2019: The Year of Change

The National Herald

(Photo by TNH/Kostas Bej)

My fellow members of the Greek community abroad, I hope that you had a Merry Christmas, and equally hope that you have a happy new year. I must confess that 2019 was a bit of a year in transition. I began 2019 in law school but then left, and joined the team at the newspaper. It was a joy and privilege to join the fight to serve the Greek diaspora alongside my father Antonis, my aunt Veta and my sister Vanessa. One could not possibly or reasonably expect that less than six months later my father would become a Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece and that my sister and I would be jointly running the operations of the newspaper.

Outside the scope of our newspaper and the change of hierarchy in the company, the Greek-American community experienced change at the top of our church with our new Archbishop’s, His Eminence Elpidophoros, enthronement and the swearing-in of a new Greek Prime Minister, who is a friend of the diaspora, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

It seems, my fellow Greeks, that the timing is right for a renewed push for Hellenism outside of Greece’s borders - despite some sycophants’ efforts within her borders to discredit any capable and successful member of the diaspora. For the most part throughout Greece’s long history, whenever there has been a fork in the road, Greeks have elected time and time again the wrong path. Instead of continually trying to tear down each other to self-promote and gain, in 2020 let us endeavor to build the foundations of a more cohesive and inclusive diaspora with stronger ties to Greece which are deeper than the traditional relationship of the members of our community with the homeland - i.e., a piggy bank.

You see, the jig is up. For decades on end, Greeks in Greece have turned their backs on the diaspora - but the diaspora has never once turned its back on the homeland. However, it seems as though something changed in 2019, something thawed in the relationship and here’s to hoping that it can continue.

At the conclusion of the 2010s, we look back and can be proud that we made it through the Greek economic depression and finally can usher in a more optimistic era. But optimism in the days to come should certainly not compel us to forget the hard lessons learned through the crisis.

I wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2020 and I thank you for your support during these transitional times.

We look forward to continuing to serve you, the Greek-American community and Greeks wherever they may be, because in a world recently obsessed with building walls, perhaps we could look into the construction of some bridges as well.

Happy New Year!