Monday May 25, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o 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 good news and the bad
Geopolitical threats
Neither Grexit nor a dual currency will solve Greece’s problems
First aid for the capital
Varoufakis slams media over Riga Eurogroup reporting
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Sunday admitted he had recorded a euro zone finance ministers meeting and criticised media for reporting «lies and innuendos» on what transpired at...
Greeks back government´s red lines, but want to keep euro
Cash-strapped Greeks remain supportive of the leftist government's tough negotiating style, according to a new poll published Sunday, but hope for a deal with creditors that will keep the eu...
Inside News
ANALYSIS
VAT adjustment is the way forward
The Greek government’s hope for a political solution and a staff-level agreement on the program review by the end of May is looking increasingly unlikely. To the extent that a piecemeal appr...
Tender for Thriasio freight center to restart next month
The tender process for the Thriasio freight center is about to restart, with candidate investors set to receive the terms so that there may be tangible progress by end-June. If everything go...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Berg brace gives Panathinaikos four-point lead
Panathinaikos beat Atromitos on Sunday and took advantage of the goalless draw between PAOK and Asteras Tripolis to open a four-point gap from PAOK at the top of the Super League play-off mi...
SOCCER
Reds add Cup to league trophy with 3-1 win over Xanthi
Olympiakos completed a league-and-cup double on Saturday by beating Xanthi 3-1 in the Greek Cup final at the Olympic Stadium of Athens, that was more balanced than the final score suggests. ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Berg brace gives Panathinaikos four-point lead
2. VAT adjustment is the way forward
3. Tender for Thriasio freight center to restart next month
4. Varoufakis slams media over Riga Eurogroup reporting
5. Banks fear NPL sum will reach 100 bln euros
6. Socar has found a way to opt out of the DESFA deal
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greeks back government's red lines, but want to keep euro
2. Greece does not have the money to make June IMF repayment, warns interior minister
3. The good news and the bad
4. SYRIZA seeks new relationship with police
5. Solving islands' water problems would take 66.4 mln euros, study finds
6. Geopolitical threats
Today
This Week
1. The Greek-German breakthrough that didn’t come
2. Conspiracy madness
3. Greece came close to not paying IMF
4. National self-awareness put to the test
5. Albanian demarche raises concerns about possible territorial claims over Greece
6. Greek endgame nears for Tsipras as bank collateral hits buffers
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.