ATHENS, GREECE, July 5, 2023 – Following successful events in Washington, DC and New York City, in Athens over 80 current and former Greek officials, business leaders, journalists, Greek-Americans, and others attended, at the beautiful Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, a book signing of “The Extraordinary Greek People: Their Remarkable Achievements and Philosophy for Living from Ancient Times to Today.”
After being introduced by six of his grandchildren (ages 8 through 17), author Andy Manatos spoke about book and its purpose. The book highlights the many successes of Greeks from ancient times to the present and features personal essays by 60 of the Greek-American community’s most successful reflecting on the positive impact of Hellenism and Orthodoxy on their success. A major purpose of this book is to help Greek-Americans, regardless their percentage Greek, understand what Isocrates reportedly said: “Being Greek is not so much a term of birth as of mentality.” Greek culture and way of life can be exceedingly helpful and should not be cavalierly discarded for seemingly superior popular culture.
The event was co-hosted by the Washington Oxi Day Foundation and the Benaki Museum whose Board Chair, Irini Geroulanou, attended along with Member of Parliament Pavlos Geroulanos. Also in attendance was the “First Lady” of Greece, Mareva Grabowski Mitsotaki, who has known the author since she interned at Manatos & Manatos over 30 years ago.
Others in attendance included: Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark; US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Maria Olson; Minister of Citizen Protection Notis Mitrakis; Secretary General for Greeks Abroad Ioannis Chrysoulakis; Major Generals Georgios Rahmanidis, Panos Kavidopoulos and Evangelos Papadopoulos along with Ambassador Eleftherios Anghelopoulos, Director of the Defense Minister’s Diplomatic Office; from the Prime Minister’s team, his Diplomatic Advisor Ambassador Anna-Maria Boura; National Security Advisor Thanos Ntokos; and Executive Assistant Argiro Hagorari.
From the business community: Achilleas and Costantza Constantakopoulos, Christos Konstantakopoulos and Agapi Sbokou; Libra Group Chief Representative for Greece Rosanna Mortoglou; Propeller Club President Costis Frangoulis; American College of Greece President David Horner; Delphi Forum Vice President Yannis Thomatos andStella Tsomokou; and Capital Link President Olga Bornozis.
Former government officials attending included: former Minister of Tourism Fani Palli Petralia with Dora Palli Siotou; former Deputy Foreign Minister Demetri Dollis; Former Ambassador of Greece to US Alexander Philon; Diplomatic Advisor to former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Evan Kalpadakis; and former Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Historical Archives and recipient of the Washington Oxi Day Foundation Chrysostomos Award, Photini Tomai.
Several leaders whose essays were featured in the book attended including: Peter Economides, Nicholas Gage, Menas Kafatos, Stamati Krimigis and Maria Loi. As well, the granddaughter of Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas, Ioanna Phoca, along with her sons Nassos and Yannis, attended.
Numerous journalists attended including Kathimerini’s Chief Editor Notis Papadopoulos and English Edition Editor in Chief Tom Ellis; Greek Public Television (ERT) reporters Fanis Papathanasiou and Dimitrios Apokis; OPEN TV journalist Alexia Tasouli; Hellenic News of America’s owner Paul Kotrotsios and Hellenic DNA joined ERT in covering the event with cameras.
Several other organizations were repressed as well, including: The American Hellenic Institute Foundation, by President Leon Andris (who is also a Founding Board Member of the Washington Oxi Day Foundation); The Hellenic Initiative by Community Development Director Artemis Kohas; AHEPA by Athens Airport President Kosmas Pentakalos; Make-A-Wish Greece by Board Chair Yvette Kosmetatou and CEO Sandra Zafirakopoulou.