First Georgian National Receives Honorary Member of the Order of the British Empire

Marina Tsitsishvili, President of the Georgian Branch of the English Speaking Union was awarded an honorary Member of the Order of British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s New Year Honors List for services to UK-Georgian cultural and educational relations. She is the first ever Georgian recipient of a British honorary award.

MBEs are given in recognition of exceptional achievement and service in the promotion of friendship and understanding between the UK and foreign countries.

British Ambassador Alexandra Hall Hall hosted an event at the Embassy on Wednesday to commemorate the award in the presence of the Right Honourable Philip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

“I am delighted to be able to congratulate Marina on this honor given by Her Majesty the Queen,” Ambassador Hall Hall said. “It is people like Marina who lay foundations for friendships between countries. She is a real role model of dedication and loyalty to both our countries. It is particularly fitting that this award for strengthening cultural and educational relations between the UK and Georgia, comes in the year when Georgia celebrates Rustaveli’s 850th anniversary and the UK marks 400 years since Shakespeare’s death.”

The award is a recognition of Marina’s work to promote English culture and language in Georgia, including through establishing and becoming President of the Georgian Branch of the English Speaking Union; organizing an annual English language Public Speaking Competition; founding a non-profit International Center for Cultural and Business Relations to facilitate exchanges of students, statesmen and journalists between the UK and Georgia; supporting medical exchanges; and last year opening a school, performing arts center and cafe in in Vake Park, Tbilisi (The British Corner) to promote the English language, British culture and cuisine.

The commemorative certificate, coming in lieu of the official insignia, which will be sent over in the summer, was awarded to Marina by the Right Honourable Philip Hammond. “Let me present you with this certificate and thank you for everything you have done to further Georgian and British relationships. Culture is a vitally important part of building relationships between two countries- and not the only part, as economic links, politics and sports also play an important role. But culture is an area we take very seriously. I hope the work you have done will deepen and strengthen the links between our countries and that we’ll be seeing many more young Georgian s visiting the UK and many more Brits visiting Georgia.”

Katie Ruth Davies

31 March 2016 20:52