Read&Connect:Georgia Joins the Global Conversation

 
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Aug 29, 2014

Radarami Update - September 2014

July 1st Event - How Children Succeed
July 1st Event - How Children Succeed

Dear friends,

After escaping the heat of Tbilisi for environs around the globe—Egypt, China, Turkey, Albania, and Guria (to name a few)—the Radarami team is back and ready to heat up the printing presses with Nos. 12, 13, and 14 in the Read & Connect Series.

But first some updates on what else has been going on with engaging Georgian readers in the global converstation. 

On July 1st, Radarami held a book discussion on our 11th book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough at the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia in Tbilisi. Despite the heat, over 80 people attended, prompting a lively discussion and distibution of over 150 books (which was every book we'd brought).

Radarami expand our regional library distriubution this summer. In mid-June, we headed up to Khevsureti with Step Forward's 'Books for High Villages' initiative for the opening of a new library in the village of Barisakho. We also sent books to school and public libraries in Ozurgeti and to the Open Beach Library in Batumi. 

Through collaboration with Peace Corps Georgia, 120 books were distributed to new Volunteers in 60 schools and NGOs throughout Georgia, and, with the help of Suze Rutherford, a particularily ambitious Peace Corps Volunteer, we were able to delivered 4 sets of books to the Kakheti Regional Development Foundation in Akhmeta and 8 sets to the Pankisi Women Club and Pankisi Women's Council for capacity-building for the women. Suze plans on setting up reading clubs in both Akhmeta and Pankisi, and we look forward to sending more books her way in the future. 

With only a few small strings left to tie up, the two publications funded in part by the Open Society Foundation and by your generosity—The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen by Kwame Anthony Appiah, and The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement by David Graeber—will be printed within the next few weeks. We look forward to the conversations that these to books will spark in our readership. 

Likewise, Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin is going through the last edits, and we’re gearing up for what will likely be a very exciting time of discussion and debate on Stalin's role and status in Georgia. We continue to be grateful for your support throughout the length of this project as well as for partial funding through the Heinrich Böll Foundation. 

As we move into the coming months, we're looking to continue honing our skills, strengthing our mission, and spreading the global conversation one book and one reader at a time. Stay tuned for more exciting developments at Radarami. 

If you have any other questions or comments, please email brian@radarami.org.

Thank you again for your generous support.

 

Best wishes,

The Radarami Team

 

 

Photo Credits: 

Levan Mujiri

Links:

May 30, 2014

Radarami Update - June 2014

Telavi Book Launch
Telavi Book Launch

Dear friends of Radarami,

Spring has arrived in Tbilisi, bringing with it beautiful weather, fresh fruits and vegetables, and some exciting things here at Radarami, including our eleventh book launch and three upcoming publications.

Because of your support, Radarami recently published and launched our eleventh book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough. The book is a fascinating look at how failure and exploration build character inside and outside the classroom. On April 27th, we journeyed out to Café Marleta in Telavi for the book launch. The launch featured short introductions by Tinatin Khomeriki, the book’s editor; Tamar Gakhokidze, the manager of the Newton School in Tbilisi; and Nino Kiknavelidze, a child psychologist who led a very active discussion between the event’s seventy attendees, each of whom received copies of the book.

Radarami has a busy summer ahead with three publication going to the press. The two publications funded in part by the Open Society Foundation and by your generosity—The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen by Kwame Anthony Appiah, and The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movementby David Graeber—are both nearly edited, and we hope to have them both printed by early July.

We’re also happy to say that Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalinis likewise just about ready for publication. We’re very grateful for your support throughout the length of this project as well as for partial funding through the Heinrich Böll Foundation. We’re excited that this publication is finally coming to fruition because it will add a much needed voice to the political divisiveness of in Georgia over Stalin, who is still admired by many as a national hero. We hope this publication will be instrumental in a public reappraisal of his role.

In April, Radarami took part in the Wandering Books Initiative. Radarami books were placed in public places with a note saying, "I'm a wandering book, you can take me and leave me somewhere after you read me". Please follow the link for the short video we made about this project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eKGMATdR9A

Naturally, Radarami isn’t stopping here. As we look to the rest 2014, we will be working to fund publication of The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier, which examines the fifty failed states which are home to the poorest one billion people on Earth, and what needs to be done as they fall further and further behind the rest of the world. We’re also continuing to expand our distribution network, recently adding more libraries and looking to distribute through Georgia’s nearly ninety Peace Corps Volunteers living in the regions.

If you have any other questions or comments, please email brian@radarami.org.

Thank you again for your generous support.

 

Best wishes,

The Radarami Team

 

 

Photo Credits: 

Giorgi Kvintradze

Telavi Book Launch
Telavi Book Launch
Telavi Book Launch
Telavi Book Launch
Telavi Book Launch
Telavi Book Launch
Telavi Book Launch
Telavi Book Launch

Links:

Mar 5, 2014

Radarami Update - February 2014

Parliamentary Library; 26 February
Parliamentary Library; 26 February

Dear Radarami supporters,

It has been a cold several months since we last wrote to you, although it seems that spring has arrived in Tbilisi. Radarami's staff has been busy with the four books we hope to publish in the next four months. Translation and editing are underway for the three books currently supported by grants: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough, The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen by Kwame Anthony Appiah, and The Democracy Project: a History, a Crisis, a Movement by David Graeber.  

We are also working hard to find funding for a very important book: Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder.  Many people think of Stalin as a Russian leader, but in fact he was born in Georgia, about 30 minutes' drive from Tbilisi.  Perhaps because he's a local boy, a majority of Georgians have a positive view of Stalin, in spite of the fact that he oversaw the murder, imprisonment in forced labor camps, and mass deportation of tens of millions of Soviet citizens.  We think it's high time for a new history of the Stalinist period in Georgian, and this is why we are currently raising funds for this book.  An important part of this fundraising is through Global Giving where we launched a new project in December to support this book.  We hope you will take a look at the page for more information on the book and consider making a donation.

Our first Global Giving Project, which you have supported, was originally designed to raise money for Ill Fares the Land: A Treatise on Our Present Discontents by Tony Judt.  On February 18, Radarami held a discussion at the National Parliamentary Library on this book's themes.  The debate was led by Bakar Berekashvili, political scientist and lecturer at Georgian American University, and the four debaters were Political Science Faculty students at Tbilisi State University Irakli Iremadze, Levan Lortkipanidze, Sopo Shubitidze and a graduate Giorgi Khatiashvili.  It was a well-attended and spirited debate, with the audience chiming in during the second half, and a large group congregated outside the library to continue the discussion after the library had closed.  We are very happy this work is sparking such intelligent debate here in Georgia.  If you are interested in learning more about one audience member's impressions of the debate, a young Georgian Radarami supporter who recently graduated from Connecticut College wrote a short review here.

Radarami also held an event on February 26 aimed at teachers and others interested in Georgia's education system. Alexandre Lortkipanidze and Irakli Kakabadze, journalists for the national education magazine, Mastsavlebeli, spoke about Radarami's Work Hard. Be Nice.: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America by Jay Mathews, and about the issues facing Georgia's schools--whether lessons taken from America's charter school movement are relevant to Georgia.  Over 70 people attended and received free books.

As publication of Ill Fares the Land has been completed, we will be closing that project on Global Giving.  We would ask you again to take a look at our new project and consider it for any future donations.  We greatly appreciate your support.

In the meantime, please enjoy the photos from our two most recent events.  

Photo Credits:

Debate on "Ill Fares the Land"; 18 February - Georgian National Parliamentary Library "Work Hard, Be Nice" - Presentation/Discussion; 26 February - Levan Mujiri 

Also, feel free to check out our new and improved website, thanks to our newest staff member Mariam Aduashvili! 


Kind regards,
The Radarami Team
Parliamentary Library; 26 February
Parliamentary Library; 26 February
Parliamentary Library; 26 February
Parliamentary Library; 26 February
Alexandre Lortkipanidze - Speaker; 26 February
Alexandre Lortkipanidze - Speaker; 26 February
Debate; 18 February
Debate; 18 February
Debate; 18 February
Debate; 18 February
Debate; 18 February
Debate; 18 February

Links:

Dec 2, 2013

November 2013 - Radarami Update

Readers get books at Surgeon
Readers get books at Surgeon's Notes Launch

Dear friends,

As you know, we formed Radarami to connect intellectually hungry Georgians with information about the world beyond Georgia’s borders—a world that's only available to speakers of major languages.  Because of your support, Radarami has published 10 books, printed 27,450 copies and continues to distribute these copies to 31 library districts, 8 university libraries, 55 bookstores, 2 penitentiaries, 47 public schools and 15 other locations, including the only operating mobile library in Georgia.

Here’s what we’ve been up to the last three months:               

In September, we launched our tenth book, "Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science" by Atul Gawande, at the Medical University in Tbilisi.  The book is a fascinating story- and interview-based exploration of the limits of medicine.  A local surgeon introduced the book and the author of the introduction spoke.  Over 60 surgeons, doctors and medical students attended. See the attached photo.

Through our partnership with the Ministry of Education and Culture of Abkhazia in exile, we distributed books to the Gali region in Abkhazia and to IDP (internally displaced person) villages, resettlement communities for those who had to leave their homes in the disputed breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, territories occupied by Russia since the 2008 war.  Approximately forty schools in IDP villages and in Gali now have access to Radarami books.

Radarami is glad to welcome onboard several new staff members and interns.  We have a very talented translation coordinator, Ketevan Jakeli.  After receiving her BA and MA in English Language and Literature, Ketevan taught English and worked on several projects under the Ministry of Education before being hired as an expert textbook evaluator. In 2010, she was hired at Save the Children as a specialist in textbook development for schools and universities, where she oversaw textbook creation, contracting and managing authors, editors, translators, designers and publishers.  In 2012, she started working at the Georgian Publishers & Booksellers Association (GPBA) as an Executive Director and was the manager of the GPBA annual Tbilisi Book Fair in 2013. She is currently Deputy Director at a small Georgian publishing house, Logos Press.  In addition we have three new interns—Nuri, Mariam and Sandro, who are helping out with grant writing, events organizing and distribution respectively.  All three attend Tbilisi State University—Nuri and Mariam are BA students, and Sandro is working toward his MA.

Two weeks ago, we asked our 200 + SMS users which book was their favorite.  What we found out is that opinions are quite divided.  The most popular Radarami book is Kathryn Schultz’s “Being wrong” (35% of respondents), followed by Tony Judt’s “Ill Fares the Land” (23%).  Currently we can send and receive messages to our readers as well as categorize readers into different groups.  We are meeting with our SMS system IT designer to upgrade our SMS platform to allow Radarami readers to communicate with each other and organize their own events.

The Open Society Foundation is partially funding the publication and printing of two books in our pipeline: “The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement” by David Graeber and “The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen” by Kwame Anthony Appiah.  The Democracy Project reappraises the state of American democracy and argues against inequality, in favor of consensus, equality and broader participation in politics.   The Honor Code discusses from a historical perspective how moral practices like foot binding in 19th century China were ended by changes in what is considered honorable, not by legislation from above.  

In addition, we are hard at work on translating, editing and fine-tuning Timothy Snyder’s “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin”, which chronicles and evaluates the destructive period of German and Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.  This book is especially important for Georgians because of the political divisiveness of Stalin, who is still admired by many Georgians as a national hero.  There is great need for a public reappraisal of his role.  Soon we will launch a holiday fundraiser to raise money to print this much needed book.

If you have any other questions or comments, please email mitch@radarami.org

Happy Holidays from Tbilisi,

The Radarami Team

Children in an Abkhazian Public School
Children in an Abkhazian Public School

Attachments:
Aug 22, 2013

Radarami Update - August 2013

Complications: A Surgeon
Complications: A Surgeon's Notes (Cover)

Hey ya'll!

As you know, Radarami was established to connect intellectually hungry Georgians with information about the world beyond Georgia’s borders—a world that's only available to speakers of major languages.  Publishers simply aren't interested in the small Georgian market so Georgians find themselves in the dark when it comes to major global issues. It is with your help that we are pulling them out of the dark and connecting Georgians with new ideas.

These past three months, here's what we've been up to:

In May, we printed Franklin Foer's “How soccer explains the world”, which discusses globalization by examining the role and reach of soccer.  Radarami held an extremely successful two-part launch in the main library of Zestaponi and at the democracy center in Kutaisi.  Our two guest speakers were Dato Turashvili, the acclaimed contemporary Georgian author, and Dato Chkhladze, a Radio Liberty Journalist.  The Zestaponi event had over 80 people in attendence.

In July, Radarami launched "Work Hard. Be Nice." by Jay Mathews in two towns in Shida Kartli region, Gori and Ruisi.  The book follows the story of two Teach for America fellows who set out to remake the education model and founded the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) which is currently used across the U.S. The guest speaker was a local school teacher. Teachers and students came to listen to information about our mission, "Work Hard. Be Nice." and our previous books. 

In August, most Georgians are on vacation, so we are not having any events this month.  However, as always, Radarami is working to found partnerships with other organizations and ministries.  Recently, we entered a partnership with the Ministry of Education and Culture of Abkhazia in exile to distribute our books to the Gali region of Abkhazia starting in September/ October.  They own the only mobile library in Georgia in order to reach Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) villages and we made a deal to house Radarami books on this vehicle.

Our tenth book coming out is "Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science" by Atul Gawande which explores the limits of medicine through stories and interviews. The Radarami team is excited to launch this book in September after Georgians return from their August holiday.   We have provided you with a picture of the cover (it's the aquamarine one).

If you have any other questions or comments, please email mitch@radarami.org.

Warm wishes from Tbilisi,

The Radarami Team

Zestaponi Launch: "How soccer explains the world"
Zestaponi Launch: "How soccer explains the world"
Georgians take books at Ruisi launch
Georgians take books at Ruisi launch

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Organization

Radarami

Tbilisi, Shida Qartli, Georgia
http://eng.radarami.org/

Project Leader

Susan Smith

Director
Tbilisi, Qartli Georgia

Where is this project located?

Map of Read&Connect:Georgia Joins the Global Conversation