SUKHUM / AQW'A ― The diaries penned by Shazina Dzhapua, recipient of the Order of Leon, chronicle the Patriotic War of the people of Abkhazia (Georgian-Abkhazian War of 1992-93). She began recording her experiences from the war's onset.
The war diaries of the veteran and Commander of the Order of Leon, Shazina Dzhapua, were unveiled at the Abkhazian Institute of Humanitarian Studies in Sukhum on Thursday, 19 October.
Dzhapua started documenting her experiences from the early days of the Patriotic War of the people of Abkhazia, serving as a sanitary instructor during the conflict.
Two sisters: Tali and Shazina Dzhapua during the Georgian - Abkhazian War of 1992-93.
Arda Ashuba, the Director of the Abkhazian Institute of Humanitarian Studies, mentioned that Dzhapua had been hesitant about publishing her diaries, which are now seeing the light of day after 30 years. "Shazina Dzhapua maintained these diaries not with the intent of transforming them into a book but to memorialize those she assisted. Her notes were scribbled on scraps of paper, barely resembling a traditional diary. I believe anyone reading this will grasp the profound sorrow the author endured to share the tales she bore witness to," Ashuba commented.
Scholar Aslan Avidzba emphasized the significance of Dzhapua's diary entries for understanding the history of the Patriotic War of Abkhazia and for commemorating the memories of its people. "This book not only narrates Shazina Dzhapua's journey but also elucidates the essence and objectives of the entire war from the Abkhazian perspective. Throughout her notes, she often wonders about the future, showing that those who championed our cause were always forward-thinking. Now, three decades later, it's crucial for us to ponder on our own future trajectory, understanding that without acknowledging our past, we can't shape our future. Today serves as a bridge between then and what's to come. We must always remember the heroes who gifted us our freedom," he stated.
Shazina Dzhapua (right).
Hero of Abkhazia, Batal Kobakhia, expressed gratitude for the unbiased nature of the book, which he finds lacking in many publications about the Patriotic War. "Over these 30 years, numerous accounts of the war have been published. Some I've read, others I've skimmed. Yet, I often found it hard to connect or understand the true essence of the war being discussed. This book stands out. It should be translated into Russian to reach a broader audience. Such accounts, free from embellishments, allow readers to gain genuine insights into the war. I'm grateful for the sincere, poignant, and personal war memories shared within," he remarked.
The presentation also highlighted a book containing the diary entries of Shazina Dzhapua's sister, Hero of Abkhazia Tali Dzhapua, titled "Еибашьран [Eibashran]" (translated as "There Was a War").
Both volumes were published by the Abkhazian Institute of Humanitarian Studies in a limited run of 300 copies. In recognition of their contributions, Shazina and Tali Dzhapua were honoured with medals "30 Years of Victory in the Patriotic War of the People of Abkhazia" by the Minister of Defence of Abkhazia.