ASTORIA – The cultural event organized jointly by the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (FCAO), Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), PSEKA (Justice for Cyprus), the Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Jewish Committee (AJC), under the auspices of the Consulate General of Cyprus in New York and the Consulate General of Israel in New York, was held at Dionysos Restaurant in Astoria on January 15.
All those present enjoyed traditional Greek-Cypriot and Jewish food and beverages, as well as music from both communities.
Speeches and greetings were shared at the event before the music began.
The event took place at the initiative of FCAO President Kyriakos Papastylianou. PSEKA President Philip Christopher led a moment of silence for the late Nikos Mouyiaris who, he noted, would have enjoyed such an event bringing together the communities and encouraging cooperation.
Christopher thanked the AJC, and asked that gratitude be expressed especially to AJC Chief Executive Officer David Harris who was not present at the event.
Then Christopher introduced Mona Abramson of AJC Westchester/Fairfield, Chair of Diplomatic Outreach for Cyprus, who noted that they always had the best diplomats from Cyprus and “we feel very happy to create that relationship and develop it further.”
Abramson continued, “I personally am from Israel so I feel like I’m right next door [to Cyprus] and I feel at home and I know that all of our people here tonight are feeling very much at home,” adding that “AJC, to those that don’t know what it is, is an organization that advocates for Jews all over the world wherever they are and also for human rights and civil rights for everyone.”
Consul General of Cyprus in New York Alexis Phedonos-Vadet noted that “the close cooperation existing between the two governments, Cyprus and Israel, should be reflected here in the communities, since the 80’s there was a lot of cooperation in the areas of health, tourism, and then in the 90s we had firefighting cooperation, then we had more cooperation in energy and desalinization, so there’s a lot of close cooperation. I personally participated in a few of the summits held in Cyprus.”
Among those present were Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Nicolas Nicolaou, Executive Director Despina Axiotakis, and Director Costas Kellas.