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Greek Festival 2007 > Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral May 8, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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The Greek Festival, an annual event held under one of Hampton Roads biggest tents on the grounds of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Norfolk, begins Thursday, May 17 and will run through Sunday, May 20. The 2007 Greek Festival, Tidewater’s oldest and largest ethic festival, will include the traditional Greek cuisine, exciting entertainment, arts and crafts, a cooking school, and a Drive-Thru!

Food and music highlight the festival. Outdoor stands will sell everything from shish kebob to baklava all homemade in the flavorful tradition of Greek cuisine. The food will be available for take-out or may be eaten at tables in the outdoor tents at the festival.

The cooks in the kitchen have a combined total of over 100 years of restaurant experience from various local eatieries. The variety of Greek specialties will include Greek salad; fried calamari; charcoal-broiled souvlaki (shish kebob); moussaka (sliced eggplant combined with ground beef, spices and tomato sauce topped with a sauce of eggs, butter, cheese and milk); chicken lathoregano (charcoal-broiled chicken marinated in a sauce of olive oil, lemon juice and oregano); spanakopita (a blend of spinach and feta cheese baked in filo pastry leaves); pastitsio (a macaroni casserole with ground sirloin of beef topped with a creamy cheese sauce), and Greek-style French fries.

A variety of delectable Greek pastries and breads will also be available, including galaktoboureko (a filo custard pastry) and loukoumades (the mouth-watering, hot honey-sweet fritter pastries).

The Drive-Thru will be located along the circular drive in front of the Cathedral and adjoining Chapel. Those on-the-go in their vehicles will enter from Granby Street, select their choices of complete dinners and pastries from a special menu, and be on their way.

A special Senior Citizens Day will be held on Thursday, May 17. Throughout this day, senior citizens will receive a 10% discount on all items offered in the a la carte food line.

The Annunciation Dancers will entertain festival-goers every day and evening with performances of traditional Greek dances. The Greek band Levendes will perform a variety of live Greek music throughout the festival.

New this year will be an after-hours Taverna. Since the festival is in close proximity to apartments and houses, the music, dancing, and revelry must end to respect our neighbors, so for those who wish to party-on, the Taverna (to be held in the small hall adjacent to the Cathedral) will continue the festivities inside until 1 or 2am.

Also returning this year is the Greek cooking school, held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, May 19. The one-hour class will involve the preparation of the various Greek foods served at the festival, such as baklava and spanakopita.

A wide variety of artwork, gold, and fine jewelry will be displayed in the Hellenic Hall in the Agora (Marketplace), with internationally known artists highlighting the art exhibit.

Church tours will be conducted throughout the festival, and a special Choir Concert will be held Sunday afternoon at 2:30 in the Cathedral.

The Greek Festival will run from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday; 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and Noon to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral is located at 7220 Granby Street (one-half mile south of Wards Corner) in Norfolk. Admission and parking is free and open to the public.

Ancient Greek inscription on display at Israel Museum May 8, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Asia.
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A recently deciphered ancient Greek stele (inscribed stone slab) is currently on display at the Israel Museum. The stele was produced in 178 B.C.E. at a time when the region was ruled by the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire.

The inscription depicts events that preceded the Hasmonean rebellion. It mentions King Seleucus IV, who occupied the throne before Antiochus IV, the target of the Maccabean revolt, and the king’s chief minister Heliodorus, who sparked the first open conflict between Greeks and Jews by attempting to seize funds from the Second Temple.

Researchers are unsure where exactly the inscription was discovered, and examinations commissioned by the museum failed to uncover any signs the inscription was inauthentic. The stele was deciphered by two leading ancient inscription researchers: Hannah Cotton-Paltiel of Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Professor Michael Woerrle of the German Archaeological Institute in Munich. American-Jewish philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, who acquired the stele a few months ago, gave the stele to the museum on an extended loan.

The inscription appears on the uppermost part of a stone column engraved with three letters. To date, this is the second stele from this period to be found in the region. The inscription describes King Seleucus IV’s appointment of senior Greek clerk Olympiodorus to oversee sanctuaries in Israel and surrounding areas. In the first letter, King Seleucus IV informs his deputy Heliodorus of the appointment and the second and third announces more minor appointments.

Greek myth brought to life May 8, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Africa.
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The Tshwane University of Technology, Department of Drama and Film Studies, South Africa, is producing an innovative performance: Atalanta.

The show will premiere at the National Arts Festival this year. Prior to this, rehearsals will be staged at the Rostrum Theatre, Arts Campus, 24 Du Toit Street (corner Du Toit & Struben), Pretoria from Thursday to Saturday, which will be open to the public.

Inspiration has been taken from the Greek myth, Atalanta. Atalanta was one of the first women who took on men at their own game. Not only could she hunt as well as any man, she could also beat them in a foot race, many a man’s head rolled as proof .

The show highlights the psychosexual elements already inherent in Greek mythological characters, bringing them into the 21st century.

It has been devised and directed by Janine Lewis and will be presented as a post-modern Live Art exploration. It forms an inventive installation in and around which the action takes place. Texts from John Goddard and Antjie Krog have been included.

For more info and bookings for this week, contact Cathy Steynfaardt at 012-382-6150. 

Armenian pilgrimage visit Monastery in occupied north May 8, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.
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Two hundred Armenians on Sunday returned to the abandoned mediaeval Monastery of Saint Magar in the occupied and Turkish military controlled northern part of Cyprus, where prayers were said for the first time in 33 years.

“It was a great success and a very moving experience, which brought back many, pleasant, old memories,” said Vartkes Mahdessian, the Armenian deputy in the House of Representatives.

Many of the pilgrims used to spend a great deal of time at the Monastery until the Turkish invasion in July 1974, and they were escorted to the site by a United Nations patrol and Turkish Cypriot police. The trip took place following an initiative from Mahdessian, with the help of the Armenian Metropolis and the UN.

“Many young people came along with us and our trip raised awareness, not only among our youth but also with Greek Cypriots,” he explained.

The pilgrimage was in homage to the pre-invasion days, when people used to attend religious services there on the first Sunday of May. It wasn’t all good news though, as the visitors found the church to be in a derelict state, with many inscriptions destroyed. The perpetrators are thought to be prospective illegal developers who had set their sights on transforming the Monastery into a casino. Eyewitnesses reported that many buildings had no roofs and are in danger of collapsing.

“It was all very upsetting to see,” said Mahdessian.

Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian led those present in a prayer of grace, Hayr Mer in Armenian, while some had brought candles with them to mark the holy day of the Monastery’s saint, a Coptic recluse who had lived in the caves below the present site of the Monastery in the 12th century.

The 9,000-acre estate of olive, citrus and carob trees leads down to the occupied northern seashore, which lies within a military zone and near a Turkish army camp in the Kyrenia mountain range.

“My intention is to organise a similar pilgrimage every year on the first Sunday of May,” the deputy said. “We must remind ourselves of our heritage before the older generations start to disappear.”

The Splendor of Greece May 8, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Books Life.
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“The Splendor of Greece” > By Robert Payne (Harper)

Robert Payne’s “The Splendor of Greece,” published in 1960, takes the armchair traveler back nearly 50 years to a time when travel book writers came to their subjects with intentions different from their modern counterparts.

Contemporary books recounting the adventures of an eager pilgrim in Paris or romantic rural Spain or hidden and lovely Portugal tend to focus on the private and the problematic. How I coped with a flat tire in this or that charming, dusty town; how my 5-year-old learned to curse in patois while I grew fresh basil and got over my divorce.

Payne, a hugely prolific writer with a seeming penchant for seeing and describing the whole world “The Splendor of Persia”, “The White Rajahs of Sarawak” and “Forever China” are among his 110 other titles, sets each of his 16 chapters in a different part of Greece, taking the reader on a tour of noteworthy areas, sketching the town’s history, myths and archaeology, discussing, sometimes over-rhapsodizing about, its art, and making note of what its current inhabitants are doing. Payne’s prose is that of a man pays attention to detail, and fully intends that we will see what he sees.

“Splendor” is also a travel book with a simple thesis: most Western ideas about freedom, beauty and truth came from ancient Greece in the wake of its winning liberty from the Persian empire in 480 B.C. The recent movie “300” tells part of this story. Victory over Persia ushered in the classical age with all its art, drama, learning and science; human achievement became akin to holiness. As Payne tells it, “holiness must come again, for it has been too long from the earth.”

Greece signs contract for wind energy forecasts May 8, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Energy.
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Garrad Hassan America Inc. has been awarded a contract to supply its GH Forecaster service to the Hellenic Transmission System Operator (HTSO/Desmie, the Greek TSO) with the objective of forecasting short term wind energy production throughout Greece for the next three years.

The project, System for the Prognosis of Wind Electricity Generation, is run by Desmie and is jointly funded by the Greek government and the EU Regional Development Fund.

GH Forecaster will be used to provide short term forecasts of wind farm power from 1 hour to 48 hours for the current 750MW of installed wind capacity in Greece as well as additional wind power projects constructed within the next 3 years. Industry commentators expect the Greek capacity to be 3000MW by 2013.

When asked about their success with this significant contract in Greece, Dr Andrew Garrad, Director of Garrad Hassan and Partners Ltd., replied: This is a fantastic achievement for the GH Forecasting team. We now forecast for over 2GW of wind power worldwide and this figure is increasing rapidly. Garrad Hassan will combine its extensive international experience and proven modelling methods with the detailed local knowledge of our project collaborator, Facets, to provide Desmie with high quality forecasts. Short term forecasting makes wind farms look like conventional power stations and is a fascinating example of the way in which good science can substantially increase the value of wind energy and explode the myth of unreliability.

Related Links > http://www.garradhassan.com

Turkey tenders for oil search, set to irk Cyprus May 8, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Oil Crisis.
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Turkish oil company TPAO has opened a tender for oil and gas exploration in the Mediterranean, it said on its website late on Sunday, a move likely to increase tensions over the divided island of Cyprus, according to a Reuters report. 

The proposal covers the same parts of the eastern Mediterranean as a tender launched by Cyprus in February. “We don’t know if this is true. If it is, it is another illegality committed by the Turkish side,” Christodoulos Pasiardis, the Cypriot government spokesman, said yesterday.

The winner of the Turkish tender would carry out two-dimensional seismic studies on a 4,000-kilometer (2,485-mile) area in the Mediterranean. Studies will continue for one year after the contract is signed, TPAO said. TPAO said if bidders wanted, they could also make an offer for exploration in the Black Sea on Turkey’s northern coast.