THE HELLENIC LINK, Inc.
Member Update- BULLETIN
No. 89, June-July, 2010
Hellenic Link News in Brief
On U.S. Independence Day
A Message of Archbishop Demetrios to the Faithful
“Οn this annual observance of Independence Day, we give thanks to God for the spiritual freedom we have in Christ and for the freedom we have in this nation in which we live. As people of faith we are recipients of the grace of God, which frees us from the bondage of sin and death and enables our ascent to restoration and eternal communion with Him. As citizens and residents in the United States of America, we are beneficiaries of a form of government that recognizes both the political and social freedoms inherent to each of us as human beings.
"One of these freedoms is religious liberty. Over two centuries ago, many of the framers of our political system realized that this was a necessity for the stability and function of the new government and that it was a right belonging to all in relation to freedom of conscience and the pursuit of truth. In the process of establishing the new nation, it was apparent to the framers that the country had many different religious groups. They were well aware of the dangers of adjoining one religious tradition with the power of the state. These modes of governance that were based on coercion often resulting ίη oppression and exclusion, had led many to leave their homelands and come to America.. The framers also believed that freedom of conscience expressed in religious belief, speech, and association was not a threat but each and every person and should be protected from the power of government. None of this was an attempt to inhibit the vitality of religion, as ίn fact many of the framers recognized the moral and communal role of religious faith ίn contributing to a strong citίzenry. The primary motivatίon was religious lίberty - the freedom of each and every person to choose, to believe, to practίce, and to offer and share with others without fear of the interference or oppression of government.
"As Orthodox Christians livίng ίη this nation, we have and contίnue to share ίn this freedom. We gather as communities, worship and minister freely, build churches aπd schools and share our faith with others. In addition to our faithfulness to God and our determination to cherish and share what He has given us, religious liberty has contributed to the vitality of Orthodox Christianity ίn America. May we give thanks for this, and may we use our freedom as an opportunity to participate fully in our faith and to share the Gospel with all. May we also be mindful of those who labor for faith and ministry within societies that have a problem with religious liberty either as a right οr as an essential element of a free society. This is the political context that continues to challenge and heavily press our beloved Ecumenical Patriarchate and especially His Αll Holiness our Ecumenical Patrίarch Bartholomew.
"Governments, commissions, and world leaders have addressed these issues and continue to champion the necessity of religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patrίarchate. However, more must be done. As Orthodox Christians in America and as beneficiaries of religious liberty, many of you have offered warm prayers and precious serνices to our Ecumenίcal Patrίarchate recognizing its needs as wel1 as the importance of relίgious freedom.
"Ι give thanks to God for your precious contribution and pray for His continued guidance and strength in these efforts. Let all of our faithful throughout the United States, all of us who live in a free society and cherish relίgious liberty, pray and continue to increase our assistance. Now is a critical time to voice our support, to encourage leaders in government, and to guide awareness ίnto action. May we do this in gratitude for the freedom we have, for the sake of the Church and the Gospel which we are called to share, and for the glory of God. With paternal love in Christ,
+DEMETRIOS, Archbishop of Americ"
The Hellenic Community Upholds Religious and Civil Rights in Cyprus
In the last few days, numerous people who believe in and take seriously the fundamental principles on which the United States were founded had occasion to stand up and take action in defense of Liberty trampled upon by ruthless invaders in a little corner of the world: Cyprus. The readers of the H-L are already familiar with the relevant facts. The tormented people of Cyprus, after thirty six continuing years of oppression following the insidious and brutal invasion of their homeland by Turkey in 1974, faced another
painful indignity developing against them. Under the guise of observance of the Anniversary of their “Peace Operation,” the Turkish occupiers along with the lugged over from Anatolia colonists masterminded an “international recital” to celebrate the anniversary of their internationally condemned aggression: On ground belonging to displaced Greek Cypriots, the invaders having built a plush hotel planned a gala performance to coincide with the anniversary of their invasion. To perform at this event, the outlaw hosts offered renowned American singer Jennifer Lopez a lucrative contract, reported to be several million dollars. The Association of the Expelled Cypriot Mothers in their degraded and humiliated position could not take this hubris lightly. They addressed a letter to Ms. Lopez and to the American community at large explaining the affront to humanity behind the planned celebration and requesting withdrawal of support and cancellation of the performance. Through the highly energetic action of the Cypriot-American Organization CANA, copies of the letter were widely disseminated in the community along with a request to support the plea of the Cypriot mothers. The rousing effect of the letter was strong and most appropriate. Thousands of citizens, among them members of the Hellenic Link, acted in accordance with their conscience to enlighten Ms. Lopez on the issue at hand and to firmly demand reconsideration of her agreed participation in the infamous celebration.
We are presenting here, with permission from its writer, one of the letters sent to Ms. Lopez, which we believe expresses typically the feelings and ethical perspectives of the multitude of respondents to the Cypriot mothers’ plea.
Dear Ms. Lopez
As veteran United States Air Force officer, who in the late 1950s visited Cyprus on U.S. military assignments in areas now under the internationally-illegal Turkish occupation, I ask you in the name of justice to all, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, who have suffered and are suffering from and under the illegal Turkish occupation, to cancel your planned visit, accepted by you under lack of knowledge of the existing situation. A plethora of United Nations resolutions have called for Turkey to remove its illegally-stationed military forces from Northern Cyprus -- the area in which you have been asked to perform -- so that the Republic of Cyprus can be reunited under international norms. Turkey refuses to abide by international law.
The internationally-illegal Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus has been detrimental to both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Over 200,000 Greek Cypriots have been made refugees in their own country, having been expelled to the South, with all their properties in the North illegally confiscated and illegally operated by settlers from Turkey, illegally brought to Cyprus by Turkey to illegally change the demographics of the island-nation. Turkish Cypriots are now a minority to the internationally-illegal settlers, compelling many thousands of them to emigrate to foreign lands, including the United States, to seek asylum.
Your canceling the ill-planned trip, structured for you upon false pretenses, will be a humanitarian act in opposing the forces of illegality in support of the rule of law. Your decision to cancel your visit and performance will have significant impact upon the internationally-illegal Turkish insistence of continuing to illegally occupy 37% of a foreign country.
Your canceling of this trip and planned event will be beneficial to you as well, for you will have stood tall for righteousness and human dignity, rather than succumb to the dark forces of illegality and human suffering.
As Americans, we need and must refuse to support forces that seek and take away freedoms of other peoples. This is and always has been "the American way." Please do your part!
Dean C. Lomis, Ph.D.
University of Delaware
As we all know by now, the substantial outpouring of sympathy by the community brought about a fundamental change premised on informed conviction. The group of associates of Ms.Lopez collectively decided not to follow through with the ill-conceived contract to perform in the occupied northern part of Cyprus.
Jennifer Lopez officially withdrew from the concert scheduled in a European territory currently under military occupation. According to a statement issued by a representative of hers to TMZ network, “Jennifer Lopez would never knowingly support any state, country, institution or regime that associated with any form of human rights abuse” … “After a full review of the relevant circumstances in Cyprus, it was the decision of the management to withdraw from the appearance. This was a team decision that reflects our sensitivity to the political realities of the region.”
The true Spirit of the Fourth of July spoke the final word on the issue!
Teaching Modern Greek Using Technology as a Conduit
In continuing our update of our members and the community on critical issues related to the needs of Hellenic Education in America, we have posted on the H-L Web Site a remarkable article on the progress made in utilizing educational technology to facilitate and amplify the teaching of Modern Greek to diverse groups of learners. The article, titled “Employing Technology to Enhance, Promote and Disseminate Less Commonly Taught Languages: The Case of Modern Greek” along with a companion PowerPoint presentation “Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) for Modern Greek: “the filoglossia+ courseware” were presented by Dr. Frieda Charalabopoulou at the
15th Annual Educational Event of the AFGLC-ICHS Forum/Conference 2010 in Tarpon
Spring, Florida, February 20, 2010; these papers were contributed by the Institute of Language & Speech Processing/ “Athena” Research Center, Athens, Greece, in collaboration with the Advisory Council on Hellenic Education of the Hellenic Link, Inc., New York.
Three-Dimensional Review of Athens’ Urban Development over a Millenium
Our readers are in for a real treat if they visit at this time the H-L Web Site, where they can trace the urban development of ancient Athens from the early Mycenaean down to the Roman Period. The three-dimensional PowerPoint presentation is accompanied by explanatory annotations (in Greek), based on extensive archaeological and historical research. It was brought to our attention by our friends of the Hellenic Link Section of Athens to whom we are indebted for their thoughtful and very valuable cultural heritage offer. Coming to us shortly after the opening of the dazzling new Museum of the Acropolis, it provides a wealth of educational information, in firm and exciting historical continuity, to enrich our awareness of the City as a center of momentous events and processes that deeply and uniquely influenced the development of the Greek and World Civilizations.
A Letter to the Editor
Editor’s Note. In the interest of enhancing fertile debate on issues of Hellenic interest among our readers, we encourage the expression of views (as in the case below) on articles devoted to such issues that have been already presented in the HL Bulletin
Dear Editor of the HL Bulletin:
Greetings from Athens, where I am now on summer vacation.
A few days ago, I looked through with great interest and satisfaction the new website of the Hellenic Link, and found it so much improved. I am confident that, with time, it will become an even better vehicle of communication. Further, I read the May 2010 issue of the Bulletin, and would like to congratulate you and your colleagues for your continuing work on Greek language education in the US.
In the same Bulletin, I also read the article by Professor Christos C. Evangeliou of Towson University. I noted that he emphasizes a number of Hellenic "traits and realities", which point to the strengths of our motherland; but he goes on to draw some inappropriate conclusions for Greek economic policy, especially when he recommends that Greece should leave the Euro zone (and presumably return to the drachma). In my humble opinion, apart from being largely impractical (though theoretically attractive), such a move would be disastrous for Greece. Abandonment of the Euro and a return to the drachma would lead to a large devaluation, a sharp increase in prices, and an explosion of Greece's foreign debt obligations in terms of drachmas. At the same time, Greece would suffer a terrible loss of market confidence and possible European assistance, which would magnify the problems of domestic adjustment and of a much-needed early return to international capital markets. For these and other reasons, the Greek authorities have set aside such ideas and rightly decided to undertake their current adjustment and recovery program with unprecedented financial support from the EU and the IMF. Of course, the current Greek economic program faces many challenges and risks, and its success will require rigorous implementation and sustained efforts. Finally, there is no doubt that Greece is an integral and vital part of Europe, and hence Professor Evangeliou's call that Greece should also leave Europe completely cannot be taken seriously.
With best wishes to you and all HL Bulletin readers for a great summer.
Evangelos A. Calamitsis, Ph.D.
An International Conference on Healthy Agriculture, Healthy Nutrition and Healthy People is organized at Ancient Olympia, Greece , October 5-8, 2010 by the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, Washington, DC. According to the President of the Center and Co-Chair of the Conference Artemis Simopoulos, M.D., whom the members of the Hellenic Link and the Hellenic Medical Society of New York know also for her excellent contributions to the cultural programs and activities of their Organizations:
“ This conference marks the first time this influential group of scientists, policy makers, health educators and medical professionals from all over the world will come together to focus on agriculture, diet and physical activity as a way to prevent life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer. Centered on ‘positive health,’ the concept originated by Hippocrates and built into the foundation of the Olympic ideal, the conference seeks to bring about a change both in developed and developing countries, so that governments and the public will put more emphasis on agriculture, physical activity and a healthy diet in order to prevent the onset of serious diseases. It is essential that we join together to reaffirm our commitment to the health and fitness of every world citizen. We are grateful for the vision and foresight of Stonyfield Farm, the Greek government and the other organizations for making this possible.”
The Conference , as stated, is dedicated to the “Concept of Positive Health,” enunciated by Hippocrates in the 5th Century BC: 'Positive health requires a knowledge of man's primary constitution (which today we call genetics) and of the powers of various foods, both those natural to them and those resulting from human skill (today's processed food). But eating alone is not enough for health. There must also be exercise, of which the effects must likewise be known. The combination of these two things makes regimen, when proper attention is given to the season of the year, the changes of the winds, the age of the individual and the situation of his home. If there is any deficiency in food or exercise the body will fall sick.'
The Conference is sponsored by several international scientific organizations and by the Government of Greece. The Objectives of the Conference include:
The Conference is organized in 4 distinct Sessions, which, appropriately for the general theme, objectives and symbolism of the venue of the Conference, Olympia, include scheduled physical exercise adjuncts for the participants:
East and South East Asia, Oceania
Roundtable discussions, among other subjects, will seek to define issues to be overcome in order to achieve Healthy Agriculture, Healthy Nutrition, and Healthy People
Members and readers of the H-L Bulletin are warmly encouraged to attend this highly significant for everyone scientific gathering. Those who are professionally engaged in relevant fields are also invited to submit and present Poster Session Papers. For detailed information, contact:
email address, email@example.com ; Website, www.cgnh.net
Professionals and students in every discipline or field of endeavor, whether of Greek Descent or Philhellenes, are cordially invited to join the Hellenic Link, Inc. as members. It is quite easy and useful! Just contact us at any of the indicated addresses
THE HELLENIC LINK, Inc.
A NON PROFIT CULTURAL AND SCIENTIFIC ASSOCIATION
OF HELLENES AND PHILHELLENES
INCORPORATED IN DELAWARE
Suite No. 278, 38-11 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, New York 11105
Web Site: http://www.helleniclink.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Telephone : (718) 217- 4285