Friday October 31, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o C
13o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
A tale of two parties

Celebrating the Prophet's birthday in Athens.

By Harry van Versendaal

It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon in Athens's working-class suburb of Peristeri. In a makeshift mosque in a basement on Leventi Street, the Greek capital’s Pakistani community is celebrating the birth of the Prophet.

In the kitchen off the main hall, the cooks are hard at work. In two large steel cauldrons, rice and chicken broth bubbles away. The pungent aroma of curry wafts all the way to the street.

Well-dressed men arrive alone or in groups from various parts of the city. They go down the stairs, slip off their shoes onto an ever-growing pile, and enter the spacious prayer hall. Malik welcomes them with a warm smile and a glass of milk scented with cardamom and almonds.

They cover their heads with green or white caps, close their eyes and pray. They listen to sermons, interrupting them to wave their hands in the air and loudly praise Allah. They chat, laugh and take photographs of one another against a backdrop of hundreds of colorful fairy lights and twinkling stars. The hi-fi’s speakers kick into high gear. The fuse gives out – once, twice, three times. The celebrations continue. For the final act, they lay down a large piece of plastic on the floor and sit down to eat.

But it's not always party-time. The mosque has been firebombed three times in the past few years, luckily without casualties. And if there is one thing this year that reminds the community of its precarious situation, it is the absence of Shahzad Luqman. The 27-year-old Pakistani man was stabbed to death last year in the neighborhood of Petralona while cycling to work. His father is among the praying men at the Peristeri mosque, in Athens for the trial of his son’s suspected killers.

At the same time at a central Athens hotel, Golden Dawn announces the candidacy of Ilias Kasidiaris for Athens mayor and of Ilias Panagiotaros for Attica regional governor.

Speaking to the press, the ultranationalist party’s spokesman, currently under criminal investigation, promises to create a network of grocery stores and medical centers that will provide free goods and services "to Athenian citizens but not to illegal immigrants who have come to Greece to commit crimes."

He also announces that he plans to set up a service for the protection of stray dogs and cats, saying that in the city’s rundown 6th Quarter there are no strays "not because [Athens Mayor Giorgos] Kaminis has done anything about it but because they have been eaten by migrants."

A celebration of hate at a fancy hotel and a basement full of prayers. Athens 2014. Is this the new normal?

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday Jan 28, 2014 (11:49)  
The judiciary’s responsibility
Findings raise eyebrows
Countering Turkish swagger in the Eastern Mediterranean
Time is running out in Afghanistan
Man shot dead, woman injured in Vathis square attack
A 42-year-old man was shot dead and a woman was slightly injured after two unidentified men in a vehicle rode past a cafeteria in Vathis Square, central Athens, and opened fire in the early ...
A year after GD members shot dead, police have no leads
A year after two members of neofascist Golden Dawn were shot dead outside the party’s offices in Neo Iraklio, north of Athens, police sources admitted that they have no leads to the killers....
Inside News
Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
Germany’s government bonds fell before a report economists said will show the euro-area inflation rate stayed near a five-year low this month. Price gains that have been less than the Europe...
Cyprus’s Georgiades Bets on Economy for Irish-Style Bailout Exit
Cyprus could benefit from strong bank stress test results and positive economic signs to pull off an Irish-style bailout exit and make a full return to the bond market, Finance Minister Harr...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Obradovic watches Greens thrash his Fenerbahce
The second homecoming of former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, now at Fenerbahce, was not as emotional as last year’s, but it was certainly was the night of an emphatic triumph for th...
SOCCER
Berg returns to add spice to Panathinaikos´s Cup win
The second round of games for the group stage of the Greek Cup produced plenty of interesting games and results in midweek, but it still lags the upset potential that the knock-out stages of...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
2. Cyprus’s Georgiades Bets on Economy for Irish-Style Bailout Exit
3. Man shot dead, woman injured in Vathis square attack
4. Obradovic watches Greens thrash his Fenerbahce
5. Berg returns to add spice to Panathinaikos´s Cup win
6. Power rates soared 60 pct in six years
more news
Today
This Week
1. Man shot dead, woman injured in Vathis square attack
2. Cyprus’s Georgiades Bets on Economy for Irish-Style Bailout Exit
3. Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
4. Greek euro dilemma is back as minister predicts volatility
5. Students hijack university senate meeting
6. Clientelism belongs to the past, says Mitsotakis
Today
This Week
1. Austria’s creative bookkeeping beats Greece on secret debts
2. End of reason, end of humanity
3. Clean bill of health for Greek banks from stress tests
4. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
5. Eurobank, National Bank restructurings eliminate capital gap
6. Athens flood damage assessed, compensation payments to begin
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.