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Diane Adam

Diane Adam

Diane Adam is the current editor of The Greek Star newspaper. She came to the newspaper in 1994, after having worked as an English teacher in Kato Patissia, Athens, Greece. Active in the Greek-American community, Diane served as a board member of the Hellenic Foundation and the Hellenic American Women’s Council. She and her husband, George, reside in the northwest suburbs.

The Greek Women’s University Club’s Membership  Drive will feature Rebecca Roula, an independent Chocolatier and truffle maker with Dove Chocolate Discoveries. On Saturday, November 15, from 1-4 PM you will be treated to the “History of Chocolate and Truffle Making” with hands on activities.

The event will be held at the Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church at 2501 South Wolf Road,Westchester, IL. A five dollar donation will be applied to the GWUC ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIPS and the making of truffles. Premium Dove Chocolates will be used for the presentation. 

Rebecca Roulo is an Independent Chocolatier with Dove Chocolate DiscoveriesTM. Backed by MARS, Incorporated – one of the world’s largest and iconic chocolate companies, Rebecca helps bring people’s love of chocolate into their daily lives in more ways than just candy.  Rebecca jumped at the opportunity to supplement her family’s income with a fun and unique company. Over two and half years later, Rebecca continues to bring her love of chocolate into the sweet, savory, drink, and healthy part of our lives through education, instruction, and chocolate parties.

RSVP to Stacy Kafkes by Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 at   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 708-246-7336.

MIAMI—South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center and Culture Shock Miami Presents collaborate to bring world-acclaimed Flamenco dancer Soledad Barrio and her internationally sought company, Noche Flamenca, to Miami-Dade County for an evening of world-class Flamenco dance and music including Martin Santangelo’s 5-part adaption of the timeless Greek tragedy, Antigone. The company takes the Main Stage of South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center on Saturday, Nov, 15, at 8:00 pm.

Ticket prices are $27.50 to $47.50 online at SMDCAC.org or through the SMDCAC box office by calling 786-573-5300. The performance is also available through South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center’s subscription program. $5 tickets are available to 13-22 year olds and one accompanying guest each, exclusively through CultureShockMiami.com. $5 Culture Shock Miami tickets are not sold through the SMDCAC Box Office. Culture Shock Miami ticket sales for this performance end on Friday, November 14, 2014 at midnight.

Artistic Director and Producer Martín Santangelo has reimagined the ancient Greek play by Sophocles, Antigone, through his adaptation in the authentic Flamenco tradition. Titled Antigona, the 5-part work, which is performed by a cast of 16 dancers and musicians, tells the tragic story of the daughter of a Greek nobleman and soldier who would rather die than dishonor her father. The role of Antigona is performed by Soledad Barrio.

To see a preview of Noche Flamenca’s Antigona, paste  http://youtu.be/sGfJYLEoPlY into your browser.

NEW YORK— The National Hellenic Student Association (NHSA) of North America, Inc., a not-for-profit in the State of New York, will host its semi-annual convention in Washington, D.C. from November 7 to 9. This convention will be held in collaboration with the Pan-Hellenism Weekend hosted by DCGreeks.com. 

NHSA is an umbrella organization for Hellenic student organizations of colleges/universities in the United States and Canada. Among other initiatives, NHSA hosts semi-annual conferences, which are educational and professional in nature. NHSA invites students to participate in our educational workshops and to network with professionals who are invited to attend the convention as well.

The Hellenic youth are the driving force of the Hellenic culture, values, traditions, language, and religion. NHSA hopes to see students and professionals at the fall convention in Washington, D.C. as well as at the Pan-Hellenism Weekend. More information regarding these events will be available on Facebook and the NHSA website.  More information can be found at www.nhsaofamerica.org

John Kosmopoulos is a fine art photographer from Toronto who specializes in black and white photography. His photographs of the OAKA complex in Athens recently won a Gold (First Place) and a Bronze Award in Fine Art Architecture at the prestigious PX3 - Prix de la Photographie (Paris) international competition 2014. The Greek Star’s editor Diane Adam recently caught up with Kosmopoulos to learn more about his love for the lens and his favorite places to take photos in Greece.

Please explain your background for our readers.  Where are your parents from in Greece?

I am a father, family man, consultant and professor in the Behavior Sciences in the Toronto area. In many ways, I consider Chicago my second city given how much I have visited for personal and professional reasons.  I was born in Athens but my parents moved to Canada when I was very young.  My father is from a small village near Tripoli in the Peloponnese and my mother is originally from Crete.  Athens is where they fell in love.

How old were you when you took your first photograph?

 I was always fascinated by the promise of photography to fulfill something in me and to balance my life.  I have become lost and found in its pursuits.  My interest in photography began when I picked up a Kodak Tourist Camera from an antique store for ten dollars.  The camera didn’t work but it made me research the history of photography in my early twenties.  During my first trips around Europe, I picked up a Sony digital camera to take my first “real” photographs at the turn of the millennium.  The combination of beautiful scenery and the ability to record my experiences for posterity through artistic expression enthralled me.  I was hooked on photography at that moment.  Since that time, I have enjoyed specializing in black and white photography using conventional, long exposure and infrared long exposure techniques across eclectic subjects and delving into my own practical theories of photography.

What is your expertise?

 I consider myself somewhere between a self-taught professional and an amateur photographer as I don’t make my main living as a photographer.  However, photography has honored me with many possibilities for travel and friendships with fellow artists.  I have been fortunate to receive recognition for my work by receiving multiple international awards and publications, having my work featured in galleries and film, conducting workshops, and becoming a featured artist with theHouse of Ilford, Formatt-Hitech and Topaz Labs Software.   

You introduced a new word/phrase in the lexicon of photography known as “vision drawing” or “oramagraphy”  “όραμαγραφία”™ . Explain this.

 I refer to this concept as a “new psychology of photography” that focuses on the artist’s creative process in fine art photography.  What you capture with your camera isphotography (light drawing); what you do before, during and after you take a photograph (i.e., from previsualization to realized vision) is a complimentary term that I coined asoramagraphy (vision drawing).  In essence, what and how we take a photograph becomes secondary to why we choose to make a photograph the way we do.   If we answer the why, we understand the psychology and motivation behind the photo much better.  This concept also refers to the pursuit of a personal originality that may lead the photographer to discover an inspirational or innovative form of photography in the evolution of photography as an art form.  I developed some core principles for this model based on my readings of famous photographers like Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier-Bresson, to name a few.  This concept is also applicable to all artists who practice various fine arts including film, painting, music, and architecture.

 If you could spend 24hrs shooting photographs in Greece where would you be?

When I think of Greece, I am often reminded of a quote by Nikos Kazantzakis: “Beauty is merciless. You do not look at it.  It looks at you and does not forgive.”

Beauty abounds in every corner of Greece.  It is very tempting to say the islands, which always provide solace for the soul, but I could easily spend hours near Meteora or Thessaloniki, two places I have yet to visit, as I spend most of my time in Athens proper, Peloponnesus or the iconic islands.  Greece is not only a country to me but an experience and experiment in wonder.

If not for your current occupations, what would you be?

A film director.  I seriously considered this path before I entered university.  When I make photographs, I often see “moving pictures” as if I am stepping into a film of my own making that I have stilled or slowed with every click of my camera.  I often visualize a scene with this type of aesthetic in mind.  I enjoy the tangible ethereality of these experiences tremendously.  As much as I love what I am doing as art and science, I am a strong believer that a person can be a master of more than one fate and that human excellence is boundless.

What do you love most about your Greek heritage?

  1. Our passion for life, our perseverance in the face of adversity, and our pursuance of ideas that can and have changed the world.  We also have an uncanny way of telling stories that resonate with the world.  It may sound Proustian, but I like to translate my own lived stories through my photography.  As much as I am a citizen of the world, being a Greek-Canadian is an indelible part of my identity that humbles me and makes me proud at the same time.

You can visit more at John’s website:  www.silverzenphotography.com

Tuesday, 14 October 2014 21:23

The power of “Oxi!”

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

—Winston Churchill

Greeks around the world will celebrate the historic day of Oct. 28, 1940—“Oxi Day.” We all applaud the bravery when then Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas declared his resounding ultimatum “Oxi” to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Parades, celebrations and more will celebrate this historical day not only in Greece but all over the world.

This day in Greek history empowers me. I enjoy revisiting the history of what took place surrounding this historic event. President Franklin Roosevelt said: “When the world had lost all hope, the Greek people dared to question the invincibility of the German monster...” 

 It is recorded that Greeks took to the streets in unison and stood their ground on something that was unacceptable. With a simple “oxi”—a word of only a few charcters but with so much power.

In this instance and so many others, it is a word that stands against, evil, injustice, and more. I can only imagine the streets in Greece on the morning of Oct. 28  with shouts of oxi. 

I recently came across a trailer for a new documentary entitled: OXI: An Act of Resistance that sheds an interesting light on the current crisis Greece is going through. In the documentary I found this quote quite powerful: “What is a life if fear rules every thought.”

In today’s world we are faced with terror on a daily basis. But with a simple and powerful word we witness so many people from all walks of life resist evil with a simple—oxi.

In Washington DC American journalist James Foley, who was publicly executed by ISIS in Syria on August 19, will receive (posthumously) the 2014 Oxi Day Award for his extraordinary courage in the defense of freedom and democracy on Oct. 23. 

President Bill Clinton, who nominated Foley for the award, is expected to introduce Foley (via video) when the award is presented to his parents, Diane and John Foley, at the Fourth Annual Washington Oxi Day Foundation Gala on October 23, 2014 at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, DC.  

There is no doubt that we learn from history, but sometimes we also are reminded  to recall the great courage those who have and continue to say oxi to their adversaries.

CHICAGO—The Department of Classics and Mediterranean Studies will host Professor Thanos Veremis, well known historian of Modern Greece and Vice Mayor of Athens Oct. 15-Nov.15. The visit is sponsored by the University Seminars Program of the Onassis Foundation (USA). Professor Thanos Veremis is the best known historian of Modern Greece and so popular that he was recently elected Vice Mayor of Athens.

Below is the schedule of events:

Cultural History of Modern Greece, Class/GKM 285

Every Tuesday, R  11:00- 12:15

Lecture Center  A 105, 

Oct, 15-Nov, 15, 2014

Friday Oct. 17, 4:30: University of Chicago, Classics Building, 

Room 21 

The Years of Ottoman Rule, European Influences and National Ideologies

Oct. 22. 12: 12:50. Department of History, UIC, room 950

The role of populism in post-Andreas Papandreou Greek politics

Oct. 30. 3:00-5:00 pm. Department of Classics and MS, Daley Library, 

 Conversation  between Thanos Veremis (Athens), Stathis Kalyvas (Yale) and Leon Fink (UIC): 

“History  between the Academic and the Public Domain”

Nov. 11. Time TBA. U of I, Urbana/ Champaign . Modern Greek Studies

Greek Economic Crisis and the City of Athens: A Discussion with the Deputy Mayor of Athens, Prof. Thanos Veremis

WASHINGTON, DC, October 8, 2014 — American journalist James Foley, who was publicly executed by ISIS in Syria on August 19, will receive (posthumously) the 2014 Oxi Day Award for his extraordinary courage in the defense of freedom and democracy.  President Bill Clinton, who nominated Foley for the award, is expected to introduce Foley (via video) when the award is presented to his parents, Diane and John Foley, at the Fourth Annual Washington Oxi Day Foundation Gala on October 23, 2014 at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, DC.  

The Award is named after the one-word answer the Greek Prime Minister gave when Axis Forces requested surrender at 3:00 am on October 28, 1941 -- “Oxi” (“No” in Greek).  Hitler had just crushed 15 countries leaving Great Britain and Greece alone standing against Hitler. (Russia had a non-aggression treaty with Germany and America was still neutral).  Yet heavily outnumbered Greece became the first country to defeat the Axis Forces moving President Franklin Roosevelt to say, “When the world had lost all hope, the Greek people dared to question the invincibility of the German monster...” 

James Foley, the first American citizen killed by ISIS in response to American airstrikes in Iraq, showed the same David vs. Goliath courage against ISIS today that Greece  showed against the Nazi forces in WWII.  Foley, who served as a conflict journalist in Iraq, then Afghanistan, then Libya (where he was captured and held for 44 days by lethal extremists) and finally Syria, knew full well the danger into which he ventured.  Yet, he proceeded because as he said, “I believe that front line journalism is important.  Without these photos, videos and first hand experience you can’t really tell the world how bad it might be.  These kinds of things are very important to me.”  His extraordinary courage continued during his time as an ISIS hostage.  A released fellow prisoner said of Foley, “He was an extraordinary person with a strong character.  He never gave in to the pressure and violence of the kidnappers”.

This award will be presented at a full capacity black tie gala made up of high level US government officials, foreign dignitaries, national journalists and other opinion leaders and leaders of the national Greek-American community.  Also present that evening will be John Foley’s brothers Michael and John (US Air Force) and their wives, sister Kathryn (US Navy) and other family members.

International musician and human rights activist Bono nominated and introduced 2013 Oxi Day Award winner John Githongo of Kenya, blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangchen received the 2012 Oxi Day Award, and Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi received the 2011 award for a female (the Battle of Crete Award). 

In 2009, Foley became an embedded journalist with US troops in Iraq, where his brother was serving as an officer in the United States Air Force.  In 2011 he was in Afghanistan where he wrote for military newspaper Stars and Stripes.  He next went to Libya, embedding himself with rebel fighters, while working for the Boston-based GlobalPost.  In Libya he was captured by Colonel Gaddafi’s regime and held for 44 days.  In January of 2012, he began what would be many trips in and out of northern Syria as a freelance war correspondent during the Syrian Civil War.  Jim was abducted in northern Syria on November 22, 2012 and held captive until his execution on August 19, 2014 .  Jim was the oldest of five children and grew up in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

 

Friday, 10 October 2014 10:30

Kids book launch party

The Embassy of Greece in Washington, D.C. will be hosting a wonderful book launch event that will take kids on an adventure to the land of democracy. “KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Athens, Greece” written by Shannon Jones will be unveiled on Saturday, Oct 25 from 1 to 3pm at the Embassy of Greece, 2217 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC. To attend please  RSVP: https://keekee.eventbrite.com  

The event is part of the Kids Euro Festival.

The event will include storytime with author at 1:30 and 2:30. Also featured will be traditional Greek food & music, kid’s activity stations as well as book signings with the author & illustrator. Please pre-order books in advance here for pick up at the event.

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The Greek Star newspaper is the longest continually published weekly Greek-American newspaper in the United States.

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