The AHEPAN - July 2011 - 9

Excursion Makes History
First-ever Visit to Israel Highlights Many Groundbreaking Moments
By Executive Director Basil Mossaidis


or 83 years, AHEPA has embarked on an annual overseas excursion. Over those eight-plus decades the excursion’s mission has evolved. In the past 15 years or so, it has positioned AHEPA in a “Track Two” diplomacy role, serving as a bridge-building and credible vehicle through which communication between nations is facilitated. This role led AHEPA to be the first Greek American organization to formally visit Ankara in 1996 and to cross the “Green Line” in Cyprus in 2001, among many other trailblazing achievements. The 2011 excursion, held April 12-21, followed in the footsteps of these and many other groundbreaking excursions, featuring a historic first formal visit to Israel, the establishment of an AHEPA chapter in Istanbul, and a presentation of testimony before a committee of Hellenic Parliament. In sum, the excursion kept a frantic pace of 23 meetings in four countries over the brief span of nine days. It began with a two-day visit to Athens, April 12-13, 2011. There, the AHEPA family met with Prime Minister George Papandreou, President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias, and President of the Hellenic Parliament Mr. Phillipos Petsalnikos on April 13. According to Karacostas, meeting all three leaders was a proud moment for the AHEPA family and an opportunity for the organization to offer support to Greece’s leaders in a time of great crisis. They all understand the important role AHEPA has in the Diaspora and its significance to Greece, he added. In a first for AHEPA, Supreme President Karacostas addressed the Hellenic Parliament’s Special Committee on Greeks Abroad, which was attended by several members of Parliament led by Committee Chairman Ilias

Karanikas and Secretary of the Committee SpyridonAdonis Georgiadis. The supreme president provided an overview of AHEPA’s role in the community and how the organization has served as trusted bridge between the United States and Greece, the state of the Greek American community, and programs of mutual cooperation to benefit the Diaspora. The address with the special committee was broadcast over TV. In addition, the delegation received a briefing on U.S.Greece relations from American Ambassador to Greece Daniel B. Smith at the American Embassy on April 12. “We have been extremely well-received in Athens,” said Supreme President Nicholas A. Karacostas. “We are grateful to all parties that helped to make this leg of our excursion a fruitful and productive one. We look forward to continuing our work together to further enhance and strengthen relations between the United States, Canada, and Greece.” The delegation concluded its Athens leg with meetings with Greece’s Minister of Finance George Papaconstantinou, who explained Greece’s Diaspora Bonds campaign and the country’s financial recovery plan, and Minister of Public Order Christos Papoutsis, who discussed public safety, antiterrorism efforts, and defending Greece’s borders. Moreover, the University of Indianapolis, Athens Campus hosted a roof-top reception for the delegation. The university is AHEPA’s partner for its successful “Journey to Greece” Program for college students. Also in Athens, the delegation visited with the president of Evangelismos Hospital, which has an AHEPA Wing; and the AHEPA family District 25 Lodges.

July 2011

the ahepan


The AHEPAN - July 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The AHEPAN - July 2011

The AHEPAN - July 2011
Supreme President’s Message
AHEPA Family News
The Periclean
Excursion Makes History
AHEPA Family Chapter News
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - The AHEPAN - July 2011
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - Cover2
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - Contents
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - Supreme President’s Message
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - AHEPA Family News
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - 6
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - The Periclean
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - Excursion Makes History
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - 9
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - 10
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - 11
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - Housing
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - AHEPA Family Chapter News
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - 14
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - 15
The AHEPAN - July 2011 - Cover4