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24 March 2012

Comments

Chris Georgallis

Thank you Stavro for posting my poem. I am humbled. I hope it touches some part of the soul for all who have been born outside of Greece or Cyprus and yet hold on to their cultural identity even when their influences are so mixed. It is also a prayer that one day we who have lost our lands, homes and villages in Cyprus may one day return? I believe we need to rise up out of our complacency on this issue and re ignite a voice from within(especially from Greek and Turkish Cypriots) and without that shouts to the International powers that be, that Cyprus needs to be re united as one whole country without Turkish threats always hanging over our heads. Turkey is no more a guarantor power of Cyprus than a fox is the guardian of a chicken coup! Love and blessings to all, Chris.

Stavros

Chris,

Well done and well said. Thank you for allowing me to post it. My wish for you is that someday you may return to your Ithaka.

Stelios

Well done, Chris, for such a moving poem, and well done, Stavros, for posting it. Long live Karpasia! We will return!

Stavros

Next year in Yialousa!

Stelios

The patriotism of the day is getting to us. After Rizokarpaso and Yialousa, we'll be liberating Northern Epirus, Smyrna, Constantinople and the rest. But why not? 'Keep Ithaki always in your mind', as the poet says.

Stavros

These places have always been and will always be ours irregardless of which flag flies over them because it was our ancestors that lived and died there for thousands of years. No one can expunge their presence no matter how hard they try.

Chris Georgallis

I wish there was a way to unify our voice into many voices which amplify the potential disaster which could befall Cyprus. Turkey is positioning itself to try and annex Northern Cyprus as part of the mainland( "Taksim") If they succeed it will bring them one step closer to their endgame, which in my opinion, is to take the whole island? I don't think i am being paranoid. They have used the Cyprus issue for so long to be their bargaining chip for EU membership. The less likely this seems to be, combined with the huge discoveries of off shore gas seems to make Cyprus a more and more attractive strategic move for them? My fear is that Greece would be unable and possibly unwilling to help if this occurs. I dont see any other western power likely to intervene? Very unlikely it will be the USA or UK, as both countries were complicit in allowing this state of affairs to happen and both have rent free military bases on the island.How can we Greeks work hand in hand perhaps with the Turkish Cypriots( who have finally realised that Turkey used them rather than saved them?)in creating a popular global movement to end the last divided capital in Europe as well as bring unity to the land. There will be no help from the outside we need to have a plan and re fire an issue which has largely been forgotten by the world.I wonder if Russia could be a friend to us, although that would create its own set of problems? Something needs to change this Status Quo. I believe we are in for very dangerous years ahead. May God be merciful to us. I chose to believe we will never be removed from our land, but history is against us on this issue. Turkey has also NEVER given back land unlawfully conquered without a fight? we are in a real David and Goliath situation. What do you guys think?

Stavros

Chris,

You and Stelios have a infinitely better handle of the realities on the ground in Cyprus than I ever will.

That said, here's a few thoughts:

1) Greeks cannot rely on alliances, they may have their uses but in the long run, an ally no matter how powerful has only its own interests at heart.

2) The Hellenic world is suffering from a crisis of leadership, If we don't identify who the true leaders are, the ones with vision, talent and above all integrity, then we can never turn things around.

3) If Greece and Cyprus do not reach out to the Diaspora by doing more than asking for handouts they are ignoring the one resource that may yet be able to turn things around.

4) When Greeks are united they perform miracles, when we succumb to infighting and looking out for parochial interests the result is always disaster.

I am always hopeful. As Nikos Kazantzakis once pointed out, Greek history is a succession of miracles.

Istvan

Beautiful words from Mr Georgallis!
His last line should be kept in the heart.
The intentions of the powers east of the Aegean hasn't changed much since the mother of Thea Halo (Not even my name)escaped her death march less than a century ago.After having eliminated the non-muslim "enemy", expansionism shows up it's ugly head. (Planned "buffer zone " in Syria in the name protecting the "3.5" million Turkmen there to mention the latest.Peolple from Kyrenia to Varosha know well what it means.) They have laid claim to the gas reserves of Cyprus and keep meddling with the politics of certain areas in the Balkan. My kin and kith just wouldn't realize they are next in line as a stepping stone. They are offered a friendship of a rug merchant, grabbing you by the arm filling you up with unwanted refreshment. (My wife's friend spent her best years in burkha locked up in her turkish husband's house when she finally could escape the country through the embassy.)

As long as there are clear minded good hearted greeks with vision for a better future as this forum proves there's plenty of hope as well.

My best wishes to you Stavro and your family

Stavros

You are always welcome, Istvan, best wishes to you and family.

Joseph

Greece has been let down by alleged allies in the past (The Russia disappointed, later on the United States did not provide the right support). Turkey tried to play the role of the bridge between east and west several years ago, but it has become more religious and failing to become part of the European Community probably did not help as well and it seems to have put its faith in a more radical approach seeks its allies with extremists, such as Iran now.
I guess that regional alliances can hold and create a balance in the region (Greece-Cyprus-Israel, possibly), however, Greeks will have to count on themselves. We are not too far off from Independence Day. Greeks knew how to gain independence with limited support from the outside in the past and they will do it again in the future. God bless you all, Stavro, Istvan, Chris and Stelios.

kosta

Greece is always under threat and now we are alone surrounded by vultures. This experience will teach us many things.

kosta

Its time to organize, fight back, cut the head of the beast off within and without, expropriate the pigs, call a national emergency, mobilize all resources, seal the country off. I support Hellas the new Hellas, the new age. Zhtw h ASPIDA.

Stavros

Joseph,

Good to hear from you. In the final analysis, a country must stand alone if and when it must do the right thing in terms of its own interests which are not always shared interests.

Actually Greeks almost lost the struggle against the Ottoman Empire due in part to their inability to work together. It was only the intervention of the Great Powers of the time that helped win their independence, Perhaps that is where they got the idea that they must depend on their allies rather than themselves.

Best wishes for a joyful Passover.

kosta

Thats why we should seal the country off and cleanse it of history Stavros because all that nonsense is just repeating itself in meaningless cycles.

Stavros

How do you "cleanse" a country of its history? Better we should learn from it. Being more independent doesn't mean Greeks must be xenophobic. It means we have to give up our xenolatria.

Controlling your borders is one thing, sealing them smacks of totalitarian regimes.

kosta

We should start by building our own economy instead of having a ruling class that lives off other centres business cycles and our population always gets the "big squeeze" when it comes time for "miscellaneous margin spreads" on the World Bank/IMF spreadsheet.

Joseph

Thanks a lot for your kind words Stavros. it is always a pleasure chatting with you and all the fiends here. You have created a micro cosmos for all the philhellenes here.
My very humble contribution is to take the kids to Greece, each year, spend our vacation money there and teach them to love the country, the people and the culture. I think that they are very proud of where their grandparents came from and I am sure they will continue to support Greece when they grow up

Stavros

Joseph,

I think it is great that you maintain that connection with Greece and seek to pass it on to your children. Greeks, and I consider you to be one, are not constrained by boundaries and by the small minds that create them. Our values are timeless. Teach your children Greek values: to question and look at the world critically, to value the dignity and worth of the individual, to love freedom. More importantly, teach them the central importance of a loving God in their lives.

Greek values are universal values that we ignore to our detriment. They are not the exclusive possession of the Greeks who gave them freely to the world nor are they something the mighty can buy. A country's worth is not determined by its possessions or its power, it is determined by the content of what is in the hearts and minds of its citizens.

One of the great things about the Internet is its ability to bring people together from all corners of the world, in our case, Greeks, many of whom have never lived in Greece. In this way we learn from each other and engage in one of the most Greek activies, dialogue and the exchange of ideas.

kosta

This is one of the problems the claim that our culture is universal. There is no such thing. Suffice it to say we have been interacting with the socalled "international community" since our independance and we are always getting the short end of the stick in order to deal with the North and East menace. I think its time we developed our internal resources in order to come back to the table at a later time. In the meantime we can play cat and mouse, but the current "Western" trajectory is obviously leading us to slow euthenasia.

Chris Georgallis

Hi Gentlemen,
i'm so glad that my poem has evoked such discussion. That is what any writer or poet can only hope for?
I really believe that as a race, we are one of the most brilliant, creative and courageous peoples of the western world. Where i feel we really lack ,is in the ability to work together for a common cause, except when disaster strikes?
One of my favourite authors quotes: "everything rises or falls on leadership"( John Maxwell)
Leadership is; " the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence"
Montgomery (British Field Marshal)
WHERE ARE OUR LEADERS ?
We have had precious few who can really inspire or have inspired confidence( in modern times); or who had the vision and moral character to rouse us as a nation to see beyond our past; at the infinite possibilities of our todays and our tomorrows!

We need to highlight the talent and accomplishments of our fellow modern Greeks.

We need to accept what we are today and not live in yesterdays.

I BELIEVE WE NEED TO REDISCOVER THE GOD GIVEN PURPOSE AND MISSION OF MODERN GREECE?

The ancients, were the firestarters of civilization; The Byzantine Greeks took , the Eastern Christian Roman Empire to the slavic, Bulgarian and Russian peoples of the world.

For over 1000 years they defended civilization against repeated barbarian attacks and Moslem European expansion. The Levant, Norh Africa, the Southern Mediterranean, Greece, Anatolia, the Eastern European and Russian lands all were directly affected and protected for generations. They were responsible for the preservation and integration of classical thought with Christian overtures into a Greco- Judeo Christian world view, which spread into the consciousness of the western mind!

The freedom fighters of 1821, fought for an ideal greater than themselves FREEDOM and FAITH. The generation of the Second World War fought againt the facism of the Nazis to emphasize that as a poor nation we were still a nation who fought for freedom, a proud nation and nobody's doormat!

Today Greece is visionless.

With so many Greeks pioneers in business and industry world wide, it amazes me that we cannot team up these social and economic entrepreneurs, with the political leadership and state structures and come up with public/ private, partnerships which propell our nation forward and expose and destroy the corruption and unecessary beaurocracy which has strangled any type of meaningful economic, social, and national creativity???

WE NEED TO REBRAND OUR NATION.

We need to rebrand and redefine what being Greek means..... today.
We need to HAVE A VISION for our todays and tomorrows.
Our enemies are many.
There are many for whom a strong Greece is a threat. We need to identify them and bring them close, so we can be aware of what, when and where they intend to strike?.

We have thousands of Moslem refugees pouring into our nation. By befriending them, reaching them with the love of Christ we can open up huge doors of opportunity for ourselves both spiritually and economically with these emerging economies.

We need to be less reactionary as a people and more pro active in solutions to modern European problems. We are experts at turning adversity to triumph and every Greek family has at least one such story?
We need to forge alliances with our allies from a position of strength which offer mutual benefit.
Wouldn't it be amazing if WE become pioneers in social rejuvination and economic transformation and get people to invest and re invest in us, as a people again?

In eduction , sport, the creative arts and media we need to become leaders again.

When people feel good they can achieve great things? The phrase "then ginete " needs to be replaced with " ginete ".

WE NEED TO BELIEVE AGAIN.

As a nation we have lost our moral centre.

We need values and virtues to replace corruption and vice.

Our religious leaders need to wake up and PREACH the living WORD of GOD again? We need to adopt the values of philotimo and uprightness of character.

Most men in Greece value themselves by their virility and size of their... pocket.

Its time to deal with this moral vacuum and this is a heart issue.

I BELIEVE in our race. But i also believe a corrupt race is a doomed race.

We are corrupt in our morals, in our values and in our expectations.
We need to rediscover the values of real men. These are in my opinion Christian values.

They were also the values of our pre Christian forefathers who allowed rational thought and reason to triunph over fear and superstition.

It is no accident that Socrates is termed by Theologians as a proto Christian. He died for claiming there were not many Gods but one God? He was a man who had the courage of his convictions. He was a man of integrity!

As a Christian, my moral compass is Jesus Christ.

This Easter we celebrate His resurrection with CHRISTOS ANESTI- Christ is Risen!

As Greeks we need to rediscover our CHRIST in our hearts and resurrect HIS values in our nation!

ONLY IN THIS MANNER WILL GREECE EMBRACE ITS GOD GIVEN DESTINY.

We can make a greater difference in our geopolitical arena than any other western nation.
We can build bridges with our enemies. We can create our own powerful economy by being the pioneers we were created to be.
We can build up our military capability through srategic alliances and by recreating an industrial manufacturing capability within the Greek world,even allowing us to manufacture our own weaponry?( much like our friends the Turks). In this way we can defend the cause of Cyprus, Epirus, the Agean islands etc from a position of economic and military strength?
We have i believe the moral high ground and we need to communicate this MUCH MUCH better in the West particularly.
This could be a big role played by Greeks of the diaspora?
If we could mobilize our national conciousness to by-pass TALKING and.... ACT, ACT, ACT, we can begin the process of recreating self belief as a nation.
As the scripture says" as a man thinketh, so he is" The same is true of a nation!
We can do all this .
WE NEED THE LEADERS TO CHAMPION THIS CHANGE? I pray daily for these men and women to stand up and be counted. I suspect many will come from the most unlikely of spheres.
I love my nation , its time my nation began humbly and prayerfully believing in itself and loving itself again.
Sorry for my ramblings but those of us crazy enough to believe in what seems impossible are often the ones who help make the impossible possible?
Christo.

kosta

We should just leave both West and East and be Hellas at the centre but pretend to be in blocs. The Israelis have mastered the tactic we should mimic them. We need a third strategic partner but also our own capital formation centres and take control of our own physical wealth and establish innovation drivers. Unfortunately a modern economy is mostly fueled by vices so your project of return to God seems also a return to subsistence. What is clear now is that we are no relevant to the EU-World Bank-IMF centres(small population etc not enough consumers) and the only thing that keeps our decrepif establishment in power is our strategic location. That said, I'm not sure if its possible to reestablish a diversified policy in an increasingly monolithic world where our masses our entering the Third World again. These are critical days.

kosta

I would also disagree with you in that monotheism is one of the problems it has made us mostly a petit bourgeois people, superstitious and inculcates human dependance. I'm reminded of a song by a Greek black metal band "Dorians Return to the Earth"

Stavros

Chris,

I will reprint your letter as a post at a later time to give it greater exposure. Superb!

Kosta,

I never said our culture was universal, only our values. The materialism of our age makes it difficult to believe in anything we cannot explain and therefore characterizes faith as superstition and dependence.

I am always uplifted when Greeks finally begin again to open their eyes and seek answers to their questions, even Christ admired us for those qualities.

Have a blessed Holy Week.

kosta

But it inculcates qualities in us which are hardly robust. Hence we are always looking to things other then ourselves to save us or construct us as if they were our Church and God.

kosta

Thats why we should return to our Dorian origins or adopt the ethics of our enemies while developing our beehive.

Joseph

Dear gents,
I am inspired by the enthusiasm here, by the positive and energetic thinking of the way to deal with these challenging times for Greece.
Being Greek is something to be proud of, for so many reasons mentioned here, but above all, I think that the sense of just, yearn for freedom and the innovation Greeks have brought to the world that need to keep their heads up. It was this small nation that tilted the direction of WW2. Greece dragged Nazi Germany to fight a war they did not plan for and delayed their attack on Russia and left the German forces to fight the Russian winter and the Red Army. The face of this earth could have looked completely different had it not been for Greece and its bravery. I am sure this nation can still unit and prevail.
On a separate note, I would like to thanks Stavros for his good advice. The love for mankind and for god is something to hang on to. I intend to pass it on to my children. They are now open minded and ready to listen (at times…) and so now is the time to show them the way.
Please forgive me for being late in wishing you all a blessed Holy Week of Easter. Bless you all

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