Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dear President of the IOC Rogge: NO, the Olympic Games have NOT - in any sense of the word - Come 'Home' to London...

Dr Jacques Rogge 
President of the International Olympic Committee 
London 2012 Opening Ceremony

'In a sense, the Olympic Games are coming home tonight. This great, sports-loving country is widely recognized as the birthplace of modern sport. It was here that the concepts of sportsmanship and fair play were first codified into clear rules and regulations....



Dear President of the International Olympic Committee, Dr Jacques Rogge,

No, the Olympic Games have NOT - in any sense of the word - come home to London...

No, the concepts of Sportsmanship and Fair Play were not first codified in London! They were around long before that...

After having spent so much time in Greece during the preparations of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games it is impossible to believe that you do not know that the Olympic Games have only ONE home and that is indisputably, irrevocably and forever,   GREECE, 
and GREECE alone.  

In case you have forgotten however, let us remind you that the Olympic Games were born in Ancient Greece and they were reborn in Modern Greece, in Athens, in 1896.

No one, and we repeat, no one, can dispute that, no matter how many carefully chosen words and speeches you make, as you apparently attempt to draw a distinction between the Ancient Olympic Games and the Modern Olympic Games.
 
In case you have forgotten, let us remind you that Fair Play (Ευ Αγωνίζεσθαι) and Sportsmanship (Ευγενούς Άμιλλας) were concepts related to sport in Ancient Greece and were codified way back then.  

The world owes a huge cultural and scientific debt to Greece, which, as a country, has never received, or asked for, any financial benefit from any of the tremendously significant legacies which her ancestors so generously gave the World, including the Olympic Games.

On the contrary, in 2004, when the time came for the Games to come home in every sense of the word, they ended up being an enormous additional burden for the Greek taxpayer. The excessive financial demands and extreme security requirements imposed on Greece, whilst not the cause, were nonetheless contributing factors to Greece’s dire financial situation today.

In contrast to that,  the IOC has benefited and continues to benefit from the Olympic Games on a daily basis, reaping broadcasting and merchandising royalties, as it takes advantage of the most exclusive and well-controlled ‘brand’ in the world.

Instead of trying to downplay Greece’s role and her significance in the creation of this exclusive ‘brand’, perhaps the time has come for the IOC to give something back to the country that gave birth to the Olympic Games, other than the privilege of parading first in the Athletes Parade of Nations… 
 
 Even the Olympic Anthem  composed for 1896 by Spiros Samaras with words full of symbolism and significance, traditionally sung in full at most recent Opening Ceremonies, was relegated to 'accompanying instrumental' status in London

In Beijing, the original words below were sung beautifully, in Greek, by the children's choir...

Αρχαίο Πνεύμα αθάνατο, αγνέ πατέρα 
του ωραίου, του μεγάλου και τ' αληθινού 
Κατέβα, φανερώσου κι άστραψε εδώ πέρα 
στη δόξα της δικής σου γης και τ' ουρανού

Στο δρόμο και στο πάλεμα και στο λιθάρι 
Στων ευγενών αγώνων λάμψε την ορμή 
Και με το αμάραντο στεφάνωσε κλωνάρι 
και σιδερένιο πλάσε και άξιο το κορμί 
και σιδερένιο πλάσε και άξιο το κορμί

Κάμποι, βουνά και θάλασσες φέγγουνε μαζί σου 
σαν ένας λευκοπόρφυρος μέγας ναός 
Και τρέχει στο ναό εδώ προσκυνητής σου 
Και τρέχει στο ναό εδώ προσκυνητής σου 
Αρχαίο Πνεύμα αθάνατο, κάθε λαός, κάθε λαός 
Αρχαίο Πνεύμα αθάνατο, κάθε λαός
Ancient Greece, apart from the Olympic Games, the concepts of Fair Play (Ευ Αγωνίζεσθαι) and Sportsmanship (Ευγενούς Άμιλλας) which you made such free reference to at  Friday’s Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in London, also gave birth to thousands  of other words and concepts which have been bequeathed to our modern civilization. 

Hubris is one of them. 

Hubris, defined in Wikipedia as extreme pride or arrogance which often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power…  

By using the power vested in you by virtue of the existence of the Olympic Games, to build up one country at the expense of another, which happens to be the very country whose history has allowed you to wield that power, and in front of billions of people worldwide, is simply ingratitude and hubris.

Leadership carries responsibility. 

It is a mark of true leadership, when one uses the power one has to give credit where credit is due, to inspire and motivate rather than diminish, divide and rule.

Noblesse oblige, 
 Dear Dr Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee
Noblesse oblige...

  
 ΕΥΧΑΡΙΣΤΟΥΜΕ... 

as you said so beautifully in Greek only 8 years ago in Athens, 
when the Olympic Games really did come home, 
in EVERY sense of the word! 



Friday, July 27, 2012

The Olympic Games: Greece's Legacy to the World




Later this evening, the Olympic Flame will light up London's Olympic Stadium, heralding the beginning of the Olympic Games, just one of Greece's significant and enduring legacies to the world. 

The Olympic Games, embodying centuries of culture, ideals and values bequeathed to us by our noble ancestors... embodying the values of the brotherhood of peoples, peace, friendship, and fair play - ideals and values which have survived wars, disasters, turmoil and tribulations, to be handed down from generation to generation for thousands of years...

The lighting of the Olympic Flame heralds the beginning of  the greatest celebration of sport and youth that takes place every four years on our planet... The Olympic Games



This flame, ignited by the rays of the sun by the high-priestess in Olympia, after invoking the God Apollo, was carried across Greece, from Castellorizo to Xanthi, to Crete, from village to  village and town to town, and handed over to the London 2012 Olympics Organisers in May.



The highly symbolic, and somehow appropriately rainy, handover took place at Athens’ Panathenian Stadium – the stadium built for the homecoming of the first modern-day Olympics in 1896. 

In Ancient Greece, the Olympic Flame commemorated the theft of fire from Zeus by Prometheus and was kept burning throughout the Olympic Games...

When the Games came home to Greece in 2004 there were many who doubted we would succeed - the British, Australian and American Press among the worst critics – but succeed, we did, and what’s more we did it brilliantly, with organisation and class, proving once and for all, the power we Greeks have when we are united, the power we have when we work together as one!   

As Greece’s Olympic flame lights up the skies of London tonight, and is kept burning throughout the Olympics, let its meaning of life, light, purity, freedom, peace and friendship spread around the world, uniting us all as people.

As Greeks, as Hellenes, let’s celebrate our unique heritage and the great things our ancestors gave the world! 

Let’s hold our heads up high, leave the pettiness to those who would be petty and stand proud of that heritage!

Citizens of London
Citizens of England
Citizens of the World…. 

As we watch the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony tonight,
 let's remember to pay tribute to Greece.

Enjoy the Olympics -  they are Greece's enduring legacy to the world!







The photos are from the Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony 
at Athens Panathenian Stadium
'Kallimarmaro'








Thursday, July 26, 2012

Say OPA!!! this September 15: Celebrate OPA! Day in YOUR Part of the Global Greek World!



On September 15th 2010, the "International Day of Democracy" as proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, the city of Rethymnon in Crete was very fittingly the first to celebrate the first OPA! Day,  in Greece, the 'Cradle of Democracy!' 
One of our very own Global Greeks, and one of the nominees for Global Greek of the Year, Dr Alex Pattakos, and his wife, Dr Elaine Dundon are behind this great initiative.

Their mission?

To celebrate the enormous contribution Greece and its culture have made to the world...


Join Alex and Elaine on their journey as they discover how to bring more joy, more passion, enhanced well-being, and deeper meaning to life...


This is what they told us about their project, 
The OPA Way!® back in 2010.

'Thousands of years ago, the Greeks led the way in discovering new ways to
think and be in the world around us, and now today, we turn to them once again to share their ageless wisdom on how we can live happy, healthy, meaningful lives.  In our search for more understanding of and practical advice on “how to live a good life” and “how do I find more meaning in my life,” we went back to the source of Western civilization—to the ancient Greek philosophers whose insights are still very relevant for today’s busy lifestyles.  We also went to the indigenous "villages" on the mainland and islands of Greece to capture many meaningful life lessons from modern-day Greeks who, in their own way, are also philosophers of living.  We spoke with people around the world.  We explored, we listened, and we learned.
On our journey, three common themes began to emerge.
  • O (Others) — connecting to others in more meaningful ways at all stages and walks of life in order to improve authentic communication and relationships with family members, friends, coworkers, customers, students, and other people in our lives
  • P (Purpose) — finding a deeper sense of fulfillment and truly living a life that matters by engaging meaningfully with the deeper purpose in our personal lives and our work!
  • A (Attitude) — bringing more meaning, joy, energy, passion, fulfillment, resilience, well-being, and success (and less stress!) into our lives by our choice of attitude
This philosophy of living offers simple and practical ways to help you find deeper meaningyou live a happy, healthy, in your work and everyday life.  It’s a way to build stronger relationships, strengthen your purpose, and leverage your choice of attitude so that you can live and work to your full potential.  The OPA Way!® helps meaningful life and can help your organization to become a happy, healthy, meaningful workplace too" 
Click here to learn more about The OPA Way ...

 
At Global Greek World we have been behind this venture every step of the way and are happy to be working along with Alex and Elaine to get OPA! Day celebrated around the world. 
  
We know how much Greece has contributed to the world and we are thrilled with this initiative! 

Our Global Greek connections in China and New Zealand have responded enthusiastically already and will be celebrating OPA! Day this year!

Check out the Sample Proclamation above and if YOUR Community anywhere in our Global Greek World wants to celebrate All Things Greek, celebrating OPA! Day on September 15 this year, please contact Alex and Elaine directly via The OPA! Way website.
Spread the word! 
Say OPA!!! this September 15!

Celebrate OPA! Day in YOUR Part of the Global Greek World!

OPA!!!!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Keep Calm... and Buy GREEK!

Thank you Aimiliana E (Greece) for this gem

Get the economy kick started,
whenever and wherever you can...
 
Keep Calm .... and Buy Greek!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Greek American Congressman Gus Bilirakis on Cyprus: 'Mr. Speaker, 38 years is Long Enough'

 Part of the Poster advertising the documentrary 
'Cyprus Still Divided: A US Foreign Policy Failure
(Read more about the documentary below)

 
'There is no American reason why the Turks should not have one third of Cyprus...'
Dr Henry Kissinger,  US Secretary of State

38 years have passed since the brutal invasion and occupation of Cyprus by Turkey, with what appears to have been the maybe-not-so-tacit approval of the all powerful US Secretary of State at the time, Dr Henry Kissinger.


Although little has been done to solve the impasse in the last few years, Cyprus' accession to the EU has outraged Turkey which continues to throw its weight around in the Eastern Mediterranean, bullying Cyprus at every opportunity. 

In light of the on-going tragedy which continues for the Cypriot people, and who are deprived of their family, land and property, we  are glad to see people like Congressman Gus Bilirakis, and Global Greek organisations like AHEPA and AHI  issuing statements and working to keep the issue alive in the USA and around the world. 

This support is particularly significant in the interests of maintaining international justice and human rights on this beleaguered island. 

Listen to Congressman Bilirakis address the House on the eve of the 'black' anniversary of the Turkish invasion which divided Cyprus on 20 July 1974. 

You can read the text of his address just below the video.






Mr. Speaker, I rise today not only as a member of this esteemed body, but also as a Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues.

I stand before you today to recall a somber anniversary that has pained the Cypriot and Hellenic communities for the past 38 years.

Mr. Speaker, even though the tragic events of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus took place so long ago, on July 20, 1974, the suffering of the victims has not subsided.

This anniversary is a time for America to respectfully remember the brutal Turkish military invasion of Cyprus, to mourn those who lost their lives, and to condemn the continued occupation.

Over 5,000 Cypriots were killed in 1974, and more than 1,400 Greek Cypriots, including four Americans of Cypriot descent still remain missing.

Since the invasion, Turkey has established a heavily-armed military occupation that continues to control over 30 percent of Cyprus.

Forced expulsions of Greek Cypriots on the occupied land have left nearly 200,000 people displaced. These Cypriots were kicked out of their homes, making them refugees in their own country. Those properties have been unlawfully distributed and are currently being used by the tens of thousands of illegal settlers from Turkey. To this day, Greek Cypriots are prevented by Turkey from returning to their homes and properties.

Another tragic result of this 38 year occupation is the division among Greek and Turkish Cypriots, who have been forcibly separated along ethnic lines.

This unnatural division of the island nation is a crime against society and to the people of Cyprus – that can only be resolved by ending Turkey's illegal occupation.

Mr. Speaker, 38-years is just too long. On the occasion of this anniversary, we need to take a long, hard look at our own commitment toward helping Cyprus reach a lasting and enduring peace – free from occupation, division and oppression.

A few years ago, the U.S. House had the wisdom and foresight to unanimously pass H RES 405, a measure I introduced, which expressed strong support from this body for the implementation of the July 8 Agreement.

Last month, my colleagues and I introduced H Res 676:

• to expose and halt the Republic of Turkey's illegal colonization of the Republic of Cyprus with non-Cypriot populations,

• to support Cyprus in its efforts to control all of its territory,

• to end Turkey's illegal occupation of Cyprus,

• and to allow Cyprus to exploit its energy resources without illegal interference by Turkey.

The Republic of Cyprus has also worked alongside its European neighbors to bring about a stronger integration of Turkish and Greek Cypriot interests for the good of the Island and its people. This has included a partial-lifting on restrictions of movement across the cease-fire line that continues to forcibly divide Cyprus.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that because of this continued integration between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and the economic and political successes that the Republic of Cyprus so readily wants to share with its neighbors, it is possible to bring closure to this 38-year occupation, and now as Cyprus takes over the EU Presidency, the first time since its accession to the Union in 2004.

Cyprus has long been a strong and faithful ally of the United States. It continues to work with us in the Global War on Terrorism and has supported our efforts in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mr. Speaker, 38 years is long enough. It is time to have a Cyprus that is once again unified, without Turkish occupation troops, foreign illegal settlers, where human rights is fundamental for all Cypriots.

Every legal citizen of the Republic of Cyprus, irrespective of national or religious background, is eligible to enjoy all rights provided for by the Constitution and international conventions signed by Cyprus. The only obstacle – Mr. Speaker – is the government of Turkey.

We Americans, as friends of the Cypriot people, owe it to them to do everything in our power to support peace and an end to Turkey's 38-year illegal occupation of Cyprus. 

Thank you.

Gus Bilirakis is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues


About AHI's documentary 'Cyprus Still Divided'

In the summer of 1974 Turkey launched a two-phased invasion of the Republic of Cyprus, using U.S. supplied arms and equipment to grab nearly 40 percent of Cyprus's sovereign territory and force 170,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes and property. Many observers believe the United States had the knowledge and power to prevent the Turkish invasion and later to compel Turkey to withdraw it troops, but Washington did neither of those things.

Today, more than 38 years later, the Turkish army continues to occupy the northern third of Cyprus in violation of international law, and Turkey has illegally settled occupied Cyprus with more than 180,000 Turks from Anatolia.

The American Hellenic Institute's Documentary “Cyprus Still Divided” reveals the reason why the US failed to act, revealing the web of domestic politics, the realpolitik of Henry Kissinger, and repeated refusal of successive U.S. presidents to demand that the rule of law and fundamental human rights be upheld in Cyprus, and presenting the facts in a clear and concise manner. For example, the documentary presents the recently declassified 1974 State Department memorandum that clearly indicts Secretary of State Kissinger, who made the incredibly cynical statement quoted above, 

“There is no American reason why the Turks should not have one-third of Cyprus.”

“Cyprus Still Divided” also looks to the future of the divided island in the context of the ongoing settlement negotiations between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot community that began in September 2008.

The documentary says:

“By abandoning the rule of law and its principles, the United States had a role in causing the present division of Cyprus. It remains to be seen whether the U.S. can perform a role in reunifying Cyprus.”


Click here to check with the American Hellenic Institute for future screenings of the documentary or to purchase it.

 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DON'T Believe All you Read and Hear! Greece/Crete: SEE for Yourself, FEEL for Yourself!

 The magnificent turquoise seas around Spinalonga 
taken from the island when we visited it last year

When the people are demonstrating in Syntagma, the way the world's media tells it, and projects it, the whole of Greece is being attacked by anarchists, rioters, or the police, and tear-gassed... the rest of the world thinks that in every island, in every village, from Evros to Crete, there are riots and clashes with police!!!

The truth is that,usually, even a couple of blocks down the road from Syntagma Square, people are peacefully drinking their afternoon coffee... 


Much like the bemused tourist in the videoclip below, we in Greece feel confused ... from the deliberately (?)  misleading misinformation we hear from all the 'well-meaning' media, even we are wondering if we are living in the same country they are talking about!!!

Commissioned by the Regional Bureau of Crete, this brilliant clip is the work of Theodoris (Teo) Papadoulakis, the talented producer of Victoria Heslop's riveting novel about Spinalonga, the leper colony right across from Elounda, on Crete -  'To Nisi - The island'... and applies as much to Crete as it does to the rest of Greece!

DON'T believe all you read and hear!

SEE for yourself! FEEL for yourself! 

Thanks to Elina K, Greece for passing it on!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Photo of the Day: Minos A Zombanakis - the Global Greek 'Father of LIBOR'



The concept of Libor is my contribution to the world’s financial community 
and I am known as “the father of Libor”.

 Minos A. Zombanakis, Athens, Greece

As the LIBOR scandal (LIBORGate maybe?) rages in the world of Big Banking it is worth noting that the 'Father' of LIBOR is none other than one of our Global Greeks, Minos Zombanakis, the Ultimate Greek Banker!



He made the statement above in a letter to the Financial Times in March this year, in response to an article attributing the London Interbank Rate - LIBOR - to the British banking Association.

Χρόνια Πολλά και Καλά Arianna Huffington!!!

  
Arianna Stassinopoulos-Huffington
Global Greek Publisher extraordinaire...

From all of us in this amazing Global Greek World
 
Χρόνια Πολλά, Καλά, Δημιουργικά και 
πάντα Συναρπαστικά
Να μας ζήσεις!!

Wishing our dynamic Global Greek, Arianna Huffington 
a very Happy Birthday and a successful year ahead on all levels!


Arianna was one of the Global Greek of the Year Nomineees earlier this year

Here's what we wrote about this charismatic lady!

2011 was a great year for Arianna Huffington!

She was named as one of TIME's 100 Most Influential for 2011, an honour she was given once before in 2006,  and sold her Huffington Post to AOL for a record $315 million!

Arianna launched Huffington Post in 2005 as a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet.


Born Arianna Stassinopoulou in Athens, Greece, Arianna moved to Cambridge, England to study Economics at the age of 16. A gifted debater, Arianna became President of the Cambridge Union, no mean achievement for a person who didn't speak English as a native language at the time.
Ambitious and gifted, Arianna's talent as a writer didn't take long to surface. Although she began writing books in the 1970's it wasn't until 1981, when she wrote a biography of Maria Callas, Maria Callas - The Woman Behind the Legend, a fascinating look at Greece's most famous Diva, that her career as an author took off. She later wrote a second biography, this time on painter Pablo Picasso, Picasso: Creator and Destroyer. Both books were considered controversial by some, but it didn't lessen Arianna's success.

Arianna moved to the USA in 1980 and in 1986 married Michael Huffington, a Republican who narrowly lost a seat in the US House of representatives in 1992, despite Arianna's exhausting campaigning and support. The marriage did not last long but the result, their two beautiful daughters are Arianna's pride and joy. Truly charismatic, a smart and intelligent woman, Arianna quickly became a household name.

Following her divorce, and the gradual change in her political views, in 2003 Arianna unsuccessfully ran as a Democrat for Governor of California against Arnold Schwarznegger. 
   
In 2005 she launched the Huffington Post which became a point of reference for all online media and a highly profitable operation.

Leaping from one success to another, Arianna hasn't looked back and credits part of her success with the Huffington Post to her mother's pivotal influence in her life...
'I get my knack for relationships from my mother. She was incapable of having an impersonal relationship with anybody. The delivery man would arrive at the house, and she'd say, "Sit down; have something to eat." As a result, I find it very easy to connect with people. And that's part of the Huffington Post. I'm bringing in voices -- some well known, some not -- and providing a platform....' from her interview in How I Did It...

In 2011 after selling the Huffington Post to AOL, Arianna stayed on as 
President and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group. In 2011 she also launched the UK version, and just yesterday the French version, Le HuffPost.

We look forward to the Greek version, in the very near future...

PS We loved your idea of moving Davos to Greece! Behind you all the way!



Sunday, July 15, 2012

Poem of the Day: Lord Byron's The Isles of Greece

"The mountains look on Marathon...and Marathon looks on the sea"
View from Schinias-Marathon 

The Isles of Greece

The isles of Greece! the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,---
Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.

The Scian and the Teian muse,
The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse;
Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo further west
Than your sires' "Islands of the Blest.

"The mountains look on Marathon---
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,
I dream'd that Greece might yet be free
For, standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.

A king sat on the rocky brow
Which looks on sea-born Salamis;
And ships, by thousands, lay below,
And men in nations;---all were his!
He counted them at break of day---
And when the sun set, where were they?

And where are they? and where art thou,
My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now---
The heroic bosom beats no more!
And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?

'Tis something, in the dearth of fame,
Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush---for Greece a tear.

Must we but weep o'er days more blest?
Must we but blush?---Our fathers bled.
Earth! render back from out thy breast
A remnant of our Spartan dead!
Of the three hundred grant but three,
To make a new Thermopylae.

What, silent still, and silent all?
Ah! no; the voices of the dead
Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
And answer, "Let one living head,
But one arise,---we come, we come!"
'Tis but the living who are dumb.
In vain---in vain: strike other chords;
 
Fill high the cup of Samian wine!
Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
And shed the blood of Scio's vine!
Hark! rising to the ignoble call---
How answers each bold bacchanal!

You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
Of two such lessons, why forget
The nobler and the manlier one?
You have the letters Cadmus gave---
Think ye he meant them for a slave?

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
We will not think of themes like these!
It made Anacreon's song divine;
He served---but served Polycrates---
A tyrant; but our masters then
Were still, at least, our countrymen.

The tyrant of the Chersonese
Was freedom's best and bravest friend;
That tyrant was Miltiades!
Oh! that the present hour would lend
Another despot of the kind!
Such chains as his were sure to bind.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore,
Exists the remnant of a line
Such as the Doric mothers bore;
And there, perhaps, some seed is sown,
The Heracleidan blood might own.

Trust not for freedom to the Franks---
They have a king who buys and sells:
In native swords and native ranks,
The only hope of courage dwells:
But Turkish force and Latin fraud
Would break your shield, however broad.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
Our virgins dance beneath the shade---
I see their glorious black eyes shine;
But, gazing on each glowing maid,
My own the burning tear-drop laves,
To think such breasts must suckle slaves.

Place me on Sunium's marble steep---
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep:
There, swan-like, let me sing and die;
A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine---
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!

Lord Byron 1788 - 1824 

An Ode to Greece from Lord Byron

one of the greatest Philhellenes and honorary Global Greeks of all time... 

a timeless masterpiece that rings as true today as it ever did...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Photo of the Day: Greece's Answer to British PM David Cameron

Closing England's borders to Greeks?
Start by deporting one of the most famous, 
the Caryatid held hostage at the British Museum.

One resourceful Greek's answer to David Cameron's 'Greek' comments 
set the social media on fire this week. 
Author Unknown:We don't know who he or she is but we'd love to!

Earlier this week, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, despite the position he holds, displayed a remarkable and unbelievable lack of diplomacy along with a deplorable lack of knowledge of history, solidarity and EU laws thus earning himself and his nation an offical reprimand from the Greek government who summoned British Ambassador Dr David Landsman for explanations.

Making incendiary statements designed to appease his right wing element and the euro sceptics, David Cameron who as PM of a country in the EU, singles out the Greeks as his major problem, when the UK has so many millions of immigrants from every corner of the world - legal or otherwise - that tap its resourcesm, hoping that by so doing he will keep Britain 'safe'.

Every country needs to protect itself but by making one of those countries the focus, it implies a racism which is not at all appropriate or seemly for a fellow EU member, and particularly hypocritical considering Britain is not even in the Eurozone.

In fact, it is worth questioning why he persists in making comments that relate to Greece  leaving the Eurozone, when the Greek people quite clearly voted against such a move on June 17?

In so doing he picked a major fight with Greece, the 'racist' comments on closing the UK's borders, specifically to immigrating Greeks but of course any other Europeans who would leave the Eurozone or the EU, not sitting very well with the people of Greece.

Nick Malkoutzis, editor of the English language Kathimerini was quick to respond with his article 'Why are you afraid of the Greeks, Mr Cameron?'

Such comments came from the Prime Minister of a country which enjoys so many  benefits because of the Greeks - the stolen Parthenon Sculptures which have people flocking to the British Museum, huge investments in property, a very lucrative Greek Shipping centre, bank deposits of many wealthy Greeks, and the hefty fees paid by thousands of Greek students at UK  universities are but a few of the 'Greek fringe benefits'. Even Queen Elizabeth, the reigning monarch has just celebrated 60 years on  the throne with a 'Greek' at her side (Prince Philip is Prince Philip of Greece for those who don't know).

Coming just weeks before the London Olympics begin and as the Olympic Flame, the symbol of peace and friendship, is carried by young and old from one end of the UK to the other, David Cameron's comments were insensitive to say the least! We wonder just how he plans to open the Games later this month? By condemning Greece, the country which gave them to the world?

Whilst we don't think he actually said he was going to deport Greeks, he did speak about closing the borders to Greeks and he got his answer very quickly indeed: the stolen Caryatid being held 'hostage' in the British Museum spoke out loudly and along with our exiled Caryatid, so did every single Greek in every corner of our Global Greek World, seizing the opportunity to drive home once again the issue of repatriating the Parthenon Sculptures.

The British PM is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, we know...

The UK, incredibly, is in a recession during an Olympic Year! Bank scandals have broken out one after the other, and now a rate fixing scandal explodes at Barclays.

Being Prime Minister of a country however implies an ability to lead and take decisions that will steer the country out of any crisis. Bypassing EU treaties  and making empty populist threats against a fellow EU member (whose people incidentally are not exactly breaking down your doors to get in),  in order to take your people's minds off their domestic troubles, well frankly, that has nothing to do with real leadership and has everything to do with short sightedness and a complete lack of global perspective and insight.

Sir Winston Churchill must be turning in his grave.



Monday, July 2, 2012

I ♥ Greece because...


 I ♥ Greece because... 


We asked our friends on the Global Greek World Facebook Page and our Twitter Page to play a game a while back, asking them to finish the statement above,  then asked everyone to vote for their favourite by clicking the 'like' button.


We had so many marvellous answers we decided to publish all of them... since we  Μαύρη κούπα (χαρτιά)your comments!

Eloquent, sometimes even poetic, awesome, sincere, amazing, touching, inspiring, and funny, they were all comments made straight from the heart and we are honoured to share them with all our readers!

 
We know the rest of the world wants to know what it is about this beautiful country that makes us all Μαύρη κούπα (χαρτιά) Greece so so much and makes the love affair go on forever!!!!
Congratulations to our winner,  Greek Australian Georgia Gerardis, for the comment with the most likes.

Bravo Georgia! Your prize is a one year subscription to The World of Greece Odyssey Magazine.

A big Thank YOU from the bottom of our hearts to you and to everyone who played the game! Some enjoyed the game so much, they left two comments, sometimes more!

Fantastic! We love the fact that you all Μαύρη κούπα (χαρτιά) Greece!

If you haven't already told us why YOU Μαύρη κούπα (χαρτιά) Greece,  you're welcome to add your reason by leaving a comment at the end of this post!

Pame! 

The winning comment came from Greek Australian Georgia Gerardis owner of Ammoyiali Restaurant in Rhodes: 



I ♥ ♥ #Greece because ...It's the energy, the fragrances, the lacy beaches, the deep blue sea, the breeze on the islands, the sunsets, the sound of ice cubes in an ouzo glass, the charmani(have no idea how to translate that) of the greek coffee, the fact that we can lay a whole table with simplicity and call it a grand feast, that we can go on holidays on our own country, that we can communicate with our eyes, that no matter how shitty things can get we can always have a chuckle and get by with 'small things', that there's always a plate on the table for our visitor/stranger, the power of the women, the generosity of yiayia...Oh my I can go on forever!!

Greek American Demetrios Christo, who takes great photographs of Greece as a hobby,  came second with this comment:

I  love greece because I was born of her soil. She is beauty in chaos personified; whether it is rugged mountains diving deep into the sea or myriad of barren rocks tossed haphazardly across the Aegean as a joke from god or a metropolis like Athens that is totally devoid of any substantial architecture yet beneath all this a strong and resilient people exist. My people.

Third place equal went to Greece lover, German Ann-Britt Gay Hartwig who just spent her holidays on Kerkyra   
'I love Greece because it is the most magical country in the world. Greece is my paradise on earth you could say the filet of the planet ;)

and talented artist Cathy Blue Tuesday '

'love Greece because it makes me want to paint, makes me want to cook, makes me want to swim, makes me want to climb the mountains and touch the sky, makes me love people, makes me love the planet, makes me love life'


Fifth place equal to Athens2004 volunteer, Mariella Pia Tabone from Malta 

'Where do I begin? I ♥ GREECE because I feel Completely at HOME there and It Completes Me... Greece is My Adopted Identity! Greece and All Things Greek make me SMILE and HAPPY Inside (even just hearing someone speaking in Greek in some foreign land!) I Love the People, the Islands, the Culture, the History, the Way of Life... I ♥ ♥ ♥ GREECE!!!'

and Greek New Zealander Vera Lingonis-George 
'
'Because I see Greece every time I look in the mirror, every time I sit down to eat and every time I approach a problem. Because there is not a single hour in the day when Greece is not a part of it. Because when my lecturers grade my work they see Greece too, and they tell me so. ...because Greece made me who I am today''


Finally, 7th place goes to another Greek New Zealander, Bill Blades, who now lives in Australia:  

'...because its country lanes at night are redolent with oregano and basil, because the Hellenic moon lures philosophy from within you, because the "filotimo" of the people pangs with its sweetness and kindness, because the brine of the Aegean Sea cradles you afloat to dream of the sea battles once waged in the very salt/water molelcules you are bathing in..., because its music is non-discriminating of age, gender or class and alone or together it surges you to freedom on the "pista", because to rub the worn marble of the Parthenon, Delphi and Epidaurus is to caress antiquity's shoulders, because the rugged mountains peaks are contours of freedom and independence, because tomato, fetta, olive oil and crusty sour dough bread drools the eyes and salivates the tongue with it simplicity of taste, because the light...that miraculous light.... illuminates, beautifies and casts into bold relief,the enigmatic splendour we call Greece....'

  
I ♥ Greece because....

From Twitter: @Greekfoodlover... because it's one of the most beautiful countries in the world..... #Love #Greece

Jenny Stavropoulou-Fischer: I love Greece because it is the most wonderful place on earth! Best beaches, best food and above all has the friendliest people on earth.

Christina Tselentis Beiter: It's the only place on earth worth being!!!

Gloria Barber Konstantinidis: why not greece..its the land of the gods who created this beauty and the foods so why not greece...the only place with so many islands with there own beauty.. because we are all proud to be greek...

Georgia Goltsos: Because its GREECE!!!

From Twitter: @CalGreekGirl (Mary Papoulias Platis): I love Greece because of it's bountiful crops,simplistic, healthy lifestyle!

From Twitter: @AngelaVivo (Angela Vithoulkas): I luv #Greece because my soul belongs there

Lizzy Karras There is no other place on this planet that even compares. Greece is passion!!! Not an hour goes by I don't think of how blessed I am to have the privildge to be born on her soil.Vera Lingonis - me ekanes kai dakrisa.xxx


Kim Pendlebury; ‎... because of the kindness of her people, the jewelled beauty of her seas, the flavour of her food and the timelessness of her history.


Katie IloveGreece Grantopoulou: I Love Greece because it is the most magical place on earth!! It is a stunning beauty, has yummy food, fasinating history, wonderful language and it's home to the most amazing people on earth!!! If Greece was a person I'd marry her!!!!!! I LOVE YOU GREECE!!!!!!!!!

Theonie Kalogiannis: I love Greece because it is an AWESOME PLACE!!!!

Stella Xiaobaiyang: I love Greece because Greece is Greece. Nowhere is perfect! Everyone is pointing at Greece these days because they cannot and don't want to see the shit happening in their own countries... just keep up the spirit!!! (forgot to add this) ...because Greece has the best cuisine of the world!

Willy Van Belleghem: When I read all these comments I only can say that I agree wkith them all. I love Greece that much that I am planning on spending the rest of my life there as from next year! I love the islands and most perticaly Crete with its fine beaches, its blue seas, its beatifull mountains with snow on top of them in wntertime, its wintersportcenter, its caves, its gorges, its ancient sites and then I am not takking aboit Knossos only! Its monastries, its beatifull churches, its mosks, Sorry for the mistakes in my statement, I will go on here and try to avoid them now. I stopped with its mosks and go on with its mountain villages, its cities like Chania and Rethimnon with there beautifull Venetian harbours and old towns, Agios Nikolaos with its lake and Sitia wich is the most eastly of Crete, I have not yet been to Ierepetra, the stunning palmtreewood of Preveli in the south, wich unfortunatly burned down last year and the one of Vai in the far east of Crete are worth a visit! I can go on and on about this woderfull island but every island has its own charm. The big metropopis of Athens and the city of Tessaloniki are worth visiting too. There is so much to see in Greece that you need at least two lifetimes!

 From Twitter @LeesaVlahosMP: ...Greece is a crazy, chaotic, embraceable, relaxed history rich female with so much life, love and laughter to share with the world.

Viv Pappas: ‎...her sun and nature makes me connect with my higher self ♥ No wonder she gave birth to so many philosophers!

From Twitter @QuikKate Katerina Leyden: I love Greece because it is where my Father was born ! I am proud of my heritage, and am at my happiest when I'm there.

Heather Tyler: I love Greece because no other country on earth has that kind of kefi. My favourite places - too many to count - make my heart jump for joy

 Angie Kackloudis Giallourakis: The home to my soul:)

 From Twitter @Eugen12 Eugen Schoen: I ♥ Greece because of the great people & blue skies ! :-)

From Twitter @LizPata liz : I♥ Greece ♥ because my family is from there xxx

From Twitter @AndoniaPR Diane Mantouvalos: Okay, I'll play. Let's see... I ♥ Greece because you feel the energy of the Gods when you touch the ground #Greece

From Twitter @MaryJ_K Mary Jane: I love Greece .... Because I AM PROUD TO BE GREEK!

From Twitter @JenMichalios Jennifer Michalios: I love Greece because the sun shines all year long!!!

From Twitter @TaniaPV Tania: I ♥ Greece because it's part of me: my heart! Zito!

 From Twitter @FrtheMommyFiles Maria A. Karamitsos: I love Greece because it's a magical & beautiful place with a rich history & beautiful people. It's like no where else in the world. # Love #Greece

 From Twitter @MFilms Nick Manousakis: #Love #Greece's history, culture, language & who I am.

From Twitter @Daisychain_saw Liz B: I just ♥her - she is home

Tina Bell: ‎.. I am here!!!! Bravo Sophia for this positiveness... I am starting to see myself in Greece from another point pleon....Thank you...

From twitter @katiazev Katia Zevelekakis: Ok I love Greece because I'm nuts

Christine Kounis: What I love about Greece, apart from being the most beautiful place on Earth, is that it has always represented ideas and ideals that have travelled beyond the physical limits of the country itself. In a way, Greece is as global as its citizens have been for centuries now.

Rose Robinson: its heaven on earth, so beautiful in every way, heart and soul.

 From Twitter @YourUntoldStory Vicki Bobotis: I ♥ Greece ♥ because everyone talks with their hands & gestures with their face!

Kosta Del Mar Koeman: I love Greece because of the sun, beaches, thalassa, food, and people who know how to live. How about, I love Greece because when I am there, I feel most connected to my deceased papou whose name I try to honor.

From Twitter NowHeraklion: I ♥ Greece ♥ because in Crete the pace of life is much more relaxed and then there's the sea, great coffee and cheap cigarettes!

Nina Vleugels: like to quote Kazantzakis on Crete : Crete’s Mystery is deep. Whoever sets foot on the island senses a mysterious force branching warmly and beneficently through his veins, senses his soul begin to grow... its people's spirit, its beautiful music, its breathtaking sky, and it's amazing langscapes, cured my heart from grieve !

Judith Timbers: I really don't know why I love Greece! I know i love the beaches& food and the history but for me there is something much much more! maybe its the fact that my father was born in a little village called Kuipaki in central greece ,so my genes are locked in ,but travelling blind (no language knowledge) around greece it just felt right & it just felt safe

James Passas: I love Greece because... there's always something interesting going on (like strikes, riots, financial crises etc)...

Margaret Wilson: i love greece because . we been coming to many different greek island since 1996 ,we love greece the people are always freindly and very helpfull the island are very beautiful food is great and more i just love greece ...

Nina Maravegias : When I was a little girl my mom would fly us from Canada to spend the summer with my grandparents in Kefalonia. I would cherish every summer moment. I would listen with intensity to every story my grandfather would tell around supper time while drinking a glass of Robola. I would think my cousins are so lucky , they are here and I am not. I love Greece because I am Ellinida!

Gloria Barber Konstantinidis : because we are the land of the gods and goddeses..no other country has our beautiful people food and the islands with the most amazing scenery ..like i said the gods only can create such beauty and they are still in us in our people and land...besides what happens in greece stays in greece...shhshsh the gods wont tell either...

Shirlz Clarkson: I love Greece because of the people, the islands, the mainland, the transport and accomodation, the shops, taverna's,the hospitality, the food & drink, the Olive groves, the Mountains, the Rural Villages, the music & entertainment, greek dancing, the Monasteries and Saints, the Ampitheatres, the ruins, the landscapes, beautifu beaches, the watersports, scuba diving, greek cruises, island hopping, the plants and animals, the lifestyle, coffee, the love, romance, siesta's, the weather, public holidays, city life and the weather, and much, much more to contemplate to list! Égo aghapo Elatha!!! :) x

Frank Gallagher: My love for Greece is unconditional . I mean that you have to experience all emotions to feel unconditional love. At the end of the day Greece? It is what it is. Simple but elegant

Marina Jakovas Mantis: I love Greece because my parents and family are from Greece.I have been to Greece.Love the food,the going out every night,the holy day's.Best of all you are with family and friends all the time.Here in the U.S its work and home.Greece has the good living,love,laughter.

Barbara Doulyerakis: I cannot begin to say why I ♥ Greece...but here is a start..the sea, the sun, the smells, the summers, winters, fruit, vegetable, flowers, olives, oil, honey cheeses, shops, noises, the people the churches,smell of incense...oh I could go on all day :-))

Manuel Costa: Can you explain love?

Jenny Butler: Because it is a beautiful country with an amazing history, it has the most beautiful seas in the world, the best food, passionate people... and most of all it has Mario Frangoulis!!! :)))))))))

Kate Struth Moulakaki: I came to Crete 22 years ago for a holiday....and I'm still here!!...There is a kind of magic that won't let you go.......

Lizzy Karras: I love Greece cos it's the most Blessed place on this planet.

Catherine Helen Carr: I love Greece because of the climate that caresses you, the beauty of the landscape, the big blue skies and sea, the delicious food and wine, the majesty of the ancient monuments and history, the birthplace of democracy and science and medicine, the sensational herbal aroma after rain and the friendly embracing Greek people ... and we love it so much we've come to live here ;) Its an inspirational place ... "Heaven on Earth' ;).



Maria Lamprinou: Aφιερωμενο....

ax ellada s' agapo. gia olous tous ellines 2010 . kouragio aderfia den tha tous perasi exoume anteksi poli xirotera san laos. m.n.

Maria Yanis: I love Greece because she is my spirit my soul. When I am away from her I feel a longing that does not go away

Xenia Preveziotis: I love Greece the way our ancestors, yayades and papoudes who mademe feel proud about this land. They kept alive a thriving culture until...today ...these people are not among us and luckily they cannot see that all they preserved is slowly fading away ....

ΣΟΦΙΑ ΟΙΚΟΝΟΜΟΠΟΥΛΟΥ: because is a country with lovely and sympathetic people-for the most part-a country with real deep and physical beauty and because all my friends and family are here my soul is here. 

To read the entire Facebook thread, click here... 

1st of July today

Summer is here and it is a great time to say ...

ΚΑΛΟ ΜΗΝΑ! 

Have a great month!

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