Author (s): Zviad Gamsakhurdia
Birth Date: 1939-03-31
Language: Eng
Gender: მამრობითი

About Author

Zviad Gamsakhurdia (Georgian: ზვიად გამსახურდია) was born in Tbilisi, he is son of widely popular Georgian writer Konstantine Gamsakhurdia.

When still at school, in 1956, he was arrested for his patriotic and antidictatorship activities.
In 1957 he was released together with his friends after the protests of Georgian writers. In the same year he entered the University of Tbilisi and graduated it in 1962 (The faculty of Roman and German Languages and philology), as a specialist of the English and American literature. He began lecturing at University of Tbilisi and Foreign Languages Institute from 1966. In the same year he becomes the member of Writers Union of Georgia.

From 70s he became active member of the dissident and democratic movement in Soviet Union.
In 1973 there was his promotion at the Tbilisi University, where he received the degree of a candidate of sciences for his thesis 'The world conception of Rustaveli and English translations of his poem.

In 1974 he organized underground offset printing of Solshenicin's book "The Gulag Archipelago" and other "samizdat" works and together with the other activists of democratic movement began widespread them in Tbilissi and Moscow.
In 1975 Zviad Gamsakhurdia became a member of the first soviet group of "Amnesty International" which was founded in Moscow by V.Turchin and A.Tverdoklebov.
In 1976 he established the first Helsinki group in Georgia and began editing and publishing the underground political periodical "Sakartvelos Moambe" ("Georgian Herald").
In April 1977 he was expelled from the Writers' Union for "antisoviet" activity and arrested together with Merab Kostava by the Georgian KGB.
In 1978 the United States Congress proposed Z.Gamsakhurdia as a candidate for Noble Prize of Peace, together with other members of the Helsinki organizations in Soviet Union.
After the trial he was sent to Nogai desert (North Caspian sea shore), village Kochubey and spent about 1 year in exile, after which he was released, returned back to Tbilissi and continued his political and Human Rights defense activity. He published again underground periodicals: "Sakartvelo" (1983), "Matiane" ("Annals", 1987–1988), "Vestnik Gruzii" (in Russian, 1989) and was, together with Merab Kostava, one of the organizers and active participants of almost all protest actions, strikes, hunger strikes, meetings and demonstrations in Georgia during 1987–1990.
On the parliamentary elections of 28th 1990 an absolute majority of Georgia's population supported the "Mrgvali Magida" ("Round Table") political organizations and it's acknowledged leader Zviad Gamsakhurdia. and at the first National Parliamentary session he was unanimously elected Chairmen of the Georgian Supreme Council.
On the 31th of march 1991 Supreme Council under his leadership organized first referendum on the restoration of independence of Georgia and won it by 90 %.

On the 9th of April 1991 Supreme Council adopted an act of restoring of the Independence of Georgia.
On April 14th Supreme Council elected Z.Gamsakhurdia President of Georgia, what was confirmed by nationwide presidential elections on 26th of May 1991 (87%), supervised by international observers.
In 1991 the Academy of Sciences of Georgia conferred to him the degree of a doctor of philology for his book "The symbolic and allegoric interpretation of 'A Knight in the Panther's Skin'".

In September – October 1991 the defeated communist nomenklatura together with paramilitary criminal groups, began coup and bloody disorders in Tbilissi and in December attacked and bombed Parliament House. After the 16 days of straggle Z.Gamsakhurdia left Tbilissi, in order to avoid further bloodshed and civil war.
Passionate nationalist Zviad Gamsakhurdia died in exile in December 31, 1993. He's remains was interred alongside other prominent Georgians at the Mtatsminda Pantheon on April 1, 2007.