AHEPA President Holds Productive and Successful Meetings in Greece and Cyprus

AHEPA Supreme President James Meets
with Greek Foreign Minister Molyviatis

AHEPA President Calls Meetings in Greece, Cyprus “Productive and Successful” Programs Include: Revived “Journey to Greece,” Spring Banquets in Athens, Nicosia, and More

WASHINGTON—Supreme President Gus J. James, II, returned from an Oct. 23 to 30 visit to Greece and Cyprus where he met with government officials to discuss issues that affect the Greek American community and to promote the “Voice of Hellenism” campaign.

“We believe we are embarking on programs that help Americans of Greek heritage re-establish or strengthen their ties to their ethnic heritage,” James said. “In addition, we learned of ways we can assist citizens of Greece here in the United States. Overall, the meetings were productive and successful and we’re excited about the events we have planned in 2006.”

James was in Cyprus, the country of his birth, Oct. 23 to 25. There, President Tassos Papadopoulos, Foreign Minister George Iacovou, Deputy Chief of Mission for the American Embassy Jane Zimmerman, and Mayor of Nicosia Michael Zampelas were among the many leaders to receive James.

“Broadly, the agenda in Cyprus was to discuss the Cyprus issue, specifically the direct flights issue, to promote tourism to Cyprus, and to propose a plan for a spring banquet in honor of the Cyprus Republic,” James said. “We received enthusiastic support from all parties with whom we met. Unfortunately, we were disappointed in the position of the American government with respect to the direct flights issue.”

James traveled to Athens, Oct. 26 and 27, for meetings with leaders in government, higher education, and healthcare including: American Ambassador to Greece Charles Ries, President of the Hellenic Parliament Anna Psapouda-Benaki, Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis, Deputy Foreign Minister Panagiotis Skandalakis, President of Evangelismos Hospital Michael S. Toubmis, and Chancellor of the University of Indianapolis-Athens Campus Vasilis J. Botopoulos, among many others.

“Our agenda in Athens was to begin planning our spring banquet honoring the Hellenic Republic, to finalize our ‘Journey to Greece Program’ inaffiliation with the University of Indianapolis-Athens, and to reaffirm our commitment to Evangelismos Hospital,” James said. “Moreover, we welcomed the recommendation from Ambassador Ries to explore a ‘Home Hosting’ program to assist Greek students who study in the United States with their transition to a new environment.”

The supreme president traveled to Thessaloniki for “OCHI Day” celebrations where he and District 25 Governor Dr. Alfred Barich were guests in the Grand Stand. In Thessaloniki, Supreme President James also met with: Constantine Georgiou, chief of staff, President Karolos Papoulias; William McGrew, president, American Farm School; Dimitrios M. Gakis, president-manager, AHEPA Hospital in Thessaloniki; and Dimitra Pappas, a state department official at the American Consulate. As with the Evangelismos Hospital, James reaffirmed AHEPA’s commitment to the AHEPA Hospital in Thessaloniki.

“We believe we’ve assembled an ambitious agenda that addresses issues that touch all aspects of the community,” concluded James. “We’ve renewed a transatlantic commitment to improve educational programs and healthcare facilities, and to strengthen the bonds between the United States and Greece and Cyprus. We encourage and welcome the Greek American community’s participation to help make these programs successful.”

(Posted November 2005)

The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) is the largest and oldest American-based, Greek heritage grassroots membership organization. Its scope is international with chapters in the United States, Canada, Greece, and Cyprus, and "sister" chapters in Australia and New Zealand under the auspices of AHEPA Australasia. AHEPA was founded on July 26, 1922 in response to the evils of bigotry and racism that emerged in early 20th century American society. It also helped Greek immigrants assimilate into society. Today, AHEPA brings the ideals of ancient Greece, which includes philanthropy, education, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence to the community. The AHEPA family consists of four organizations: AHEPA, Daughters of Penelope, Sons of Pericles and Maids of Athena. For more information about the organization or how to join, contact AHEPA Headquarters (202-232-6300) or visit the organization's newly redesigned website at http://www.ahepa.org.

HCS maintains an extensive archives of AHEPA articles and press releases which readers are invited to browse under the AHEPA Family Releases section of the site archives at http://www.helleniccomserve.com/archiveahepa.html.

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