Mr. Nikos Konstandaras is managing editor and a columnist of Kathimerini, the leading Greek morning daily. He is also a contributor to The BusinessThinker.com
This editorial is also published in ekathimerini.com
The problem is that we are not all Charlie. The very declaration that we are – our need to identify with the victims of a terrible crime, as if we can protect them by exposing our own breasts to the assassins’ bullets – is based on the understanding that others do not share the same concern.
In this case, the killers have another identity, their own reason to defy death and to express solidarity; their point of reference is their religion. Western liberal thinking is based on individual rights which are protected by the state and enshrined in its institutions. As individuals, we identify with each other as equal members of a group whose function is to protect us and to allow us the freedom to develop. Our allegiance is to a system that tolerates diversity – until differences threaten stability and prosperity. However deep-seated, our beliefs are relative and flexible, our minds are attuned to change and religion is a personal issue. Religious fundamentalism and political extremism see stability as allegiance to absolutes: Their followers cannot improvise, accept or adapt. They either endure or they take action against those who question, who threaten their concept of the world. Their strength and conviction cannot be shaken because it has a divine source.
Maria Dimakopoulou is only 23 but her CV already features work experience at Google.
By Alexandra Kastana in kathimerini.com
“Success was not an end in itself. But if you love the subject of your studies, and if you appreciate the trust and support of your teachers and colleagues, then you will surely give your all. Any reward will come later.”
Maria Dimakopoulou is only 23 but her CV already features work experience at Google, a credit for solving a three-year-old problem at Intel, a number of international awards in the field of computer science, a speech at CERN, and attendance of the program on nanotechnology and artificial intelligence at Singularity University on the campus of NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley.
Dimakopoulou studied at a Greek university. She scored the highest marks in the 2009 national examinations to enter the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens. She graduated with top marks, 10/10. In 2011, while she was still in her third year, Maria received an e-mail from Google asking her to attend an interview for an internship at the California-based company.
Mr. Philip Chrysopoulos
The Greek Reporter (www.greekreporter.com)
The success stories of Greek entrepreneurs who defied the economic crisis and prospered is the subject of a recent feature article in The Washington Times.
Penny Vomva is a fashion designer who took the risk to open a store and sell her creations in prestigious Voukourestiou street in downtown Athens. Now RIEN, her storefront, sits next to Dior and Prada. Her handmade leather handbags sell for 180 to 450 euros, rather steep for the crisis-stricken Greek market, but Vomva says business is good and it would have been better if it wasn’t for the crisis.