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UN project to trace the missing persons on Cyprus June 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.
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Chrystalla Pateva remembers the day 33 years ago when she last saw her father.

“It was August 23,” she said, writing the day down and underlining it on a piece of paper. “On August 23, 1974, the Turks came to our village and took 83 people. They put them in trucks and drove them away. My father, George, was among them, and my father-in-law, Christos Mias, and my sister’s husband, Andreas Diazkou. We never saw any of them again.”

In all, there are 1,468 Greek Cypriots still officially listed as missing on Cyprus, from the 1974 invasion resulting in the occupation and Turkish military control of the northern area of the Republic of Cyprus. The Turkish side claims 502 Turkish Cypriots are missing, and from which others disappeared even earlier, after inter-communal violence first broke out at the end of 1963.

Now, thanks to a project involving scientists from both sides of the island’s enduring divide, some of the mysteries of the missing may be solved. In a laboratory set in the middle of the UN buffer zone that runs between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides, anthropologists have been piecing together the remains of around 250 people recovered from mass graves since exhumations began last September.

“It’s tough work,” said Istenc Surec, a scientist, examining some recently exhumed bone fragments. “But people have been waiting years for news of their loved ones. I’m happy to do this work if it will help them.”

Bulldozed into trenches or often thrown down wells, the bodies come from both sides of the divided island. The scientists, who work for the UN-backed Committee for Missing Persons, are trying to match DNA from the skeletons they have exhumed with DNA samples taken from the families of the missing. The process requires a professional detachment hard to acquire on an island where few are untouched by the violence, the population in 1974 was just 500,000.

“I was working on some remains from an area where I knew some of my own relatives had disappeared,” said Theodora Eleftheriou, a scientist. “There was a moment when I realized that the remains I was handling were those of my own cousin.”

Ironically, moments like those have helped the affected scientists bridge the ethnic divide.

“We are first of all professionals,” Eleftheriou said, “but second we are friends, the Turkish and Greek Cypriots here. Since this project began, I’ve found that we are a lot like each other, with the same habits and likes and dislikes, the same reactions to things. That has also been a very important part of all this.”

Surec agreed. “We have worked together here, at the same time as putting these bones, these lives back together,” she said. “Some of us had never met people from the other side before, so we have discovered something else important here, too.”

The Committee, run jointly by a Turkish Cypriot, a Greek Cypriot and a UN appointee, is one of the few functioning projects crossing the divide. Set up in 1981, the Committee was able to start exhumations only last year, after decades of wrangling.

“It’s recognized now that this is a humanitarian issue, not a political one,” said Christophe Girod, the UN representative on the committee. “Returning the remains will hopefully help in reconciling the two communities.”

Until now, what they have shared is aching grief. “I know both sides did their worst back then,” said Pateva. “I also know that it doesn’t matter what your nation or religion is, the feeling of those who have missing loved ones is the same everywhere, pain.”

“It’s hard to describe what it is like to wake up every morning asking yourself, Where is my father? Is he alive or dead?” said Zorba, the Turkish Cypriot whose father and brother disappeared. “My mother never gave up believing my father would return one day, although she, too, now is dead. I never wanted revenge, though. We just want the remains back so that we can bury our dead and pray at their graves on special days.”

In late June or early July, the Committee plans to start releasing results of the DNA identifications and returning remains to families.

“This will be a traumatic time for the families,” said a Turkish Cypriot psychologist, Ziliha Uluboy. “Some may not want to know, or may still not believe this is the end of their hopes. Others will want to know how their relatives were killed.”

“I think most just want to be able to put flowers on the graves of their loved ones,” said Elias Georgiades, the Greek Cypriot representative on the Committee. “We can now help these people and we have a duty to do so, a duty to the missing, and to each other.”

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Britain’s Court of Appeal to refer Orams case points to European Court June 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.
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Britain’s Court of Appeal, before which the hearing in Meletis Apostolides’ appeal began on Monday, intends to refer certain points of the Orams case to the Court of Justice of the European Communities, which are substantive for the final outcome of the case, the CNA reports.

Lord Phillips, Lord Chief Justice, advised from the beginning of the hearing the lawyers of the litigants that it would be difficult to dissuade the Court. He called on the two parties to decide on the future procedure, that is to say if they agree with the position of the Court. If they agree, they should deliberate on the points to be referred and if they disagree, then a time-consuming procedure to dissuade the Court would follow.

After deliberations with her client, Linda Orams, attorney Cherie Booth Blair, wife of the outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair, said there should have been a consultation with the ”northern Cyprus”, an expression she used to describe the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. Apostolides’ attorney said his side has absolute faith in the Court.

In the end, the Orams side accepted and the hearing was adjourned for later on in the day to give the opportunity to the attorneys of the two sides to deliberate and agree on the points to be referred to the Court of Justice of the European Communities. However, the two sides had not concluded their deliberations by the time the Court was to reconvene and thus the hearing will be continued on Tuesday. If no agreement is reached on the points, then the Court will hear the arguments of each side.

The property case involves a British couple, David and Linda Orams, and Greek Cypriot refugee Meletis Apostolides. In 2004 the Nicosia District Court ordered Linda and David Orams to demolish the house and pay compensation to Greek Cypriot Meletis Apostolides. The Court ruling was not enforced because of the Orams’ appeal against it.

The case was brought to the Court by Apostolides, from the village of Lapithos, west of Kyrenia, when having visited the occupied north saw the house the Orams had built on his land.

In 2005, the Nicosia District Court upheld its previous decision in an appeal by the Orams couple. In 2006, the British High Court said it could not enforce the ruling of the Nicosia District Court in November 2004. Apostolides appealed against this decision.

The Orams lost the original case in Nicosia because they didn’t notify the court by the required deadline that they intended to defend themselves. Their application to have that verdict set aside was rejected and they are continuing their court dispute in the southern free area of the Republic of Cyprus. The Orams claimed in the U.K. case that they didn’t have a reasonable amount of time to respond because the court documents were in Greek and had to be translated into Turkish for their lawyer, then into English for the couple.

The internationally recognised government of Cyprus is prevented from exercising its jurisdiction in the northern part of the country because of the continuing military occupation by Turkey.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in December 1996 that Turkey, by virtue of its military presence in northern Cyprus, exercises effective control on that part of the island and is therefore responsible for what happens there. It also said that the Turkish Cypriot regime is a local administration subordinate to Turkey.

Elena Paparizou in Melodifestivalen 2008 June 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Greek.
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It is likely that Elena Paparizou will participate in Melodifestivalen 2008, according to the organiser of Melodifestivalen, the annual Swedish national final for the Eurovision Song Contest, Christer Björkman.

Since the Greek singer, who grew up in Sweden, won the Eurovision Song Contest for Greece in 2005, the Swedish organiser has been in contact with her in order to persuade Helena to take part in the Swedish selection as well.

Elena Paparizou represented Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev, Ukraine, with the song My number one and she won the competition; her song was commercially succesful all over Europe. Since then, she released two albums, one soundtrack  and various CD singles.

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet asked for the opinion of their readers. According to the poll, the public opinion showed clear preference in Elena Paparizou in order to represent Sweden for the first time. A 4th representation of Sweden by Carola clearly appears to be less interesting for the readers. Sweden will have to enter the semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008.

Eurostars in Cyprus Music Awards June 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Greek.
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The second Cyprus Music Awards will take place tonight, at 21.00, at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus.

A host of Eurostars have been nominated for the Aphrodite Awards and they will be performing tonight as well. Helena Paparizou, the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest winner will open the show and she will be followed by Evridiki, Dimitris Korgialas, Sarbel, and Konstantinos Christoforou among other artists.

Helena Paparizou (Greece 2005), Evridiki and Dimitris Korgialas (Cyprus 2007, Sarbel (Greece 2007), Constantinos Christoforou (Cyprus ’96, ’99, ’05) and Tamta (Greek Preselection 2007) will all perform tonight at the 2nd Cyprus Music Awards organised by Galaxy productions in cooperation with IFPI. The show will be hosted by Zeta Makrypoulia, the 2006 Greek commentator and Themis Georgantas of MAD TV.

This year’s nominated Eurostars for the Aphrodite awards are >

Best Female Artist of the Year 2007
Helena Paparizou
Peggy Zina (Greek preselection 2002)

Best Male Artist of the Year 2007
Michalis Hatziyiannis
Sakis Rouvas

Best Song of the Year 2007 (music/lyrics)
Comme ci, comme ça – Evridiki
Stasou ena lepto – Konstantinos Christoforou
Cheria psila – Michalis Hatziyiannis

Best Greek Album of the year 2007
Yparchei agapi edo – Sakis Rouvas
Filoi kai echtroi- Michalis Hatziyannis
Yparchei logos-Helena Paparizou

Best Single of the year 2007
Thes na kanoume schesi – Konstantinos Christoforou
Ola i tipota- Michalis Hatziyiannis

Best Newcomer of the year 2007
Tamta (Greek preselection 2007)

Best video clip of the year 2007
Comme ci, comme ça – Evridiki
Everything-Anna Vissi
Yassou Maria – Sarbel
Stasou ena lepto – Konstantinos Christoforou
Cheria Psila- Michalis Hatziyiannis

The show will be transmitted on Sigma TV at a later date, but you can listen live at > http://www.superfmradio.com

For more information > http://www.cyprus-musicawards.com/cyprus-musicawards/home.html

Comedy of errors > Shakespeare at Curium ancient theatre June 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Stage & Theater.
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It’s face paced wise cracks and misunderstandings as what is perhaps Shakespeare’s wittiest play takes to the stage at Curium

There’s a tale that has lasted throughout the ages that never fails to make audiences break out into fits of laughter. The story is one of identical twins, mistaken identities and the domino-like effect of confusing encounters. In this particular instance, it is essential that the identical twins have been separated almost at birth. It can really be none other Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors.

If all this talk of action gets you ticking, then you’ll be glad to know that the much-anticipated ‘Shakespeare at Curium’ will come to life this coming weekend. Staged by The Committee of the Performing Arts for Cyprus Charities, the proceeds from this year’s performance will be given to the Margarita Liasidou Foundation in Paphos, which provides a comprehensive service for the rehabilitation of children with special needs.

A Shakespeare play has in fact been performed at Curium in June every year since 1962, and this time round you can prepare for echoes of laughter around the ancient site as the farcical play comes to life. Characterised by slapstick humour, it is also Shakespeare’s shortest play with a wide appeal to all ages.

To make the best of the natural backdrop, stage design this year will be minimal, taking advantage of the theatre’s own grandeur. The costumes, designed by Francesca Pinoni, are inspired by Byzantine art, combining clarity and simplicity with deep, vibrant colours. It is directed by Colin Garland, who confesses an ongoing love affair with Curium, which he refers to as “one of the world’s most enchanting theatrical venues.”

As the play begins we are introduced to a merchant named Egeon who is away on business. Joined by his wife, it is on this trip that she gives birth to twin sons. Not satisfied with one set of twins however, Shakespeare adds another. In the same inn, at the same hour, another woman is also giving birth to identical male twins. Egeon decides to buy the twins from their poverty stricken parents with the intention of raising them to be servants to his own boys.

Travelling back home on ship, disaster strikes and they run into a ferocious storm. As fortune would have it, the ship is cut in half, with the father and one son and servant twin on one side, and the mother on the other side with the other two boys.

This is when all the drama truly begins. After the separation, it just so happens that both parents give the boys the same names, the sons are called Antipholus and the servant twins Dromio. The seeds of mayhem and chaos are now well and truly sown!
All this confusion could well be over the top but the light touch of the Bard just keeps the audience waiting for the next disaster.

Many years later, we see Egeon desperately searching for his son as Antipholus and his son’s slave both leave home in search of their two lost brothers. When the son and slave arrive in Ephesus, the home of their twin brothers, entanglements of people and incidents unfold at high speed, with equally rapid disentanglements. Surprise quickly follows surprise, so the audience can sit back, laugh and enjoy the jest. “It’s an absolutely classsic tale of mistaken identity with all it’s complications and confusions,” says Garland. “This is probably Shakespeare’s wittiest play and the course humour will amuse the audience no end.”

When the two men encounter the friends, spouses and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps ensue from wrongful slave beatings and near incestuous seduction and various accusations of infidelity, thievery and madness. Will the twin brothers ever be reunited? Will Egeon find his long lost wife? Sit back and let the drama unfold in an al fresco performance within the breathtaking cliff-top amphitheatre.

Shakespeare at Curium > A performance of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. June 22, 23 and 24. Kourion Amphitheatre, Limassol. 8pm. £8 adults/£4 students. Tel: box office: 99-990535, information: 99-427572.

The Extreme Sports Festival > schedule June 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Sports & Games.
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Friday June 22
Mountain Board Downhill World series, European Cup, & Cyprus Open.
These three events will take place between Parekklisia & Fionikaria from 8am until 5pm.
Wind surfing on simulator
Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting
Open skate park

Saturday June 23
Mountain Bike Downhill
Cyprus open Mountain bike downhill race on the Mountain Board track in Fionikaria from 11am until 2pm.
European Cup Freestyle Mountainboard competition 5pm to 7pm
Park Skate competition 2.30pm to 5pm
Clay Shooting individual & teams 2pm to midnight
Custom Bike competition bikes on site for judging by 4pm
Harley Davidson competition bikes on site for judging by 4pm
Wake boarding: Have your first wakeboarding lesson
Windsurfing on simulator
Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting
ATV/Quad bike driving
Open skate park
Mountain board mini-ramp to try

Sunday June 24
ATV/Quad bike competition to be held at Fionikaria
Motocross competition at Fionikaria both races on same track. Races held between 8am and 11am.
Jet Ski races and freestyle demonstration to be held in the Molos area of Limassol. Races start at 11.30 until 2pm
At the Festival Site:
Mountain board Freestyle Cyprus Open 5pm to 7pm
Skate board street 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Modified Motorbike. Bikes on site for judging by 4pm
Classic Bike. Bikes on site for judging by 4pm
Custom Paint Bikes. Bikes on site for judging by 4pm
Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting individual and teams 2pm to midnight
At the Festival site from 2pm until midnight:
Wake boarding: have your first wakeboarding lesson
Windsurfing on simulator
ATV/Quad bike driving
Open skate park
Mountain board mini ramp to try

Entrance Fee: £2 for adults and £1 for children.

The Extreme Sports Festival is back June 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Sports & Games.
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The Extreme Sports Festival is back with lots of exhibitions and sports for adrenalin rush seekers to try out. Paying no heed to the risk of breaking bones, we tried out three of those available

It’s back. After the huge success last year of the Extreme Sports Festival, those looking for more of an adrenaline rush can do so again this month at Extreme Cy 2007, the only extreme sports and leisure festival in Cyprus. Taking place at the Yermasoyia Riverbed car park in the tourist area, the event will be held between June 22 and 24 and is a sport junkie’s dream, featuring no less than 16 different activities.

According to organiser John Tice, the aim is to encourage local people to get more involved with the sports and pastimes that are available on the island and to encourage more sports tourism. He explained that, “the action sports are always the most popular, with downhill and freestyle mountain boarding packed with action. This year, Cyprus has been chosen to host the world series downhill event with athletes coming from around the globe.”

Tice added that the motorcycle competitions are also creating a lot of interest, “and we expect bikers from around Cyprus and Europe. “Really there is something for everyone either at the festival site or at one of the race events held in the Foinikaria area on the Friday and Saturday.”

Extreme Sport is a general term for sports featuring speed, height, danger or spectacular stunts. A feature of such activities is their alleged capacity to induce a so-called ‘adrenaline rush’ in participants.

Extreme sports are often associated with young adults wishing to push themselves to the limits of their physical ability and fear, in turn pushing the boundaries of a particular sport. This youthful demographic accounts too for extreme sports’ frequent association with youth culture, including its clothing, fashions and music.

The Sports > Kite Surfing, Wakeboarding, Windsurfing, Mountain Board Downhill, Mountain Board Freestyle, Mountain Bike, Jet Ski, Skateboard, Quad Bike/ATV, Motocross, Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting, Pool, Modified & Super Bike, Custom Bike & Harley, Paint Competition, Classic Bike.