News From Ill Bethisad: 1999 and Previous

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News stories run from most recent to oldest.

All news stories are submitted by participants in Ill Bethisad, all of whom are welcome to submit stories from their respective parts of Ill Bethisad. Submissions may be edited for clarity, language or style.

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BBC Transtemporal News Services -- 01.APR.1999 -- Is no news really good news?

Erewhon, Empire of Emitemós -- Newspapermen everywhere are asking the same question: Is no news really good news? Reason being, up until this point, there has been no news whatsoever. Quipped one intrepid rookie reporter: "Well, I've only been on the job a couple weeks, but even I can tell that this world has been around for quite a while now. You'ld think more would be going on." Another, more seasoned, reporter was heard to whisper, from under her desk: "It's creepy, that's what it is. Absolutely nothing going on out there? I'm not comming out from under this desk until something happens!"[PB]

Athonite Beacon -- 9.SEP.1985 -- NEW STAR IN MR SKIES

Prosforion -- On Monday, August 6, 1984, Faiqa Maalouf opened a dance studio in a warehouse behind the Mt. Athos Performing Arts Center. Twenty dancers were signed up with the company, plus a staff of designers, seamstresses and musicians. In Maalouf Kira's words, "I wanted to add to the cultural variety of the Monastic Republic and provide the citizens with another form of entertainment." After a year of designing and rehearsing, the troupe was ready to perform in public. The end result was that the citizens of Prosforion were treated to an evening of stunning dance performances, Saturday evening, September 7, by Maalouf Kira's Mt. Athos Dance Troupe. In an outstanding display of Terpsichore, the twelve female and eight male dancers demonstrated their knowledge of and their mastery of the Greek and the Levantine folk dance. The presentation lasted an hour and twenty minutes with one intermission. The first half of the program consisted of examples of Greek folk dancing and included, among others, a rousing rendition of a Thracian karsilimás, a properly sedate Peloponnesian kalamatianós, a beautifully rendered syrtós showing the difference between it and the kalamatianós, and a vibrant ballos from the Aegean Islands.

After the intermission the audience was treated to a series of Levantine dances starting with an elaborate dabke, the variations of which made the dance last 25 minutes. This was preceded by the obligatory mawwal beautifully sung by Omar Salloum. After a troupe rendition of a halay, individual dancers demonstrated their skill with the raqs sharki (misnamed "belly dance") in the gymnastic Turkish style. The Holy Synod, however, will not permit dancing with the abdomen uncovered. The dancers were given a standing ovation at the conclusion of the performance. And a rousing round of applause was given to the ensemble who provided the music, which consisted of oud, mijwiz, durbakke, daff, zurna, and ney.

We are also in debt to Marta Salameh and her staff for the beautiful costumes. They should be accounted among the national treasures of the Monastic Republic. Indeed, the whole troupe should be declared a national treasure. Maalouf Kira has contributed significantly to the culture and life of the Monastic Republic. The troupe will be performing in the Performing Arts Center on the first and third Saturday of the month, with performances in Aktí on the second Saturdy and in Ammouliani on the fourth Saturday. The troupe will also take part annually in the Independence Day festivities in the Prosforion plateia.

Michael Trampakoulos, staff reporter[C]


PROSFORION, MR -- by Rayan Samaha, staff reporter -- Sofia Aoun, the daughter of John Aoun, owner of the Aoun Brewery, and his wife Abigail, left the Monastic Republic on Thursday, August 15, after celebrating the Divine Liturgy with the sisters at the hospital. She flew to Lebanon to enter the Sisters of the Holy Family. Sofia graduated from the gymnasio in 1968 and has worked at the hospital as a nurses' aide since graduation. She will spend her two-year novitiate at the motherhouse in Betroun, then be sent for her nurse's training. When she completes her training, she will return to the Hospital of the Holy Spirit and begin her vocation nursing the sick and injured of the Monastic Republic.[CB]

Athonite Beacon -- 22.AUG.1972 -- HOLY SPIRIT HOSPITAL OPENS

OURANOUPOLI -- The opening of the 100-bed Holy Spirit Hospital in Ouranoupoli on the 15th of this month, under the care of the Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family was a great occasion not only for the humanitarian care of the sick in the Monastic Republic, but also for the Maronite Catholic Church in the Monastic Republic and, in particular, for the Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family. In attendance were our nine dimarchs; Dr. Damian Konstantinou, the new medical director; and other leading citizens of our demes. His Serene Beatitude Nicephorus, with Mother Maryam Halabi and Andreas Antoniadis, the architect, together cut the ribbon officially opening the hospital. Admissions will begin immediately and any citizens in hospitals in the Hellenic Empire will be returned, if possible, to the Monastic Republic.

Great care and thought was put into the hospital's design and construction so as to ensure that they are of the highest order to provide modern, comfortable and compassionate care for the patients. Mr. Antoniadis, of the design firm Antoniadis and Gozanas in Athens, is to be commended. The hospital will have the following departments to provide for the total care of the patients: surgical unit, medical unit, psychiatric unit, operating suite, nursing service, laboratory, x-ray, kitchen, central supply, physical therapy, medical records, emergency room, out-patient, pharmacy, and housekeeping. The surgical and medical units will each have 24 semi-private and two private rooms. The psychiatric unit will have 26 private rooms. The hospital will employ over 100 employees.

This facility is just the latest in the charitable works that have been brought to fruition by the Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family under the leadership of the Superior-General of the Sisters, Mother Anastasia Azzi, as well as of Mother Maryam Halabi. Mother Maryam is to be the administrator of the hospital, in charge of the day-to-day operations of the facility. She has also been named the superior of the community of sisters who will operate the hospital. The Monastic Republic warmly welcomes the fifteen sisters who will be in charge of the various departments.

The sisters had many obstacles to overcome to get the hospital up and running, but in the end their perseverance and determination and, above all, their Christian faith saw them through. The sisters are deeply grateful for the efforts of Mr. Anwar Itani, a well-respected worker for charitable causes and a leading member of the Maronite Catholic community. His prominence in the opening ceremony proceedings, which was insisted upon by the sisters, was well deserved and recognised his hard work.

The ceremonial opening was followed by a luncheon for the invited guests in the hospital's cafeteria.[CB]

Lla Sul -- 14 July, 1898 -- Shipwrecked Man Rescued After Several Years

Original text: Pernauigasot c' om perry vor, et durant ke az al isel, rompus sa la sew llonga. Gouiuefas y pluzeor ans; et-z-eliverasot-el la Armada Reyal. Dondrhuasot-li il capetans: Quhit wye daes ye hae twae kirkes, mon? Savus il capetans, Albaneck, ionte a nemez y Chomrow, mays y chapeuw y zew per li yen omèn ast po en var! Doponus il wortó a-z-el yen et deckis: C' aquel, moniem a nemez y Zi la Sulis. An at yin thonder? rhuasot il capetans. Ay, c' aquels. Ieo n' moniem pass nonck a nemez y Zi la Sulis!

A man was sailing upon the sea and as he approached an island, his boat wrecked. He lived several years and at last was recued by the Royal Navy. The captain asked him: "Why do you have two chapels here?" The captain, a Scot, knew that the Comro were ardent church goers, but two chapels for one man is too much! He pointed out one of them and said: "That's where I go to church of a Sunday." "And the other?" asked the captain. "Ah, that one. I don't never go there of a Sunday!"[PB]


Aktí -- by Zaina Harb, staff reporter -- Last Wednesday, October 12th, seven Ukrainian Orthodox nuns disembarked at the port of Aktí, to be welcomed by His Serene Grace, Archimandrite Gabriel, and the Very Reverend Boris of St. Pantaleimon Monastery.

In Stanislav Chop's attempt to russify Ukraine between 1950 and 1961, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church suffered a severe persecution. Early in the period, a convent of Ukrainian nuns fled the country. After passing from one country to another, they have at last reached a home in the Monastic Republic. At the request of Hegumen Boris of St. Pantaleimon, the Holy Synod agreed to permit the nuns to reside in the Monastic Republic.

For the past two years, the monks of the monastery have been building a convent in Aktí which will accommodate twenty nuns. Besides the nuns' individual rooms, there are a chapel, a refectory, an office for the superior, a visitors' room, a very large kitchen, and a studio where the nuns may create their works of art. Although the nuns will receive some income from their works of art, their steady source of income will be the baking of altar bread for the Republic's six parishes.

The two prelates and other greeters accompanied the nuns to their new home, where the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in thanksgiving for the safe arrival of the nuns. Hegumen Boris blessed the convent and Archimandrite Gabriel received the nuns into the Autocephalous Monastic Orthodox Church of the Holy Mountain.

The monks of St. Pantaleimon's Monastery were not the only ones who prepared the convent for the nuns. Many lay men and women of both the Catholic and the Orthodox parishes of Aktí contributed to the furnishings of the interior of the convent. The chapel was adorned by art work from St. Pantaleimon Monastery. A garden was planted in their enclosure and the pantries were filled with food. Monetary donations came in from the other four parishes so that the nuns would have some capital with which to being their life with us.

Through all their trials Mother Olena Gaponenko managed to keep her group together. The six nuns who arrived with her are Aneta Shumenko, Iryna Kuts, Mykhaila Tur, Nastasya Serbin, Oksana Bagry, and Vira Kozyar. We are, indeed, blessed to have these holy women now living with us.[CB]

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