Dalaras' news in English

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UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Calls on President Kabbah

Freetown - Tuesday, 13th Feb. 2007: The UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Mr. George Dalaras and wife who are currently visiting Sierra Leone on Tuesday, 13th February 2007 paid a courtesy call on His Excellency the President, Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah at his Hill Station office in Freetown.

Mr. Dalaras and wife who are of Greek origin said Sierra Leone is a priority to them as they are very much impressed with the way the President and the government of Sierra Leone addressed the issue of refugees in the country. Mr. Dalaras praised President Kabbah for the way they handled the reintegration of Sierra Leonean returnees which he described as the most successful in the region and also underscored the repatriation of Liberian refugees.

President Kabbah welcomed the Goodwill Ambassador to Sierra Leone and expressed appreciation for the good work of UNHCR in the repatriation and reintegration of the people of Sierra Leone. He lauded UNHCR for working for humanity especially in mobilizing resources for the good health of humanity.

Commenting on the current situation in Guinea, President Kabbah said that contrary to rumours that his government was not doing anything in preparing to handle the Guinean issue if situation further deteriorates, informed his guests that he has been engaged in quite diplomacy and discussions with the Guinean leadership and even the head of the military, and that Sierra Leone is currently planning and is prepared to handle any unforeseen circumstances. He referred the Ambassador to Mr. Kanja Sesay, Commissioner of the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) for any further information needed on the reintegration and resettlement programme of the government as his institution had been directly responsible for that aspect.

Mr. Abid Ali Mir, Deputy UNHCR Representative who accompanied the Goodwill Ambassador recognized the challenge faced by Sierra Leone as a post-war country in trying to reintegrate its own people while at the same time addressing the issue of refugees from other countries and addressing the issue of repatriation of these refugees.

The UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador said they will talk about what Sierra Leone is doing especially in the area of refugees so that other countries can know the good work done here.

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A "Santorini with lyrics of O. Elytis of Alkistis Protopsaltis and a pomegranate of painter Giorgos Dalaras, these works and much more are exposed in the gallery Aigokeros, Kolonaki. The exhibition Pomegranate and Red in the constellation of Love runs until the 28th of February and all proceeds go to the Εταιρεία Προστασίας Σπαστοκών, a company of protection disabled.

Have a look at:

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Tonight at Megaro Mousikis Athens

The ceremony of nomination of Ambassador of Hellenism 2007

The event is organised by the Prefecture Athens and at the end Giorgos Dalaras together with the Laiki Orchestra Mikis Theodorakis and the chorus of the Lyceum Nea Smyrne will interprete Romiossini.

14.03.2007 19.30h at Ianos book shop, Athens

Kostas Tripolitis

Speeches by Thanos Mikroutsikos, Stella Vlachogianni, Dionisis Tsaknis

Songs by Giorgos Dalaras, Margarita Zorbala, Vasilis Papakostandinou and Christos Thivaios

for those who cant go there, live on radio at

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:) a bit late

From Kathimerini 10.03.2007

UNHCRs Dalaras in Sierra Leone

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador George Dalaras (center) accepting flowers from Liberian refugees in Sierra Leone.


On his first mission as UNHCR goodwill ambassador, singer George Dalaras with his wife Anna, a UNHCR volunteer, the bureau chief of the High Commission in Greece Giorgos Tsarambopoulos and briefing officer Kaiti Kehayioglou spent six days accompanying Liberian refugees who were returning to their homeland from Sierra Leone. In Freetown, they met with Sierra Leone President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, who told them how his country, though poor, hosted 27,000 refugees from neighboring countries. Twenty trucks set out for the border with 284 refugees from the Tobada camp, where the Greek delegation received a warm welcome. After the refugees crossed the border, the Greek delegation flew to the capital of Monrovia for an official meeting with Justice Minister Francis Johnson Morris who was deputizing for the president. Dalaras promised he would do his best to help UNHCRs efforts to establish schools and hospitals in Liberia, which is now on a peacetime footing. The smiles of the children were the most optimistic message for the singers first mission as goodwill ambassador.

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Q&A: The son of a refugee, Goodwill Ambassador Dalaras helps today's displaced

ATHENS, March 9 (UNHCR) Acclaimed Greek musician and singer George Dalaras was appointed a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador last October after a long and fruitful relationship with the refugee agency. His empathy for uprooted people from around the world comes from his mother's experience as a refugee. In February, he made his first overseas mission as a UNHCR envoy, visiting Sierra Leone and Liberia with his wife Anna, a volunteer worker for the agency. Athens-based Public Information Officer Ketty Kehayioylou recently put some questions to Dalaras. Excerpts from his answers:

Your mother was a refugee? Has this fact shaped your views at all?

Yes, my refugee background from the side of my mother has deeply affected me. As a young child, I was able to understand what it means to be a refugee. And I believe that this is very important in civilised societies for people to be able to understand who a refugee is. A refugee is not a person who wants to leave his or her home and employment, but someone who is forced to flee their country.

From my mother, I certainly learned about all the good things that refugees from Asia Minor brought with them to mainland Greece. Aside from their bitterness and anguish, they also brought with them their songs and their wonderful culture. All this made me respect and appreciate all those people who seek asylum. I also believe that, as Europeans, it is disparaging for our culture and our history if we raise walls to keep out refugees.

You often perform rebetika, songs that emerged from the suffering of Greeks uprooted from Asia Minor. What meaning do they have for you?

The songs of Asia Minor are mainly smyrnaiika, which together with rebetika which was the marginal music of the last century until 1960 virtually make up our songs of strength. The rebetika and the smyrnaiika, for us, are full of inspiration, musical variety and remarkable lyrics. They are our blues, our flamenco and they are always inspiring, at least they are for me as a musician. These songs speak very much to the soul of young people. On my international tours, I have come across foreigners who appreciate good music and who know these songs.

How has Greece's history shaped attitudes towards refugees today?

I believe Greeks have been sympathetic to refugees because of the Asia Minor catastrophe [which saw the Greek population of Turkey exchanged with the Turkish population of Greece after the 1919-1922 Greco-Turkish War] and the tragedy of Cyprus [in 1974 when the island was divided and many Greek and Turkish Cypriots displaced], but also from much earlier. The Greeks are generous, hospitable and supportive, probably because we know first hand how it feels to be a refugee or an immigrant in difficult times. Unfortunately, however, I am starting to see an opposite trend among the Greeks. And this is something that we, especially artists and volunteers who work on refugee issues with UNHCR or non-governmental organisations, must try to prevent by raising awareness.

Can you tell us about your involvement with UNHCR?

I have always been very sensitive to refugee issues. From a young age, I have participated in and held hundreds of concerts in aid of refugees. I have been supporting UNHCR since 2001 by holding concerts and assisting with public awareness campaigns and fund-raising.

I think I can help, above all, by raising public awareness. We must knock on the doors of the mass media, so that television, radio, newspapers and magazines will cover stories about refugees and appeal for assistance. Many people want to help, but they drown in a sea of futility, thinking that nothing can be done to improve the situation. But this is not true. Ideally, every citizen must make a small commitment because collectively they can make a difference.

Tell us about your trip to West Africa and why you chose it for your first mission as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

I am Greek and a citizen of the world. And as a citizen of the world, I know that Africa is a priority. We cannot consider ourselves civilised as long as people, especially children, women and other vulnerable groups, are being denied a life of dignity. And this is exactly what I said to the people I met there. I told them that I would do all I possibly could, with the little power I have, to help them achieve this goal.

My experience [in Sierra Leone and Liberia] was shocking. No matter how well you have prepared yourself, you will still be shocked. And of course these overseas missions with UNHCR will continue in the future, in between and in combination with my professional commitments as a singer.

Has becoming a Goodwill Ambassador changed anything?

Yes.... It's not so much the title of Goodwill Ambassador, but what it means to hold this position. I think a lot about which doors I have to knock on and how I will promote the issue of improving asylum procedures, especially in Europe. I also think about how to improve the safety of refugees and their living conditions.

You have donated proceeds from concerts and albums to UNHCR programmes. Are there are other ways that you can help?

Aside from the proceeds from concerts that you mentioned, I am working with the UNHCR office in Athens to draft a comprehensive proposal about how the [Greek] government may offer assistance to countries in Africa where there are refugees. The other thing that we are doing is to meet repeatedly with officials at the public order ministry to ask that they streamline asylum procedures and improve the detention facilities. And the other thing that we do daily is to highlight the demands of refugees and to raise public awareness.

How important is music? Can it help those who live in exile?

Music and the arts are very important for us artists and also for people who are in need. The Greeks of Asia Minor, our grandfathers who were forced to flee Smyrna [now Izmir in Turkey], took great comfort in their songs. Music is the legacy of all peoples.

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Fresh news from Radio Melodia:

In about 2 weeks, Dalaras will release a new album on which he sings nothing but Manos Loizos songs, most of them known ones, and one or two that have never been released before.

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The album should be out on March 29th, it will be called "Ach chelidoni mou", it will be a double cd with 25 songs by Manos Loizos, sung by Dalaras, including "Min me rotas" (live recording at the concerts at Megaro in honour of Lefteris Papadopoulos), also a song called "Taxidevontas" which Loizos intended for his (posthumously released) record "Grammata stin agapimeni", for which he set to music Greek translations of poetry by the great turkish poet Nazim Hikmet.

I've posted translations of the lyrics.

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The CD was released on March 30th. It is called "Ach chelidoni mou - George Dalaras sings Mano Loizo". It's a double cd, compilation of old songs. It includes 21 old songs of Manos Loizos (same versions as we know), 1 song of Christos Nikolopoulos and Lefteris Papadopoulos tribute to Manos Loizos and 3 new (previously unreleased) songs. Geeske explained these 3 songs in the previous post.

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I epanekdosi ton "Grammaton stin agapimeni" me tin foni tou Manou Loizou proerxetai apo to xrono 2002 (Minos-EMI). I proti ekdosi MINOS 1983.

Gia ton Nazim Hikmet: egrapse kaneis mousiki gia to keimeno "Ben bin ceviz agacigim Guelhane Parkinda" ("I am a walnut tree in Guelhane Park")?

The new release of "The letters to the beloved one" sung by Manos Loizos himself was made by MINOS-EMI 2002, the first one 1983.

Did anyone write music to the "Walnut Tree" of Nazim Hikmet?

PS. It is for me of great interest, as his poems would have been all written in my own language, If only his grandfather Konstanty Borzecki could have remained in our country. The only state helping our refugees in the times of divisions (1795-1918) was Turkey, where they settled down for generations.

"Tou Manou tragoudia n'akouso na mou tragoudas...."

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Unfortunately the concert on June 13th, 2007 was cancelled. The information is accurate. :music:

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The tickets for the concerts in Thessaloniki on (29&30/05/2007) "Tha pio apopse to feggari - Tribute to Lefteris Papadopoulos", will go on sale to the public tomorrow!! Hurry up! :):mad:

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This is a rough translation/summary of the discussion in Διάρθρωση φωτογραφικού υλικού so far. Apologies for any mistakes, which hopefully can be corrected.

Nikolas is saying that as part of the upgrading of the site the ability will be given to post photographs in a single place, rather than, as now, members having to post them in different places in the forum.

Suggestions are being invited for developing the structure for this, in other words on what categories and sub-categories could be created.

The objective will be to create basic categories, for example concerts, posters, personal, with other artists, from the press, members' collections and so on. There would be different albums/sub-categories within these. For example, there could be one for each individual concert within the general concert category. It would be similar to the existing photographs part of the site, but with improved categorisation and facilities and without access being limited, as it is now, to the site administrator.

Only suggestions for posting photographs are being sought at this stage. Upgrading other parts of the site is either proceeding satisfactorily, or will be subject to similar consultation with the forum later on.

The following suggestions have been made



From the press

TV journals/magazines

Newspapers (with further sub-categories if necessary)

Music magazines/journals


Covers/front pages

CDs (this could include CD and LP covers/booklets

With other artists

Greek musicians/singers

Non-Greek musicians/singers

With other artists (not musicians/singers)

Specific artists (such as Theodorakis, Alexiou, Loizos

With other personalities





Individual concerts in chronological order

Concert programmes





Album covers/booklets

Magazine/journal covers

Press cuttings


Concerts (with a separate album for each concert)


Miscellaneous (photographs not falling into any other category)

With other artists

Mikis Theodorakis

Stavros Kouyioumtzis

Xaroula Alexiou

Photographs of members

Member 1

Member 2

and so on

Sub-categories could be added (or removed) as we go along.

Since a photograph could fall into more than one category, there should be the ability to specify what those categories would be.

When uploading photographs it should also be possible to add a title and information, such as when it was taken, who took it, source.....

There could be keywords that will facilitate searches.

Date and time, and the name of the 'donor' could be automatically added with an upload.

Each photograph could have a serial number

A user could choose to be contacted when an album in which they are interested is updated.

Possibility for a user to add a comment to the photographs

Ntalarofili has also suggested creating keywords and that it should be possible to search by date, member and so on. She has also asked whether the photographs in the forum that can no longer be opened have been permanently lost, or whether this is just the result of a technical problem that can be solved.

Nikolas has thanked members for the suggestions hopes therell be more. He has observed that it will be important the ensure that the categories/sub-categories are not so small that they only have a few photographs in them. In any case we will learn from experience. Changes can always be made.

At this stage he wants to concentrate on agreeing the 'category structure'. Other technical issues such as 'keywords' are already being dealt with as part of the overall upgrading.

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And since pictures are not in any language, this was, is and will be an important part of the site for those who don't speak Greek.

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Dear Kate,

Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. As much as reorganizing the forum is necessary

in terms of space and efficiency, a much more accute problem, in my opinion, is the Discography section.

This has not been updated and completed since 2003 I believe.

I have brought this point to the attention of Nikolas in a PM long ago, offering my help, however received

no response. Hopefully this posting will.



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From Athens Festival English version:

Otan symvei sta perix...

On Watch One Night

Odeon of Herodes Atticus / 4 & 5 July, 21:00

Thematic Series: A Tribute to Greek Popular Song



George Dalaras, Christos Thivaios, Chara Kefala, Nina Lotsari, Themis Sermie, Aspasia Stratigou, Babis Tsertos, Martha Frintzila, Taxiarchis Hanos

And the Estoudiandina Orchestra and Choir of Nea Ionia, Magnesia.

Concept Archive Μaterial Artistic Direction: Panagiotis Kounadis

Direction Set & Costume Design: Panos Papadopoulos

Movement: Konstandina Mikroutsikou

Lighting: Katerina Maragoudaki

Orchestration Musical coaching: George Dalaras, Andreas Katsigiannis

Smyrna, Constantinople, Piraeus, Athens, Thessaloniki, New York, Chicago.

A musical journey from the late 19th century to the present.

An exciting journey packed with songs of substance...or rather, substances. With George Dalaras at the helm, navigating by the light of his profound knowledge of the Greek urban repertoire (Smyrneika, operettas, show songs, rembetiko, laiko and contemporary), and with exceptional performers on board among our fellow passengers, ready to appear together on stage in all manner of unexpected combinations.

Alcohol, nicotine, heroin, cocaine and hashish are some of the substances that have been turned into songs, been loved and stood the test of time, and it is these songs that will be accompanying us on our voyage round the theatres, rembetiko joints, streets, taverns and drinking dens of Greece and the Greek diaspora in the company of those whose fate weighs heavy upon them for when you get down to it, the whole worlds a joint.

Bon voyage!

Tickets go on sale on 13 June.〈=en

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25 years after the death of Manos Loizos

Giorgos Dalaras, together with Gerasimos Andreatos and Despina Olymbou,

will do 4 concerts on Cyprus.

23. June Lefkosia Tafro Davila

24. June Paphos harbour

26. June Limassol Kourion

27. June Larnaca Amphitheatre

tickets are 12 CYP

more infos at ++357 25372855

and the poster:

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World Refugee Day (WRD) 2007 National Activities: Greece

Goodwill Ambassador George Dalaras will preside over a public awareness event that will include a press conference, photo and poster exhibitions, video screenings, selling of art and craft items produced by refugees and musical performances.

A WRD message from Dalaras will be produced and broadcast by national and local TV and radio stations.

The 13th Annual Student Contest will be organised on the theme: "Refugee Children." Primary and secondary students will be able to participate with a drawing, essay, TV spot or photograph.

UNHCR will join an hour-long WRD programme on state TV.

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From Kathimerini English version 12.06.2007:

A day for the worlds refugees

World Refugee Day is on June 20.

Marking the modern-day odysseys of countless men, women and children, World Refugee Day takes place around the globe on June 20.

In Greece, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR is preparing for a series of events scheduled to unfold in Athens from June 19 to June 22. The events will take place at the downtown Technopolis arts complex.

Events will kick off on Tuesday, June 19, in the presence of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and Goodwill Ambassador Giorgos Dalaras at 7.30 p.m.

The evening's program includes an exhibition of photographs and posters as well as video screenings. The event is also counting on the participation of many immigrant and refugee associations in the form of musical productions and works of arts and crafts.

Photographt and poster exhibitions will run at Technopolis to June 22, subsequently going on display at the Mavromichali 55 gallery from June 28 to July 6.

The following day, June 20, a refugee artist will unveil a sculpted construction titled «Fix Your World» at 7 p.m.

Events continue on June 22 with the award ceremony of the annual National Student Contest scheduled to take place at 1 p.m.

Technopolis Arts Complex, 100 Pireos, Gazi, tel 210.983.3794. Open 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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The latest news on the expected new Dalaras album, from (forum member) Petros Petrakis, who is a good friend of one of the new composers who participate:

the title will be «Με το ένα πόδι στ' αστρα και τα δυο στην κόλαση» (with one foot among the stars and two in hell)

it is due to be released in a week or two

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