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SAE Meeting with Communitites in the M.East

The two-day meeting of the SAE Africa-Near/Middle East Regional Coordinating Council with Greek Communities, Youth and Organizations in the Middle East (Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Jerusalem) was completed today, Sunday, April 6, 2008 in Amman, Jordan.

The opening proceedings attended a representative of the Metropolitan of Philadelphia, Greece’s Ambassador to Amman Triphon Paraskevopoulos, Education Coordinator for N. Africa and M. East Andreas Karatzas and Greece’s Consul General Ioannis Mallikourtis.
The members of the Greek Women Association in Jordan were actively involved in the hosting of the meeting.

Greek education and the teaching of the Greek language dominated on the first day of the meeting. Participants had the opportunity to present the current situation in their countries, were offered a detailed briefing by Education Coordinator for N. Africa and M. East and discussed all the problems they are faced with focusing on:

• Organization and Operation of Mother Tongue Classes
• Teaching of the Greek Language as a foreign language
• Operation of the Greek schools
• Ways to turn Greek schools into International schools
• Training of expatriates to teach the Greek language to children of mixed marriages who live in regions where Mother Tongue Classes are impossible to be offered due to special circumstances.
• Timely distribution of books and teaching material to school units Distribution of teaching aids and technological equipment to school units.

The second day meeting procedures focused on the operation of the networks in the Region, namely, Youth, Business and Academics, as well as the establishment of the Friends of SAE by philhellenes and Hellenes who are not members of organizations.

The Youth section will continue its meeting for the next few days to prepare in view of the Network’s Founding Assembly in the summer.
The Communities and Organizations also outlined the problems they are concerned with:

• Support the Youth and examine employment potential in Greek-interest businesses active in the region
• Multifaceted support to Communities and Organizations
• Enrichment of libraries with more books
• Support cultural events
• Create Greek Cultural Centers in the capital cities of Middle East countries to promote Greek culture
• Examine healthcare coverage potential for expatriates during their stay in Greece
• Clarification of legislation on conscription
• More scholarships for expatriates wishing to study in Greece
• Increase the number of expatriates participating in hospitality programmes in Greece for children and the elderly

The hosting of the 2nd Regional Assembly of Africa-Near/Middle East to take place in Alexandria on October 10-14, 2008 was also discussed.

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