Circassians Today

The Circassian population 18s & 2002

The population difference between the 8 countries

Circassians Today
  After the deportations the Circassians settled in several Countries, and now they are in:     

Circassians first arrived to Jordan in 1878, where they settled in Amman, Wadi Seer and Na’ur. Today, Circassian populations can be found also in Jerash, Sweileh, Zarqa, Azraq and other parts of northern Jordan. Estimates of the Circassian population vary from 80,000 to 90,000.
The Ottomans managed the resettlement of the Circassians to some extent, recruiting them into the police and governmental structures. Until the 1940s, they continued to overwhelmingly prefer service in the army or government, but now they are represented in a diverse assortment of sectors and professions. Today, Circassian Jordanians are a well-educated people who continue to play a role in Jordan’s political, economic and social life, larger than their numbers would indicate.
Circassian culture places strong emphasis on respect for the elderly and closely-knit extended families. Marriage with anyone sharing the same surname of either parent is strictly forbidden. Circassians are also well known for their honesty. In fact, Jordanian Circassians constitute King Hussein’s ceremonial guard.

The Circassians of Syria have experienced lot difficulty since leaving the Northwest Caucasus. The Circassians are part of a large, important group living in the Caucasus region since ancient history. They were in contact with many peoples who passed through the plains to their north. During that time, The Circassians were almost in constant warfare with their neighbors. By 1860's the Circassians were forced to migrate to various parts of the Ottoman Empire.
In Syria, the Circassians lived in the Golan Heights.After the 1967 Arab-İsraeli war, they withdrew further into Syria, specifically to Damascus.Finding their settlement unsatisfactory, they petitioned the U.S.A. in the mid 1970's for asylum. The U.S. allowed many of them to immigrate to America, where they settled in New Jersey and New York City.
The Circassians who remained in Syria are well off. Many of them works in government, civil service or the military. Most Circassians learn Arabic in school, speak Adygey ( their native language ) among themselves and study English.Students in junior high school study written Circassian in cyrillic script. However there are no newspapers and few Circassian books printed in Syria.
Cultural events play an important role in maintaining the ethnic identity of the Circassians. During holidays and weddings, they perform folk dances and songs in their traditional dress.
Historically, The Circassians were organized into four casts: princes, nobles, freemen and slaves. The princes organized the wealth and external relations of the villlages. The freemen were farmers, herdsmen or worked in plants. The slaves served the princes and nobles as servants and laborers.

The years that followed the Tsarist Russian invasion of Caucasus in 1864, witnessed the deportation of circa 1.500.000 population of Caucasian nations. Majority of the deportees have settled at various provinces of the Ottoman Empire of the time.The deported nationalities were Circassians, Ubıhs and Abkhazians from Western Caucasus and Dagestanis, Chechens and Ossetians.
 North Caucasians' new homeland have enabled them to be productive and competent in economy, politics, government, education and arts fields.They also did their best to preserve their Caucasian customs and traditions. Full preservation of cultural identity and language of origin; have been possible only in isolated rural areas. Inescapable internal assimilation has taken place.
As in the case of the Ubykh language: last Ubykh speaker Mr.Tevfik Esenç died in 1992.There are over 100 associations and foundations founded by the people of North Caucasian origin in Turkey to keep the Caucasian culture alive. These voluntary organizations rally to inspire enthusiasm for the common purpose of solidarity. Organize folk dances, engage in publishing the desire for independent Caucasus where people can live in peace.

Circassians arrived at their present location from Balkans in year 1880 after 10 years of residence at Marvel-border of Greece and Bulgaria, they migrated to Palestine, the Holy Land of the three monotheist religions. Ottoman Sultan asked them to reside at Rihania (Reyhaniye) and Kfar-Kama villages. About 1000 Abedzah Circassians live in Reyhaniye and about 2000 Shapsıg Circassians live in Kfar-Kama and scores of families live in various Israeli cities and towns near their jobs.
Kfar-Kama the larger village has Jewish settlements as neighbours. Children graduate from village school and continue their education at Jewish schools.
They learn Hebrew, English and Circassian at school, National Circassian Alphabet of Caucasus is used in teaching Circassian.Reyhaniye is closer to Arab settlements as neighbours and children are able to go both Arab and Jewish schools.
Circassians serve in the army and employed in the border and regular police force. Municipal and public services are wide open to the Circassians. Circassians living in these two villages communicate in own Circassian language.
The Circassian Law (Khabza) regulates the conduct of the Circassians and settles all matters among themselves.

Circassians of Libya live near Mısrata which is located some 800 Km to Benghazi.They form a major tribe and have settled at a region called "Circassian region" 5 Km to Mısrata. Their population is guessed around 10.000. They are the second major tribe of the region. A population of 5000 Circassians have settled at the Ra'su Abide of Benghazi. They have an association called "Circassian Association".
A Circassian historian from Turkey says that the Circassians have migrated to North Africa 2000 years ago and have settled at Libya. This is one of the earliest migrations. The Circassians have migrated from Egypt about 200 years ago (probably after the 1811 massacre) and have founded the city of Mısrata which may relate to meaning (min Mısır eta )=(those who migrated from Egypt). Mısrata today is the third major city of Libya. There are Circassian families in Egypt with family name Dakkali, which suggests that they migrated from the city of Dankala at North Sudan.

After the end of Circassian sovereignty, Mehmed Ali Pasha 's massacre on March 2,1811 killed 1000 Circassian princes and nobles. In result of this horrible event, many Circassians fled from this terror and settled at Mısrata. Circassians of Libya call each other "Cousin".

They are engaged in business and work in different lines.They are well off. They have an association in Benghazi "The Circassian Association". İt is frequently possible to hear the word "Cherkezi" in Benghazi, but they don't speak Circassian and are uninformed about the culture and history of the Circassians.
A Circassian from Libya delegated the Libya Circassians at the World Circassians Union's Congress at Krasnodar on 25-28 June 1998, and informed that their population isn't just 15000
But it is 135000. Also expressed sentiments about repatriation to the Caucasus. They hope to embrace their traditions, language and cultural heritage.
And that was the reason why I didn’t include Libya in my population chart. 

By the end of the Second World War, the German withdrawal from Caucasus resulted with forced migration of North Caucasians to Western countries. Russians excused their new genocides by claiming that Circassians have cooperated with the German occupiers. At the end of the war, it was the time for settlement:Some of the Circassians settled at Europe and some preferred to try the life in the U.S.A.
Circassian immigrants from Syria, Jordan, and Israel followed their path to the U.S.A.
The Circassian community in the U.S.A. lives together in the State of New Jersey and are active in communal life and political participation. About ten thousand Circassians are living in the State of New Jersey, U.S.A.
The International Circassian Association became a member of UNPO in 1994, in order to stand up for the interests of the Circassian people living within and outside the homeland with non-violent means. The aim of the International Circassian association is to unite Circassians spiritually, politically and to preserve the ethnic unity of Circassians. It wants the Russian Federation to acknowledge the genocide against the Circassians, to recognize the status of exiled people, and to undertake efforts to let them return to their homeland and maintain dual citizenship (in their present country of residence and in Russia).

Founded at the beginning of the 1990s, the International Circassian Association (ICA) brings together Adyghe and Abkhaz activists from the republics and districts in which Adyghe (including Cherkess, Adygheans and Kabardians) and Abkhaz reside in the North Caucasus, as well as activists from the Circassian diaspora throughout the world.

adygea republic
To create a movement that will reinforce Circassian identity and will act to strengthen ties between Circassians the world over - particularly between Circassians in the Caucasus and the Circassian diaspora - through the establishment of a world Circassian movement.  Beyond this objective lies the concept of working towards the return of Circassians from the diaspora to the Caucasus.
 To get recognition of the “genocide and exile of the Circassian people” implying recognition of the movement, and of the Circassians’ right to return to their homeland, and to foster their own identity
 Social and particularly cultural goals, including efforts to promote, resuscitate and preserve the language traditions, and general activities in the field of education and culture.  A specific goal in the cultural realm which has encountered numerous difficulties is the aspiration toward the creation of a unified written Circassian/Adyghe language.  At the moment two close written languages exist - Western Adyghe and the Eastern Adyghe (Kabarda).  The differences between them are brought into sharper relief by dissimilar spelling systems.  There are also voices advocating latinisation of the language (a demand coming mainly from Turkish Circassians)
 Political objectives related to the current situation in the Caucasus, like the status of the Circassian-Adyghe republics and the issue of Abkhazia.