All posts tagged: Greece

A first course of kindness: Athens-based chef Iakovos Apergis cooks up goodwill in Greek hospitals | Neos Kosmos

For chef Iakovos Apergis, it was the influence from his grandparents that inspired him to become a cook; his grandfather was a baker. Born in Canada in 1974, Iakovos migrated with his family to Greece the year after. A few years after finishing his schooling, and after earning his degree in cookery, and working in a range of kitchens, he became a member of the Academy of Chefs of Greece. His mother’s experience as a hospital patient inspired him to think of his connection with food as an experience beyond just cooking it: commenting on the food that she received as a patient in hospital, she decribed it as cold and tasteless, not something a sick woman needed. His mother, who passed away in 2003, was a patient at Piraeus at Tzaneio (Piraeus General Hospital) and that, serendipitously, is where he finds himself working now as head chef, after relatives suggested that he apply. Iakovos is starting to create change with hospital food because, as he says, food can be, and should be, a positive …

Mental health emergency declared for asylum seekers on the Greek islands | Neos Kosmos

Harrowing reports reveal a “mental health emergency” faced by asylum seekers in camps on the Greek islands and call for the asylum seekers to be relocated to the mainland as refugee camps become severely overcrowded, and conditions continuing to worsen. The recent report released by Medecins Sans Frontiers reveals that current asylum seekers have experienced violence in Greece, and 80 per cent of new mental health patients treated on Lesvos reported experiencing violence. Just over a quarter reported experiencing torture, and 19 percent reported experiencing sexual violence, the report found. Mental health is quickly deteriorating, with more patients needing to be referred to psychiatrists, with an average of six to seven people requiring urgent care linked to attempted suicide, self-harm, psychosis and other emergencies. Grigoris Kavaranos, a psychologist working in the refugee camps at Lesvos, said the refugees in the camps, his patients, feel frustrated for having been “trapped” on the island for more than a year living in conditions that are “not humane”, exacerbated by the surge in inhabitants. The camps are built to …

Notes From a Diplomat | In Conversation with Haris Dafaranos, ex Greek Ambassador to Australia

“A diplomat is by de nition a generalist. He or she has to know a lot about many dimensions of life,” says His Excellency Mr Haris Dafaranos, Ambassador of Greece to Australia. “I would say that Law, Economics, History, Diplomatic History, International Relations, Literature and Philosophy are subjects one should master, together with foreign languages. A good critical mind is also necessary, with the ability of synthesis and analysis as well,” he adds. Good judgement, he explains, is also part of this equation, but it comes with time and experience. Add to this being a good listener and multiply it by being an everyday avid reader and you have some of the essential qualities of a quali ed diplomat. Born in Athens, Greece, Ambassador Dafaranos had a certain penchant for languages, studying French, English and Italian in high school. He continued his interest in languages, studying English Literature and Law at university, where he realised that he wanted to follow a professional career which would give him experiences from a global perspective. So in 1980 …