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Nata Bekauri came to the Pankisi Gorge in Duisi village – located in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region and mainly populated by the Kist ethnic minority – at the age of 16. Her parents had decided to send her to Georgia after the Chechen War, having just graduated from school at the time.
Religious leaders in the Pankisi Gorge will no longer endorse marriage for those under the age of 18. Pankisi is located in the eastern part of Georgia (Kakheti region) and is mostly populated by ethnic Kists. The decision was made by imams from traditional Islamic mosques, together with the Council of Elders in the Gorge.