Stories about Greece

Declared ‘intangible’, the heritage of Kalash is over 3,000 years old – but will it survive the 21st century?

‘Ishpata Inn and Restaurant’, says the sign to a roadside hotel in Bumburet Valley in the Chitral district. Ishpata means welcome in the Kalasha language spoken exclusively by the endangered Kalash people, an ethnic group that has lived in three secluded valleys of these towering mountains for centuries: Bumburet, Rumbur and Birir. There are only around 4,000 Kalash villagers left in Chitral. They are one of the last peoples of western Asia to retain their aboriginal culture and have survived many waves of invaders, refusing to convert to Islam. Their neighbours across the mountains in the north-western region of ...

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Lesvos: From a tourist heaven to the ‘refugee island’ of drowned boats and lifejackets

I recently had the chance to visit Lesvos, a tiny Greek island located a few kilometres from the Turkish Riviera. This picturesque island, which was once a tourist heaven, is now commonly referred to as the refugee island, given the high influx of refugees since 2014 following the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Whilst there as a volunteer, much of my time was spent realising how borders can sometimes prove fatal.  As I visited the shores of Skala, I could see Turkey through my binoculars. While many refugee boats arrive weekly from Turkey, at one point in 2015, an average total ...

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The year of Cristiano Ronaldo; Champion of Europe for both club and country

Unanticipated, unpredictable and unexpected are a few of many analogous adjectives that have been used to describe the recently concluded football spectacle, Euro 2016. It was indeed a tournament which saw several unheralded outcomes: – The spirited Icelandic ‘sons’ stomped over a perplexed and dumbfounded English 11 in the round-of-16. Iceland celebrates a goal during Euro 2016.Photo: Twitter England suffered 2-1 upset loss to Iceland in Euro 2016 round.Photo: Headline News – A united Welsh outfit sailed through to the semi-finals in what was their first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. [caption ...

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UK voted to leave the European Union: Now what?

On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom voted by a majority of over a million votes to exit the European Union (EU). The Brexit, as it has been called, has a number of implications for the economics and politics of not only the UK and the region, but also the world over. Firstly, the results of the referendum are unbinding, meaning they are not compulsory for the government to follow. However, having said that, it is very unlikely that the British government will not follow through on it. The key question is how the exit happens. For the exit to happen, Article ...

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Should the UK leave the European Union? I think not

On June 23, 2016, the people of the United Kingdom (UK) will determine their destiny, and the whole world is watching. The decision on membership of the European Union (EU) is the most significant choice to be made by the country this century so far, with far reaching consequences not just for the UK, but for Europe and beyond. I write as a British citizen, born and raised in the UK with a Pakistani heritage and I practice as a human rights barrister. However, my decision for the referendum will not be based on what is best for me, but ...

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 was a big fat waste of time and money

Actress, screenwriter-cum-director Nia Vardalos, (famous for one of the highest-grossing romantic comedy films, My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)) is back in Tinsel-town after almost 14 years with a sequel; My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. Nia Vardalos.Photo: Screenshot Director Krik Jones, along with Vardalos, tried a similar recipe consisting of an ethnic extended family household in order to tickle the taste buds and catch the attention of spectators. However, this time, the storyline is nothing great. It’s the same eccentric Greek family with lots of dog-tired jokes and all this is downright unappealing. The plot ends up draining ...

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Are Muslim refugees destined for a life of sex slavery?

“Listen lady, if you don’t want to be whisked away to a brothel in Brussels and your three girls trafficked into pedophile rings or have their organs removed, please go back to Pakistan. Stop trying to make your way into Europe.” These were the words of British aid worker Sajad Shah to a Pakistani mother with three very young daughters. The woman was seeking asylum in Germany, along with thousands of Syrians and Iraqi refugees, after claiming she was being persecuted as a Christian in her home country. The founder of the charity Love for Humanity, Sajad Shah has been helping in ...

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A Syrian refugee’s message to the European Union

When we first got here we had money to buy a little food. Now it’s gone. We stand in line for hours for a sandwich. My husband told a journalist recently, “People are fed up. Maybe tomorrow they will break down the gate and flood across the border.” The journalist said, “How many weapons do you have?” If we knew how to carry weapons or wanted to carry weapons we would not have fled Syria. We want peace. We are sick of killing. We fled a war, and now the European Union is making war against us, a psychological war. When we hear rumours that we’ll be let ...

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Ditch Santorini’s beaches and Mykonos’s party life, Athens is the place to be

When you hear that someone in their mid-20s has travelled to Greece, one immediately imagines them lying on a sandy beach surrounded by the pristine waters of Santorini or thinks of them dancing to their heart’s content to the tunes of the world’s best DJs on the party island of Mykonos. But those are not the destinations my friends and I chose for our four-day get-away to Greece. Our city of choice was Athens, the birthplace of democracy.  Named after the Greek God Athena, and one of the oldest cities of the world, Athens was not just a treat historically and ...

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‘Beti Bachao, Selfie Banao’: Modi finally takes a step in the right direction

It’s hard to take Narendra Modi seriously. As a member of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh political party) and a controversial one at that, his election to the post of the 15th Prime Minister of India is more likely to make most people raise their brows in amazement. But every tub can stand on its own bottom even if it wobbles at times, and Mr Modi proves he too has some stable ideas. Mr Modi has suggested that Indians should take selfies. Not just random selfies but selfies of themselves with their daughters and post these pictures onto any social media platform with a ...

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