greece
On the same day that "Am-Israel" had started its new settlement on Rothschild blvd. in Tel Aviv, Panayiotis started the taxi drivers'' strike in Athens. The 9,000 Athens''s taxi drivers found out one day that their taxi number, that they bought only a few years ago for some hundred thousand Euros, and for which they mortgaged their houses to the banks, were now worth only 3,000 Euro. This making their houses worth only 3,000 Euro and greatly angering the bank managers.
 
Panayiotis is a clever taxi driver so he decided that a protest is one thing and getting paid is another. While he and his friends are pressing the government to change its decision, he is willing to take in his taxi, families with kids or elderly people. At the end of the day you must bring food home in spite of the government.
 
 After 2 years of preparations, our first step of The Israeli Family Project in our journey around the world is Athens - the origin of western culture and the ideal of democracy.
 
Athens welcomed us with a taxi drivers'' strike that has stopped for a moment to open its arms to hug the family in its first step of our long journey.
 
Athens is a city in a huge economical crisis. Every day there are demonstrations.  They are not the violent ones like those that held when the EU had to decide to give or not to give financial support to Greece in what appeared to be a catch 22 situation. Still Athens streets are not quiet.
 
Yannis the rebel stopped us in the middle of the street and offered a brochure in Greek and an English invitation to join a demonstration that would take place in front of the city hall.
 
Before he started to try and lead revolutions, Yannis was a history teacher. Greek teachers, he says with a spark in his eyes, are getting lousy salaries. You cannot support your family on a teacher''s salary.
 
That''s why Yannis decided to go onto the streets and not stay in his classroom. Yannis and his friends call their revolution "true democracy." When he pronounces these two words, you can see in his deep blue eyes, 3,000 years of a democracy and a big love to the state that he believes was stolen from between his fingers.
 
A lot of tourists on the top of Olympus are taking photos and listening to guides who tell the myth of a great ancient city, of symbols and well known persons from history lessons.
 
Yanna, who sells cheese at the market doesn''t understand tourists who come to Athens in August. "Go to one of the beaches" she says. "I hate Athens in summer. If I only could run away to any beach I wouldn''t think twice." 
 
Many people who live in Athens are taking themselves with the August sweat to one of Greece''s 3,000 islands to take a time out from the 5 million people in the city. But most of Athens'' people keep on with their daily life. Millions of hard workers that cannot allow themselves to leave their positions in August. 
 
Yanna is too busy to attend Yannis''s demonstration in front of city hall. The demonstrators that had gathered at 6 o''clock seemed to be too tired and too small to believe that they will really bring true democracy to Greece.
 
Yannis says that a republic without a currency of her own is not a republic. "From joining the EU only few have gotten rich and most of the people got screwed. It is not a true democracy," says Yannis in his childish smile. "Greece needs a true democracy."
 
The cottage cheese in the grocery store in Greece is more expensive than in Israel. In the end, only a few hundred arrived at Yannis''s demonstration and the policemen seemed very bored.
 
Israel and Greece share a world economical crisis where everyone is trying to keep their sanity and earn their living until things will get better again.
 
And meanwhile, above the crowded city, between the Acropolis poles, a small blond girl is holding a red video camera and insists on filming the world. She is wearing a white T-shirt with a big logo in Blue and white of The Israeli Family Project.
 
Learning about democracies from taxi drivers, unemployed teachers and Greek women at the city market of Athens, in the heat of August 2011.
 

Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of The Jerusalem Post. Blog authors are NOT employees, freelance or salaried, of The Jerusalem Post.

Think others should know about this? Please share