Happy New Year from NEPOMAK
At this special time of year, we would like to wish the global Cypriot diaspora, and NEPOMAK members around the world, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
This year has been like no other in recent memory, and we hope that next year is a safer and more normal year than 2020 has been. Until circumstances are better, we urge everyone to stay safe and protect the health and wellbeing of those around them.
We also hope that 2021 will be a year that we see progress towards a reunified Cyprus. Young diaspora Cypriots continue to be passionate about a free, united Cyprus where Cypriots live and prosper together. This year has seen countless illegal actions and interferences by Turkey against Cyprus, including the illegal ‘opening’ of part of Varosha beachfront, drilling attempts in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and threatening the permanent partition of the island. We must all ensure we do more next year to help Cyprus and make our diaspora’s voice heard around the world on these issues.
At the end of such a tough year, we’ve been reflecting on some more positive moments. Our Global Officers have selected a few of their 2020 highlights to share:
Christos Tuton, President
- My highlight of 2020 has been seeing people come together to tackle the COVID pandemic and its consequences. The work that healthcare professionals, frontline workers, teachers and volunteers have done throughout the pandemic to make all of our lives better has been inspiring. It has been lovely to see so much appreciation shown towards these groups, and we should reward them appropriately!
- Within NEPOMAK, I really enjoyed hosting a webinar on “Cyprus: Blue Growth & Climate Change” and listening to environmental experts Dr Xenia Loizidou and Dr Michalis Ierides talk about initiatives taking place in Cyprus. On a similar theme, it was great to see President Anastasiades emphasise the importance of tackling climate change in his 2020 UN General Assembly speech in September.
Georgia Stavrou, General Secretary:
New Jersey, USA
- In recent weeks, I have been delighted to see the first COVID-19 vaccine doses being administered to the general public. It has reminded me that, despite the incredibly negative situation the world is in, humans have the means to improve things and make a positive difference.
- Another highlight for me was representing young diaspora Cypriots at the Cyprus Forum 2020, as part of a panel discussion on the future of the Cypriot diaspora. I used the opportunity to discuss the priorities of our generation, and our relationship with our Cypriot heritage.
Panayiota Zambas, Treasurer:
- One of my highlights of 2020 has been the short courses that NEPOMAK ran in July with the support of Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou, the University of Cyprus and the University of Nicosia. It was inspiring to see the passion that young diaspora Cypriots have for learning their language, heritage and culture.
- Another of my highlights was making use of technology to stay connected with the global Cypriot diaspora, despite widespread travel bans and restrictions. In July, we met virtually with global representatives of NEPOMAK, POMAK and PSEKA to hear updates from the Cypriot Government on key issues and discuss diaspora initiatives and priorities.
Iria Pavlidou, Organising Secretary:
- My highlight of 2020 has been celebrating the 60th anniversary of Cypriot independence and the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus. NEPOMAK, marked the occasion with a month of social media posts featuring snippets of different aspects of our beloved island – including its culture, history, dialect and geography. We even created our own Cyprus-themed Instagram filter.
Once again, very best wishes for a safe Christmas and Happy New Year from NEPOMAK!