Abu Al Hassan Ali bin Al Hussein bin Ali AL MASSOUDI, originally from a North West African (Morrocan) Family. He was raised in Baghdad and came to Cairo to continue his education. AL MASSOUDI died in 957 DC. During his lifetime he made several long journeys: in 921 DC, covering most parts of the then-known world he wrote ten books based on his personal observations on the history of the nations he visited as well as a geographic description of their land. He made his journeys during the years 921- 924. He finally settled in Cairo in 956 and died the following year. Al MASSOUDI wrote his books based on his personal observations and on 17 books written by earlier historians that lived around that period.
Among his most famous writings is a book titled THE GOLDEN PRAIRIES (MUROUGE AL ZAHAB WE MAADIN AL JOUHAR), which was translated into French by the Orientalist De Minar and printed in Paris in 1872 in nine volumes; the English translation appeared in 1841. This bock is one of the most important reference books in the world for orientalists. The following quotation is from page 203 of volume I of the aforementioned book according to the Arabic text.
Let us return to the reference to KABAKH mountain (The Caucasus Mountain) and the fortress and the port of ports, where we have related the history of the peoples who are living in that area, among them a nation next to the Alans called the ABKHAZS who are following Christianity and have a king at this time; they live adjacent to the KABAKH MOUNTAINS.
Does this mean nothing to those Georgian historians of today who shamelessly claim that there is neither today nor at any time in the past a nation by the name of ABKHAZ and that the ABKHAZ are nothing but a North West Caucasian tribe who came to Abkhazia a mere 200 years ago? Was the Abkhazian Kingdom, already established in 920 DC when AL MASOUDI visited their country, an overnight-phenomenon? Must it not rather have existed long before that visit? Let the readers to judge.
History written by certain Georgian intellectuals is fine sample of human distortion. It serves to satisfy Georgian needs in dominating other peoples in the region. When setting such 'histories' against the facts, one comes to understand how the much lamented Andrei Sakharov could have styled Georgia one of the USSR's 'mini-empires' shortly before his untimely death...