A priest’s son from Cleveland, Ohio

Leon Stavrou comes from a typical Greek-American family: «I grew up with great respect for traditions in Cleveland, Ohio. My father told me that I had to speak Greek at home. My mother used to cook Greek food, even though she was born in America. I experienced Greece as reflection in everything to do with everyday life. «But it wasn’t until I got to university in 1970 that I managed to visit Greece for the first time on a trip for a conference. I went to an unknown country of which I was proud in the United States because it had given birth to civil rights and democracy. But the minute I set foot there, I saw with great disappointment that the colonels’ junta had curbed every freedom. I was deeply wounded. In my mind, that of a Greek child who had grown up in Ohio, Greece was still the country that had given humanity very important values. «So it is not at all strange that many Greek Americans believe that you have to contribute unselfishly to the community of people around you, wedding the classical heritage of the ancients with the American sense of contributing to society as a whole.»

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