For the First Time

For the first time in my short 21 year life I feel ashamed of being Greek. For the first time I wish I was not Greek. For the first time I feel true, honest anger and disgust. 

In case you want the point of view of a young Greek then you are very fortunate. Here it is.

In one month I will have my 21 birthday. Since I can remember my parents told me that I should leave Greece the first chance I get. They did everything in their power to prepare me and when the time came I left. 

There is a saying in Greece. “Η Ελλάδα τρώει τα παιδιά της”. Loosely translated:  “Greece eats her children”. What does that mean? You might ask. It means that Greece destroys the Greeks. Basically in my case, as my parents warned, if you are born Greek then you are already burdened. You are already destined to live a hard life. I was born in 1994. I was seven years old when Greece entered the eurozone. I had no say in it. I had no choice. I was already destined to suffer. 

I understand that this article must seem very pessimistic and defeatist. No need to worry I’m not finished yet. 

What I would like to ask all the narrow minded idiots that made decisions well before my time is if they though of me. If they thought about others like me. Why should we suffer for the mistakes of our fathers? What is their argument? Their defence? 

Do they suggest that all the children of the world that don’t have access to food, clean water or a roof over their heads had any choice? Any chance in life? Is it their fault? 

What’s even worse is that the politicians of today are not phased in any way. I am sorry but I fail to believe that nothing can be done. There are countless… countless organisations and people that give blood, sweat and tears to make this idiotic planet a better place. Countless acts of kindness and compassion take place every day. Are all these people naive? Are they really that stupid? 

I am sorry but I do not think they are. There is a true humanitarian crisis in Greece. People are suffering and they will keep suffering. The reason I am angry is not Tsipras or Merkel or Hollande or whomever. The reason I am angry is that they believe that me and others like me are stupid. Excuse me ladies and gentlemen but we are not stupid. Do they realise what is going on around the world? Do they care? 

Before you judge me and mistake me for a stupid hippie who doesn’t understand the world… stop. Think again. My problem is that I understand what is going on.  

I’ve wanted to start this blog for a long time but I didn’t have the chance to start it until recently. Unfortunately, I started right when the Greferendum was announced. This was not the start I imagined but I am glad. I come from a family of journalists and I want to carry on that tradition. Hence, the recent developments have not phased me on a journalistic level. However, they have phased me on a personal level.  

For this exact reason I am writing this post. Just to clarify and explain my position. 

This world has been stained by the bad decisions of our predecessors. They are gone. They have destroyed all they could. We are left to clean up the mess. 

Greece has suffered greatly. The world has suffered greatly. This will not end. 

I have one last thing to say. A message to all those that want to oppress. To all the unjust. The world is not divided by borders. Not by religion. Not by wealth. It is divided between the good and the evil. Both exist. Must exist. All of us that want to do good in this world are not divided and will never be. 

For the first time I am ashamed I am Greek and I am thankful. This is the great gift Greece gave me. It gave me freedom. Freedom to fight for my right to live in this world. The freedom that only true struggle can bring. Greece wants us to fight to our last breath. Not for borders or conquest but for the idea that all of us are only limited by ourselves. She is our mother. And as any good mother should do she lets us go. She will force us to go. Chase our dreams. Become great. Live free and with conviction. 

Whatever happens. Wherever I go. Greece will be with me and I will always yearn for her warm embrace. 


By Constantinos Virvilis.  

Recognize the Armenian Genocide

On April 24, 1915, Ottoman Turkey began the annihilation of the Armenian people, killing 1.5 million Armenians, and creating the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey has attempted to keep this genocide forgotten, however, the blood that runs in the veins of the descendants of the survivors has not allowed that to happen. While some countries have recognized it as a genocide, we still have struggled to obtain complete worldwide recognition. The Turkish government continues not to take blame for what their forefather have done. They deny any and all of those actions, despite the outstanding amount of evidence.

Tumblr, what I ask you today is to please reblog this to educate your followers, so that they may pass it on as well. Within this month, do something small. Maybe, post something on your social media having to do with the genocide, so that the people you know may be educated and pass the word on. If you are really wanting to get involved, there will be marches all over the world to get recognition. I know this is a website full of people who stand for activism. Please, help educate the world on this matter. It would mean a lot to me, who lost ancestors during that time, and other Armenians who share the same story. Thank you.

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Soon after becoming a UNICEF ambassador, Hepburn went on a mission to Ethiopia, where years of drought and civil strife had caused terrible famine. After visiting UNICEF emergency operations, she talked about the projects to the media in the United States, Canada and Europe over several weeks, giving as many as 15 interviews a day. It set a precedent for her commitment to the organization.

In the years that followed, Hepburn made a series of UNICEF field trips, visiting a polio vaccine project in Turkey, training programmes for women in Venezuela, projects for children living and working on the street in Ecuador, projects to provide drinking water in Guatemala and Honduras and radio literacy projects in El Salvador. She saw schools in Bangladesh, projects for impoverished children in Thailand, nutrition projects in Vietnam and camps for displaced children in Sudan.

As she would reflected: ‘I’m glad I’ve got a name, because I’m using it for what it’s worth. It’s like a bonus that my career has given to me.’ Perhaps Audrey was suited for the job and according to Robert Wolders, since 'she was a composite of reactions against bias, intolerance, and anger. Not necessarily directed toward her, but based on observation. This is why she was so even and fair with everyone. Her indignation toward intolerance grew to where there was a range toward the injustices she observed.’ About her work for Unicef, Audrey also would say: 'I’ve been auditioning my whole life for this role, and I finally got it.’

Asked about “what you really do for UNICEF?”, she would answer: “My task is to inform, to create awareness of the needs of children. It would be nice to be an expert on education, economics, politics, religions, traditions and cultures. I’m none of those. But I am a mother and I will travel.”

Hepburn also worked tirelessly for UNICEF when not making field trips. She testified before the US Congress, took part in the World Summit for Children, launched UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children reports, hosted Danny Kaye International Children’s Award ceremonies, designed fundraising cards, participated in benefit concert tours and gave many speeches and interviews promoting UNICEF’s work.

Hepburn received the United States’ highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in December 1992. During that year, though ill with cancer, she had continued her work for UNICEF, travelling to Somalia, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France and the United States. x x

Wherever there are foreign troops that are ostensibly protecting the most vulnerable civilians on Earth, the problem of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation is simply rampant.
—  Paula Donovan, co-director of AIDS-Free World. Her group has launched the Code Blue campaign, which seeks to end the sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations military and nonmilitary peacekeeping personnel. Watch her interview on Democracy Now! today.

How many of us can say we know exactly where our clothes come from? Not many right? It’s almost impossible, in fact it may just be impossible. Up until a few days ago, I wasn’t aware of the cruelty and injustice that comes simply with making clothes because almost everything in this world Is behind closed doors. So many cooperate companies make money off of innocent people in developing countries and treat them like garbage so that they can have a more privileged life. It’s disgusting. How many of you have heard of the term ‘sweatshops?’ Maybe a lot of you have or maybe you havnt. There is no single definition of what a sweatshop is, but in general, a sweatshop can be described as a workplace where workers are subject to extreme exploitation, including the absence of a living wage or benefits, poor working conditions, and arbitrary discipline, such as verbal and physical abuse and working 16+ hrs a day. Since sweatshop workers are paid less than their daily expenses (20-60 cents a day!), they are never able to save any money to improve their lives. They are trapped in an awful cycle of exploitation. Not one human on this earth deserves that. I was reading so many interviews and these poor people are risking their lives to make our clothes, to the point where they are beaten if they make a mistake. It’s heartbreaking. No matter who they are (men, women & children of all ages), they deserve a life of freedom and education. They deserve clean water, food and a safe home and the fact that millions of people don’t get these simple rights kills me. It truly makes me so mad. I’m still on the verge of finding everything out but the first thing I did was Google what companies in Australia use/don’t use sweatshops because I firmly believe in ethical Rights of humans/animals/literally anything & always will want to know what my money contributes to. I suggest that you all also maybe take time out of your day & find out what you’re contributing to. As consumers we have a right to know what our money does/doesn’t support. No one deserves to be treated so poorly, especially for something as little as clothes. #humanrights

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“As a parent, I can not imagine a greater horror.”-Special envoy Angelina Jolie in Iraq

I don’t get why people want to climb Everest. It is freezing cold and there is a real chance you could die. Plus it costs like a million dollars or something. I get that you want a challenge but why not just give all of your money to a poor community in rural India or Africa and then try living in one of those communities for the rest of your life, that would be a real challenge and you would be a bigger hero than the 5000th or so person to climb a particular mountain.