Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Beauty That Is Greece: World Tourism Day September 27, 2010

 General Theodoros Kolokotronis

This statue of the most well known of the leaders of the 1821 Revolution 
stands in front of the National Historical Museum in Athens

 The  Old Parliament (Palaia Vouli )
The National Historical Museum

 Harilaos Trikoupis 
Greek Prime Minister 1880 on
 'The Father of Modern Greece'

The statue of the visionary Trikoupis is known stands in front of the Palaia Vouli.
Many of his personal belongings are on display in the museum

Ellas wants to live and live she will!

This quote at the base of the statue is indicative of
Trikoupis' deep faith in the future of Greece

 Harilaos Trikoupis Bridge - Rio- Antirio
The world's largest cable-stayed bridge

Harilaos Trikoupis' vision of uniting mainland Greece with a
 bridge connecting Rio with Antirio, materialised in 2004 and took his name. 
The Corinth Canal and the Athens Suburban Railway (Ilektriko) 
were two of the projects undertaken during Trikoupis' premiership.

Yesterday, 27 September,  was World Tourism Day and as Greece is one of the world's foremost tourist destinations, the Hellenic Culture Ministry advised that all Museums and archaeological sites in Greece would be open and entrance free for the public! 

A great initiative which follows the Cultural Heritage Weekend which falls traditionally on the last weekend of September and effectively meant that Greece's visitors and residents alike had a unique chance to visit Greece's many museums and archaeological sites, free of charge for 3 days in a row!

This post is slightly different to our usual kind of posts. Greece has so many excellent museums and archaeological sites and so many beautiful spots that it is hard to fit them into one post, but we thought we would just share some of our favourites with you ...in photos!

Kalyves Beach, Apokorona, Crete

Aghios Manolis, Askyfou, Sfakia , Crete

This is the only known church dedicated to St Manoli,
on the road to Sfakia

The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus 

Sacred, hallowed ground
An amazing sense of History all around...

The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus 

The Left Portal

  Melina on The Acropolis

Melina Mercouri, Minister, Activist and Actress fought till her last breath for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles in Athens.
Her legacy to the world...

The New Acropolis Museum - Melina's Vision

Waiting patiently for the Parthenon Marbles to come home...

The New Acropolis Museum

One of the many excavations on display that the visitor can see in situ
The Theatre of Herodus Atticus (Herodeion)
History, culture and legend come together below the Parthenon

 Limni Kournas

The only natural freshwater lake in Crete, 
Kournas is also home to small creatures and many ducks. 

 Rumour has it that the ducks are looked after  by the resident 
water nymphs who comb their hair in the moonlight. The plants around 
the shores (liges) were used extensively for weaving the baskets 
which have made the region of Apokorona famous. 


Greece's first capital city, a beautiful town, a great main square, 
loads of history and it will soon host a great cupcake cafe!


Idyllic sailing in the deep blue of the Ionian Sea
with Meganissi and Lefkada just across the water... 
around the corner from Skorpios, Onassis' private paradise

The sacred olive tree....

Greece's capital city got it's name from the  Goddess Athena when she won the competition with Poseidon. Athena struck  her spear to the ground and caused an olive tree to spring forth, thus  supplying wood, oil and food. This appealed to the Athenians who judged  that the city would be named after her... This particular olive tree is  over 1000 years old and is in the Apokorona region of Crete

Venizelos Tombs

Magnificent view of Chania, Crete from the Profiti Ilia site of 
Eleftherios and Sofoklis Venizelos Tombs at Akrotiri 

Venizelos Tombs 

A 'Tomb' with a view, the best in Chania!

Hora Sfakion, Sfakia, Crete

The Allied troops were evacuated to North Africa from this bay 
after the Battle of Crete in May and June of 1941

Goats... with a view

A familiar sight all around Greece

The House of Troy... Iliou Melathron

was built by the architect Ernst Ziller for archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann and his Greek wife Sophia, as a residence. At the time, it also housed some of the mythical treasures from Schliemann's Troy and Mycenae excavations. Today it is the Athens Numismatic Museum and apart from the fabulous coin collections and historical documents, it also showcases Schliemann's life and works with wall paintings of his finds. A well-kept secret is the little cafe tucked away in the garden behind the building - a welcome oasis in a busy city... makes great hot chocolate!

At Global Greek World, We ♥ Greece...and it shows! 
© GlobalGreekWorld 2009-2017 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Climbing St. Friday - A Delightful Coming-of-Age Story by Global Greek Writer, Dena Kouremetis

Source: Smashwords.com

'...my brothers and I did not have to wait until adulthood to see Greece. In 1965, Pop decided to take the entire family to the land of antiquities so we could see it for ourselves. 

And at age thirteen, I fell rapturously in love with the blue waters, the delicate sunlight, and the smells and sounds of Greek life—from the donkeys braying in the small villages to the smell of roasted chestnuts being sold on a city street. Greece suddenly became a magical place for me, fueled by my father’s stories and inexhaustible enthusiasm for it. 

For my brothers and I, meeting both sides of our many European relatives became a study in heavy sighing (we understood little of the language), but the rest was magnificent—the Acropolis, the hillside villages, and the islands of whitewashed bungalows dotting cliffs reached by narrow, painted paths. 

Even the unique Mediterranean aromas that wafted down the streets of Athens changed with every corner we turned. I knew I had to go back....

...and go back she did, a few years later for a year that would change her life...
The extract above is from Greek American author and consultant, Dina Kouremetis' latest book, Climbing St Friday... a delightful and nostalgic look at life in the 1970s, a coming-of-age story that chronicles a year in a young girl’s life that forever changed her. It is a poignant look at an age of innocence set against the backdrop of a foreign country controlled by its military forces.

The eighteen year old girl that arrives on a huge ship in the Greek port of Piraeus the summer of 1970 does so with an excitement equalled only by her wander-lusting father, who completed his own odyssey to the ‘old country’ at precisely the same age in 1938.

It is a story that most of us who have grown up abroad can identify with readily, its many references to situations and experiences which we  have 'lived' shall we say, will make you smile, if not laugh outright!

Funnily enough we wrote this before we saw that that's exactly what Dena Kouremetis wants us to do! As she writes in her blog,  at the end of her introduction of this marvellous little book:  

'I see this completed work as a work of nostalgia, humor, and history all at the same time, hearkening back to an era when ‘peace would guide the planets and love would steer the stars’ in a rapidly-changing world. The sweetness of growing up in a fun-loving but tightly-knit family served as the cliff-top from which I spread my wings and took flight. Once I took that first step, however, I knew I would never view life from the same perspective again.'

My wish is that it evokes some feelings of watershed realizations you may have had in your own life, reminds you of a more innocent time and above all — makes you smile...

It sure did!

About Dena

A second-generation Greek-American, Dena Kouremetis is a writer, consultant, speaker and professional trainer.

She is also the Northern California area director for WhyMyKid.org, an organization that works with schools, businesses, colleges,  associations and senior communities to spread the word on identity theft safety, now the #1 crime in America.

A would-be law student and professional writer, Dena is a quintessential communicator and has been a professional trainer since 2002. A natural story-teller, she has  written about a variety of topics from America’s housing, to midlife romance, to celebrity profiles, and now writes columns for Examiner.com, where she is the National Greek American Culture Examiner, while at the same time  continuing to write about timely topics through her web site, Communic8or.com.

Dena started writing professionally over 12 years ago with her 'Under Contructions' column for the The Sacramento Bee and subsequently went to work as a new homes marketing and business development manager for Sacramento’s The Advantage Group. In 1998, she began writing full-time and co-authored two real estate books, The Homebuyer’s Kit and The Homeseller’s Kit with syndicated real estate columnist Edith Lank. 

Several of her personal stories have appeared in books, including Heavenly Miracles (Morrow Press) and Raging Gracefully:Smart Women on Life Love, and Coming into Your Own (Adams Media) and she was profiled in Professional Women magazine in 2004.

Apart from being a very accomplished writer and speaker, Dena also offers a very broad spectrum of writing related services, from ghostwriting and speechwriting, to professional profiles and editorial services ...

To read more about Dena, or contact her, visit her blog 

To read more of Climbing St Friday and buy the e-book, visit  Smashwords.com, which is where we copied the quotes from. Hope we haven't infringed any copyrights!

Dena, we at Global Greek World loved the excerpts we read and wish you every success with this great story!!! 

Καλή Επιτυχία! 

PS We also liked what the Examiner had to say about you (and the rest of us wherever we are in the world)...

They dance in snaking lines to syncopated Mediterranean rhythms, offer us pastries we get our hands on only at weddings or festivals, and observe Easter on a different date more often than not. Greek-Americans continue to celebrate their root-bound ancient heritage in whatever country they call their own, and writer Dena Kouremetis is no exception. One of Examiner.com's original national examiners, Kouremetis offers us insight into the world of a hyphenated culture few ever read about...'

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

OPA! Day - 15 September 2010, Rethymno, Crete - Join Dr Alex Pattakos and Celebrate the Many Greek Contributions to the World!

One of our very own Global Greeks, Dr Alex Pattakos and his wife Dr Elaine Dundon are in Greece launching the very first OPA Day today in Rethymno, Crete!

Their mission?

To celebrate the enormous contribution Greece and it's culture have made to the world...

Dr. Alex Pattakos ("Aleko"), author of the international best-selling book, Prisoners of Our Thoughts is a personal development pioneer who has helped many with the search for meaning in their personal and work lives. He is also a very proud Greek-American (of Cretan heritage) and a weekly columnist for The National Herald (ETHNIKOS KYRIX). Go to www.prisonersofourthoughts.com and www.seedsofinnovation.com for a brief history and profile of the groundbreaking meaning and innovation work that led to The OPA Way!®  

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 tell us about their brand new project, which they have most appropriately called The OPA Way!® 

'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 ...

We at Global Greek World wish Alex and Elaine and the rest of the OPA Way!® team all the very best! We know how much Greece has contributed to the world and we are thrilled with this initiative!

Keep up the great work!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Bonus for the Omogeneia: Greek Australian Demetris Dollis is Greece's New Deputy Foreign Minister.

Greek Australian Demetris Dollis, former Australian MP and ALP Deputy Leader for Victoria, has been appointed one of Greece's two Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet reshuffle announced early this morning.

Born in Kastoria in Northern Greece in 1956,  Demetris Dollis moved to Australia with his parents at the age of 15, in 1971.

After 28 years of living in Australia, Mr Dollis' accomplishments attracted the attention of then Foreign Minister, PM George Papandreou and he was appointed General Secretary for Greeks Abroad, a post with particular symbolism and significance for a repatriated son of the diaspora...

His extensive and in-depth involvement in Australian politics, both at local and  state level (from city councillor to shadow-minister of Ethnic Affairs) in Melbourne which is often called the 2nd largest Greek City of the world, made him an ideal candidate for this role which he kept until 2003.

One of George Papandreou's staunch supporters and close advisors over the years, Demetris Dollis was earlier this year sent as the Greek PM's Special Envoy to Afghanistan to negotiate the release of teacher Athanassios Lerounis who was captured by the Taliban, during the course of his duties as curator of a heritage museum, linking the Kalash tribe's culture with Greece. (See note at end of post)

We at Global Greek World are very pleased with the appointment of one of our Global Greeks to the post of Deputy Foreign Minister. We consider that PM Papandreou is doing this to send out a signal of his confidence in Greeks Abroad. He has many close advisors from the Omogeneia but this is the first time that one of it's representatives has been given such a pivotal post.

We believe that there is a lot that Demetris Dollis can contribute to a government which is having to undertake some of the toughest austerity measures in Greece's history.

If he is given the responsibility for Greeks Abroad, as we believe he will be, then there is a great deal that can be done to consolidate the relationship between Greece's formidable omogeneia and the metropolis on all levels, but especially on the level of credibility, to ensure that each and every one of our Global Greeks is also a 'Goodwill Ambassador' for our homeland at this very crucial time.

In an interview with Neos Kosmos of Australia, he said that it was a great honour and a challenge for him personally to be given this post, but an even greater honour for it to go to someone from the omogeneia,  and that he would do everything he could for Greeks Abroad.

We wish Deputy Minister Dollis all the very best in his new undertaking. We will be waiting!

Καλή Επιτυχία!

To read Demetri Dollis' biography, Click Here

Athanassios Lerounis was abducted while based in the northern district of Chitral, where he worked as the curator of a heritage museum in the Kalash valley, pursuing his interest in the Kalash tribe, an ancient "lost tribe" whose people have European features and still practise a pagan religion resembling that of ancient Greece.

They are said to be descendants of Greek soldiers from the army of Alexander the Great, who passed through the region nearly 2,000 years ago.

Sponsored by the Greek government, Mr Lerounis managed a museum which highlighted the tribe's culture and Greek connections.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Global Greece: Remembering Smyrni 1922, Constantinople 1955...

 Η Σμύρνη, Μάνα, Καιγεταί....
Smyrni's burning, Mother... 
Source: Wikipedia

 Lest we forget!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Global Greek Issues: Let's ALL Help Ensure That Ground Zero's St Nicholas is Rebuilt! ACT NOW!

The WTC Twin Towers before September 11, 2001
(C) Global Greek World

In a few days, on 11 September, it will be exactly 9 years since the dreadful events that changed America and the world forever.

In a few days it will be 9 years since the world watched in horror as a tragedy unfolded,  thousands of people were trapped and killed in the simultaneous terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre's Twin Towers in New York City.

In a few days it will be 9 years since that awful day which set off the USA's deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq, 9 years since the USA and the world went to war with terrorism and marked the beginning of the most bloody period since Vietnam for the USA and it's allies.

In a few days it will be 9 years since the falling rubble of one of  New York's landmark towers caused the total destruction of a beautiful little Greek Orthodox Church at it's base, the church of St.Nicholas, built in 1916 on Cedar Street, across the street from where the World Trade Center eventually stood, by Greek immigrants who worked the shipyards at New York Harbor. For those that don't know, the Greek Orthodox religion is the oldest Christian religion in the world. 

St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at Ground Zero before September 11, 2001
St. Nicholas, points out  Rev. Mark Arey, Greek Orthodox of America Archdiocese spokesman, in an interview to Newsweek, is the patron saint of sailors in the Eastern tradition, and  the Greeks have been sailing the wine-dark seas since the days of Homer.

The intense debate over the Park51 Islamic Centre which has received approval to build at Ground Zero and the impasse over the rebuilding of the only place of worship actually at Ground Zero on 9/11 highlights the discrimination and adds fuel to the fire of the Orthodox faithful.

Why this discrimination? 

"St. Nicholas has nothing to do with this mosque controversy. We believe in religious freedom, and whether the mosque should or shouldn't be there, that's a whole different dialogue," Rev Arey told the Huffington Post,   "But it's a rising tide that lifts all boats. People say the mosque has been greenlighted, but why not this church?"

Former New York Governor, George Pataki, who as governor promised that St. Nicholas would be rebuilt after the 2001 attacks, said that the Port Authority needed to reach out to church officials.

"It's just wrong that the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Church, which was there, which was part of the master plan ... has basically been ignored,
" he said.

Prominent Greek Americans and leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church have added their support to the  voice of the 300 member congregation and it's supporters in an effort to have the issue resolved.

"Rather than focus his attention on the mosque, Governor  Paterson should step in right away to ensure that the state of New York and the Port Authority uphold the agreement with the Greek Orthodox church so this project can go forward without further delay," said State Senator Dean Skelos, while George Demos, a Long Island Republican congressional candidate seeking to unseat  Republican Tim Bishop, said he wrote President Barack Obama a letter lobbying for the church and saying, among other things  that  

"All of our political leadership seems intent on assisting the mosque, at the same time they have taken no steps to make sure St. Nicholas is rebuilt,"
"What about us? Why have they forgotten or abandoned their commitment to us?" asked Father Alex Karloutsos, assistant to Archbishop Demetrios, head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in a 24 th August 2010 Associated Press Article Supporters: Church  Ignored in NYC Mosque Furor.

"When I see them raising issues about the mosque and not thinking about the church that was destroyed, it does bother us."

Port Authority officials said the church wanted final approval on the design of the parking lot and the potential for an additional $20 million in public money. The agency said it made a final offer in 2009 that was rejected.

St. Nicholas Church continues to retain the right to build on its original location," the agency said in a statement Monday. It said work could begin in 2013 if the church helped finance it.

Father Karloutsos denied that any offer had been rejected, instead saying that Port Authority pulled the deal and has since ignored the church's attempts at dialogue. 

"This is about the Port Authority reneging on a promise," he said.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has recently reiterated that promise and Newsweek, in it's September 2nd article titled, The Other Religion at Ground Zero, mentions that last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that negotiations had resumed, but Father Arey says no one has reached out to him. “We are very concerned. We’re not going to be pushed out. We are very determined to rebuild the church at Ground Zero.”

We at Global Greek World agree. We think that this is an issue of concern to all Greeks and Greek Orthodox around the world, irrespective of the controversy over the building of the Mosque.

We believe it is up to the Global Greek Community, and especially the Greek American Community to stand up and be counted. 

There's nothing like a bit of pressure and there's a great deal or power in numbers, so ACT NOW!

Mobilise all of our Greek American representatives such as Olympia Snowe, John Sarbanes, Niki Tsongas, Zack Space, Dina Titus, Gus Bilirakis, Charlie Christ,  and contenders such as Alexis Gianoulias, in support of this cause!
Capitol Hill before September 11, 2001
(C) Global Greek World
Write to your local congressman/woman or senator,  to President Obama and to Secretary of State, Clinton, asking that they support the Greek American Community in it's endeavours to have St Nicholas rebuilt as soon as possible.  

The White House before September 11, 2001
(C) Global Greek World
For those that can afford to, let's send a donation to help finance the project.People have sent money from all over the world in support of this cause. Let's keep the momentum going!

Let's ALL ACT NOW to ensure the continuing presence of St Nicholas, a little Greek Orthodox Church that was sacrificed on that black day, almost 9 years ago, when terrorism came to the USA and changed the course of history forever! 

To read more, click on the relevant links highlighted in the body of the post.
To see how you can help rebuild, go to the St Nicholas website

Friday, September 3, 2010

Global Greeks: To Irene Papas - Xronia Polla kai Kala!!!

A post to wish Happy Birthday to one of our most acclaimed and talented Global Greeks, Irene Papas!!! 

Born in Xiliomodi, near Corinth, in Greece's beautiful Peloponnese, Irene Papas already enjoyed widespread recognition in Greece, but became an internationally acclaimed actress after being discovered by fellow Global Greek Elia Kazan. We will always be grateful to him for bringing this amazing actress to the attention of the world. 

My introduction to Irene Papas came in a movie theatre half way across the world, when as a young child watching the star-studded Guns of Navarone,  I was fascinated by her talent and beauty... I have been a fan ever since.

Her superb acting skills along with her classical and ageless Greek beauty and the fiery passion she brought to her roles, ensured that something extra in many films which themselves have become classics. One of Greece's most accomplished ambassadors,  Irene Papas presence in a film has always added an extra special dimension to it. 

Her compelling and riveting performance, her dynamism and sultry beauty have uniquely enriched movies like  Zorba the Greek, The Guns of Navarone, Z,  screen adaptations of ancient tragedies - Electra, The Trojan Women, Antigone, and even Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

Her theatrical performances are equally legendary and an honour and a privilege to watch! 

Irene Papas has won many awards for her performances over the years, but even though she has deserved one at least, she has never received an Academy Award. 

This is something which we believe is an injustice, but she has made light of this omission by quipping ' I never won an Oscar... and the Oscars never won Irene Papas'

An unexpected but wonderful musical collaboration with fellow Global Greek, Vangelis Papathanassiou, produced some magnificent albums, Odes  and Rhapsodies, the first featuring traditional folk songs and music,  and the second, Greek Orthodox Byzantine Hymns as well as the controversial 666

We have chosen 'Saranta Palikaria', from Odes - a song about the 40 valiant young men who set out from Levadeia to capture Tripolitsa during the Turkish Occupation, and all that that entailed...

You may also like to listen to O Menousis, another traditional song from the time of the Turkish Occupation.

We at Global Greek World wish our beautiful Irene Papas

Χρόνια Πολλά, Πολλά και Καλά!!! 

Να μας ζίσεις!

and thank her for her enormous contribution to Greek Culture and to the promotion of Greece around the world, all these years!

Ευχαριστούμε Πολύ! 


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