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National Hellenic Museum "Retries" Megacles Hilton Athens Hotel: A Modern Landmark Hellenic Classical School Goes to Greece Turkey Invades Cyprus again and the World is Doing nothing about it, again



March 2018

:: magazine


From The Editor: Military Heroes


Greece Research Trip by the Hellenic Classical Charter School


American Hellenic Council Earthquake Relief Arrives in Lesvos


Turkish policy on Cyprus: What we stole from you is ours and what we haven’t stolen from you, you must share!


The Great Counterfeiting of History: Myth of a ‘Macedonian’ nation


MidAmerica to Produce Opera-Oratorio on Nicholas Gage's Memoir "Eleni"

by Dimitri C. Michalakis


The True Meaning of Fasting in The Greek Orthodox Catholic Church


Bill Top Gun Demetries Grimes, a Naval War Hero, Runs for Florida’s 26th CD



Hellenic American Academy Hosts 2018 Annual Gala Honoring George D. Behrakis and Peter Maroutsos

Hilton Athens: More than a Grand Hotel; a Modern Landmark 37



Turkey is the real threat not ...FYROM!

At the National Hellenic Museum Judiciary panel and citizens affirm ancient practice of trial by jury

Hellenes Without Borders:

Hellenes: The Brothers Macedonian by Alexander Billinis


by Demetrios Rhompotis


Nicole Petallides, Anchor FOX Business Network, to Receive Cyprus-US Chamber of Commerce Award

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Our stor y this issue on Demetries Grimes, a decorated Navy commander, who is running for Congress from Florida is in the long line of American military heroes who are propelled to public office either by their own ambition or the momentum of their fame.

Military Heroes

General George Washington, who led the Colonials to victory, was the only man the fledgling country could trust to be its first president. They wanted to make him king and call him Majesty, but he refused. He did serve his country, however, in majesty and his towering prestige is what kept it on an even keel in those first turbulent years of its growing pains. Andrew Jackson was another general elevated to the highest office. He was a champion of the common man and he showed how high a poor-born son of the nation could rise. Unfortunately, he was also a racist. Ulysses Grant was another general who served two terms in office as president, perhaps not with wisdom, but certainly with compassion. He was a champion of civil rights after the Civil War which he helped win, and he was plainspoken and a champion of the common man without being a bigot. Dwight Eisenhower, of course, was probably the most powerful general in World War II (if not in history) and yet, as president, he resisted armed conflicts and defused the confrontations of the Cold War and he also resisted the importunities of the militaryindustrial complex to grow ever larger. His Secretary of State, General George Marshall, was the man who saved Europe with his Marshall Plan.

John F. Kennedy was a genuine war hero who suffered from his injuries the rest of his life. Ronald Reagan played several military heroes in the movies and he did confront Mikhail Gorbachev, which led to the demise of the Iron Bloc. Jimmy Carter was a submariner and brilliant naval officer. George H. W. Bush was a flying ace and one of our youngest war heroes.


Editor in Chief: Dimitri C. Michalakis

Western Region Desk - Los Angeles Alexander Mizan

So there is precedent for American military men (who knows how many women might have qualified) serving their country well, and having the mettle to save their country in time of peril. As Commander Grimes has said: “For more than twenty-five years as a naval officer I went into harm’s way to serve all Americans. As a military officer, I honored my oaths, served all, and left no one behind.”

Certainly this country, and every country, could use a man or woman who could back up their claims of leadership with a record of leadership, who could back up their credentials with true service, and who doesn’t merely talk about courage but has truly demonstrated it in action.

And certainly this country, and every country, could use a man or woman who saw armed might, the might of our armies and navies and air force in action, and forbore from using that might, but instead had the wisdom to understand how we all need to work together in the common good of our common planet. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to elect a man or woman like that to public office?


West Palm Beach, Florida Desk Vassilios Kukorinis

Baltimore Desk Georgia Vavas Photo/Fashion New York: ETA Press

Los Angeles: Nick Dimitrokalis (951) 764-5737

Graphic Design Adrian Salescu Athens Desk Konstantinos Rhompotis (01130) 210 51 42 446 (01130) 6937 02 39 94

THE TRUE MEANING OF FASTING IN THE GREEK ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH By Philip Kariatis* When we think of fasting in the Orthodox Church today, our mind almost immediately goes to certain rules relating to what we can and cannot eat. Moreover, this practice is especially associated with Great and Holy Lent. And so, when it comes to this “forty-day” fast, there are some who will almost exclusively focus all their attention on familiarizing themselves with all of the Church’s prescriptions regarding when they need to abstain from particular foods. Then, there are some who might go to great lengths, meticulously checking all ingredients of certain food items in supermarkets for example, in order to ensure that there are no traces of foods which they know are not permitted during fasting periods, also rejoicing with delight when they happen to find substitutes to their favorite food. What necessarily results from such an understanding of fasting, amongst its practitioners, is a belief that if they have been “successful” in this effort, they are then prepared to receive the risen Lord on Easter night.

hymns of the Orthodox Church, more generally, reflect its theological vision; indeed, they reveal, in sung form, the theological outlook of the Orthodox Church. More specifically, we will briefly look at certain hymns known as “Aposticha idiomela” of Vespers since they all specifically focus on presenting the Church’s understanding of fasting. Indeed, these would have been intentionally inserted in the Service to remind the faithful of the true meaning of fasting. Unfortunately, the connection of these hymns to fasting have been lost sight of and therefore their significance largely overlooked today. Even a cursory study of these Lenten hymns clearly shows that fasting is primarily about renewing our relationship with God, neighbor and the world more broadly. Already, at the Vespers Service of Pure Monday, we are reminded that fasting involves a personal cleansing of our whole self and not simply a dietary “detox”: Let us fast in a way that is acceptable and pleasing to the Lord. True fasting is flight from evils, temperance of the tongue, refrain from anger, separation from lustful desires, and from lies, from falsehood and from perjury. The absence of all these makes our fasting true and acceptable. In this instance, fasting is connected with the dynamic of purification. Following Christ’s call for holiness (cf. Mt 5:8), many fathers of the Church speak of purification as a necessary first step towards encountering God. Fasting therefore needs to be accompanied with effort in purification. In the same way, the hymn in question, is an injunction for purity. The meaning of purity, like fasting, ought not to be impoverished. Purification [κάθαρσις] essentially signifies a process towards integrity [κατ- ρτιος]—note the etymological proximity between the two concepts. Accordingly, purification is understood as internal consistency or integrity of character which, in the face of temptation, remains totally devoted to God. Put another way, it involves a gradual transformation from brokenness to wholeness. And so, according to the hymn, true fasting is a ‘means’ towards “wholeness.”

A question which justifiably arises, however, is whether this in fact is what fasting is all about. If Great Lent is a preparatory time within the Church’s liturgical year meant as a means for preparing the faithful to encounter the risen Christ on the day of Easter, how does such an understanding of fasting assist in this “spiritual” journey? Is this the true meaning of fasting? Or, Together with an undertaking towards have we reduced it merely to rules about what temperance from the passions, the purpose of fasting is to open up the faithful to the splendor foods are permitted and what are not? of the new life that comes from the Cross. In studying some of the hymns found in the Namely, in experiencing a little physical hunger Triodion—a liturgical book out of which many through fasting, the hope is that this might be beautiful hymns are chanted during the period recast towards ‘hunger and thirst’ for Christ. of Great Lent—the hope is that we might This transformative aspect of fasting is captured recover the true meaning of fasting. This in the troparion sung on Tuesday of the first approach is plausible to the extent that the week of Lent: 12


Let us observe fast, not only by abstinence from food, but also by separating ourselves from every bodily passion… so that we may be counted worthy to partake of the Lamb [τ ς το µνο µεταλήψεως]… the Son of God… Thus, we shall be lifted up on high in the joy of virtue and by the delight of excellent works we shall be glad in God, the Lover of Humankind. Accordingly, fasting finds its true meaning when the outward abstinence of food is connected with the inward struggle to intensify our longing for God through the dynamic of purity and repentance—the consummation of which is realized in Holy Communion. Coupled with observing a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of true fasting, there is a third necessary dimension, namely, practical compassion towards neighbor. At the first Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts, the Idiomelon makes this explicit: While fasting with the body, o brethren, let us also fast in spirit; let us loosen every connection with injustice… Let us give bread to the hungry and introduce into our house the poor who have no roof to cover them, that we may receive from Christ our God the great mercy. True fasting requires not only fasting from foods but also practical works of compassion which, in this case, include working towards overcoming injustice and extending hospitality—philoxenia—especially to those in need. In simple terms, the hymn underscores that there cannot be genuine fasting without love towards the “other,” especially those in most need. In the end, fasting is a means to remind us not only of our dependence upon God, but also the often-forgotten truth that God is beheld in the face of the “other.” Without this struggle to fix our eyes on God through beholding God in our neighbour and all of his creation, mere fasting from food has no value. On the other hand, when truly practised, fasting becomes a positive action, nothing less than a true theophany opening us up to the beauty and splendour of the Risen Lord.

* Philip Kariatlis is Academic Director and Senior Lecturer in Theology at St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College in Sydney, Australia. The piece was provided by Public Orthodoxy that seeks to promote conversation by providing a forum for diverse perspectives on contemporary issues related to Orthodox Christianity. The positions expressed in this essay are solely the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or the Orthodox Christian Studies Center or NEO magazine.

by Dimitri C. Michalakis

What different perspective can you bring to preserving assets of the district like the Everglades?

TOP GUN DEMETRIES GRIMES, The Everglades are a treasure under pressure from all sides that needs to be protected and A NAVAL WAR HERO, respected. Water quality and quantity, urban TH encroachment, and invasive exotic species issues need to be addressed. Republicans and RUNS FOR FLORIDA’S 26 CD Democrats, environmentalists and developers, How does a man who served his country so well in the military take the next step to serve his country and complete his mission in civilian life? For Demetries Grimes it means running for Congress in Florida’s 26th CD, with its fabled Everglades, and the Naval Air Station Key West and Homestead Air Force from where he once flew as a combat decorated Navy flyer and Aircraft Mission Commander.

affordable education. I’m not done serving because the people who are the backbone of our economy deserve living wages. I’m not done serving because I cannot allow families to be torn apart. I'm not done serving because our environment and natural resources need to be better protected. We are blessed in south Florida to live in true majesty—we cannot let man destroy this treasure of ours. I’m not done serving because I am the son of a strong independent woman, the brother to three amazing sisters, and uncle to two precious nieces, and until they and all women are not subjected to sexual assault, harassment in the workplace, and any inequality, including equal pay, I’m not done serving.” How would you characterize the South Florida 26th Congressional District?

The South Florida 26th District covers the southernmost tip of Florida. It extends from Southwest Miami, across the Everglades, and from Homestead and Key Largo to Key West. It’s a beautiful part of the country that I fell in love with during my operational tours flying out of Naval Air Station Key West and Homestead Air Force Base.

With Senator John McCain at Souda Bay, Crete Base

“I’m not done serving,” says the 25-year vet of the Navy, with postings everywhere from Puerto Rico to Israel and Greece and Cyprus. “As the son of a Navy veteran father, proud Greek immigrant mother, and recipient of an MBA funded by the G.I. Bill, this country has given me and my family more than I will ever be able to pay back. I’m ready to serve again and as What are the pressing needs of the I did in the military, honor my oath, serve all, district? and leave no one behind.” Leadership that can exercise good But he’s more than a top gun with over 100 judgment in decision-making, like combat missions, 2000 flight hours and seven fighting for the funds needed for postdeployments, including five from forward Irma clean-up and infrastructure deployed aircraft carriers. He’s also served in improvements; quality, affordable NATO, the White House, and as U.S. naval healthcare; affordable education that attache in Greece and Israel, as well as deputy makes our country competitive in the commander and executive officer of the U.S. global economy; responsible gunNavy base at Souda Bay in Crete. In addition, he reform that keeps our schools and has an MBA from the London Business School public spaces safe; ensuring we do our and the Naval War College and is a proud best to be good stewards of the recipient of his “wings of gold” for his flight environment and our natural resources; service. honoring our commitments to veterans and seniors; treating all people with dignity and Why give that up for politics? respect; comprehensive immigration reform that protects our borders, provides labor for “I'm not done serving because I cannot allow our economy, and recognises our common people to die like my father did because of our humanity, and transparent and responsible use inept healthcare system,” he says. ”I’m not done of taxpayer dollars that does not saddle future serving because the richest country in the generations with debt. world can do better to support quality, 14


the agriculture sector and the business community, must work together to address these issues. My military and diplomatic background, untainted by corporate or special interests, will give me the credibility to bring the different stakeholders together to develop and implement innovative solutions to these challenges. How do you compete against a Latino in an increasingly Latino state? Maybe because I’m not a professional politician: I worry less about labels like identity politics and whether voters will identify with me because of ethnicity, race, gender or religion. President Obama was elected twice by a population that is only twelve percent African American. And Secretary Clinton was defeated despite a female electoral majority. Do I believe that, all other things being equal, some voters may choose a candidate who shares certain of their immutable characteristics? Sure. But rarely are all other things equal. I believe the voters of the 26th District will select a leader based on the circumstances of his or her life, not the circumstances of his or her birth. As a Commander in the United States Navy, I have led thousands of sailors from all walks of life,

ther, Eleni Grimes

Proud Greek immigrant mo

Latinos among them. I have spent significant time in South Florida, Central America, and the Caribbean, in particular, Panama, Honduras, and Puerto Rico. I have experience in and respect and affinity for the region. As the son of an immigrant, myself, I share in and identify with so much of the experience of my Latino neighbors and friends – the dreams of making a better life for one’s children, the courage to leave the familiar and pursue those dreams, respect for hard work, the drive for success, and

the dedication to family, faith, many perspectives. I have taught me a lot about what is missing in equality, education and experiences that relate to Congress today. Proven and trusted leadership community. In this respect, people across all races, dedicated to exercising good judgment in there is much more that draws creeds, and walks of life. My decision-making. Leadership dedicated to us together than distinguishes global upbringing combined serving all the people. Leadership dedicated to us. And it is these common w i t h m y m i l i t a r y a n d solving our nation’s problems. In the military, values that I believe matter diplomatic background is especially naval aviation, we work as a team and more to the voters in the end of respected across party lines. It cover each other’s backs when taking on the day than the fact that my gives me the credibility as an whatever challenge we face. Continuous second language is Greek and insightful, proven, and improvement is ingrained in our culture. No not Spanish. When it comes to trusted leader who can find matter how well we execute an evolution or the issues that the people of the common ground and seek operation, we strive to do it better the next 26th District care about most, I innovative solutions to A KTEL bus found am confident they will find in serve the District and all With Chief of the Hellenic Fleet, Admiral Yannis Pavlopoulos in Parwan, Afghanistan me someone who shares Americans better. something more important than a familiar surname - someone who shares their values and As a Democrat, what areas of common possesses the skill and perseverance to ground do you have with your translate those values into action. Republican constituents?

At the White House with President Bill Clinton

How can you compete against the money and on the field muscle of super PACS like the Congressional Leadership Fund, the RNC and right wing organizations like Americans for Prosperity?

If you’re asking me whether a Republican in the 26th District should vote for me, I say if they believe in fixing our broken healthcare system, yes. If they believe in quality affordable education for all Americans that makes our country competitive in the global economy, yes. If they believe in ensuring our military is properly funded, trained and equipped to defend our interests and freedoms, yes. If they believe in honoring our commitments to veterans and seniors, yes. If they believe in treating all people with dignity and respect, yes. If they believe in transparent and responsible use of taxpayer dollars that doesn’t saddle future generations with debt, yes. And if they believe in common sense gun laws that keep our schools and public spaces safe, yes. As a military officer I honored my oaths, served all, and left no one behind and as their Congressman I pledge to

My campaign has something more important proven and trusted leadership combined with people power and a message that resonates. The people of South Florida’s base ice at the 26th District are ready for a new type of At theuodffa Bay, Crete in So politics where the right answer matters more than politics. They’re ready for a positive agenda that I will fight for everyday as their Congressman. There are also more powerful PACs out there based upon the principles of service, civility, and good governance they promote that are aligned with my campaign. Congressman Seth Moulton’s S e r v e A m e r i c a PAC , , and Rye Barcott’s With Honor PAC, are good examples discharge my responsibilities in an honorable of efforts to create a more effective and less way. polarized government that the people are ready What did your military and government for. service teach you that would be helpful in How can you make a difference as a Congress? Democrat if the Congress doesn’t shift? Although there are some great people in My global upbringing taught me there could be Congress, my military and diplomatic service

time. We strive to make every day count. It’s time to introduce this concept in Washington. Tell me about growing up: church, school? Who are you named after? Did you know him? I’m named after my mother’s father, Dimitrios. I was his first grandson. He passed before I had a chance to meet him. I heard he was a true gentlemen and took great pride in having an American grandson. Home was where the Navy sent us. We moved about every three years; Great Lakes, Newport, Athens, where I attended third and fourth grades at the American Community School (ACS); then Charleston, where we attended Holy Trinity. After my father’s retirement from the US Navy we moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and I was sent to Kifissia to attend TASIS Greece, where I would attend Agios Andreas in Galatsi with my Yia Yia. Before I left for college, we established our home in Florida. From there I went to Boston and earned my B.A. in International Relations from Boston University. Your father’s name and rank? Tell me about his service. My father’s name is Melvin; he enlisted in the US Navy when he was seventeen. He served as an Engineman on everything from minehunters, amphibious ships, patrol boats, frigates, and destroyers. He had some great stories of being at sea during the Cuban missile crisis and other historic moments. A proud sailor and American, he retired as a Chief Engineman after more than 23 years of naval service. COVER STORY

MARCH 2017


Tom “Rollo” With Squadron Mates Lee “Les Vegas” Hassman,r” Bolt “Bolte Chris and r, Neide ” “Tater Roland, Brady

how they met. They were married at St. Demetrios Loumbardians on Philopappou Hill near the Acropolis in Athens. My grandfather, Dimitrios gave her away. After they married, my father took a new assignment, which had him deploy with his ship to Vietnam. Since my mother had no family in the US, my father left her with his family in Indianapolis, Indiana to take care of her during his deployment. This was a bold move by my mother, considering she was just twenty years old and barely spoke English. I was born a month after my father deployed. A Greek family, the Karlos,’who owned a diner in town You said he suffered because he wasn’t became my mother’s connection to Greece and given adequate health care? the community. The owner, George Karl’s, became my Godfather. In January 2006 he had a mild heart attack. At the time he also had a mild pneumonia. It was What was is like growing up in a household determined that he needed a stent to clear a where one parent is an immigrant? blocked artery, but the doctors recommended waiting until his heart rate stabilized. Since his It’s a special feeling to take pride in ones roots. heart rate remained high he was put on a My mother made sure I understood and ventilator. Despite the fact his condition had appreciated my Greek heritage and that of not improved, the hospital had him moved to others. Her friends’ visits for coffee were like another facility not equipped to provide him mini UN summits. I remember hearing the level of care he needed. He ended up dying fascinating stories of how these proud of an infection. He was only 69. He was laid to Americans ended up in the US. Like many rest at Arlington National Cemetery in the young Greek-American boys, I went through company of heroes. His case is an example of the phase of being dressed as an Evzone on our inept health care system that I’ll fight to fix. Greek Independence Day. The local Greek No family, especially a veteran’s family in the Orthodox Church served as a hub for catching richest nation in the world, should have to up with fellow Hellenes. Afterwards we would suffer this type of unnecessary loss. end up at someone’s house for a large Greek meal of pasticcio, yemista, mousaka, or chicken Your mother’s maiden name? lemonato. There was always fresh baklava, loukoumia, or koulouria in case someone Pappaleonidas stopped by for a coffee and no visitor left without a “sakoula” full of food. I also What part of Greece? remember watching my mother study for her citizenship test with some of her Greek friends From the village of Efira, near Amalyada and who were also going through the process of Pyrgos in the Peloponnese. A beautiful place. I becoming US citizens. And I remember the day also have many relatives in Athens, including she came home after being sworn in as US my mother, who I brought back to be closer to c i t i z e n a n d h e r p r i d e a n d s e n s e o f her family after my father passed. accomplishment.

Have you visited that part and met your relatives? Definitely, many times over the years and as often as I can. It’s always a celebration when I visit. How did your parents meet and how did people of such differing backgrounds become a couple? Did your mother have family here? Who gave her away? My parents met while my father was assigned to the US Navy Base at Nea Makri. His best friend’s fiancé was my mother’s best friend, which is 16


university, earning my commission via Aviation Officer Candidate School at Naval Air Station, Pensacola. It was like in the movie “Officer and a Gentlemen,” where a team of Marine Corps Drill Instructors tried there hardest every day for fourteen weeks to make you want to quit. There was an extremely high attrition rate. I planned to do only one tour and move on, but was offered one great assignment after another. How did your parents feel about your decision to enter the military? My father was proud and my mother was scared but happy I was doing what I wanted to do. What made you pursue higher military study? I’ve always been a fan of history, strategy, valor and the concepts of pride, dignity, duty, honor, courage, and sacrifice captured in the Greek word “filotimo.” What made you choose flying and carrier service? As a young boy I built model airplanes and ships and never imagined I would end up flying missions from a few of those aircraft carriers I built models of. I chose Naval Aviation for the challenge, excitement, and desire to be at “the tip of the spear.” What is the thrill and esprit de corps of the flying service at sea? The adrenaline rush is part of it. It’s an honor and a privilege that few get to experience. Words really can’t describe with justice the feeling of pride, esprit de corps, and brotherhood that exists in the naval aviation community. At the foundation is our trust and mutual respect of one another. Any close scrapes?

One is too many, but I’ve had a number of them, which range from bird strikes, smoke and fumes, turbine failures, and a few others I can’t How did your family cope with all your tell you about here. father’s deployments? What made you shift to land duty? As a military family, home was always where the navy sent us. But wherever we ended up there I completed seven deployments in my career, were Greeks who took us in as their own family. five of them deployed in flying squadrons Although my father was away on deployments operating from aircraft carriers accumulating for extended periods, we never felt as if we more than 2000 flying hours in the E-2 Hawkeye were on our own. aircraft and 100 combat support missions. In between operational deployments it’s typical to How did you decide to enter the service take assignments ashore. Mine included the after Boston University? Pentagon, White House, and diplomatic assignments as Naval Attaché to Greece, Naval I always admired my father and his military Attaché to Israel, Secretary of Defense Fellow, friends and their love for and dedication to Combined Interagency Task Force 435 in serving and our country. I joined after Afghanistan, and as an Advisor to the

How is the campaign going and how do you Commander at Headquarters, Allied Maritime people, and weather. It’s an incredible place. see your path to victory? Command in London where I also used my GI Bill to fund an Executive MBA at The London How can the Greek American community Our campaign is going very well Dimitri and the Business School. help in your campaign? honor of speaking with you and your readers How long did you serve in Greece and what The great thing about the Greek-American reassures me our campaign is on the right track. was your service there? community is our love of family, our heritage, I’m honored and thrilled to be engaged in this our faith, our nation and our shared pride in campaign and I’m fortunate to have so many Between my assignments with NATO, each other’s success. Our love and respect for incredible people I respect and admire diplomatic assignments as Navy Programs each other supersedes politics, as it should, and providing me great guidance and support. Each Director and Naval Attaché, and my assignment our interest in Greece’s interests, in particular day motivates me even further as the incredible as Deputy Commander of the US forward issues in the Eastern Mediterranean and the people I meet reaffirm there is a desire for a new operating base at Souda Bay, Crete, I have been Balkans, which are also America’s interests, type of leadership, where the right answer fortunate to serve nearly eight years in Greece. strengthens our bonds as Americans of Greek matters more than politics. Our path to victory and Cypriot heritage. Also, the respect we have lies in ensuring we can get our message out that Did you speak Greek before you got there? as a community comes from these core values this campaign is about the people, our nation, we share with our fellow immigrants. and our shared values. It’s about ensuring Yes, and I’m thankful to my mother for this, who Regarding your question, my campaign government is focused on doing what is “just” used hard earned money she made as a manager, Jose Aristimuno, wouldn’t forgive me in order to serve all the people better, a concept seamstress to pay for private Greek language if I didn’t use this as an opportunity to highlight that Pericles promoted in Ancient Greece that tutors for me all the way through university. I that campaign contributions are key and will we seem to have lost in recent times. I really feel dreaded these sessions at the time, but she was help us amplify our message. You don’t have to the good will that exists for military veterans right when she promised I would appreciate it live in the district to contribute money to the and am grateful to my father and fellow one day. Making my Greek language skills clear campaign, so I invite your readers to encourage veterans who have gone into harm’s way and to my superiors early in my career opened their friends and family to contribute and earned our nation’s respect. I always hi-light f o l l o w o u r c a m p a i g n a t that for more than 25 years as a military officer, I countless opportunities for me. . And I invite my honored my oaths, served all, and left no one What are your impressions of the country Greek brothers and sisters to invite their friends behind. And that as a military officer and a and family, especially connections in South diplomat, I am a proven and trusted leader and the people from your service there? Florida, to stay up to date with my website for committed to my pledge to serve all the people while looking for ways to find solutions to the I’ve always loved Greece, its rich history, and its opportunities to help with our campaign. issues we face as a District and as a nation. beautiful geography, traditions, food, culture,

Chorus: Eleni Chronopoulos, Vasiliki Kanelos, Evi Chronopoulos, Annie Ditka, Constantina Drossos

Hellenic American Academy Hosts 2018 Annual Gala Honoring George D. Behrakis and Peter Maroutsos

The Hellenic American Academy (HAA) hosted its spectacular 2018 Annual Gala at the Loews Chicago O’Hare. This year’s Gala, themed “The Time is Now” celebrated the school’s evolution and its future. “The Time is Now” theme was appropriate as the Academy continues to set its sights on redefining Greek American education for the modern era. Housed in its new location on 445 Pine St, Deerfield, IL, the cause for celebration was great indeed as the school continues to grow and outperform expectations resulting in an over 20% increase in enrollment at the Academy’s outstanding Socrates Day School. Greek American, three-time Emmy Award Winning Television Producer and Morning Radio CoHost & Producer, Cathy Vlahogiannis served as Mistress of Ceremonies and began the evening by sharing how she had been inspired by her Greek heritage and time as a fellow graduate of Socrates Day School.

Betty and Peter Maroutsos




George and Margo Behrakis

The three co-chairs, Dina Pappas Panagos, Eleni Papasimakis, & Georgia Pontikes shared emotional speeches that touched on their own experience as graduates of Socrates School and expressed the many reasons they are now educating their own children at the Hellenic American Academy and their commitment to this institution. Jim Logothetis, Chairman of the HAA executive committee presented the evening’s awards to two outstanding Hellene Americans who have devoted significant time, talent and treasure to the preservation of the Greek Orthodox faith and heritage. George Behrakis, a GreekAmerican businessman, medical researcher, retired pharmacist and philanthropist, who has contributed to many organizations and establishments including Leadership 100 and National Hellenic Society, received the Heritage Award. Mr. Behrakis emphasized the importance of Greek education as ethos and respect were and are still learned and enforced in Greek Schools.

Chorus: Eleni Chronopoulos, Vasiliki Kanelos, Evi Chronopoulos, Annie Ditka, Constantina Drossos Georgia Pontikes, Eleni Papasimakis, Dina Pappas Panagos

Jim and Marianthe Logothetis, Margo and George Behrakis

This year’s event also featured a pledge drive and silent auction to benefit HAA and its educational mission. A museum walk featured priceless pieces created by HAA students that each represent an era from Ancient Greek History. The Academy’s 5th-8th grade students also performed a moving tribute to Antigone. Peter Maroutsos, a finance and operations executive in the financial services industry and long time supporter of the Academy, received the Service Award. He believes that the time is now to bring together all generations to preserve our Hellenic heritage and culture.

DJ John Grammatis and Perifania Dance Troupe brought the crowd of over 400 attendees to their feet as the gala audience danced into the night, reunited with old friends and created new friendships, all for a great cause!

The Hellenic American Academy is home to Socrates Day School, a private dual-language K8 organization. The school also offers Greek language and culture courses on Saturday’s for students and adults. HAA provides Chicago students with a competitive advantage as they begin their academic careers. HAA was recognized by the University of Crete as a model of outstanding Greek Orthodox education. Students routinely score in the 90th percentile in national standardized testing.

Hilton Athens: More than a Grand Hotel; a Modern Landmark by Kelly Fanarioti

Conrad Hilton, with government Minister Panagiotis Papalegouras and ship magnate Stratis Andreadis at the inauguration of Hilton Athens

In April 1963, the landmark hotel of Athens opened its doors to the public in the presence of Conrad Hilton, who had said: "I agree with those who think Hilton Athens Hotel is the most beautiful Hilton in the world". This emblematic building on Vasilissis Sofias Street has 506 rooms, of which 34 suites, and the largest total number of rooms in the city overlooking the Acropolis. The rooms are spacious and all have a private balcony with stunning "A hotel of immense wealth is going to be views. Hilton Athens has 23 conference and erected in Athens", the great newspapers of the event rooms including a luxurious ballroom of time wrote in the late '50s. And they did not 1300 people. exaggerate. The construction of the chain's first hotel in the Greek capital, which costed the The building which was designed by the astronomical amount of $15 million, was an architects Emmanuel Voureka, Prokopios important social, political, economic and Vasiliadis and Spyros Staikos, presents the following originality: it belongs to the category architectural achievement. of the big cosmopolitan hotels, however, its 20


external form combines the modern with the classic. Pentelic marble is used, as well as the monumental reliefs of the painter Yannis Moralis, with their archaic themes, giving a "Greek" touch. The official inauguration of the Hilton Athens took place on April 20, 1963, with three-day festive events gathering distinguished guests from all over the world and offering an unprecedented event for the city's socialites. According to Communications Director Tina Toribaba in an interview with NEO magazine, Hilton was the favorite meeting point of the high end – and not only - Athenians since day one, presenting new and unique experiences. "The hotel offered for the first time a 'barbecue party', which today has become the favorite summer fun for all. It had also inaugurated Christmas and Easter meals in public space. Until then the great holidays were celebrated only in a close family context. At the same time, it introduced the Athenians to the burger and the club sandwich. Another pioneering feature

In addition, they can experience a few moments of luxury at the Hiltonia Spa, a fully equipped fitness center with an indoor heated pool, a sauna, a steam room and hot tub, a fully equipped Pilates Room and massage services. There is also a hair salon and a beauty center. "As for in-hotel shopping, Hilton Athens has a news stand, a delicatessen, a jeweler's shop, a brand name store, and a patisserie. In addition, the hotel has a barber and a laundry room,� says Ms. Tina Toribaba. Architect Spyros Staikos is presenting the hotel's building plans to then Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis with future President of the Republic Konstantinos Tsatsos and Minister Emmanuel Kephalogiannis

The most impressive living space in Hilton is the 220 square meters Presidential Suite which offers a spectacular view of the Acropolis and Lycabettus. In addition, it has a living room with home cinema,

Director Ingmar Bergman with this wife at Hilton's roof top enjoying the Acropolis view

Author Julie Nixon Eisenhower

was the establishment of the 'Athens Art Gallery', also known as the Hilton-Gallery, which operated within the hotel bringing together art lovers from various venues and places. In 2004 the Hilton Athens was fully renovated to become the official seat of the International Olympic Committee during the Athens Olympic Games, and in 2011 the headquarters of the Organizing Committee of the Special Olympics World Games also held in Athens. During the half-century of its operation, great personalities have passed through the sumptuous lobby of the hotel. Aristotle Onassis, the popular singer and actor Frank Sinatra, the Oscar-winning actor Anthony Quinn, the director and screenwriter Ingmar

B e r g m a n dining area, desk, kitchen with separate are just a entrance, bedroom, bathroom with Jacuzzi and few. Acropolis view, WC and dressing room. "The suite also offers access to the Hiltonia Spa for "Heads of use of the gym and indoor heated pool and the S t a t e , Executive Lounge with its own reception and a f a m o u s lounge offering drinks and small meals artists and throughout the day." internation a l l y In recent years, Athens has been attracting prestigious visitors from all over the world exceeding its s c i e n t i s t s hotels' capacity during the summer months. preferred the hotel for their stay in Athens. The same goes for Hilton. ''Bookings have been Hilton has always been considered a reference increasing steadily over the past years, mainly point for the international jet set. In recent with people from Great Britain and the United years, this impressive hotel has evolved into a States,� Ms. Toribaba explains. "Hilton Athens is favorite Athenean venue, whether to taste not just a hotel but an integral part of the city's original American hamburgers and club social, business and cultural life. While sandwiches at the Byzantino Restaurant and or enjoying a privileged location in the heart of the original cocktails in Galaxy Bar with its city, at the same time it is a haven of peace and spectacular Acropolis view", explains Ms. relaxation. It also stands out for its aesthetics, Toribaba. "It uniquely combines the services elegance, discreet luxury and the natural light and facilities of a business hotel and a resort. that is diffused on its premises". Thus, in addition to conferences and business meals, guests have the choice of having fun Finally, Athens Hilton symbolizes the warm between four restaurants, including the famous Greek hospitality while providing services of Milos, and two bars. At the same time, from May international standards and it is a pillar in the to October, guests have free access to Hilton's effort to further enhance Athens as a preferred outdoor swimming pool, the largest outdoor international tourist destination. pool in the city center. " NEWS & NOTES

MARCH 2017


The scales of justice before the citizen jury of audience members cast their votes at the NHM Trial of Megacles. NHM Trial of Megacles Jury. Standing (L to R): Lorien Yonker, Heidi Stevens, Thomas G. Massouras, Hon. Anthony C. Kyriakopoulos, Anita Knotts and Jim Durkin. Seated (L to R): Anna Davlantes, Dr. Lori D. Barcliff Baptista, George Apostolides, Hon. Louis G. Apostol, Dr. Michael D. Amiridis and Cynthia Photos Abbott.

Patrick Collins takes the stage for the Prosecution’s rebuttal before deliberations begin at the NHM Trial of Megacles.

Patrick Fitzgerald gives his witty opening argument setting the stage for the NHM Trial of Megacles.

At the National Hellenic Museum judiciary panel and citizens affirm ancient practice of trial by jury A jury composed of community leaders, academics and journalists, along with an audience of hundreds, presented their verdict of guilty to a presiding panel of federal and state court judges in the National Hellenic Museum’s Trial of Megacles, held recently in Chicago. This fifth installment of the NHM Trial Series debated whether the ends justified the means when a government leader lied in the name of protecting democracy. This time, just as it was determined in 632 BCE, it does not. Moderated by WGN’s Andrea Darlas, the event featured a re-trial of Megacles, an ancient Athenian leader who ordered the death of a traitor to the city’s power. When Cylon, a populist Olympian hero, led an unsuccessful coup and then claimed sanctuary in the Temple of Athena, Megacles promised him and his followers a fair trial and that his life would be spared if he left the refuge of the temple. After negotiations, and even tying themselves to the temple, Cylon and his men agreed to leave its 22


safety. Despite his promise, Megacles ordered them stoned to death. The leaders of Athens put Megacles on trial and he was found guilty and punished for violating the sanctity of supplicants, and subverting the laws of Athens. Furthermore, his entire family was cast out of the city for six generations and, according to legend, marked with a curse.

Prosecuting Megacles for violating the sanctity of supplicants and subverting the laws of Athens were former U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Patrick M. Collins of King & Spalding. Megacles’ defense team was composed of Robert A. Clifford of Clifford Law Offices and Tinos Diamantatos of Morgan Lewis. Christina Faklis Adair of Gozdecki, Del Giudice, This historical event is thought to be a Americus, Farkas & Brocato examined expert precursor to the further development of witness Katherine Kelaidis, Ph.D., a Visiting democratic principles. Historians have written Assistant Professor at DePaul University. about it ever since and recent archeological discoveries have identified the bodies of what “The audience participation element in this are believed to be the followers of Megacles. event makes it truly unique,” said NHM Trustee and Chair of the NHM Trial Series Committee, The judiciary panel was composed of four Dino Armiros. “While the cases are selected for judges: from the Seventh Circuit Court of their modern-day relevance, the attorneys Appeals Judge William J. Bauer, U.S. District make compelling arguments, and expert Judge Charles P. Kocoras and Cook County testimony and opinions presented by thought Circuit Judge Anna H. Demacopoulos and, new leaders are provocative and intriguing. This this year, U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson isn’t a sit and watch event. It’s a learn and vote event – with audience members becoming truly Coleman. vested in the proceedings.”

Tinos Diamantatos provides the Defense’s closing arguments in the NHM Trial of Megacles.

Patrick Collins begins his closing arguments for the Prosecution in the NHM Trial of Megacles.

Robert Clifford sets up the Defense’s argument in the NHM Trial of Megacles.

Christina Faklis Adair examines expert witness Dr. Katherine Kelaidis at the NHM Trial of Megacles. PHOTOS BY ELIOS PHOTOGRAPHY

Attendees of the NHM Trial of Megacles experienced the court in the style of ancient Athens where juries were often composed of hundreds of citizens. An added modern element to this courtroom was the mix of wit and humor in the dynamic legal presentations. All in attendance were in rapt attention following the arguments that made ancient history relevant through modern references. “In Athens, the responsibility to act as a juror was incumbent on all citizens,” said expert witness Dr. Kelaidis. “This is what we did Thursday night. We gave everyone a vote.” Serving as distinguished jurors: Cynthia Photos Abbott, Vice President & General Counsel, WBEZ, Chicago Public Media; University of Illinois at Chicago Chancellor Dr. Michael D. Amiridis; Cook County Public Administrator Hon. Louis G. Apostol; George Apostolides, Partner & Vice Chair National Litigation, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, LLP; Lori D. Barcliff Baptista, Ph.D., African-American Cultural Center Director, University of Illinois at Chicago; WGN Host Anna Davlantes; Illinois State Rep. and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin; Calamos Wealth Management Sr. Vice President Anita Knotts; Cook County Circuit

Court Judge Anthony C. Kyriakopoulos; Thomas G. Massouras, Trial Attorney and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Office of Regional Counsel; Chicago Tribune Columnist Heidi Stevens; and Lorien Yonker, Research Associate, The Art Institute of Chicago Dept. of Ancient and Byzantine Art.

Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois.

The dynamic NHM Trial Series has grown both in reputation and following over the years. The 2016 Trial of Antigone was broadcast on WTTW-TV (PBS Chicago) in May 2017 and nominated for a regional Emmy. The 2017 Trial of the Parthenon Marbles is expected to be The verdict breakdown was 11 guilty and 1 not released on DVD soon. guilty among the jury of 12. The jury’s determining verdict was supported by the The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) portrays hundreds of attendees when the scales of and celebrates Greek heritage and the Hellenic justice were literally tipped to guilty by the legacy through educational classes, exhibits majority of the voting chips. The esteemed and programs. With a growing repository of panel of judges unanimously found Megacles over 20,000 artifacts, the Museum catalogs and guilty, while acknowledging the strength of the highlights the contributions of Greeks and arguments by defense counsel. Greek Americans to the American mosaic and inspires curiosity about visitors’ own family The event affirmed the importance of holding a journeys through cultural expression, oral trial of the accused, even during a time of history and experiential education. Located in violent insurrection. Judges, jury and citizen Chicago’s Greektown, the NHM provides audience noted that due process continues to lifelong learning for the whole community be crucial to democracy, just as it was in the using artifacts and stories to spark inquiry and earliest days of Athens. discussion about the broader issues in our lives. For more information, their website is The Trial of Megacles was approved for 1.5 and their phone hours Ethics CLE by the Attorney Registration & number (312) 655-1234. NEWS & NOTES

MARCH 2017


hellenes without borders

Alexander Billinis is a writer and lawyer in Chicago, Illinois. He and his family returned to the US after nearly a decade in Greece, the UK, and Serbia. He writes prolifically on Balkan topics. His books, The Eagle has Two Faces: Journeys through Byzantine Europe, and Hidden Mosaics: An Aegean Tale, are available from

There were, of course, Macedonians who had emigrated to Central Europe, or to Russia, where they A centuries-old conflict in a region known for discord were exposed to the novel ideas of nationalism and has returned, once again, to the headlines. The so- revolution; then sought to bring these concepts called Macedonian Question—in this case, most home. specifically, what name to assign to this former Yugoslav republic—is back in many of our newsfeeds. I Orthodox Macedonians eagerly participated in the have written extensively about this issue over the past Greek War of Independence, though the Turks two decades and, rather than add my own two managed to suppress the revolution in the area. They drachmas on this matter here (I have said plenty were also involved in the armed struggles that birthed elsewhere over the years) I would rather tell the story Serbia and Bulgaria, particularly the latter, but even of two Macedonian brothers that might provide a though all three states sought to bring all or part of common—and contrasting—history to the blacks and Macedonia under their control, the province, and its fruit salad (or Macédoine) of ethnic groups, remained whites thrown around by advocates on all sides. under Turkish hegemony, to be liberated another day. It is easy to harken back to a nostalgic past, which was Into this milieu were born two usually not particularly idyllic. Allow me just a little bit brothers in the town of Avdela, in of a rewind to set the scene. I will not, as most Greeks what is today the western part of seem to prefer, return to the Age of Alexander the Greek Macedonia. Great to score Hellenic (and Hellenistic) points for Macedonia’s Greekness. Instead, let’s focus on the late Yiannis “Yannakis” Manakis was 1800s, when Macedonia (all of it) was a congeries of born in 1878, and Miltos four ill-governed Ottoman vilayets (provinces), with a years later. In 1902, the two volatile multiethnic and multi-religious population. moved to the town of Monastir (today’s Bitola in the Former Under Ottoman rule for nearly half a millennium, Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Macedonia’s large Jewish population had been welcomed in from Spain in the 1500s. Islam was well- hereinafter “FYROM” or “Slav Macedonia”). established in the region, represented by Turkish settlers and by locals of all ethnoreligious groups who Like many Macedonians, the Manakis brothers spoke had converted to Islam, most notably a large Vlach as their mother tongue but grew up with Greek proportion of Macedonia’s Albanians. The majority and Slavic dialects spoken all around them. Then as population, Orthodox Christians, alternatively Greek- now, Monastir was an important town, with its human , various Slavic-, Albanian-, and Vlach-speaking mosaic of Orthodox, Muslims, Armenians, and Jews. residents, had been in situ from the Byzantine era, which preceded the Ottoman. These Orthodox The Manakis brothers were photographers and Macedonians, subjects of the Byzantine Emperor, and cinematographers; in fact, they were the first the Serbian and Bulgarian Tsars for the entire cinematographers in the Balkans, recording with an Ottoman period, had been known by their overlords imported British camera the seminal simply as Rums (Romans, Byzantines). They were, events of their tumultuous era. Their first reel, of the Manakises’ grandmother legally, and for all practical purposes, one people. spinning thread, is widely thought to be Certainly, these Orthodox Macedonians had varied the oldest film strip in the Balkans and later customs, and geography, unlike language, did not became the subject of an acclaimed Greek play a role in divvying up one group from another. film, “Ulysses’ Gaze.” Nevertheless, many, if not most Macedonians of the time were bilingual, or multilingual, and illiterate. To the Manakis brothers, we owe the One village might speak more Greek and another one primitive moving pictures of the First of the spectrum of South Slavic dialects, or Vlach (a Balkan War, when the Serbian Army, moving in from series of dialects related to Romanian), yet there was the north, threw down the hammer on the Turks just enough cultural interchange that everyone spoke outside the city, and then linked up with the Greek enough to understand everyone else. Further, as any Army mopping up from the South. When the guns fell speaker of several of these languages knows, the silent, the brothers transitioned from being Rum Balkan languages, despite their differences, subjects of the Sultan to subjects of the Kingdom of comprised what is known as the “Balkan Sprachbund Serbia. (language union)” whereby the languages “bent” towards each other and their grammars enabled a Quickly enough, another war broke out and, once again Macedonia, and the Manakis brothers were word-for-word translation. caught up in the maelstrom as Greeks and Serbs As a speaker of Greek, Serbian, and Bulgarian, I can fought Bulgarians to retain their portions of attest to this interchangeability, even though the Macedonia from Bulgarians who wanted more of the Greek language is considerably different from the region. After four bloody years, the Manakis brothers continued documenting the era, now as subjects of latter two Slavic languages. the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, soon Regardless of mother tongue, all Macedonian enough to be known as Yugoslavia. Orthodox in the early 1800s went to church listening to the Greek liturgy and, to the degree that they had a Elsewhere in Macedonia, specifically the Greek and national identity, it was as Rum, that is, ex-Byzantine the Bulgarian portions, populations were shifting and being exchanged. Greeks were leaving Bulgaria, subjects of the Turkish Sultan. particularly the Bulgarian parts of Macedonia, and the




Bulgarians were leaving Greek Macedonia. Again, to use the terms “Greek” or “Bulgarian” is misleading, as many simply stayed put and assimilated into the Greek or Bulgarian states. And why not? The underlying culture and religion was the same. Just a couple of years later, a huge wave of refugees entered Greek Macedonia, about half a million Greek refugees from Turkey, often as not penniless and lacking a head of household; at the same time, about 300,000 Macedonian Muslims—Turkish-, Slavic-, and Greek-speaking—left for Turkey. The mosaic of Macedonia on all sides of the intraMacedonian border— Greek, Yugoslav, and Bulgarian—was plastered over by primary national colors. The Asia Minor Greek refugees remained nostalgic for their lost homelands, but also quickly became proud Greeks and Macedonians, determined never to be evicted again. All through this time of upheaval, the Manakis brothers continued to take pictures and make films, chronicling the transformation of the Macedonian mosaic. They also won high accolades for their work, from the Ottoman Sultan to the Romanian and Yugoslav Kings, and even from Marshal Tito. Before the start of the World War Two, Yannakis Manakis returned to Greece, working periodically as a photographer and cinematographer in Thessaloniki until his death in 1954. Miltos remained active in Yugoslav cinematography, providing a vast archive of movies and prints for posterity. A Manakis Film Festival is celebrated annually in Slav Macedonia to honor the brothers’ legacy to Balkan (and Yugoslav/Slav Macedonian and Greek) filmography. In the ideology of today, Yannakis is a Greek and Macedonia has been Greek since before the Age of Alexander the Great. Miltos, who died in Bitola in Slav Macedonia, is considered the “Father of Macedonian Cinematography.” Two brothers, from the same family, and not even linguistically Greek or Slav in their mother tongues, have suddenly become symbols of national division and ethnic mythology. The truth of these “Brothers Macedonian” is that they were products of a unified culture, Byzantine Orthodox but not specifically or exclusively Greek or Slavic. Herein lies the not-so-secret complication of Macedonia, about which the vociferously insecure protest too much on all sides of the conflict. No nation is hermetically sealed, and each of us embodies a genetic, cultural, and historical mosaic. In Macedonia, the story of the Manakis brothers is repeated thousands of times, and the descendants of other “Brothers Macedonian” may be protesting, under different banners, in places as varied as Skopje, Salonika, New York, Toronto, Dusseldorf, and Melbourne, not realizing, not remembering, that they are, not so far down the shared family tree, likely as not protesting against their own. This article originally appeared in “Weekly Hubris,”

Greece Research Trip by the Hellenic Classical Charter School The four selected students for this year’s National History Day Fair, and research trip to Greece, have begun to diligently work on their research, and have already decided that under this year ’s theme of “Conflict and Compromise,” they will dedicate their performance to the Burning of Smyrna of 1922.

diligently study Ancient Greek literature.

Beyond the examination of the history of drama, this year the program entails the students’ study of one of the greatest Ancient Greek Tragedies ever written, Ifigenia en Aulis, by Euripides. The program will ultimately culminate with a theatrical performance of During the Hellenic Classical Charter School's Eugenia en Aulis, by the students, on June 3, annual research trip to Greece, the students 2018. will be visiting the Centre for Asia Minor Studies in Plaka, the Museum of Asia Minor Hellenism To enhance their experience, the school plans “Filio Chaidemenou” in New Philadelphia, the to continue its new tradition of giving students Digital Museum of Smyrna & New Smyrna in the opportunity to further their research by New Smyrni, and the Gennadius Library at the immersing them in the rich culture and history American School of Classical Studies, where the of Greece. While in Athens, the students will students will be exposed to primary and visit the New Acropolis Museum, and meet the secondary resources to enhance their research. president of the museum Dr. Demetrious Pandermanlis. Due to the success of HCCS’ annual National History Day Fair research trip to Greece, and They will have a guided tour of the museum and the positive impact it has had on students’ of the Acropolis. They will be able to visit education, it became necessary to develop a several ancient Greek theaters, and to way to offer this experience to a greater number experience, firsthand, the birthplace of drama. of students. The students will also have an exclusive tour of the National Theater of Greece, where they will This year, Dean of Theater/Dance Mr. Petros speak to professional actors, view elaborate Fourniotis, has initiated an Ancient Greek costumes, and touch the famous “masks” of Theater Program at HCCS. With the support of Ancient Greek Theater. The visit will conclude Greek language teacher Ms. Georgia Kopani by attending an actual performance of an and the school's administration, the fifteen 7th ancient Greek play. A special thank you to Joy grade students selected have already begun to Petrakos for coordinating the trip details. 26


The funds were disbursed evenly to 30 families from Vrisa, which was hit the hardest by the devastating 6.3 earthquake that struck the island on June 12, 2017. To make matters worse, Lesvos was hit with a second quake a week later registering 5.2 on the Richter scale, and resulting in local authorities declaring a state of emergency. The initial earthquake left one woman confirmed dead and more than 800 people from the village of Vrisa displaced.

AMERICAN HELLENIC COUNCIL The American Hellenic Council is a nonpartisan advocacy organization, which EARTHQUAKE RELIEF champions Hellenic values and culture. Our primary goal is to promote Hellenism in the ARRIVES IN LESVOS United States by supporting the cultural The American Hellenic Council, a Los Angelesbased Greek-American advocacy organization, announced the successful delivery of $15,000 in earthquake relief to the village of Vrisa on the island of Lesvos. “The Council’s truly grateful to all those who participated in our effort and donated to those in need on Lesvos”, said Ioannis Fidanakis, the Executive Director. “We hope that these muchneeded funds will help ease the burden on

activities of the Hellenic-American community those families that we were able to help with the of Southern California and to raise public awareness of issues concerning the Eastern generosity of our supporters”. Mediterranean. AHC promotes democracy, Donations were gathered from over 40 human rights, and peace in Southern Europe generous individuals, including a gracious and the Eastern Mediterranean, by informing donation of $10,000 from Ms. Patricia Field. A the American public and public officials about famous fashion designer, Ms. Field is best on-going issues and conflicts, specifically known for her work on the television series, Sex about Greece and Cyprus. and the City, and traces her maternal ancestry For more information, their website is back to Plomari, Lesvos.

Turkish policy on Cyprus: What we stole from you is ours and what we haven’t stolen from you, you must share!

This is in effect Turkey’s position with regard to the hydrocarbon energy resources of the Republic of Cyprus, an independent member state of the British Commonwealth, Council of Europe and European Union. Having ethno-religiously cleansed more than 170,000 Greeks and Christians from 36 per cent of the territory (and 57 per cent of the coastline) of the Republic of Cyprus and having arbitrarily appropriated the homes and properties of the indigenous people it forcibly displaced, the Turkish government is now brazenly attempting to deny this sovereign state access to its own energy resources. This is nothing other than neo-imperialism from the 28


modern incarnation of the Ottoman Caliphate Republic of Cyprus to the south that Turkey and Empire, the imperial ruler of the Island of does not occupy. At the same time, Turkey Cyprus from 1571 until 1878. refuses to recognize the Republic of Cyprus. On 10 February, Turkey’s belligerence was shamelessly demonstrated by its harassment of the drilling vessel Saipem 12000 which belongs to Italian oil giant ENI. The Italian vessel was blocked from entering a location within block 3 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone by Turkish warships. A stand-off continues.

In a similarly hypocritical vein, Turkey has purported to invoke international law while remaining one of a minority of states which have never become state parties of the UN Law of the Sea Convention of 1982; the others in the same boat as Turkey include North Korea.

On the one hand, Turkey asserts that its illegal subordinate entity in the Turkish-occupied zone is an ‘independent state’. Yet Turkey lays claim to the energy reserves in the area of the

Ankara’s cynical contention that the resources of the Republic of Cyprus should be ‘shared’ by ‘the two communities’ exposes its mendacity. It also exposes Ankara’s segregationism and neoimperial desire to control Cyprus as a territory and to exploit its people and resources.

Since its two invasions of the Republic of Cyprus launched in 1974, Turkey showed the world its unique interpretation of the concept of ‘sharing’. To begin with, Turkey purported to carve Cyprus into two, including an ethnoreligiously cleansed Turkish-occupied northern zone. By means of an illegal puppet regime owing its loyalty to Ankara, Turkey then Illegally usurped the properties belonging to forcibly displaced persons. These properties were then Illegally distributed to Turkish citizens who had been Illegally imported to Illegally colonize the Illegally occupied north.

We welcome statements by EU officials such European Parliament President Tajani who called on Turkey to respect international law and refrain from engaging in dangerous provocations in what he called “Cyprus’ territorial waters”. However, the response from the United Nations, as ever, was found wanting. To quote one of its recent statements: “The [UN] Secretary-General regrets that tensions over hydrocarbons exploration has escalated once again, and emphasizes that all concerned parties should do their utmost to defuse tensions.” The UN Secretary-General did not explain that, under his nose, only one party is Ankara’s claim that it is acting to secure a ‘share’ raising tensions. That party is Turkey. of Cyprus’ energy resources for the Turkish Community is as bogus as its absurd claim that Perhaps President Erdogan should come to it invaded and occupied part of Cyprus for the terms with the fact that the days of the Ottoman Caliphate and Empire are long gone. He should sake of ‘peace’. refrain from destabilizing the eastern In truth, Turkey invaded the Republic of Cyprus Mediterranean region and threatening a with the pre-planned aim of transforming its member state of the EU. He should accept that the resources of the Republic of Cyprus belong north into a de facto province of Turkey. to it as an independent sovereign state. He The increasingly unhinged President Erdogan should also ensure that Turkey becomes a state has reacted with his usual brand of neo- party to the UN Law of the Sea Convention and imperial outbursts mixed with naked threats. In if Turkey has any dispute with the Republic of his view: “Those who think that we’ve erased Cyprus this should be addressed by the dispute from our hearts the lands from which we resolution mechanisms built into the withdrew in tears a hundred years ago are Convention. wrong.” With regard to companies commissioned by the Cyprus government to Turkey’s policies of partition, segregation, explore the island’s energy reserves, President colonization and exploitation do not serve the Erdogan has claimed: “Their swagger lasts only interests of any citizen of the Republic of until they come across with our army, ships and Cyprus or of the European Union of which it planes… our rights in the Aegean and Cyprus forms part. It is high time that the Republic of are the same”. What President Erdogan really Cyprus, its properties and its resources were left to it and, by extension, to its citizens of all means is ‘might is right’. ethnic, religious or other backgrounds.

In the meantime, we call upon the UN, the EU and all sovereign states to do what they have hitherto failed to do in relation to the bully of the eastern Mediterranean known as Turkey: they should impose sanctions and other restrictive measures.

Notes • In 1974 Turkey invaded the Republic of Cyprus and continues to unlawfully occupy 36 per cent of the territory and 57 per cent of the coastline of Cyprus, with approximately 40,000 troops, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. • More than 170,000 Cypriot refugees are prevented from returning to their homes, properties and lands in the occupied north. Turkey continues its policy of colonising the occupied territory of Cyprus with Turkish nationals, in violation of the Geneva convention.

This analysis was provided by Lobby for Cyprus, a non-party-political human rights organization based in London that campaigns for a Cyprus free from Turkish occupation and a unitary Cypriot state without segregation along ethnic and religious lines.

THE GREAT COUNTERFEITING OF HISTORY: Myth of a ‘Macedonian’ nation by Nicholas L. Moraites, Ph.D.*

important to mention here that even under the came, of who we are, and of what we are ottoman rule in Macedonia, there was not any becoming. Most of humanity is generally unaware of the regional part named “Macedonia”. Is it possible today in America, where we fact that has been a reinterpretation of Balkan history, counterfeiting of historical myths, and The designs of the Slavs, involves a geopolitical constitute an affluent, politically powerful, and artificial nationality and language by the calculation and the search for an outlet to the highly educated Hellenic diaspora, that we Aegean. As, it was the plan during the Second know so little about something so simple and “Sclavineaes”. World War, and in the post-war decades, Tito yet so fatefully significant about the myth of a Fu r t h e r, m o s t a r e u n a w a r e t h a t t h e constructed an artificial nationality, the “Macedonian” nation? Macedonians were part of the ancient Greek ‘Macedonian’ nationality. The task was difficult world. This is proven by the archaeological because the new nationality did not have the It is a matter of great national importance for findings in conjunction with linguistic analysis features, which are essential for its the modern history of Greece and Hellenism, and the discovery of large numbers of Greek establishment as such. It followed that these that it is our national duty to restore the inscriptions with a vast range of Greek names components had to be discovered or invented. historical tr uth that purposefulness, aspirations and interests continue to reproach proves that was never any cultural, language or and distort our history. Our duty is permanent Another feature of the nationality was its history break in the unity of the Macedonians with the rest of Greeks. Indeed the language. It was generally accepted that the vigilance to preserve our national integrity and dissemination of the Greek language and Greek language spoken by the Slavs of Macedonia is a ensure peace. culture throughout the known world by dialect of Bulgarian. In order to sever the Alexander the Great provides the most substantive linguistic bond between the * Nicholas L. Moraites, Ph.D., teaches irrefutable confirmation of this. The unity of Macedonian Slavs and the Bulgarians, a International Relations- Comprarative Macedonians and the rest of the Greeks is separate ‘Macedonian’ written language had to Politics-USA Foreign Policy. He is a member of proved once more with the finds brought to be invented. This was done by exploiting local the International Hellenic Association (USA), light at the major archaeological sites of peculiarities and by borrowing from Serbian at the website of which this analysis first Vergina, Pella, Sindos and Dion, and also, in and other Slav languages. However, despite the appeared. Thessaloniki, Florina, Chalkidiki, Edessa, and painstaking efforts of forty years, the new language remains an offshoot of Bulgarian. many other areas.

That we are unaware that historical evidence and the archaeological finds point to the existence of Greek-speaking inhabitants of the North Pindus mountains in the period 22002100 B.C. The Greek antiquities dating back to the 4th century B.C., especially the ivory portrait of Philip and Alexander, from the Vergina tomb. All findings demonstrate the artistry achieved in Macedonia at the time of Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic era his conquests introduce. Macedonia, even under the Roman domination, continued to be a Greek-land under the successors of Alexander the great and for some two centuries was the core of larger state units ruled by Macedonian kings. Until the Byzantine period, the Greek population of Macedonia remained unchanged until the 7th century A.D., when various Slav races, the Drogovites, Strumonites, Sagoudates, and others began to settle in the area of Macedonia. With the permission of the Byzantine authorities, these tribes formed the small Slavic enclaves known as ‘Sclavineae’.

H e r e t h e y reinterpreted the history of the Balkans, since the most ancient times. In this way it would be possible to explain into existence the m y t h o f a ‘Macedonian nation’. Their countless examples should suffice to make clear the extent of this campaign of counterfeiting, and these historical myths, and distorting h i s t o r i c a l misinterpretations have been accepted by people with absolute ignorance of history, which went hand-in-hand with absolute toleration.

In the 14th century, the Serbian empire of Stefan Dusan spread into Macedonia. However, I should add that we, this short-lived empire had no effective impact as Greeks, must not on the ethnological nature of Macedonia. It is loose our sense of history, of whence we 30


Impresario Peter Tiboris announced today that he has commissioned acclaimed composer Christopher Theofanidis and poet and librettist J. D. McClatchy, a 2003 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, to create an opera-oratorio based on the international bestseller "Eleni", about a woman's sacrifice to save her children during the Greek Civil War.

based on the poetry of the 13th century Sufi mystic Rumi, and in 2017, for "Bassoon Concerto." He has written widely for the stage, including a ballet for the American Ballet Theatre and operas for the Houston Grand Opera and the San Francisco Opera.

Additional projects include "Little Nemo in Slumberland" with Daron Hagen, and "The Secret Agent" with Michael Dellaira, "Vincent" with composer Bernard Rands, which opened in 2011; and "An Inconvenient Truth" based on Al Gore's film, with composer Giorgio Battistelli, His popular composition Rainbow Body which won commissioned by Teatro alla Scala (2013 premiere).

The opera-oratorio will premier at Carnegie Hall on March 25, 2021, the 200th anniversary of the revolution that freed Greece from 400 years of Turkish occupation. "I was deeply moved by Nicholas Gage's memoir that demonstrates so powerfully that Greeks have struggled and sacrificed throughout their history in defense of freedom," said Mr. Tiboris, the grandson of Greek immigrants who settled in Sheboygan, WI, where he grew up. the 2003 Masterprize international competition, "Eleni's heroic story has always been especially has been performed by over 150 orchestras poignant to me because of my Greek roots." throughout the world. Dreamtime Ancestors, a consortium work for New Music for America, has The Opera-Oratorio will be based on the memoir being played by over 50 different orchestras over "Eleni" by Nicholas Gage, which has been translated the past two seasons. He has also served as into more than 20 languages, made into a motion Composer of the Year for the Pittsburgh Symphony picture, and acclaimed by critics as "a devoted and during their 2006-7 seasons, for which he wrote a brilliant achievement." violin concerto for Sarah Chang, and has a special lifelong relationship with the Atlanta Symphony and The book tells the story of Gage's mother, Eleni Maestro Robert Spano, with whom he has made Gatzoyiannis, who engineered the escape of her several recordings. eight-year-old son and three daughters from their mountain hamlet during the Greek civil war in Theofanidis holds degrees from Yale, Eastman and 1948, after she learned that the Communist the University of Houston, and has also been the guerrillas who occupied the village were planning recipient of the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim to collect all the children and send them behind the fellowship, a Fulbright fellowship to France, and Iron Curtain. In retribution for her defiance, she three fellowships from the American Academy of was imprisoned, tortured and then executed by a Arts and Letters. firing squad, her body left unburied at the bottom of a ravine. She was 41 years old. A former faculty member of Julliard and the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, he is "Eleni" tells how her son Nicolas joined his father in currently a professor at Yale University and a America and grew up to become a top New York composer-in-residence of the Aspen Music Festival. Times investigative reporter, honing his skills with one goal in mind--to return to Greece, track down Like Tiboris, he feels a special bond to ELENI as well. the men most responsible for his mother's death "My father lived in Crete during World War II and the and avenge her murder. Greek Civil War and saw up close how the Greek people suffered," recalls Theofanidis, a native of "The new commission is envisioned to be a 90- Dallas, Texas. His mother was American born. minute opera-oratorio for four to five world-class soloists, large orchestra, large chorus, children's J.D. "Sandy" McClatchy is a prize-winning poet and chorus and narrator, who will be Mr. Gage in the literary critic as well as a noted librettist. He has premier presentation," said Mr. Tiboris, the general written 16 opera libretti, including William director and founder of MidAmerica Productions Schumann's "A Question of Taste," Ned Rorem's and MidAm International in New York. Tiboris will "Our Town," Lowell Liebermann's "Miss conduct the world premiere with his Manhattan Lonelyhearts," Elliot Goldenthal and Julie Taymor's Philharmonic which he founded in 1990. "Grendel," and Lorin Maazel's "1984. In 2013, his adaptation of Stephen King's "Dolores Claiborne" After the New York premier, the Pan-European was performed at the San Francisco Opera. Philharmonia of Warsaw will present the European premier in Athens, again conducted by Tiboris, who McClatchy served for 27 years as editor of the Yale has been its music director since 2008. Review before resigning in June 2017. He has published six collections of poetry, the fifth of The composer, Christopher Theofanidis has been which, Hazmat, was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer twice nominated for a Grammy for best Prize. He has also served as president of the composition, first in 2007 for "The Here and Now," American Academy of Art and Letters. 34


His new translation of "The Magic Flute" for the 2004 Metropolitan Opera was broadcast live to movie theaters around the world, and is now performed every other holiday season at the Met. He has written narrations for performances by the New York Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the supertitles for Metropolitan Opera productions. McClatchy previously served as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1996 until 2003 and the Academy of American Poets from 1996 until 2003. A native of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, McClatchy was educated at Georgetown and Yale, from which he received his Ph.D. He has taught at Princeton, Columbia, UCLA, Johns Hopkins and Yale. Music Director Peter Tiboris has presented 1,300 concerts at classical music venues around the world, including 560 at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, through the company he founded in 1983, MidAmerica Productions. In 2004, he founded a summer music festival on the Greek island of Syros, the Festival of the Aegean, whose concerts, operas and performances have been recognized as among the best offered anywhere in Europe. In the last 10 years, he has created European festivals in Florence/Verona/Venice, Paris, Vienna/Salzburg, Vienna/Budapest, Lisbon/Porto and Berlin Prague. He holds music directorships in Florence, Vienna and Warsaw Poland and has been recorded on 16 CDs and videos under the aegis of Bridge Recordings and Elysium Recordings. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and University of Illinois. Over the past 34 years, MidAmerica Productions, which he founded, is now the foremost independent producer of concerts in the history Carnegie Hall. In 2018, MidAmerica Productions will again feature talented conductors and musicians from all over the United States and the world in performances in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage in Carnegie Hall. In 2012, MidAm International, Inc. was formed to support MidAmerica's growing presence in Europe. Since then, it has produced concerts in Vienna, Salzburg, Florence, Verona, Venice, Syros, and Athens with concerts slated in 2019 for Paris and Macao/Beijing/Hong Kong, as well as Vienna/Salzburg; Florence/Verona/Venice; Prague/Berlin; and Syros, Greece which will be the location for the 15th Annual International Festival of the Aegean.

Turkey is the real threat not ...FYROM! In anticipation of the rally in front of the United Nations for Macedonia's name and sake, I will put on the table a name proposed by Greece's top comedian George Mitsikostas. He said that we should call our northern neighbor ...Nia, like Nia Vardalos! This way both Greece's and FYROM's sensitivities would be taken into consideration and everybody should be happy!

us and this isn't the first or the last time.

So, before things get worse, I think the rally in front of the United Nations should be about Greece's real issue, which is Turkey and its belligerent behavior in the Aegean and Cyprus. Both Hellenic fatherlands (Greece and Cyprus) are in danger and the recent events prove that beyond doubt. Erdogan has lost it and in his feats In fact, I think we can take it a step further, if not lower, of megalomania might provoke a militar y and use the diminutive of the diminutive Nia which in confrontation which independent of the outcome will Greek is ...Nitsa, a name that even sounds Slavic devastate the region for generations to come. enough, making it clear that FYROM's Slavs have nothing to do with Alexander the Great, his father Making sure that our country, the US, the only entity Philip and his mother Olympias, whom the Albanians that can check Erdogan's insanity, does the right thing consider of their stock, making a laughingstock of both must be the priority of our efforts as Americans of Greeks and Slavic Macedonians who fight for a chunk Hellenic (and Macedonian) descent. Let us rally, call of history and ancestors that are ...Albanian by our elected representatives, use any influence we have birthright! in order to ensure that the US won't stand by like it did in 1974, when Turks invaded a defenseless nation with To them, it matters little that Albanians didn't exist in all the barbarity and cowardice their history is full of, the time of Alexander the Great. So didn't Slavs and and the world just offered anemic condemnations. now they come with claims of their own, saying that they are the exclusive owners of that legacy because That is the real issue and that's where we should ancient Macedonians weren't Greek! The fact that all channel our attention and effort. Now, if a bunch of their names, religion, customs etc. were Greek is of no Slavs and an equal number of Albanians want to believe importance according to them. So was Zorbas, who in that they are Macedonians and descendants of fact, was a Slavic Macedonian, and who became the Alexander the Great, let them! We should be happy and stereotype of the Greeks for generations. And Anthony we should welcome them in thinking so. As long as Quinn was Mexican! History has its ways to make fun of FYROM is willing to accept a geographical component

in front of the name Macedonia which would make it clear they are not the only Macedonians (that would create problems, even in marketing Greek products abroad, like Macedonian Halva), we shouldn't have a problem in keeping Macedonia as their name. Instead of enmity let’s apply humor (as Mitsikostas did), and let us all live happily ever after (if Turks allow it, that is)! P.S. 1) Stupidity is a form of mental illness! And like with every mental illness, the patients think there is nothing wrong with them... 2) I tried to go public with my body, a more sophisticated way to say "sell it", but only the medical community got intetested, to use it for experiments!!! 3) I support the natural right to bear arms ...and legs! 4) The NRA is a malignant tumor! The culture of violence and death in movies, music and video games which targets our youth constantly is what feeds this cancer...

by Demetrios Rhompotis

"We are very excited about the 2018 Awards Dinner event, and truly proud to have Nicole Petallides Tsiolas as our 2018 Award recipient," said Mr. Nicolas Nicolaou, President of the Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Nicole Petallides Tsiolas is the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) anchor for the national channels of FOX NEWS: The Fox Business Network and FOX News Channel, the mostwatched Cable News Network in America. She recently celebrated 10 years with the network. Nicole covers top financial, political and global issues impacting everything from Wall Street to Main Street. She appears daily on top rated Varney & Co, Cavuto: Coast to Coast and Mornings With Maria. She also contributes to FOX News Channel’s Hannity, Fox & Friends & The Daily Briefing. Nicole launched into national syndication in September 2017 with FOX Television Stations new show TOP 30. Top 30 news stories in 30 minutes can be seen weeknights in New York at 1130pm, WWOR Channel 9. Nicole Petallides Tsiolas is also a veteran co-anchor of The Greek Independence Day Parade broadcast live each year from NYC’s Fifth Avenue. She appears alongside her FOX5NY colleagues Ernie Anastos, Nick Gregory and Mike Woods. Prior to joining FOX Business Network, Nicole was an anchor at Bloomberg Television for seven years where she reported from the NYSE and anchored various programs. She was also the business news anchor for CW11's WPIX morning news program. Before joining Bloomberg, Petallides served as an assistant producer for CNBC where she produced daily floor reports from the NYSE working closely with Maria Bartiromo and Bob Pisani. Petallides has contributed to Dow Jones “Wall Street Journal Report,” the WNYW-FOX 5 morning show "Good Day New York," NY1 News, CNN and News 12 Long Island. A New York City native, Nicole graduated with a degree in Business and Communications from The American University and was a member of the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Team.

Nicole Petallides, Anchor FOX Business Network, to Receive Cyprus-US Chamber of Commerce Award The Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce ( announced that Nicole Petallides Tsiolas, Anchor, FOX Business Network is the Chamber’s 2018 Distinguished Merit Award recipient. Bestowed annually, the Award honors corporations and individuals who have raised the profile of Cyprus and made an extraordinary contribution in strengthening trade relations between Cyprus and the United States of America. The Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s tribute to Ms. Petallides Tsiolas will include an Awards Dinner at the Union League Club, 38 East 37th Street, New York on Friday, May 4, 2018. 38


She is married to Dr. Nick Tsiolas and lives in Manhattan with their two teenage sons, Eric and Michael Tsiolas. You may follow Ms. Petallides on: Instagram twitter The Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce The Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce was formed as a Nonprofit corporation in 1997 to promote and strenghten commercial, industrial and economic relations between the Republic of Cyprus and the United States. By creating a forum in which its members share ideas and knowledge, the Chamber presents opportunities to potential investors, offers advice on foreign investment projects, coordinates briefings with private and government officials, and works to build strong relationships between Cypriot and American companies and their employees, owners and other constituents. The Chamber maintains a diverse membership of corporations, entrepreneurs, executives, and professionals across all fields of commerce.

NEO magazine - March 2018  

Every issue will feature profiles of prominent Greek Americans and what they’ve done this year, what they’ve done in their lives, what polit...

NEO magazine - March 2018  

Every issue will feature profiles of prominent Greek Americans and what they’ve done this year, what they’ve done in their lives, what polit...