Family separated by Georgia conflict

Wednesday, August 13th 2008, 10:07 pm
By: News 9

By Adrianna Iwasinski, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma family is trapped in the middle of international conflict between Russia and Georgia.

Mamuka Gomarteli's wife, Irma, and his children were in Georgia visiting family for the summer when the bombing started.

Irma Gomarteli and her four children were not able to leave the country, and the last time Gomarteli spoke to them was Wednesday morning during a quick phone call.

The family, stuck overseas in the bomb-ridden country, includes 15-year-old Mary Gomarteli, 14-year-old Sandro Gomarteli, 5-year-old Gina and three-year-old Luca.

Both Mamuka and Irma Gomarteli are from Georgia, and their children were spending the summer with their grandmother. Irma joined her children in Georgia later in summer to attend her niece's wedding when the bombing started.

"She says I hope there will be a flight perhaps on the 15th," Mamuka Gomarteli said.

The bombings temporarily shut down the airport as the destruction continued.

Gomarteli said Russia has committed lootings, separated families and placed men in concentration camps.

"They will do just anything to punish Georgia for her loyalty to the United States and the west," Gomarteli said.

Mamuka Gomarteli's friend, Karen Khanagov, is a refugee from Armenia and had to escape from his country during a time of conflict.

"It's just a heartbreaking situation and hard situation at the same time," Khanagov said. "You just need to pray and stay focused and believe it is ending up good."

Mamuka Gomarteli said he's trying to keep his faith and hopes up.

"I hope to see my family again and see my country stand up," Mamuka Gomarteli said. "I cannot imagine Georgia being in ruins, the whole country is in ruins."

Mamuka Gomarteli has contacted Sen. Tom Coburn's office to see if they can help his family.

He's also attempted to contact the U.S. Embassy, but to no avail.