supplies and other relief sent in by other nations. Many are terrified the cease-fire won't last long.

They plan to join a large rally planned in front of the white House on Friday.

Click here to get the latest Philadelphia news and headlines from across the Delaware and Lehigh valleys.