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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 10 November 2018
NEWS 10 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2018 Asylum seekers’ voice of resistance went live at the Greek Centre In a special event last week, Kurdish-Iranian writer and journalist Behrouz Boochani appeared for a live interview online from the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre Authors, artists, scholars and members of the public expressed their solidarity to the daily struggle of asylum seekers held in Australia's offshore detention centres at a special event held last week at Melbourne's Greek Centre. Attendees had the opportunity to engage with Behrouz Boochani and celebrate his novel 'No Friend but the Mountains'. The Kurdish-Iranian writer and journalist appeared for an interview, online from the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre, with his translator and collaborator, Omid Tofighian, joining him in a live connection from Cairo. In his interview with writer and refugee advocate Janet Galbraith and awardwinning photographer Hoda Afshar, Boochani described the horrific living conditions in Nauru and Manus, where refugees are deprived of their freedom and human rights remaining arbitrarily detained for years. The writer was also asked to speak in detail about the content of his book, and referred to techniques he has deployed including developing a specific language around the refugee situation and the messages he wishes to send to his readers, while academic Omid Tofighian added further to the conversation sharing his insights on the refugee crisis. The event was hosted by Nikos Papastergiadis, Director of the Research Unit in Public Cultures at the University of Melbourne, writer and human rights advocate Arnold Zable and the interview coordinators Janet Galbraith and Hoda Afshar. Opening the evening were two musicians, First Nations Bart Willoughby and Kurdish Fadil Suna. Meanwhile, the lineup of guest speakers included political activist and academic Professor Gary Foley, who criticised Australia's refugee policy and called on people to press the Government to bring all refugees detained in offshore centres to Australia. Australia's border security policy was also condemned by Mr Zable in his speech, while photographer Hoda Afshar spoke about her refugee project 'Remain' and a documentary she has made with Boochani and other people seeking asylum, an undertaking which she said brought her closer to the horrific living conditions and issues faced by them. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM A moment of silence to honour the fallen This Sunday 11 November we pay tribute to those who fought and died during the First World War This year marks the centennial of the end of World War I, during which hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives. The memory of the fallen will be honoured this Sunday 11 November across the globe. In Melbourne, people will gather at the Shrine of Remembrance, where a a wreath laying ceremony is to take place at exactly 11am. It is at this time that the light of the sun begins to shine through and display the writing that is carved on the stone that reads "Greater Love Hath No Man", a special feature of the stone that required over 140 pages of calculations in order to get right. Attending the event will be the Governor of Victoria, The red poppies, official symbol of Remembrance Day PHOTO: STEVE KYRITSIS, HELLENIC RSL Linda Dessau, who will be laying the wreath, along with the Premier Daniel Andrews, the lord mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, diplomats, politicians, Shrine Trusties and Governors, RSL and Legacy representatives and Defence Service Chiefs. The end of the Great War occurred on 11 November, 1918 as the armies of the Allied Forces were in negotiations with the Germans at Compiegne of France for the entire evening, with an agreement for an armistice finally being reached at 5.00 am. However it took another six hours for word to get out to the troops on the battlefield. And so, with the agreement being passed at 11.00 am Paris time, it came to be known as the "armistice of the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month" and marked the victory for the Allied Forces and the withdrawal of Germany behind the Rhine border. The official emblem of Remembrance Day is the red poppy, as it was the only flower to bloom across the battlefields after the war had ended, as if to not allow anyone to forget about the blood that had been spilt with its bright red colour. Centenary of the Armistice of Mudros commemorated at Melbourne’s iconic Shrine JIM CLAVEN Amidst the classical columns and architectural features of Melbourne's iconic Shrine of Remembrance, we witnessed the commemoration of the centenary of the Armistice of Mudros on Wednesday 31 October. Organised by the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, as a new addition to the Shrine's annual program of commemorations, this service was the first of what will be an annual event, acknowledging the role of the island of Lemnos and its great Mudros Bay as the location for the signing of the Armistice between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire, an island that had played a key role in the Gallipoli campaign in 1915. The service was preceded by an historical presentation in the Shrine Education Centre by myself, in which I explained in words and pictures the story of the negotiation of the Armistice and its significance. The service in the Sanctuary The live interview with writer and journalist Behrouz Boochani, who appeared online from Manus and his translator and collaborator Omid Tofighian was the most important feature of this special event. featured the laying of wreaths and the reading of the Ode, culminating at noon, the exact hour 100 years ago that the Armistice came into effect. At this time, the guns fell The service in the Shrine Sanctuary. PHOTO: MICHAEL CLAVEN silent across the various battlefronts of the Ottoman Empire – from Syria and Mesopotamia, to Thrace and the waters of the northern Aegean. The First World War was now over for hundreds of thousands of soldiers – including thousands of Australian soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses – and thousands of Allied prisoners of war would begin to make their way home. As we remembered the signing of the Armistice aboard the great British warship HMS Agamemnon – named after Homer's great Achaean King who had besieged Troy – we looked up at the classical columns and reliefs of the Shrine, based as it is on the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. What better location for such a service, recognising this important but little known part of the Hellenic link to Australia's Anzac story? Lee Tarlamis, OAM, President of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, addressed those in attendance in the Sanctuary, noting that on this day we commemorate the service of all service men and women of all the nations who fought across the Middle East and beyond, from Syria to Mesopotamia, and from Thrace to the shores of the Aegean, those who died and those who were wounded, their loved ones at home, and we acknowledge the upheavals and sorrows experienced by millions of civilians across the region.. The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee has also been assisting the authorities on Lemnos with their services commemorating the centenary of the Armistice of Mudros which will be held in early November. Ms Christina Despoteris, VicePresident of the Committee is representing the Committee at these commemorations. The Committee looks forward to its next Armistice of Mudros commemoration, which is scheduled to be held in the Shrine Sanctuary at 11.45am on 31 October ,2019, and hopes that many will be able to attend this function and those into the future. *Mr Jim Claven is a historian, freelance writer and Secretary of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee.
3 November 2018