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Thessalonikis’ Gay and Lesbian Film Festival May 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Gay Life, Movies Life Greek, Religion & Faith.
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The Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, now in its ninth year, is running until Thursday at the Olympion Cinema in Thessaloniki.

glbt_film_festival.jpg  His Beatitude preached: «We are not conservative. We are traditionalists!» At a later date, sermonizing in Mytilene, on June 1999, our country’s fiery spiritual leader, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, added: «As you are well aware, we are not German or French. Nor are we English. We are mannish Greeks. Orthodox Greeks.» Consequently, we should not accept any «failings» such as homosexuality, his Beatitude went on to clarify in November 2004.

Now, we like to think that Greece is a fairly tolerant place, a nation in which diversity is celebrated in line with the traditions of antiquity, when homosexual relations between heroes were often honored.

Yet for the Greek Orthodox Church homosexuality remains a powerful taboo. Thus, it unreservedly condemns all expressions of sexual misconduct considered to be incompatible with the definite and unalterable function ascribed to sex by God’s ordinance and manifested in man’s experience as a law of nature.

All the same, it seems that the denouncing of homosexuality is a thing of the past. On April 26 the European Parliament in Strasbourg by a great majority adopted a resolution on homophobia in Europe.

One of the articles of the resolution reads as follows: «…whereas this resolution has been triggered by the proliferation of hate speech and other series of worrying events, such as the prohibition by local authorities of holding equality and gay pride marches, the use by leading politicians and religious leaders of inflammatory or threatening language or hate speech, and the failure by the police to provide adequate protection against violent demonstrations by homophobic groups, even while breaking up peaceful demonstrations.»

Moreover, an International Day against Homophobia on May 17 each year will mark our pan-European calendar.

Officially, our attitudes toward sex derive from the Old and New Testament. Even to this day, the Orthodox Church remains faithful to the Biblical and traditional norms regarding premarital sexual relations between men and women, only. And since every single word in the Good Book is absolutely true, rules on fornication, adultery, abortion and homosexuality must be obeyed if we do not want places like the island of Myconos or Plaka in Athens to become filled with pillars of salt or worse.

The position of the Orthodox Church toward homosexuality, unreserved condemnation of course, has been expressed by synods, canons and patristic pronouncements since the very first centuries of Orthodox ecclesiastical life. That is way back with the authors of Leviticus who proscribed homosexuality. But Leviticus also proscribes rare meat, bacon and shellfish.

Last year’s wisdom is, of course, this year’s folly. No, there were no – known – viruses before Christ, were there? Anyway, as any child knows, the best prevention against the AIDS virus is, what else? – virtue. But is it?

The question has been raised of possible contamination through the Communion Spoon and the possibility of changing the method of administering Holy Communion has been discussed. Other methods have been used in the past for administering the sacrament in church. In principle, therefore, the method could change again. Nevertheless, theologically, the Orthodox Church cannot accept that the sacrament would be a source of illness, since it teaches that it is a «medicine of immortality.»

Anyway, to date, not one single case of the transmission of any illness has been shown empirically to have been caused by participation in the sacrament. Furthermore, one of the primary objectives of all reforms under discussion at the European Parliament is to make the functioning of the Union more democratic.

Understandably, one of the first questions which must be answered by the Parliament is the following: Is it morally permissible, is it democratic, to enforce morality as such? And ought morality as such be a crime?

Another important resolution of the European Parliament threatens to take «homophobic» countries to court. No, Greece was not mentioned in this context.

Well, the truth is that if we want to survive we must stop giving birth to babies at the current Chinese or Indian rate. Yet this aspect has not been touched on by the Europarliament. At least for now. In an overpopulated world, the Biblical injunction to be fruitful and multiply is heeded less and less.

An article in the resolution on homophobia stipulates that equality and gay pride events across Europe should have nothing to fear from «possible physical violence.»

Therefore the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival now running, until Thursday, at the Olympion Cinema in Thessaloniki should have nothing to fear from traditionalists, local Prefect Panayiotis Psomiadis and his religious fundamentalist followers.

But is this indeed the case? Only three days ago, Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras admitted during a parliamentary debate that he was having problems combating what he called «a civil service mentality» in the police force. In actual practice and in the state of panic in which our forces of order now find themselves, what policeman could focus on his job in order to defend parading gays?

Greek Triumph > Panathinaikos clinches European cup in Athens May 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.
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Panathinaikos players (in green) compete for a loose ball with their CSKA Moscow opponents in yesterday’s Euroleague final at the OAKA indoor arena in Athens. The Athens side won its fourth European title after beating the Russian team, and previous European champion, 93-91.

greek_triumph.jpg  Panathinaikos won its fourth Euroleague title last night with a tense 93-91 victory over defending champion CSKA Moscow at a packed 18,000-capacity Olympic basketball arena in Athens.

The Athens club won its first Euroleague title in 1996 before proceeding with further triumphs in 2000 and 2002.

Panathinaikos led by a point at the quarter-time break but established a promising 10-point lead, 46-36, by half time as a result of effective attacking play. The Russians managed to cut this lead during the third period and overtook Panathinaikos for a 51-50 advantage. But Panathinaikos rebounded for a sturdy lead, 65-57, by the quarter’s end. Two three-pointers by American Trajan Langdon brought CSKA within two points with just over a minute of play remaining.

Both clubs were led to the final by two of European basketball’s most successful coaches. Panathinaikos’s Serb coach Zeljko Obradovic went into yesterday’s final having already won a record five European titles with four different clubs. Ettore Messina, CSKA Moscow’s Italian coach who led the Russian team to last year’s title, has won three European titles.

Earlier last night, Unicaja defeated fellow Spanish team Tau Ceramica 76-74 with a basket 1.2 seconds before the end to clinch third spot in the Final Four tournament.

Police reports said that 60 fans were held in custody at the Olympic Stadium’s police department in the lead-up to yesterday’s games after attempting to enter the arena without tickets.

The Greek capital is also preparing to stage another major sporting event later this month, the Champions League soccer final on May 23, when AC Milan and Liverpool meet for the European title.

Chrysallis-Close to Disability May 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness, Internet & Web.
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Microsoft Windows XP > The Accessible Way new e-Learning course released

Greek firm, Chrysallis-Close to Disability recently released an accessible e-learning course, Microsoft Windows XP – The accessible way, aiming to provide learners with the opportunities to decide for the pace and time that suits them best, to attend the course and receive support according to their needs. This high quality fully accessible e-learning course is offered to a wider target group, including people with and without disabilities, providing them equal opportunities for life long learning, new ways of communication and even for creative leisure activities.

The accessible e-learning course includes an explanation of Windows XP environment and its basic functions, configuration of the software and hardware of the computer, how to use Windows applications like WordPad and MS Paint, how to work with files, how to maintain and optimize the computer and other, including the Start Menu, the Control Panel, the Task manager, receiving help & support etc.

After completing the accessible Microsoft Windows XP – The accessible way e-learning course, the participant will acquire adequate knowledge in Microsoft Windows XP operating system. Hence, Chrysallis – Close to Disability has developed an innovative, fully accessible e-learning course on Microsoft Windows XP covering all the essential content to advance beginner computer users into an intermediate level.

Chrysallis is a non-profit organisation that strives to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. Chrysallis aims to work against the discrimination and exclusion that people with disabilities face in the society emphasizing the socialization by offering them opportunities for life long learning, support and knowledge in new technologies. The knowledge and experience of Chrysallis members on disability issues provides guidelines and suggestions for the best interest of people with disabilities focusing on new research and educational methods, accessibility issues, equality, independence as well as good practices.

Chrysallis – Close to Disability, 34 Veranzerou Street, Athens 10432, Greece, tel 210 52 30 444, info@chrysallis.eu  http://www.chrysallis.eu

Arrival of first Greek in Australia May 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora.
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A report published in a provincial Australian newspaper contains assertions that, if proved true, could completely change what is believed today to be the first arrival of Greeks in Australia.

Under the title, ”Greece”, The Gold Coast Bulletin refers to the migration of Greeks to Australia, beginning with George Pappas in 1814, the first Greek in the colony fleet, who jumped ship, married an aborigine and settled in Sydney.

The article notes that the official historical account of the first Greeks in Australia involves seven sailors from Hydra, who were arrested by the British Royal Navy for piracy and, after being convicted in Malta, were sent to Australia as convicts in 1829.

Sony lowers PSP prices for Cyprus to euro 170 May 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Games & Gadgets.
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Gibareio Ltd., Cyprus official distributor for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) announced that PSP (PlayStationPortable) would enjoy a new, lower price point in Cyprus of CyPounds 99 (170 euro), with the new price effective from last Friday.

In addition, five new Platinum titles will be launched concurrently with a new, lower price for all PSP Platinum titles of CyPounds 12.50 (21.50 euro), Ridge Racer 2, Tekken, Killzone, Loco Roco, and Moto GP.

“The combined effect of the two price reductions will unleash PSP, making it a ‘must have’ portable system for all entertainment enthusiasts, and allowing them to enjoy the breadth and depth of entertainment opportunities available from PSP,” explained Sharon Green, Managing Director of Gibareio Ltd. “PSP is unique and is constantly evolving. It offers the widest palette of mobile entertainment, from gaming to video, music, photos and internet, and now the unique possibility to connect to PlayStation3 remotely. With this new price point, and the launch of five new Platinum titles, PSP is more than ever, the handheld entertainment system of choice for the discerning gamer”.

For information on distribution and availability contact Gibareio Ltd on tel 22 352282 or e-mail: info@playstation.com.cy

Cyprus and Jazeera Airways sign tourism agreement May 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in News Flights, Tourism.
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Jazeera Airways and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) signed an agreement to promote Cyprus as a tourist destination in Kuwait and the Gulf countries.

The agreement, which was signed during a press conference in Nicosia by Chairman and Senior Executive Director of Jazeera Airways Marwan Boodai and CTO Chairman Panos Englezos, is the first between a Middle East airlines and a European state tourism organisation.

Speakers at the press conference said Jazeera Airways is the only private airlines in the Middle East which neither belongs nor is funded by a government, and is the only air carrier operating on an annual basis with scheduled flights between Kuwait and Cyprus.

Boodai said ”we will cooperate with CTO to achieve our goals and, along with the Organisation, we will continue to attract Kuwaiti tourists to fall in love with Cyprus all over again.” ”Cyprus is a beautiful European island, known for its culture, its amazing beaches and its hospitality. So you cannot but fall in love with it,” he said.

Englezos expressed his joy for the cooperation with Jazeera Airways, ”which will place Cyprus once again in the options of tourists from Kuwait and Dubai and will attract them to refresh their love for the island.”

The speakers told the press conference that in 2006 Jazeera Airways increased the visits of tourists to Alexandria by 194%, to Damascus by 65% and to Luxor by 65%, and that the increase of tourists benefited not only the airport but also the hotel and tourist industries of those cities.

It was also said that bookings on the island increased when Jazeera Airways, which has been operating for 18 months, began flights to Larnaca last month. With this new agreement with CTO, Jazeera Airways aims at the same results in routes between Cyprus and Gulf countries.

Greek documentary airs in Iraqi TV May 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Asia.
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Journey back in time to an era when one small nation was at the forefront of civilization itself; when achievement in mathematics, arts and the sciences enabled extravagantly beautiful architectural masterpieces to be erected in honor of the gods; when the wonders of the world stood proud and majestic- journey back to be witness to the World of Greece.

This magnificently presented series, shot on location in Greece, literally sweeps you away to ancient Greece and immerses you in its culture and landscape with beautiful imagery, maps, drawings and 3D reconstructions. Most amazing sites highlighted in this documentary include the Temple of Zeus, the Museum of Ancient Olympia and the Temple of Poseidon as well as the Parthenon, the Monuments of the Acropolis and the Sanctuary of Demetra.

Air Date: Mondays, at 12:00 local Iraqi time, Alsumaria Iraqi Satellite TV Network.