Aslan Abashidze (President Ajarian Autonomous Republic, Georgia)
Aslan was born July 20, 1938 in Batumi, Georgia, and grew up in an important Muslim family, a branch of the Abashidze princely house. When Georgia became an independent republic in 1991, Abashidze became the leader of the Autonomous Republic of Ajaria. He established his own political party in 1992 and became president of Arjan.
He was the leader of the Ajarian Autonomous Republic in western Georgia from 1991 to May 5, 2004. He resigned under the pressure of the central Georgian government and mass opposition rallies during the 2004 Adjara crisis, and has since lived in Moscow, Russia.
In spite of his descent from a renowned Muslim family that played a pivotal role in strengthening Georgian and Islamic identities among the Muslims of Ajaria, Aslan Abashidze rejected Islam and became a Christian.
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