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U.S. President Obama’s Speech in Athens By Sotiris A. On Wednesday, November 16th, 2016, a group of students from our school attended the speech of the outgoing U.S. President, Mr. Barack Obama, in the “Stavros Niarchos” Foundation Cultural Center. The 2nd Experimental General (High and Senior-High) School of Athens was the only public school invited to the event. As far as our Senior-High is concerned, a number of students from A1 class, namely Sotiris A., Thiseas V., Stefanos V., Michael V., Sof V., Dimitris V., Antigone G. and Christos G. represented our school accompanied by Mrs. E. T., the School Principal, Mrs. Anna Chaidemenakou, English Teacher and Mrs. N. R., Art Teacher. In the packed auditorium of the Foundation around 1,000 people attended, including the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Alexis Tsipras, the Minister of Education, Mr. Konstantinos Gavroglou, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis and several Government Ministers and politicians. The speech of the American President surprised and impressed us. The reference to the concepts of “democracy” and “state”, as born in our country, to “Greek hospitality”, but also his greetings in Greek, and the closing of his speech with the phrase “Ζήτω η Ελλάς” (Long live Greece), deeply moved us and made us proud. The American President praised our country's offer to humanity, saying, "we are indebted to Greece". He made references to the Greek economic crisis and stressed the need to educate young people to pave the way for the future. A highlight of Mr. Obama’s speech was his praise for the way our people deal with the refugee crisis. He even quoted the – by now famous – words of the compassionate elderly lady from Lesvos who said that “We all live under the same sun and we fall in love under the same moon”, while bottle-feeding a refugee infant. It was indeed a unique experience for us who witnessed it live. It was also an opportunity to think, since, as Mr. Obama pointed out, "...in the end everything depends on us..."


Mr. Obama's Speech in Athens