Niarchos, Onassis, Callas, Mitropoulos, Dr. Papanikolaou.
These are the names of the Greek-born Greeks living abroad who honored and kept Greece in the spotlight – with positive consequences for it.
It is remarkable that while their memory remains alive, a new wave of these individuals is coming, a new group of Greek-born Greeks living abroad to ignite the imagination of the world, to give us encouragement and hope in the difficult times we live in, and to make us proud: Dracopoulos, Antetokounmpo, and now, Dr. Bourlas.
Each of them excels in a different area of human activity. They are, however, connected by a common element: they are at the pinnacle – internationally – in their fields. They are humble, ingenuous, polite. And they are very Greek.
Here is an example from the exclusive interview given to The National Herald by the expatriate Chairman and CEO of Pfizer Dr. Bourlas. The company he leads will save countless lives. He is the man of ‘today’ – and we can argue, the man of the year 2020.
I am sure that our readers in Greece – and Cyprus – will be able to feel the emotion, the inner beauty, the patriotism of Dr. Albert Bourlas, in its purest form, that we expatriates feel when we hear such statements.
The National Herald: How Greek do you still feel after leaving your home country many years ago? What are the persistent features of your heritage in your life? Which have been the most helpful, and which were the ones you did away most easily?
Albert Bourla: My career at Pfizer has given me the opportunity to see the world. On my journey I have lived in eight different cities in five different countries before my family settled in New York but no matter how many times I move around or where I live, Greece will always be my home. Let's not forget that I lived in Greece into my thirties, so I had a whole life in Greece. I still have all my Greek friends and every summer I return and enjoy meeting up with everyone. I am honored to be Greek and it’s very much a part of who I am. It is a privilege to lead Pfizer at such a pivotal time in our company’s history – and the history of global health in general. I hope, in some small way, it may inspire others to know that they can move around and lead others and still be who they are”.
We can only hope. This creative poetic march of the Greeks in the modern world must be studied in our schools and at Greek schools all over the world.