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Greek eatery means big menu November 12, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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My Big Fat Greek Restaurant is the picture of excess. No one will leave hungry, and surprisingly, most won’t leave unsatisfied. Big menu and big portions!

Stick with the Greek dishes, starting with the fat Greek combo with pita. It’s a platter of epic proportions. Spanakopita, the phyllo pastry filled with spinach and feta cheese, has plenty of spinach and cheese stuffed inside. Dolmades, grapes leaves stuffed with ground lamb and rice, are moist and flavorful. Keftedes, meatballs topped with tomato sauce are also excellent. Taramosalata is a dip made from fish roe, olive oil and cream, and this is a really good version. Hummus and the tzatziki are tasty too. The size of this platter can feed two people for a light dinner, and is a bargain for the price. Moussaka has the usual layers of eggplant, zucchini, ground beef and lamb and a thick layer of bechamel. Again, a huge portion, and you will be surprised to taste the nutmeg and other traditional spices the dish is famous for.

For dessert, five little baklava “rolls” are stacked on top of one another, then topped with a huge ball of vanilla ice cream rolled in pistachios, then doused with a shot of ouzo and Bacardi 151. Would the Greek skip the 151? Absolutely. But we’re talking about bringing Greek to the masses.

Southeast Valley locations: 525 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, (480) 966-5883; 3305 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, (480) 726-3036; 900 S. 54th St., Chandler, (480) 705-4008; 6447 E. Southern Ave., Mesa, (480) 981-0010.

Greek PM attends Greek Union of US Veterans event November 12, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece News.
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Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Saturday evening attended an event organised by the Greek Union of US Veterans.

Karamanlis, accompanied by his wife, Natasa, and mother, Aliki, sat through a concert at the event in northern Athens. No statements were made afterwards.

Most of the union’s members served with the US armed forces in Greece and are married to Greek citizens. Saturday’s event was in honor of America’s war dead.

Teachers need to know when to act over child abuse II November 12, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Lifestyle, Police & Crime.
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What is child sexual abuse?
Sexual abuse of a child is any sexual act between an adult and a child. This includes:

Fondling: touching or kissing a child’s genitals; or making a child fondle an adult’s genitals.
Violations of bodily privacy: forcing the child to undress, spying on a child in the bathroom or bedroom.
Child pornography: using a child in the production of pornography, such as a film or magazine.
Exposing children to pornography (movies, magazines, or websites) or enticing children to pornographic sites on the internet.
Luring a child for sexual liaisons, through the internet or by any other means.
Exposing children to adult sexuality in any form (showing sex organs to a child, forced observation of sexual acts, telling “dirty” stories, group sex).
Child prostitution or sexual exploitation (using a child to perform sex with others).
Sexual acts with a child: penetration, intercourse, incest, rape, oral sex, sodomy.

Regardless of the child’s behaviour or reactions, it is the responsibility of the adult not to engage in sexual acts with children. Sexual abuse is never the child’s fault.

Sexual child abusers can be: mothers, fathers, siblings, or other relatives, childcare professionals or babysitters, members of the clergy, teachers, or athletic coaches, foster parents or host families of foreign-exchange students, neighbours or friends, and strangers.

Information from > www.helpguide.org

Teachers need to know when to act over child abuse November 12, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Lifestyle, Police & Crime.
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Teachers need to voice suspicions of child sexual abuse, rather than keep quiet and risk the abuse continuing with detrimental effects for the victim, experts said this week.

“Sometimes children have no one else to speak to and try and tell teachers about the abuse they are suffering… It’s not easy for a head teacher to speak out about a child’s possible sexual abuse but he or she has a legal obligation to protect the child,” DISY deputy Stella Kyriakides said. “Just because there are very few reports of sexual abuse from schools does not mean that it’s not going on,” she added.

Kyriakides, who is a child psychologist, was giving an open lecture on ‘Child Sexual Abuse’ organised by the Family Planning Association on Tuesday night.

“We have to take on board the very serious responsibility of protecting the child. It will not be up to the teacher to make the diagnosis, but he or she will report it to the family councillor and the appropriate procedures will then be followed to investigate the suspicions, and the right person will make the diagnosis,” she said.

Although one or two teachers attending the lecture expressed concerns about the consequences of reporting such a serious issue based purely on suspicions, Legislation Commissioner Leda Koursoumba, who was also at the lecture, said that sexual abuse came under the legal umbrella of violence and therefore by law anyone who worked with children and had knowledge that a child was being abused was legally obliged to report it so that the matter could be investigated. “They have a responsibility to ensure it is investigated,” Koursoumba stressed.

Kyriakides explained that it was not easy for children to speak out about abuse, which was why it was important for teachers and parents to take any signs and efforts to communicate the abuse seriously. “Abusers very often go to great lengths to make sure no one finds out and threaten the child that if he or she speaks out they’ll say what’s going on is his or her fault, they’ll say something bad will happen to them or their family members.”

The child psychologist said the abuse could sometimes go on for years, confusing the child because it was not clear about what was happening or about its own sexuality, and often felt guilty and responsible. “Sometimes children try to communicate what is going on but adults just don’t hear it. Many times it’s depicted through their drawings because they can’t put it in words, which is why it’s important for programmes to be implemented in schools that raise sensitivity and awareness on this issue.”

Kyriakides said abusers were very often family members such as an uncle or parent, though less so mothers, or childcare professionals such as teachers, camp leaders and psychologists. “People with easy access to children, who find ways to get close to children,” she said. “For each child abuse case, not just sexual abuse, that is reported we estimate that there are four cases not reported. In the past we thought that it didn’t happen here due to the close knit family unit that exists in Cyprus. “Today we know that all of forms of abuse happen here too, with the internet a growing problem,” the deputy said.

Kyriakides said children or adolescents who were victims of sexual abuse often had low self-esteem, suffered from anxiety and depression, displayed self-destructive behaviour, had delayed speech or were hyperactive, and cried easily. “A lot of the time abuse manifests in physical conditions which is why it is hard to determine whether abuse is in fact taking place. But that’s not to say that all children displaying these symptoms are being abused.” She added: “Sexual abuse can happen to anyone and be inflicted by anyone. It has nothing to do with socio-economic status or education.”

In order to protect children, Kyriakides suggested giving children the correct sex education in schools and helping them understand their bodies and what was allowed and not allowed. “They have to learn to say no and to learn how to speak out and have confidence to ask for help,” she said.

Parents also had to respect their children’s boundaries and not to walk in on them while they were having a shower for example so as to allow their children’s sexuality to develop normally. “Abusers are more often men and in the close family environment. Victims can be girls or boys and those at high risk are the ones where abusers feel they are vulnerable or neglected, children that spend lot of time alone and unsupervised. They look out for the more vulnerable ones which are also less likely to speak out.”

She added: “It’s important that when children do try to speak to their parents that they listen. They also need to learn that what happened is not their fault, that that they didn’t provoke it and that the adult was to blame.”

Cyprus President broaches nation’s problem with Pope November 12, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus News, Cyprus Occupied, Religion & Faith.
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Benedict XVI disturbed by photos of Christian churches destroyed by Turkish forces.

The book of photographs is showing Orthodox Christian churches in the Turkish-occupied northern area of the island that had been destroyed or converted into hotels and bars.

Pope Benedict XVI looked through a book of photographs presented to him as a gift by Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos during a private audience at the Vatican in Rome yesterday. The photos in the album depicted churches reduced to rubble during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in July 1974.

After Benedict welcomed the Cypriot President at the entrance to his library in the Apostolic Palace, the President showed the leather-bound album to the Pontiff, who looked upset as he leafed through the pages. Many of the pictures showed churches reduced to rubble, while others had been converted to restaurants, shops or other secular uses.

Benedict was said to have been pained and moved by the book. “So much destruction, it is incredible, such destruction… incredible,” Benedict uttered, according to pool reporters who covered the greeting before the Pontiff and the President began their private talks. A Vatican statement singled out “with satisfaction” that Catholics on the island enjoy religious freedom. The Greek Cypriot population of Cyprus is largely Orthodox.

“The Pope was very upset and expressed feelings of deep concern,” Papadopoulos later said of Benedict’s reaction to the photographs. “We all know his concern and deep interest in the preservation of churches and freedom of religion.”

The Vatican said that the Pontiff and the Cypriot President “dwelled above all on topics dealing with the integration of the European continent and dialogue between cultures and religions which favors both sides getting closer.” The Vatican statement did not mention any particular cultures or religions in the context of integration.

Speaking to reporters in Rome, Papadopoulos said the talks did not address the Pope’s November 28 to December 1 trip to Turkey or the predominantly Muslim country’s efforts to gain EU membership.

Touching on the problems of the divided island, the Pope “listened to our views and, of course, as it was expected, His Holiness gave me his advice based on the need for reconciliation of disputes,” Papadopoulos told reporters.

The meeting took place just weeks before Pope Benedict is due to visit Turkey. The Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union in May 1st, 2004 but remains a divided country. Reunification talks are at a stalemate.

Fetopita > Feta Cheese Pie November 12, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Recipes.
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1kg village flour
1 glass olive oil
1 glass orange juice
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder

For the filling >
2 Cyprus haloumi cheese, grated
1 Greek feta cheese, crumbled
4 eggs
fresh mint
1 tsp baking powder
pinch ground mastic

Method >
Mix all the ingredients together. Pour in enough water to make a soft dough. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, make the filling. In a clean bowl put all the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Divide the dough into two and roll out on a floured surface. Line a 25cm round flan. Spoon in filling and cover with the other rolled pastry. Remove excess pastry and brush with beaten egg.
Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes depending on the oven.

Maze > One to impress November 12, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Nicosia.
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Not The Maze or Amaze, just Maze. Divided into two distinct areas, a ground-floor lounge that caters for the in-a-hurry, serve-me-quick brigade, open for lunches and evening snacks; and the top floor, top drawer, leisurely diner.

It was top floor for us. The eye is immediately drawn to the decor, an explosion of colour emanating from the glass wall panelling, the spectrum has been plundered and lit to engage the optical senses. It was worth the visit for this alone. The tables are set for those who like a little room between them and the braying masses. So far, so pleasing.

A waitress immediately appears and takes the order for drinks; a large ouzo and a warming Black Label for the companion; did I mention we had arrived in the monsoon season? Next, the charming and informed Romanian member of staff with the evening menu, we are given sufficient time to make our selections. In many establishments one is either ostracised or hassled, not at Maze.

The card offers a selection of four cold or seven warm starters. The cold ranges from Bruschetta; diced tomatoes, fresh basil drizzled with virgin olive oil, to salmon variations, which comprises smoked salmon mousse, spiced salmon tartar, samosa with spinach and salmon, and potato blini with Keta caviar. This restaurant has a way with salmon. I chose salmon carpaccio, this is spiced with cumin, and served with a coriander flavoured yoghurt mousse, and sweet and sour mango coulis.

The Black Label orders deep fried mushrooms, stuffed with various cheeses. My order arrives on a square china platter containing six thick-cut slices of salmon, and a dressing of mango, accompanied by what I imagine are rice noodles, but am not sure whether I am to eat or admire; it was for decoration I believe, for after trying one, I proceeded no further. The salmon was delicious, but a little chilled for my taste, this is the price of arriving early. My companion offered a taste from his plate, which should provide a lesson to all those establishments that regularly drown weary old fungi in stale oil and expect us to be pleased with the result. These are a delight; crisp, flavour-full and hot.

Various salads are offered, and the fig and apple with cherry tomatoes, fresh mint, lettuce, with a nutty balsamic dressing appealed, but we moved on to the main courses.

The companion, who is a monster for red meat, is tempted by the thin-cut fillet on garlic pitta, but on enquiring as to its exact depth, settled for the beef fillet, which comes in two sizes, large and larger; this is Irish beef at its best. There are various side dishes and he selects potato wedges. I love duck, but it seems only to appear on Chinese menus where it is ceremoniously cremated, and saturated with fat. However; at item 42 on the main menu, is duck breast, with port wine, walnut mustard and wild berry sauce. Bring it on.

The little Romanian cautions me, ‘it is served pink’. ‘What other way is there?’ I respond.
Not since the height of ‘nouvelle cuisine’ in a very snotty hotel in Cluny, have I eaten a better duck; sheer perfection. My only criticism, is that the duck is served on a bed of grilled vegetables, none of which I like, courgettes, peppers and carrots, but it’s just me.

It is now past 9:30pm and the place is filling up. Who is there? The old money, the new money and the girls’ night out. As the place fills, the staff go into warp-drive, this is an establishment where the management are right on the money. No one is kept waiting.

There are nine items on the sweet menu as well as a cheese platter. I go for the panna cotta served with mango and strawberry sauces, in separate dishes, in case you were wondering. The companion selects exotic fruit melange with lemon sorbet and almond tulip. We could have had ‘death by chocolate’ or fondue from chocolate with fresh fruit. Mine is so good, my companion wants it.

There is a reasonably priced wine list, for a restaurant of this quality, and a staggering selection of cocktails, liqueurs and exotic soft drinks. I choose an espresso.

This is a restaurant, where you can take the in-laws, the outlaws, the business group or anyone else you wish to impress, they will not let you down. In the words of the immortal, Wodehouse, it is ‘one of the ones’.

SPECIALITY international cuisine, WHERE 42, Stasikratous street, Nicosia, CONTACT 22 447447, PRICE 3-course meal for 2, £52