Farewell Luncheon at Archdiocese

Farewell Luncheon at Archdiocese

President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, Addresses the Greek American Community

Photo: Dimitrios Panagos

By:  Apostolos Zoupaniotis

President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, told overseas Cypriots and Greek Americans that a new dynamic will be created in the Cyprus problem that will allow the dialogue which will begin to have a positive conclusion.

Addressing a community gathering at the Stathakion Center in Astoria, New York, President Anastasiades, said that the interest concerning Cyprus has been upgraded and the picture that he gets is that the positions of the Greek Cypriot side are now respected.

The President told the gathering that the talks should be well prepared but also Turkey should take bold steps.

He repeated his proposal for a series of confidence building measures which include the return of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta.

“Such conditions will be created and such dynamic allowing the new dialogue that will start to lead us to a favorable ending”, the President said, adding that his proposal includes a greater involvement on the part of the EU.

The President further remarked that “what we need is good will from those who maintained an intransigent position that did not allow us to continue in our negotiations”.

The event was organized by the Cyprus Federation of America and the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York. A crowd of more than 300 people that attended the event received warmly the Cypriot president, who was celebrating on Friday his 67th birthday.

Former Presidente of Cyprus Federation, Peter Papanicolaou presented Nicos Anastasiades to the audience, while the president of the Hellenic Federation Elias Tsekerides, welcoming the Cypriot President stressed that the community works united to Help Greece and Cyprus.

The president of Cyprus Federation Costas Tsentas assured President Anastasiaeds that all Greeks in America are supporting the Cypriot people in their struggle to reunite the island and the return of the refugees to their homes.

PSEKA president Philip Christopher called on the Greek American Community to send a message of encouragement to the Cypriot President.

Following the event, Cyprus Federation hosted President Anastasiades and his entourage.

Federation Testimonial Dinner Held to Benefit Cyprus’ Needy Children

TESTIMONIAL DINNER

The Cyprus Federation of America honored Mr. & Mrs. Michael and Mary Jaharis and Mr. George David, OBE at their Annual Testimonial Dinner for their dedication to Hellenism, Orthodoxy and humanity  and philanthropy.

 

The President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Nicos Anastasiades addressed the guests and has pledged  that the relaunch of the negotiations for a Cyprus settlement remains the government’s first priority.

Addressing the Cyprus Federation of America’s 2013 Testimonial Dinner, that took place in New York Wednesday September 25 for the benefit of the needy children of Cyprus, President Anastasiades also said that Cyprus is working tirelessly towards the restructuring of the economy.

“The re-launching of the negotiations under the aegis of the United Nations Secretary-General in the framework of his Good Offices Mission, aiming at a fair, viable and mutually acceptable settlement to the Cyprus question based on the relevant Security Council Resolutions and the principles upon which the EU operates, remains our first priority”, said the President.  He noted that the settlement must serve, above all, the legitimate interests and be for the benefit of the people of Cyprus as a whole and not for any third country.   Anastasiades underlined that the negotiations “must be properly and thoroughly prepared in order to ensure that the aforementioned objectives are jointly and unequivocally shared and that the negotiations will bear fruit”.  “We cannot afford another failure,” he stressed.

He expressed “firm conviction that the substantive involvement of the European Union in this procedure is desirable”.

President Anastasiades said that in spite of the economic hardships, “Cyprus as a whole is working tirelessly towards the much-needed restructuring of its economy. Unfortunately, the painful consequences impact the most vulnerable”.

The Government, he added, has implemented a series of measures to overcome the challenges, but targeted and well-organised philanthropy, such as last night’s event, is also crucial.

President Anastasiades praised the three philanthropists who were honoured for their dedication to Hellenism, Orthodoxy and humanity, Michael and Mary Jaharis, as well as George A. David, OBE.

He also commended the Cyprus Federation of America, which has been a pioneer in establishing close ties between the people of Cyprus and the United States.  With over 25 active chapters across the US, it has worked tirelessly in support of collective efforts for the reunification of Cyprus and the restoration of the human rights of its people. The highlight of the evening came during Michael Jaharis’ acceptance speech when he praised the “leadership and tireless efforts of Cyprus’ Consul General in New York Koula Sophianou, especially citing her work in behalf of children in need, and pledged an additional $200,000 for the children of Cyprus.

Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos also addressed the event, as well as Archbishop Demetrios of America.

New York.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
Photos by: ETA  Press

Cypriot Community Welcomes Cyprus’s New Ambassador, Mr. Chakalli

The Cyprus Federation of America and PSEKA held a welcome reception for Cyprus’s new  Ambassasdor to Washington, Mr. George Chakalli on Thursday June 20, 2013 at Kopiaste Restaurant .   Mr. Philip Christopher, Pseka President and Costas Tsentas, CFA president welcomed Ambassador Chacalli and promised to work very closely with the Cyprus Embassy.   Ambassador Chacalli, in turn, vowed to work diligently for our beloved Cyprus and thanked everyone for attending.

Ambassador Chacalli’s Remarks during the Presentation of His Credentials to President Obama on July 24, 2013

I have the distinct honor to present to You the Letter of Credence appointing me as Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the United States of America, as well as the Letter of Recall of my predecessor.

On this occasion, allow me, Mr. President, to extend to You, to Your Family and, through You, to the People of this great Nation, the greetings and heartfelt best wishes of President Anastasiades, of the Government and of the People of the Republic of Cyprus, for peace, prosperity and happiness.

Mr. President,

The Republic of Cyprus and the United States are closely bound together by age-old ties of friendship, which are solidly embedded in commonly held principles, values and ideals. Our two countries have a long tradition of working together in promoting shared goals and mutually beneficial objectives based on precisely these ideals. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus remains fully committed to further strengthening these bonds of friendship and cooperation in future.

In this regard, our two countries have already been working closely together in promoting and safeguarding world peace, stability, the rule of law and democracy. In an effort to further accommodate these goals, Cyprus announced its intention and cautiously yet firmly proceeds towards the accession to the Partnership for Peace (PfP) Program, as the new Government is determined to reorient the country’s foreign policy and increase its contribution to the European Security and Defense Policy, as well as to the Transatlantic Partnership, and become a useful bridge towards the sensitive and volatile area of the Eastern Mediterranean. Moreover, as a serious and reliable international partner, through its membership in the PfP, Cyprus hopes to actively contribute in the common efforts to enhance international stability and build strong security relationships, which are so vital in upholding international order.

The cooperation between our two countries also extends beyond global security issues, to include important fields such as commerce and trade, where Cyprus and the United States enjoy a close trading and business relationship, with continuously expanding business flows. There are numerous agreements between Cypriot and U.S. service providers, including in real estate, accounting, finance and insurance, management consultancy and technology/IT consultancy, while several very important U.S. firms conduct their international business for the region using Cyprus as a base.

More recently, potential offshore energy reserves have made Cyprus a progressively more interesting destination for U.S. investment in the field of offshore energy exploration and infrastructure. A review of the current Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation between our two countries would prove beneficial in the promotion of these commercial exchanges and would encourage further growth and development of these vital areas of business activity.

Furthermore, in the field of culture, a recently expanded and renewed “Memorandum of Understanding between Cyprus and the United States of America concerning the Imposition of Import Restrictions on Pre-Classical and Classical Archaeological Objects and Byzantine Period Ecclesiastical and Ritual Ethnological Materials”, serves as an important and invaluable deterrent against the continuing attempts to illegally import into the United States, Cyprus’ cultural and religious heritage, which is constantly being looted as a result of Turkey’s on-going occupation of the northern part of the island since 1974.

In addition to the multitude of bilateral agreements existing between our two countries, Cyprus’ accession to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) would offer yet another helpful platform from which to further bolster our relations. Cyprus is eligible for participation in the Program, as it meets both the refusal rate and the overstay and abuse of visas criterion. The Cyprus Government stands ready to take any additional measures that may be required to facilitate its accession to the VWP.

Mr. President,

On the domestic front, our country is facing both political and economic challenges.

On the political front, the occupation of 37% of Cypriot territory, following Turkey’s military invasion in 1974, and the subsequent violation of the fundamental human rights of the Cypriot people, still continue.

President Anastasiades remains fully committed to bringing a fresh approach and a new impetus to the efforts for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, aiming to end the illegal occupation of our country which is dividing the People of Cyprus and restore peace and security, not only for the benefit of our country and People, but also in the interest of wider regional stability in general.

The basis for this solution continues to rest with the U.N. Security Council Resolutions calling for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty, a single international personality, a single citizenship and with political equality as described therein.

Undoubtedly, however, as the occupying power, Turkey itself holds the key to any mutually acceptable solution, since this cannot be achieved without Turkey’s own sincere good will and constructive active involvement in the peace-making process, while fully respecting International Law and the European Aquis Communautaire.

The second challenge relates to the economic and financial hardships that have severely affected our country during the past few months and which have necessitated the personal commitment and attention of President Anastasiades since the first day of his assuming office.

As Cyprus faces the most serious economic crisis in its modern history since the 1974 Turkish invasion, the Cyprus Government remains firmly committed to undertaking, in consultations with our international partners in the IMF and the European Union, a series of innovative measures and brave new steps to restructure and reinvigorate the island’s economy.

The prospect of hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, offers not only new hopes in our efforts to regenerate our country’s economy but also new avenues for cooperation with our international trading partners, including, in particular, the United States. American energy companies have already been involved in this new project and we look forward to expanding such joint ventures in future.

Mr. President,

Being fully aware of the enormous responsibilities ahead of me and of the trust placed in me by President Anastasiades, I look forward to working actively with the U.S. Administration in exploring new ways to deepen and widen even further the excellent relations and close cooperation between our two countries and to working to the best of my abilities to enhance these ties even further, while, at the same time, attempting to expand and strengthen this cooperation in other global and regional matters of common interest.

Thank you Mr. President.

Cypriot American Community Helping Their Brothers and Sisters In Cyprus

NEW YORK – A presentation of significant contributions to the Relief Fund for the People of Cyprus took place on at the Archdiocese Headquarters, in support of specific needs and worthwhile projects to which relief assistance will be channeled.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, presented the specific donations of organizations and individuals, which will be sent thought the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to the projects carefully selected in cooperation and with the recommendation of the Government of Cyprus, and were outlined in a letter His Eminence sent to the participants of the initial meeting he convened for that purpose on April 3, 2013. These contributions to the Relief Fund, totaling $460,000 to date, are as follows: Cyprus Federation of America $50,000 – Cyprus US Chamber of Commerce $10,000 – Peter and Nasia Papanikolaou $100,000 – Demetrios and Georgia Kaloidis $100,000 – George and Olga Tsounis $100,000 – Michael and Mary Jaharis $50,000 – Panpaphian Federation of America $10,000 – Eleftheria Pancyprian Youth Groups $10,000 – Cypriot Association of America Lampousa $10,000 – Cyprus Association Asgata $10,000 – Pancyprian Dancing Group $10,000
The three projects focused on children, for which the this relief assistance will be channeled to are: 1) The establishment of Centers for the Protection and Care of Children, 2) Association for Autism in Cyprus and its existing Day Care Centers for people with autism, and 3) Childrens’ Rehab Center (for details see Press This meeting and presentation of significant monetary contribution was the first response to the letter of Archbishop Demetrios to the 36 representatives of Greek-American and Cypriot American organizations who had participated in the initial meeting convened for raising support for Cyprus.
The newly appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the U.S. George Chacalli, who had a private meeting with His Eminence, participated in the presentation. Also present were the Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the U.N. Nicholas Aimiliou, the Consul General of Cyprus in New York Koula Sofianou and officers of Cypriot-American organizations.

Cyprus Federation and PSEKA hold farewell reception for Consul Evangelos Kyriakopoulos

Cyprus Federation and PSEKA hold farewell reception for Consul Evangelos Kyriakopoulos

Cypriot-Americans Remember the Turkish Invasion of 1974 – 39 Years Later

Constantine S. Sirigos
Special to The National Herald

FLUSHING, NY – Prayers for the departed and expressions of solidarity with the people of Cyprus dominated the morning and afternoon of July 21 at the Church of St. Nicholas in Flushing. Parishioners and guests from throughout the New York Metropolitan Area filled the sanctuary to overflowing for the Divine Liturgy and Memorial service officiated by Archbishop Demetrios. A poignant program of music, reminiscences and exhortations followed in the Sarantakos Hall.  Andreas Hadjioannou served as the luncheon MC.  During his remarks at the luncheon, notwithstanding the recent positive signs and developments that other speakers referred to, the Archbishop said tha the key to a brighter future is the patience that encourages the people and friends of Cyprus to continue their struggle for the liberation of their nation. He noted that Rome and her armies did not snuff out Hellenism, rather, it was the culture of the Hellenes which thrived and triumphed. Rome was succeeded by the Greek Orthodox culture of Byzantium, and even after 400 years of Ottoman oppression, the people of Greece rose and prospered again. Michel Spinellis, the newly appointed Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations, concurred, declaring “we will continue the struggle until Cyprus is reunited.” His Cypriot Colleague at the UN, Ambassador Nicholas Emiliou, reinforced his words by saying the best way to memorialize those who made the ultimate sacrifice is for their friends and relatives to continue the struggle for the liberation of Cyprus.  Koula Sophianou, Cyprus’ Consul General in New York, was the keynote speaker. She paid a moving tribute to the living and the dead: the 18 year old boys who were the first to die on the front lines during the brutal surprise attack, the older generations who moved in to continue the fight, and the wives, sisters and mothers, both those who were among the many unarmed victims of the attack, and those who survived, but fought for the future of Cyprus by enduring and raising their families. Sophianou offered great and heartfelt thanks to the Diaspora for their fight for justice for Cyprus through the years, beginning with the busloads of people that went to Washington, DC and demanded of President Ford and Secretary of State Kissinger: “Turkish Troops of Cyprus.” She expressed confidence that “united as one soul,” Hellenes in Greece and Cyprus and throughout the world will soon be thrilled by bells ringing from every church in every part of Cyprus,” celebrating the liberation.

 

St. Nicholas’ newly appointed assistant priest, Fr. Aristidis Garinis, represented the Pastor, Fr. Paul Palesty, who was on vacation. The luncheon began with an invocation by Archbishop Demetrios, who thanked the individuals and groups whose donations made it possible.  Among the benefactors was musician Tasos Papaioannou, who donated his talents for the touching musical portion titled “Songs of Triumph and Struggle.” He was joined in singing and recitation by Eleni Andreou, and they were accompanied by pianist Glafkos Kontemeniotes. Costas Tsentas, the president of the Federation, thanked Archbishop Demetrios for his efforts, noting he never missed an opportunity to bring up the Cyprus issue to American officials. Philip Christopher, the  President of PSEKA, and Pancyprian Association expressed his appreciation for the presence of the leaders of many organizations, and of Rhode Island State Senator Leo Raptakis. New York City Council candidates Gus Prentzas and Costas Constantinides were also present. CFA President Costas Tsentas’ comments to TNH reflected the hearts and minds of the guests when he said “we are at St. Nicholas today to honor those who lost their lives in 1974. We will remember them forever”.

 

CAUSE FOR OPTIMISM, OR MORE SMOKE?

He hopes, as do all present, that next year in addition to a memorial service for the heroes and martyrs, they will also celebrate the liberation of the occupied territory and re-unification of the island nation with a doxology service. Tsentas and Christopher sense an important shift among American State Department officials toward a stronger desire for a just and viable and lasting Cyprus resolution. “They used those words, and they acknowledge that part of the island is under occupation,” Tsentas added. What will happen remains to be seen, he said, “but it is a good sign.” Christopher said he was “pleasantly surprised” to experience such a message at a meeting last week with Eric Rubin, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. He said Rubin welcomed recent Greek Cypriot initiatives and said it was the first time he heard s an official acknowledge that the key to a solution is not in talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, but in Ankara. They both also believe the discovery of huge natural gas deposits has increased both the sense of urgency and opportunity. He noted the usually intransigent Turkey is going along with calls for new talks because they sense that the economic crisis has placed Cyprus in a position of weakness, but “that’s not going to change our positions because they have always been right and just,” Tsentas said The deepening ties between Greece, Cyprus and also a crucial positive factor.

 

COMMUNITY MUST CONTACT CONGRESS

Tsentas stressed the important role the Greek- and Cypriot-American communities can play, both by expressing solidarity and providing financial support, and by communicating with its representatives. He was heartened by the attendance at the luncheon, where three extra tables had to be set up, and urged the community nationwide to support H.Res.187, the bi-partisan resolution introduced this spring by Gus Bilirakis and Carolyn Maloney. It reaffirms the United States’ commitment to the reunification of Cyprus and condemns attempts to impose an unjust settlement now that the Greek Cypriots are in an economic crisis. Tsentas said it is critical at this time for the community to get its representatives to support the resolution and Christopher stated emphatically that after 39 years, this is not the time to be disappointed or to give up. One of the highlights of the luncheon was the screening of the documentary researchedand written by Petros Petrides titled “Mnimes Axethoriastes – Eternal Memories,” about the tragedy that the women who survived the 1974 invasion continue to live every day.

               ב”ה

16 Av 5773                                                                                                                                           July 23, 2013

        39 Years after Turkish Invasion Cyprus Accommodation Is Within Reach 

 

                With the anxiety-inducing fitting of a new hearing aid for Mom Nina, and my own visit with friend, Lodge member, and incomparable periodontist Dr. Marc C. Levine over, I can concentrate on the meaning of a memorial, honoring those who resisted and fell defending Cyprus when waves of Turkish troops descended on July 20, 1974, occupying 39%, eventually creating the Turkish-Cypriot Republic recognized by a single nation … Turkey!

 

                 Through a gracious invitation tendered by The Cyprus Federation of America’s personable and dynamic general secretary Despina Axiotakis, joined by the International Coordinating Committee  Justice for Cyprus (ΠΣΕΚΑ), and the Cyprus Consulate of New York, I joined a capacity crowd, first for a protracted liturgy at Flushing’s St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, that was followed with nearly 100 attendees to an invitation-only luncheon.

 

The impressions of this Jewish guest on the religious aspects must include the special vestments, including a golden bejeweled miter worn by H.E. Archbishop Demetrios, and his homily evoking the day’s meaning of sacrifice and remembrance; the non-stop recitations of the psalmists, sometimes bilingually, citing the Gospel of Matthew, and mentioning the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the patrilineal descendants of the prototypical Abrahamist monotheism which pulsates in my bosom; the absence of prayer books for the faithful, passively observing the service, so filled with symbols, incense, and recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in Greek and English; sometimes encountering a devout woman, intoning the priest’s identical text. There was the placing of a wreath in memory of the fallen, and the flags of Cyprus and Greece; conspicuously missing was the American banner, a protocol requirement, and placed to the left as audience face the pulpit, according to the rules issued and complied by the American Legion. (Similarly, and always, while in the United States, the American anthem precedes the guest, foreign counterpart, a detail www.hellasfm.us daily violates!)

 

With temperatures moderating, the absence of air conditioning in the ballroom was not keenly felt. Besides, the exchanges among old and new-found friends, and the tasty fish entrée, along with brief speeches, and musical selections kept us all focused on the theme of the day to remember and honor. In short order, there was a before-the-meal prayer by the Archbishop, and a welcoming greeting from the representative of the parish council. Kostas Tsentas, president of the Cyprus Federation, moved toward reminding us that the 39 years of Turkish occupation of a substantial part of the island has resulted in dire living conditions for the majority Greek-Cypriots, expressing gratitude to “mother” Greece for its unstinting support for reunification, a thought accentuated by the Cypriot Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikos Emiliou.

 

PSEKA president Philip Christopher provided a hopeful political dimension, belatedly weaving and sounding the praise of a reality that was also present to materialize; to wit, the obvious common strands in a more positive relationship among Cyprus, Greece, and Israel, especially developing over the drilling on recently-discovered natural gas deposits, and a strategic partnership. More, there is continuous appreciation of the lasting benefits whose obvious display will help tear down the walls of suspicion between the Greek Orthodox communities and Israel, and Jews in general. For such affirmative events I have humbly and energetically toiled for years, and share in the general satisfaction experienced by people of good will everywhere!

 

The program’s highlight was the keynote that was provided by Cyprus Consul-General Koula Sophianou, whose tenure has been marked with uncommon grace, effectiveness, and deep understanding of issues, endearing her to all who meet her. She and I have a rapport which permits easy and frequent, informal, expressions of opinion which is the quintessential meaning of a relationship of trust, allowing me to proudly declare her a very special friend!

 

Consul-General Sophianou spoke of the pathos of having generations live with fear, deprivation, separation, desecration; indeed, this insightful diplomat has spent all her years never having experienced life free to traverse the length and breadth of that beautiful isle of Aphrodite. It was a pleasure to see Greek Consul Evangelos Kyriakopoulos, in one of his last round of public appearances, as he is ending his tenure to return to Athens for rest, recreation, and eventual reassignment. My contact with this envoy were always marked with willingness to offer high quality service, smiling as I recall my co-religionist David’s, a Drama native, wonderment how expeditious was the process of claiming his right to a Greek passport.

 

 There followed the projection of a 16-minute documentary, produced by Petros Petridis. Putting human faces to the Cyprus tragedy, several women spoke of loss, a family member, a son, or a recently-acquired husband, and this plaintive story. An entire family, having come to the United States and prospering, decided to return to live among their compatriots, shortly before the Turkish invasion. In the event, they lost everything, and, in mid-life, they come back America to begin anew the rebuilding of destroyed lives.

 

A musical selection, composed by Polys Kyriakou, our local jewel of Astoria, touched the strings of our hearts as Tasos Papaioannou and Eleni Andreou, with piano accompaniment by Glavkos Kontemeniotis, offered songs of the seaport Kyrenia, perhaps for the last year under occupation. The closing remarks by Archbishop Demetrios stressed our commitment to see a reunited Cyprus, if it takes many more years; after, all, Greece rose in the 19th century, nearly four centuries after the Ottomans conquered Constantinople and Byzantium in 1453. It is not a unique assessment of history to suggest that errors were made at critical points in Cyprus march to independence in 1960, and, alas, in its government under the leadership of the Ethnarch Archbishop Makarios, myopically pursuing an anti-American policy, and joining the non-aligned bloc in the Cold War, the moral challenge of the post-war generations: lacking Turkish-Cypriot input in the struggle for autonomy; acting with an air of superiority in administering power, creating high anxiety in the Moslem minority; blithely promoting ENOSIS, union with Greece, which was intentionally provocative not only to Turkish-Cypriots, but their mainland patrons.

 

Thus, 39 years on, there is a more worldly leadership in Cyprus, a member of the European Union, solidly connected to the West, and even able to teach its senior compatriots in mainland Greece how to be pro-Israel, and even touch the third rail of religious politics, as Archbishop Chrysostomos and Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger signed an agreement whereby the island’s Orthodox Church expunges the dogma of collective Jewish guilt for the crucifixion. There is much that we, Jews, Greeks, and Cypriots, share in common, demonstrating that we can shatter the taboo of mindless anti-Zionism, as we together marched in this year’s Celebrate Israel Parade! With understanding, tolerance, and compassion we can increase inter-communal trust-enhancing crossings in Cyprus, and eventually create a binational, or federated new Cyprus that will be the envy of other war-ravaged lands. It is a dream within our reach, if we can only will it, and now, avoiding the lapse of tens, hundreds, or even a thousand years.

 

Sincerely, and with fraternal affection,

                Asher

Prof. Asher J. Matathias

Cathedral’s Summer Soiree Honors Cyprus’ Sophianou

Photo Credit: Dimitris Panagos

June 23, 2013 – The Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity held   Soiree 2013 Celebrating the work of Koula Sophianou, Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus to New York at the Tribeca Rooftop in Lower Manhattan on June 23. The gathering, a fundraiser for the Cathedral which included a parallel affair for young professionals, was presented with the blessings of Archbishop Demetrios of America, Fr. Anastasios Gounaris, the Dean, and the Cathedral Council. The most touching part of an emotional and beautiful Sunday evening was the presence of the honoree’s mother, who travelled from Cyprus unbeknown to Sophianou, who gasped with joy when they first saw each other. Dora Sophianou told TNH that, “It was a great surprise. I received a phone call from Panicos Papanikolaou,” who worked with Dean Poll, the President of the Cathedral Council who thought of the gesture, to make it happen.”

The Cyprus Federation of America, one of the sponsors of the event, came out in full force to honor their own Koula Sophianou.  Past President Panicos Papanicolou was an honorary chairman.  Attending were:  CFA President Costas Tsentas, Despina Axiotakis, Kyriacos Papastylianou, Peter Kakoyiannis, Martinos Kyprianou, Soteroula Karacostas, Niovi Philippou.  Other fellow Cypriots and sponsors Philip Christopher, Nikos Mouyiaris, Sophia Cotzia also attended

Lampousa ‘Taste of Cyprus’ Night – April 2013

Lampousa Greek Cypriot Association of NJ hosted a “Cyprus Night” at St. John the Divine Cathedral in Tenafly, New Jersey. The President Stavros Kamilaris and his committee did an amazing job and the young children danced traditional Cypriot dances and sang traditional songs. Mrs. Thecla Colon was honored for all her work especially for teaching the children the Cypriot dances. We thank Consul General Koula Sophianou for always being present.  CFA President Costas Tsentas thanked the President and his committee for an outstanding job.

Cyprus Federation marches in the Celebrate Israel Parade

The Cyprus Federation of America and the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York were proud to march on Sunday June 2, with their members, in New York’s “Celebrate Israel Parade” and take pride in expressing their solidarity with the people of Israel and the Democratic values we share.

Newly Elected CFA Executive Committee

Newly Elected CFA Executive Committee

We welcome the newly elected Cyprus Federation of America Executive Committe members…

Seated (l to r): Endy Zemenides, Thomas C. Kyrus, Despina Axiotakis Costas Tsentas (newly elected President), Soteroula Karacostas, Niovi Philippou, Peter Louca.

Standing (l to r): Stavros Kamilaris, Peter Papanicolaou (outgoing president), Peter Kakoyiannis, Nicos Tziazas, Chris Nicolaou, Andreas Pavlou, Chris Karamanos, John Papas, Martinos Kyprianou, Kyriacos Papastylianou, Nicos Zittis, Stathis Zambas, Tasos Zambas.

The Cyprus Federation of America presents “Cyprus: Musical Filoxenia”

On September 26, 2012, the Cyprus Federation of America will present an extraordinary musical event to celebrate the presidency of the Council of the European Union by the Republic of Cyprus and the 52nd anniversary of the independence of Cyprus.

The program, titled “Cyprus: Musical Filoxenia”, will feature a recital by the world-renowned French-Cypriot pianist and composer Cyprien Katsaris, with the participation of the Archdiocesan Youth Choir and the Greek-Cypriot baritone Constantinos Yiannoudes.

The event will be attended by the President of the Republic of Cyprus and Mrs. Demetris Christofias, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, high-level European Union officials, government representatives of European Union countries, foreign ambassadors at the United Nations, and other dignitaries. The event will take place at the Alice Tully Hall, Starr Theater of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City.

As in the past, we count on your generous support to make this event a tremendous success. Below is information regarding tickets and sponsorship opportunities.

Download ticket and sponsorship information

For further information, please contact Mr. Peter Papanicolaou at 718-946-2700, Mrs. Despina Axiotakis at 201-444-8237, or cyprusfederation@aol.com.

Cyprus Federation of America: Memorial Service – July 15, 2012 – 38 years later – Cyprus 1974

The Consulate General of the Republic of Cyprus in New York, The Cyprus Federation of America and the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) held the annual Memorial Service commemorating July 20th, 1974 for the people who died during the Turkish invasion.

Archbishop of America Demetrios officiated in the Cathedral of Agios Dimitrios in Astoria, Queens. Addressing the congregation was Ambassador Nicholas Emiliou, Permanent Representative to the United Nations of the Republic of Cyprus. Also in attendance were Consul General of Cyprus Koula Sophianou, Consul of Greece Evangelos Kyriakopoulos, President of the Cyprus Federation, Panicos Papanicolaou, President of PSEKA, Philip Christopher, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the U.N. Ms. Christina Rafti, diplomats Stelios Makriyiannis, Nectarios Soteriou and Constantina Constantinidou. Also attending were Military attaché Mikis Ioannou, Maria Zoupaniotis from the Cyprus Press Office and Greek Trade Commissioner Apostolos Digbasannis, as well as many members of the Cyprus Federation of America.

Photo credit: Demetrios Panagos

Honoring the Freedom Fighters EOKA Struggle 1955-59 April 1, 2012

New York.- (Credit Apostolos Zoupaniotis of the Greek News)

The Cyprus Federation of America held a Memorial Service for the fallen heroes of EOKA, the 57th anniversary of the struggle of the Freedom fighters 1955-59. The event, organized by the CFA and PSEKA and under the auspices of the Consulate General of the Republic of Cyprus in New York, was attended by over 400 people at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Hempstead, New York and officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios.

The Defense Minister of Greece, Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos, spoke in the church, who described the April 1 day a remembrance for Hellenism in every corner of the globe. Mr. Avramopoulos thanked the Cypriot organizations for inviting him to attend as he was here for an official visit to the U.S. to meet with his U.S. counterpart. “We are with you to share those sacrifices. You made. Referring to the sacrifices of the fighters of EOKA FIGHTERS were INTERRED, the Greek Defense Minister said that such was the Union of Cyprus with Greece, but the coup that followed paved the way to Turkish invaders.

Attending the service were the Chief General of Greece Michalis Kostarakos, the permanent representatives of Cyprus and Greece to the UN Ambassadors Nikos Emiliou and Anastasis Mitsialis, General consuls in Greece and Cyprus, Koula Sofianou and Giorgos Iliopoulos, Mr. Panicos Papanicolaou, President of the Cyprus Federation of America along with the CFA Executive Committee, Mr. Philip Christopher, President of the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus and many leaders of other organizations.

Officiating the service was His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios.

The service was followed by a cultural event of the Cyprus Federation of America and PSEKA, under the auspices of the General Consulate of Cyprus for the struggle of EOKA FIGHTERS. Mr. Petros Petridis curated and featured songs, read stories of heroes and documentaries for the fight against the British. Event Chairman, Mr. Peter Louca, CFA Vice President and President of Asgata Association “Cyprus” presented the speakers and also recognized Mr. Andreas Karacostas who was one of the EOKA Freedom Fighters.

The President of the Cyprus Federation of Papanicolaou thanked the St. Paul’s community for hosting the event and stressed that it is our duty to honour those who gave their lives and because of their struggle we and our children can call ourselves Greeks today. Mr. Papanicolaou emphasized that His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios has always stayed beside us and is willing to help wherever he is and always speaks about Cyprus.

The President of PSEKA Mr. Philip Christopher stressed that 57 years ago, the Greek Cypriots joined together and began a struggle for the freedom of Cyprus and that the fight continues today. He asks everyone to join in the battle and meet with Washington officials to speak about Cyprus until the fight is not over.

The General Consul of Greece Mr. Iliopoulos underlined that we pledge to continue the struggle until the liberation of occupied Cyprus. He stressed that Greece will always be present and they will not forget that Cyprus is one of their first priorities.

Greeting was given by the new Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN Ambassador Nicolas Emiliou, who arrived Saturday in New York City and assumed his duties today. Mr. Emiliou expressed joy that after his first day in New York, he joined his expatriates who are celebrating a day for Cyprus and that after 57 years; the soul of the Greeks in Cyprus began a struggle against a mighty Empire for liberty of their homeland. Unfortunately, after 57 years the struggle still continues with the homeland divided as a result of the Turkish invasion and occupation but the struggle remains high until freedom is restored in place and restore human rights. We commemorate those who have sacrificed their lives for freedom but we continue our struggle every day and this is the best we can do for the memory of those people who have given their lives for the fatherland. The Ambassador pledged his support and we will continue to support the struggle until Cyprus is free.

Archbishop Demetrios spoke of the heroes of EOKA FIGHTERS and stressed that, based on the life and the work they should formally be recognized as national heroes and martyrs. The Archbishop said that he will pressure the U.S. Administration to put an end to this injustice.

Cyprus Federation of America 40th National Convention

Attended by representatives from across America, the Cyprus Federation of America held their 40th National Convention on Saturday, March 24th at Terrace on the Park. Attending the conference were His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of America, Minister of Justice of The Republic of Cyprus Mr. Loukas Louca, Ambassador of Greece, Vassilis Kaskarelis, Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus Pavlos Anastasiades, Ambassador to the U.N. Minas Hadjimichael, Council Generals of Greece and Cyprus, Mr. George Iliopoulos and Ms. Koula Sophianou, Consul of Greece Evangelos Kyriakopoulos, Parliamentarians Elias Karanikas from Evritania and Nicos Panagiotopoulos from Kavala,Greece and Pseka President, Philip Christopher.

President Peter Papanicolaou confirmed the positive work of the Federation and member chapters and congratulated them all in promoting Cyprus and actively holding cultural activities, and helping the youth and many charitable organizations. During the Conference the Presidents of clubs reported on their yearly activities.

Mr. Papanicolaou stated “As President I feel proud because this organization has been built on sound foundations in order to ensure the continuity for our community in the USA. I am very pleased to hear from both expatriates and Americans praise for our Organization and the work of the Federation”. Mr. Papanicolaou stated that the Cypriot community has developed a very important work in relation to the Cyprus problem and has been involved in American political life and gained access to Washington, in Congress and in the White House.

What counts in American politics and to make things happen “we must help with votes and money”. Even though we are a small community, we have power and there are several of us who pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to have these opportunities. Much more work needs to start from the local level up.. Mr. Papanicolaou stated that we must now intensify our work because Turkey has organized well at all levels in America.

The President of PSEKA, Philip Christopher, said that since the invasion of 1974, the Organization and its members have embarked on a journey, but unfortunately still have not reached their destination. The destination has not changed and for 37 years we have fought hard but Lapithos, Kerynia, Apostolos Andreas, Morphou, and Famagusta are still occupied. For 37 years we support the Government of Cyprus and the democratically elected President and even though you may not always agree with manipulations in Cyprus we must remain together in unison because of our common goal. “What we must resist all together is the aim of Turkey for annexation of occupied Cyprus. And this message should be sent to Congress “. He said that now that the Turkey talks about annexation, gives us the opportunity to change and progress. Mr. Christopher also mentioned the positive developments, such as the issue of natural gas and of cooperation with Cyprus and Israel, urging everyone to continue the struggle.

The Minister of Justice: “Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership insist to submit proposals that invalidate the convergences which achieved substantial capital of Cyprus, or evade the debate on key issues, causing a serious setback and undoing whatever progress had been achieved in the talks,” Mr. Loukas Loucas said in his speech.

The Minister representing the Cyprus Government, conveyed to the community warm greetings of the President of the Republic, Mr. Christofias, and of the people of Cyprus and their sincere thanks for the continued support and solidarity of the Omogenia, to repeated efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, the discharge of Cyprus by the Turkish occupation and unification.

“This race serves consistently from the first moment of his or her duties, by taking initiatives to exit from deadlock and reach a solution as soon as possible. A concerted and mutually agreed solution of the Cyprus problem, under, bi-zonal Federation. A solution fair, functional and sustainable, which ends the occupation and settlement, will reunite the territory, people, institutions and the economy, and ensures and preserves a member with a domination, a nationality and one international personality on the basis of political equality as defined in the relevant resolutions of the Council.

The Cyprus Federation honored departing Ambassador Minas Hadjimichael at the convention who was transferred to Berlin.

Greek Independence Day Parade 2012

Greek Independence Day Parade 2012The Cyprus Federation of America proudly marched in the Greek Independence Day Parade on Sunday, March 25th with all it’s chapter members. The Cyprus Federation of America thanks the Parade’s 2012 Grand Marshall Senator Bob Menendez for his continued support for all things Cypriots and his support for our Greek Heritage. Thank you Senator Menendez.

Cyprus Federation Donates Books to Queens Library

Cyprus Federation Donates Books to Queens LibraryThe Cyprus Federation of America donated over 100 copies of the hardcover book, “Cyprus Crossroads of Civilizations”, to the Queens Library that will be distributed to over 62 of their branches. The book was published on the occasion of 50 years of Cyprus Independence and was exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Peter Papanicolaou, CFA President, pointed out that the book is over 300 pages and is a beautiful book explaining the over 10,000 history of Cyprus and illustrates the antiquities in fine detail. Mr. Tom Galante, President & CEO and Queens Library Foundation Executive Director Diana Chapin gratefully accepted the donation. Mr. Galante thanked the CFA for this wonderful donation and would welcome more books about Cyprus.

The book will be included in the frame of expedition “Buy a book” and it will constitute the first phase of donation of Cypriot books. The Consul General of Cyprus Koula Sophianou stated that this is a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn about the rich history of Cyprus. Mr. Costas Constantinides was instrumental in organizing this event.

Attending the event were CFA members including Despina Axiotakis, CFA General Secretary, Ms. Sophia Cotzia, Executive Director of PSEKA, Mr. Nikos Tziazas, Mr. Kyriacos Papastylianou, Mr. Angelos Angeli. Mr. Papanicolaou offered tickets to the children visiting the library to attend the upcoming Vassilis Varvaresos piano concert at Carnegie Hall.

CFA Philanthropic Committte at work

CFA Philanthropic Committte at work . Fundraiser for Demetria Constantinides. Pictured from left: Despina Axiotakis, Peter Louca, Sophia Cotzia and Christos Nicolaou

“Philanthropy is the voluntary sharing of one’s personal and financial resources to enhance human well-being and bring about positive social change. In short, philanthropy is “Giving for a Quality Life.”

The Cyprus Federation of America Philanthropic Fund was established as a Committee to:

• Facilitate the development of chapter goals and objectives and execute tasks to achieve them.
• Plan, coordinate, and evaluate all philanthropy and service projects.
• Ensure that philanthropy events operate effectively and provide a positive experience for members and the benefactors.
• Serve as a role model by actively participating in philanthropy activities.

PHILANTHROPIC/GIFTS/DONATIONS (Partial List)

• The CFA donated $5,000 to the organization “Synthesmos of Families of Narcotics users” that will be used to help raise money for people who attend re-hab chaired by Mrs. Elsie Christofias and the Archbishop of Cyprus through the Cyprus Children’s Fund
• CFA works with the Rachel Cooper Foundation when the children from Cyprus will be coming to NY for treatment
• Greek Children’s Fund
• Cyprus Children’s Fund
• St. Basils in Garrison, NY
• “Pins for Pualy” Foundation
• CFA has aided individuals/families that were not able to pay their rent
• Has aided children in their college tuition costs
• Has aided individuals who have lost their job and need temporary relief with funds and/or housing
• Helped many families needing medical help or housing while families received medical care
• Haiti Relief – $2,000 was sent through the Archdiocese of America

SCHOLARSHIPS – SUPPORT
• Queens College the CFA offers three scholarships every year
• The Panpaphian Association – offered $1,000 in scholarship
• The American Hellenic Scholarships
• Princeton Scholarship Fund

The Current Chairman of the Philanthropic Committee is Mr. Nicos Zittis

NEPOMAK celebrates 10 year anniversary by developing new programmes at South Africa meeting

The Executive Council of NEPOMAK met in South Africa over the Christmas period from 27-30 December 2011. Members of the Executive Council from around the world, as well as young Cypriots, SAE Youth and NAHYSOSA representatives from across South Africa and Africa participated in the meeting.

The meeting was officially opened on Tuesday 27 December at the St George’s Hotel in Pretoria. The keynote speaker at the opening ceremony was George Bizos, a prominent Human Rights lawyer and Nelson Mandela’s lawyer. Mr. Bizos spoke about the importance of rule of law, identity and his experiences in South Africa. Other speakers who addressed the opening ceremony were the Archbishop of Pretoria and Johannesburg Damaskinos, Mr Cleopa Elia (President of the Cyprus Brotherhood of South Africa), Mr. Christos Karaolis (President of NEPOMAK), Mr. Philip Papathanasiou (President of NAHYSOSA) and Mr. Michael Pappas (President of NEPOMAK South Africa).

The meeting of the Executive Council focused on establishing new programmes for members, new partnerships with other NGOs and charities as well as how NEPOMAK can continue to support Cyprus and lobby decision makers even more effectively.

The meeting also provided an opportunity to begin developing the plans for the celebrations of NEPOMAK’s 10th anniversary in 2012. The Executive Council discussed the recently launched NEPOMAK logo re-design competition, how to coordinate events across member organizations to celebrate NEPOMAK’s 10 year anniversary and also how to refresh and update NEPOMAK’s strategic goals to ensure NEPOMAK remains relevant over the next 10 years.

NEPOMAK President, Christos Karaolis said “We are exceptionally grateful to the South African and Zimbabwean Cypriot communities for the warm welcome that they gave us. During the course of our meeting we put in place proposals for new programmes and initiatives that will ensure we continue to deliver on our core aims: raising awareness of the Cyprus issue and
maintaining Cypriot culture and identity across the diaspora. With these activities, I am confident that NEPOMAK will continue to go from strength to strength over the next 10 years.”

Members of the Executive Council also visited the Hellenic Cypriot Brotherhood of South Africa and Cypriot communities in Cape Town and Zimbabwe.

If you would like more information about NEPOMAK or the Executive Council meeting visit www.NEPOMAK.org, or email communications@nepomak.org.

General Greek Consul Aghi Balta Awarded in NY

The Cyprus Federation of America held a farewell reception for the General Consul of Greece in NY, Mrs. Aghi Balta and was attendeded by the Greek-Cypriot Community on Thursday, December 22, for her 4 years of service to the community. The President Mr. Panicos Papaicolaou and the CFA board awarded Mrs. Balta with a replica of the Kyrenia Ship, a photo album of all the events she attended and spent with them and a camera to take with her as a memento.

Before the members of the boards of the Greek-American and Greek-Cypriot Communities, the Archbishop of America Demetrios and several other attendees, Mrs. Balta accepted the honoring award and commented that she was very touched by the honor bestowed upon her.

“Greece is a country with a millennia long history. Its cultural heritage is its unique strength. We need to trust this strength for the future. Soon our country will get back on its feet. We have your support. We have Greece. The Greeks of America are an exceptional example of what the Greek people is capable of achieving. Be strong and have faith,” said Mrs. Balta.

The Greek Consul has received special awards from other organizations, such as the International Coordinating Committee “Justice for Cyprus” (PSEKA), the Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Asgata Association “Cyprus’ in an event held at  “Terrace On The Park”.

Mrs. Balta was loved by the entire Greek Community in NYC and they all thanked her for all she has done for the community and helped with their problems during the past 4 years.

Mrs. Balta will be serving in Chile beginning in January 10, 2012, in order to represent Greece in the Latin American country for the next 4 years. Her place in NY will be covered by diplomat Mr. George Heliopoulos.

Photo credits: Greek American News Photo Agency DIMITRIOS S. PANAGOS

The Cyprus Federation of America honors Senator Benjamin L. Cardin

The Cyprus Federation of America held their Annual Gala Dinner on Friday, September 23rd at Terrace on the Park. During the Gala Dinner, the Cyprus Federation of America honored Maryland Senator Ben Cardin for his long standing support towards Greece and Cyprus in the US Congress. His predecessor Senator Paul Sarbanes made the presentation.
Attending the event and presenting the award was President Demetris Christofias who congratulated the US Senator and thanked all other US politicians who addressed the Gala expressing their support towards Cyprus.
He paid special tribute to the efforts of the Cyprus Federation and the Cypriots of America for staying united and fighting for Cyprus.  His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios also attended and presented the award along with President Christofias and President of the CFA, Mr. Peter Papanicolaou.
The event’s MC was Andy Manatos. Also present at the event were, Foreign Minister Erato Markoullis, Cyprus Government Spokesman Stefanos Stefanou, Ambassadors Minas Hajjimichael and Pavlos Anastasiades, Congressman Mike Grimm, State Senator Michael Gianaris, State Assembywoman Nicole Malliotakis, Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, Consul Generals of Greece and Cyprus Aghi Balta and Koula Sofianou, AHEPA Supreme President John Grossomanides, the Presidents of the Hellenic Federations of New York and New Jersey Elias Tsekerides and Tasso Efstratiades etc.

A Very Successful Program of Remembrance by Cypreco on the Occasion of the 37th Tragic Anniversary of the Turkish Invasion

A Full House of Guests Attended to Declare That They “Never Forget”.

Despite the July heat wave, a full house of guests, dignitaries, Greek and Cypriot officials, as well as New York State Elected officials responded to CYPRECO’s invitation and attended the organization’s special public service remembrance program on Cyprus on July 20, 2011, the date which marked the 37th tragic anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion and subsequent occupation of the northern part of the island. [Read more…]

Cyprus Federation of America participates in the Greek Independence Parade

The Cyprus Federation of America proudly marched in the Greek Independence Day Parade on Sunday, March 27, 2011.   Marching were all the chapter members of the Federation including the Pancyprian Philharmonic, the Cyprus Youth Association and the Pancyprian Youth Dance Division.

Cypriot-Americans Vow to Continue Struggling for Freedom in Cyprus

By Demetrios Rhompotis.

A call to unity and action despite the negative messages coming from Turkey, was the main theme at this year’s Cyprus Federation of America (CFA) annual National Convention held this past March in New York on the eve of the Greek-American parade.

Addressing the meeting and touching upon the ongoing UN-led talks towards a solution of the Cyprus problem, the country’s Ambassador to Washington Pavlos Anastasiades said that “many of the proposals put forward by the Turkish Cypriot side, jeopardize the agreed base for a settlement.“

[Read more…]

CYPRECO Paid Tribute To “The Immortals”

On Friday, April 1st CYPRECO of America presented with outstanding success a special commemorative program at the Stathakion Cultural Center in Astoria, New York to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the launch of the liberation struggle of the Greek Cypriots against British colonization in Cyprus, Under the title, “To The Immortals” -Those Who Believed That Freedom Is NOT Given, You Must Fight For I. In attendance were His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America  and Guest Speaker was the Minister of Health of Cyprus Dr. Christos Patsalides who represented the Cypriot Government .P roducer and Host, Elena Maroulleti  acknowledged the presence of a freedom fighter, Mr. Andreas Karacostas who was among the youngest to enlist in the struggle at the age of almost 16 and who operated with the code name “Vounisios” and was captured by the British and after his unsuccessful attempt to escape he was kept in high security imprisonment for 2 years until the end of fight in 1959. [Read more…]

Supreme President Receives Honor from Pancyprian Association of Florida

The Pancyprian Association of Florida honored Ahepa Supreme President Nicholas A. Karacostas  with the “2011 Man of the Year” at their annual awards banquet held in Clearwater, Fla., on January 15, 2011. President of the Pancyprian Association of Florida Angela Georgiadis presented the supreme president with the “Kyrenia Award.”

More than 300 persons, attended the awards banquet and dance held at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

[Read more…]

CFA 40th National Convention Agenda

AGENDA

CYPRUS FEDERATION OF AMERICA, INC.  40th NATIONAL CONVENTION

Saturday, March 24, 2012 Terrace on the Park, New York

52-11 111 Street, Flushing Meadow Park, New York 11368  Phone:  718-592-5000 [Read more…]

The Cyprus issue at the heart of contacts with U.S. officials and Members

By Dimitris Tsaka

New York .- Large delegation of the Cyprus Federation of America, wrote ” EP ” , on the day of the 36th anniversary of Turkish invasion of Cyprus, visited Washington, where he had a series of meetings with federal MPs and senators, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as consultant Security President Obama. [Read more…]