CULTURE

A very busy week at the Presidential Palace

A number of new ambassadors presented their credentials to the president of the Republic on Wednesday in the presence of Deputy Foreign Minister Panayiotis Skandalakis and Ambassador Kostas Georgiou, general secretary of the Presidency. The new ambassadors are those of Jordan, Mohammad H. Dawodieh, India, Bhaaskar Balakrishnan, Mauritania, Yahya Ngam, and Cambodia, Uch Kiman. On Thursday, President Karolos Papoulias welcomed Archbishop Demetrios of North and South America to the Presidential Palace for talks on the Greek community of America. In a short period of time, Demetrios has established himself as a respected figure among Greek Americans, not only within the Church but on cultural and Greek-language issues among younger generations of Greek Americans, in which the president showed great interest. He discussed with the archbishop the initiatives the community had taken and assured him of his support in all these endeavors. Papoulias congratulated the archbishop – who is a Harvard professor and teaches theology of the New Testament – on his honorary doctorate from Athens University’s School of Philosophy. The archbishop in turn praised the president’s zeal in carrying out his duties in the tradition set by his predecessors. Demetrios was accompanied by Metropolitan Nikolaos of Detroit and Greek-American community benefactor Michael Tzaharis, who in 1997 donated $12 million to the Metropolitan Museum of New York for its Ancient Greek exhibits, and last year another generous sum for a hall to house a permanent Byzantine collection. The archbishop, meanwhile, was presented with his honorary doctorate by the rector of Athens University, Georgios Babiniotis, in a ceremony attended by Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the deputy ministers for foreign affairs and education and religious affairs.