Showing posts with label Chicago Tribune. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago Tribune. Show all posts

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Happy Easter - Καλώ Πάσχα

Χριστός Ανέστη ! Resurrection liturgy 10 p.m. - 3 a.m. (half of that finagling a seat.) Broke the fast at Psistaria with margiritsa soup and grilled lamb at 3 a.m. Then got the light all the way home without setting Dad's car on fire - 4 a.m.

The margeritsa soup recipe, which calls for organs, is gamey and soothing, and requires that someone is cooking a whole baby lamb. Trust me: best tasted once per year, and prepared by a distant relative or a restaurateur.

Before Christ, the blood of a sacrificial lamb was used to mark doors so that evil would pass over the house. When at a Greek home, look above the front entrance for the symbol of the new new protector: scorch marks shaped in the sign of the cross, from the Resurrection night candle. More on the Lamb, and roasting lamb on a spit, in today's John Kass column in the Chicago Tribune. (registration required.)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Turkish Schools in U.S.; Who is Gulen?

Chicago Tribune lead columnist John Kass, who's normally focused on scrappy city politics, just wrapped up two weeks of foreign reporting that took him from his familial Greek village to resurrection services in Istanbul.

There were 10 columns in all. But in the column where he visits with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Kass dropped the little-known name Muhammed Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen's many followers in Turkey and among Turkish-Americans like to call Gulen a philosopher. Kass called him a theologian. But it seems fair to say Gulen is a preacher, born in Turkey but living in the U.S., who harnesses a powerful wealth network to put a progressive face on Islam.

Some links with more info:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Turkey: Genocide Was In Algeria

French lawmakers have drafted a law that would make it illegal to deny that it was genocide when Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks in 1915.

Turkey cut diplomatic ties with France, Turks are protesting and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded with, "Approximately 15% of the population of Algeria have been subjected to a massacre by the French starting in 1945. This is genocide." Erdogan called the bill "politics based on racism, discrimination and xenophobia," according to the two-paragraph story in the Chicago Tribune.

Well, Merry Christmas. All I know is that racism, discrimination and xenophobia brought way too many of our forebears to America.

The BBC states that Ankara says close to 300,000 Armenians died in 1915-1916, while Armenians put the number at up to 1.5 million. The New York Times' reporter in Istanbul writes, "Turkey acknowledges atrocities without any specific death toll, but says that they did not constitute systematic genocide."

The Times piece notes that Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel-winning fiction author from Turkey, recently was fined about $3,700, for telling a Swiss newspaper that "we have killed 30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Believe in Miracles

Over the weekend was laid to rest Georgia Photopulos, 77, someone we knew growing up at Sts. Peter & Paul in Glenview, IL. Church for Georgia was "a place I would be welcomed, a place where I could leave my problems and find peace of mind." The sum of her life reveals how miraculous it was: 19 cancer operations, 43 years beating it! She had polio as a child, and received hormone fertility treatments in the early 1960s, but she didn't define these as causes but preparation, according to her book, "Of Tears and Triumphs." Among her accomplishments: finding a steadfast husband Bud (He's a journalist, and she took heart in his baptismal name, Socrates. They wrote the book together about surviving cancer.) She also invented a wig, started a help line and even worked for the FBI as a Greek translator. And her childhood Greek school teacher? None other than my grandfather Constantine. She'd remind me of his Humboldt Park lessons, at church coffee hour.
The Chicago Tribune obit lays out Georgia's life and family.
Εternal Memory!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Real Journalist

Anne Keegan, a truth-seeking observer whose journalistic spirit is harder to find in an era of Internet immediacy and newsroom layoffs nationwide, died last month. Selfless, poetic and inspiring she was - read this obit.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Exiting Cairo

The alleged cause of deadly violence against Egypt's minority Coptic Orthodox Christians over the weekend mirrors themes in Cairo Exit, a gripping film we saw in New York's Tribeca Film Fest two weeks ago.
Update from the Economist 5/11: the latest Christian-Muslim conflict "in the Cairo slum of Imbaba on May 7th, left 12 people dead, more than 200 injured and several churches smashed, with one burned to cinders along with Christian-owned shops and homes. The trouble began when a small group of Salafists—Muslims inspired by Saudi-style puritanism ... marched on a church in response to rumours that a female convert to Islam had been kidnapped and was being held there.” The churches: St. Menas church in the slum and a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, according to the UK's Daily Mail.
In the movie, a Coptic girl and a Muslim guy, both from slums, fall in love and their only hope is escape from Egypt, to Greece, where the economically-frustrated masses blame immigrants for problems. There is no exit!
I won't tell you how Cairo Exit ended, but Egyptian-American Director Hesham Issawi shot the film before the revolution in Egypt raged; read his insights on the Tribeca Film Fest blog.
Copts were protected under former President Mubarak, they were loyal, and now they are suffering the consequences. I've heard people say that Copts are resented because a number of them are rich, though there are more Christians in slums.
The violence is not new. In 1996, I talked with Copts who feared reprisals just for talking with me about a new Coptic Church near Palatine, Illinois for the Chicago Tribune. The design was based on a Cairo church. I also included a Coptic timeline that's still online.
Here's the Wall Street Journal's sad slide show on the weekend events and the WSJ article . Also, a WSJ Feb 1 piece with more background including December bombings.
Also: one blogger's review of Cairo Exit. Cairo Exit is an official selection of the European Independent Film Fest 2011 according to Facebook, but it's not released yet. No trailers, no Netflix.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chicago Trib on Greek Easter Feast

You know you're home when the big newspaper columnist in town, John Kass, devotes his space to Greek Easter. Read on, though my Γιαγια never told fortunes, and leg of lamb was all we ever grilled on the backyard Weber.,0,5004794.column?page=2

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blagojevich & India

Chicago is an ethnic potluck, so it was only a matter of time before an India connection popped up in the Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Obama-Seat-For-Sale saga. The Chicago Tribune reports the restaurant India House in Schaumburg was the gathering spot where two Indian-American businessmen and a Blagojevich aide named Rajinder "privately told many of the more than two-dozen attendees that a fundraising effort was aimed at supporting Jesse Jackson Jr's bid for the Senate." What you might call the smoking roti. Why? Because in Fed allegations that Blagojevich tried to sell President Barack Obama's vacated Illinois Senate seat, prosecutors allege Blago might give "Senate Candidate 5" (Jackson) the seat because emissaries for #5 promised to raise more than $1 million for Blago's campaign fund. In a separate effort to connect the political dots between Obama and Blagojevich, Trib columnist John Kass wrote an excellent piece on Rahm Emmanuel's ties to Chicago power broker Jim DeLeo, who "is considered by some to be the real governor of Illinois" though he was acquitted of taking bribes to fix tickets in the Operation Greylord probe of judicial corruption around 1989. One witness at the trial: Outfit gambling boss Ken "Tokyo Joe" Eto, who, Kass writes, "passed cash to Jimmy via handshakes." Better than fiction!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Child Labor

The government of India says there are 12.7 million Indian children under age 14 who are working. The United Nations and child advocacy groups say the number is more than double that at 40 million, according to an April 18 Chicago Tribune article on India's child labor. The article lays out how working children help their families, and that Maoist rebels and hunger are sometimes the alternative if they stayed in their villages. The article says some advocacy groups are teaching kids negotiation and other business skills, and giving them access to micro-loans. Advocates, of course, encourage schooling. The article doesn't get into caste; some Indians can't imagine solutions to their poverty, especially if they are uneducated. Last night, a CEO who spoke to us Knight-Bagehots dismissed India's viability as a global player not because of poverty, but because of its feeble infrastructure. Seems it took him hours in traffic to get to a big-city meeting. Maybe I am just paying more attention, but India is rising on the radar.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

India Kidneys

Several people from outside New Delhi, India have been arrested for their alleged role in an illegal kidney-harvesting scheme that netted $1 billion over a decade. That's big money when you consider 350 million Indians live on less than $1 per day. Even the Chicago Tribune covered the story, which seems the stuff of urban myth, but isn't. According to the Trib, Indian laborers were kidnapped, held for days, operated upon and then warned they'd die if they revealed the scheme. Sometimes, poor people agreed to sell a kidney for as much as $2,500.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Starving Pilgrims

John Kass, who fills the void left by famed Chicago Tribune columnist Mike Royko, has appointed himself meat-cooking savant. Last time I came into town, he praised rib smokers. Now it's brining a turkey with salt and apple juice. Recipe for a stroke? Even Kass was surprised that his sister-in-law would try it. Kass writes, "She's serving turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and all the extra treats the Indians brought the starving Pilgrims, like those tiny cheese pies in phyllo dough, Kalamata olives and her mom's baklava for dessert. These were the goodies delivered to the Pilgrims by the little-known Greek Indians in colonial times." The spanakopita and Kalamatas were on our table, along with the oyster stuffing and cranberries. It's so good to be home.

Chicago Thickbune

If not for the start of Christmas shopping, how would newspapers survive? Look how thick the Chicago Tribune was on Thanksgiving Day, delivered to our door on time despite a rare snow. The Wall Street Journal doesn't publish today in "observance" of the holiday.