A protestor looks back, and is disappointed

By By Zakaria Tavberidze
Brosse Street Journal
Tuesday, February 21 2012

In November 2003, during the Rose Revolution, when the frosty wind was blowing among the crowds, one protester named Vasil Kareli was full of positive expectations. He believed that soon his life would change, he would find a job and his economic condition would be improved.
For the 47-year-old engineer, who had no job after the collapse of Soviet Union, the Rose Revolution was the “last hope.”
But Kareli’s hopes failed. He didn’t find a job and his family even cannot pay their taxes. In 2005, his wife, who was the only breadwinner in the family, died. Kareli, his 73-year-old mother, and his 14-year-old daughter, had no income. He had to leave Georgia and find work abroad.
Kareli went to Germany to work.
“It was the worst time in my life,’” said Kareli, now 56. ‘In Germany I worked as a tile-maker. For the same job, he said, the Germans earned five times more money than the foreign migrants Fifteen Georgian migrants lived in a one-room flat.
“We were like slaves,” he said.
He was able to send home $300 to $500 per month, until he was deported last summer.
So, now when he is asked what haschanged during last nine years, he answers, “My life changed from being an unemployed poor to being an illegal migrant in Germany.”

Copyright © 2004, Brosse Street Journal.