YAHYA I. BABOUK - FEB 28, 2016

The Circassians are a North Caucasian ethnic group native to Circassia, who were displaced in the course of the Russian conquest of the Caucasus in the 19th century, especially after the Russo–Circassian War in 1864. The term "Circassian" includes the Adyghe and Kabardian people.

Circassia was a small independent nation on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea. For a combination of reasons including ethnic hatred and islamophobia, over the course of hundreds of raids the Russians drove the Circassians from their homeland and deported them to the Ottoman Empire.

At least 600,000 people lost their lives to massacre, starvation, and the elements while hundreds of thousands more were forced to leave their homeland. By 1864, three-fourths of the population was annihilated, and the Circassians had become one of the first stateless peoples in modern history.

It is also through that the Circassians and the other inhabitants of the Caucasus region did not fit into the Czar’s reform program, because he viewed them as an inherent risk to the security of Russia’s southern frontier due to the Circassians’ strong military background and influence around the region.

Today Circassians live not only in their original homeland but also in scattered groups in Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Yugoslavia, with small communities in Europe and North America (New Jersey, New York, and California).

Regions with Significant Circassian Populations

The twelve stars on the Circassian flag symbolise the individual tribes of the Circassians; the nine stars within the arc symbolise the nine aristocratic tribes of Adygea, and the three horizontal stars symbolise the three democratic tribes. The twelve tribes are the Abdzakh, Baslaney, Bzhedug, Hatuqwai, Kabarday, Mamkhegh, Natukhai, Shapsugs, Temirgoy, Ubykh, Yegeruqay, and Zhaney. Finally, the three arrows represent unity and peace.