Annan plan leads to ‘Breezes of Salamina’

Claire Angelidou, a former Cypriot minister for culture and education, has sent us a book titled «Breezes of Salamina,» poems inspired by diplomacy and politics. In her accompanying letter, Angelidou said the poems were written in response to the announcement of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan for the reunification of the island (which was rejected by the Greek Cypriots in an April referendum). The Salamina of the title is a reference to the «cradle of our Greek civilization.» Angelidou said she had been inspired to search through texts by ancient writers, inscriptions and modern texts as well as records of excavations in Salamina. «The poems are a strong protest against Annan’s unacceptable decision to give very Greek sites to the Turks,» wrote Angelidou on October 12. Claire Angelidou has written 10 collections of poetry that focus on Cyprus’s bitter fate but also on the hopes of a return. Born in Famagusta, Angelidou studied at Athens University’s School of Philosophy and worked as a high school teacher and headmistress. She was active in Cyprus’s war of liberation (1955-1959) and was a central figure in the social and intellectual life of Famagusta, and then in Limassol. In May 1991, she was elected a parliamentary deputy with the Democratic Rally party and was minister from 1993 to 1997 in the government of Glafkos Clerides. Her latest collection is dedicated to the memory of Constantine Levendis.