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Alexander the Great > the Greek Macedonian King and Hero October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture History Mythology.
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Greek Macedonian King and Military Commander, born July 20, 356 B.C., died June 10, 323 B.C.

alexander_the_great.jpg  “There is nothing impossible to him who will try.”

At age 16, Alexander became a regent when his father, Philip, the King of Macedon, was commanding his army in war. Alexander inherited the throne of Macedon and Greece at age 20. Beginning with no money and a small army, he conquered much of the known world and accumulated one of the world’s largest treasuries. He captured the Persian Empire, which stretched across Asia Minor, the Middle East, Mesopotamia, Egypt and modern-day Iran. After pushing all the way to India, he finally turned back, his men tired and his Empire starting to weaken.

From an early age, Alexander showed great potential. He learned politics and warfare from his father; philosophy, ethics, politics and healing from Aristotle; and the importance of an ascetic lifestyle from Leonidis. Alexander became a brilliant ruler and formidable military leader beloved by his soldiers.

Alexander and Aristotle experienced a falling-out over the issue of foreigners. Like many other people at the time, Aristotle considered most foreigners barbarians. Alexander hoped to incorporate outsiders into his Empire. His progressive method of appointing foreigners to army posts and encouraging native troops to marry foreigners helped create stability in his Kingdom. Citizens welcomed Alexander as a liberator when he conquered Egypt in 332 B.C.

While Alexander married women and conceived children with them, he also had male sex partners, including a eunuch named Bagaos. Alexander and his closest friend Hephaestion spent considerable time together; scholars assume that their love was sexual. Although homosexuality was common in Greece, same-sex relationships occurred mostly between men and slaves or men and younger boys who were not yet citizens. Love between two males of similar age and social class was stigmatized, and may have jeopardized Alexander’s and Hephaestion’s status had its true nature been public.

After halting his conquests and returning from the Punjab to Babylon, Alexander died at age 32. He never lost a battle, created a colossal Empire, was revered by his army and controlled one of the world’s largest treasuries.

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Bill Clinton outlined views on 21st century challenges October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Politics, Shows & Conferences.
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The Capital Forum in cooperation with the American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce hosted a conference with keynote speaker the 42nd President of the United States of America, William Jefferson Clinton, on Friday, at the Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel in Athens.

Former US president Bill Clinton brought his message of viable development and market-friendly environmental advocacy for the 21st century to Athens on Friday evening, addressing an audience that included almost half of the government Cabinet, top opposition politicians and scores of senior executives.

Less than a day after defining a personal role for himself in a possible future Hillary Clinton administration, namely, to restore America’s standing overseas, as he said, the charismatic leader detailed his outlook on the challenges humanity will face in the coming 50 years. Clinton, 61, also outlined his leitmotif approach of “partnerships” between philanthropists, governments and the private sector around the world to tackle monumental problems, i.e. AIDS treatment and childhood diseases in the Third World.

True to form, the former US president and husband of top Democratic contender Sen. Hillary Clinton ticked off climate change, loss of resources and population explosion in the coming decades as the ecumenical challenges facing the world. However, he devoted a good portion of his address to the issue of “identity” as a source of numerous and intricate crises plaguing humanity, noting that this issue, in a sense, is behind global terror.

He said the issue of “identity”, beyond whatever legitimate problems and differences, dominates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; played a elemental role in the break-up and subsequent clashes in the former Yugoslavia, and today is evident in the grumbling, for instance, between Turkey and Iraq’s Kurds. He also mentioned the Cyprus problem as containing the issue of “identity” as well as thorny Greece-Turkey ties.

In fact, Clinton said the 1996 Imia incident, which almost resulted in an armed conflict between Greece and Turkey over an uninhabited rock islet in the eastern Aegean, actually made him a better president. Clinton said he realised the graveness of the incident, which was initially deemed as inconsequential by outsiders, after being briefed in detail by experts on Greek-Turkish relations.

Finally, he cited rapprochement between Athens and Ankara following the mutual assistance provided by each government when both countries experienced major earthquakes in the late 1990s.

Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis received Clinton at his Maximos Mansion office on Saturday, while the popular Arkansas statesman toured the Acropolis the same day. The event was jointly organised by the Capital Forum group and the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce.

Related Links > www.amcham.gr

Limassol’s Mayor launches cultural celebrations October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Exhibitions Cyprus.
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In an official ceremony at Limassol’s Evagoras Lanitis Centre yesterday, Mayor Andreas Christou launched the “European Cultural Heritage Days”, a series of cultural and entertainment events taking place in the seaside town throughout October.

“At an age of increased globalisation the protection and preservation of cultural heritage of each state and region is a significant challenge. The management of this heritage is the responsibility of the community, the Municipality as well as individuals,” said Christou.

The aim of these events is to showcase to people the architectural and cultural value of their surrounding environments. The days have been organised by the Council of Europe and the European Commission since 1991. Cyprus has been an annual participant since 1995.
This year’s events are themed around the relationship between cultural heritage and entertainment. The seaside town, with its intense commercial activity and matching entertainment scene was chosen as the ideal host to the Days. Events include dance performances, exhibitions at Evagoras Lanitis Centre, city tours and a Street Life Festival.

As part of the events, Finance Minister Michalis Sarris was present at the opening of a euro exhibition at the Carob Mill. The exhibition, which will start on October 22 and end on November 5, is part of the government’s new campaign to inform the public on the introduction of the euro in January. It will be held at the Evagoras and Kathleen Lanitis Centre.

Sarris also said there would be four euro-buses touring the island to offer information on the euro, especially to the residents of mountainous and secluded areas. The Famagusta Euro observatory yesterday announced its euro-bus would start touring the free Famagusta area on October 8, beginning from the Apostolos Pavlos Centre in Liopetri at 9am.

Greek President visits Elassona and Xanthi October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Culture Heritage, Religion & Faith.
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President Karolos Papoulias was proclaimed an honourary citizen of the city of Elassona, in central Greece, on Saturday where he arrived to attend events commemorating the 95th anniversary of the liberation of both the city and the wider region of Elassona from Turkish occupation in 1912.

President Papoulias said that the achievements of those warriors must create feelings of honour and pride and strengthen our determination to achieve the peaceful goals set before us today: progress, development, social justice and respect for the environment.

Referring in particular to the 1912-1913 Balkan Wars, President Papoulias stressed that the combination of courage, vision, faith in one’s goal and methodical movement constitute an example for every era, as well as for the current one.

President Papoulias also attended the official Church service at Saint Demetrius Cathedral in Elassona, officiated over by Metropolitan Vassilios, and reviewed a big parade together with the local authorities.

Greek President Karolos Papoulias urged Turkey to ensure the rights of ethnic Greeks living there and to reopen the Orthodox theological seminary on Halki. Papoulias spoke Thursday in Xanthi in Thrace, marking the 88th anniversary of the city’s liberation from the Ottoman Empire. Papoulias also reviewed a military parade.

In his speech, Papoulias also looked forward, suggesting that Thrace, traditionally a remote and poor part of Greece, may have a brighter future. “The geographical position of Thrace, a factor that in the past contributed to its isolation and marginalization, is today a factor that can be used to upgrade the area,” Papoulias said, saying that Thrace is now a bridge between Europe and Asia.

Turkey closed the Orthodox Christian seminary on Halki, an island in the Sea of Marmara, in 1971 on the grounds that it violated a law against private universities. The seminary was founded in the mid-19th century on the site of a monastery founded 1,000 years earlier. The seminary is operated by the Orthodox Christian Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinopole, based in today’s Istanbul.

Nafpaktos commemorates the victory of the “Holy League” October 7, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Culture Heritage.
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The touristic town of Nafpaktos commemorates each year the victory of the “Holy League” against the Ottoman Navy on 7 October, 1571, a battle of particular importance for Europe.

This year’s vision of the organisers for these celebrations is to transcend Greece’s borders and to urge citizens and cultural associations from participating countries to achieve peaceful co-existence. The type and content of the celebrations were jointly decided by the participating countries including Turkey, with a view to cultural convergence between people of different customs, habits and religions.

This year, the celebrations in Nafpaktos will take a European dimension and will be consolidated as a historical, cultural and artistic event that will constitute a reference point for every European and Mediterranean country.

Nafpaktos will, in fact, be promoted as a cultural and historical centre of Europe. Its historical harbour will be transformed into one reminiscent of 1571, mainly due to its appropriate scenery and decoration. Modern building fronts in the area of the harbour will be dressed up to depict older buildings and modern lighting will be replaced by torches.

The spectacular sea show and the living history parade event will be broadcast live by satellite. The four-day event will include liturgical services, a wreath-laying ceremony at the site of the naval battle and farewell events for foreign delegations. 

Malta will be represented in the town of Nafpaktos, when there will be celebrations marking the historic victory of the Battle of Lepanto (1571). Spain, Italy, Austria, Croatia and San Marino will be joining Malta in the spectacular re-evocation of this historic battle when marching through the harbour town. Malta’s participation will consist of an “In Guardia” unit dressed in period uniform. Prominent in this unit will be two characters dressed up as Cavaliere Gran Croce bearing the Maltese eight pointed cross on their black robe, the symbol par excellence of the Knights of Malta.