Thirty five young expatriates from South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the under Palestinian Administration West Bank and Gaza Strip participated in the founding convention of the SAE Africa-Near/Middle East Youth Network held in Pretoria, South Africa.
According to SAE Africa-Near/Middle East Regional Coordinator Charis Gouvelis the role of SAE is to create opportunities for the younger generation allowing young expatriates to participate in the international manifestation of Hellenism pointing out that the youth network is the breeding ground for future community leaders.
National Association of Hellenic Youth and Student Organizations of South Africa (NAHYSOSA) President Dimitris Vafiadis stressed that the Youth Network will help the younger generation Greek expatriates to coordinate their actions and establish youth organizations in the region’s countries that have no such structures.
The Greek government was represented in the convention proceedings by Parliament Special Permanent Committee on Greeks Abroad Vice-President and main opposition PASOK party MP Grigoris Niotis and committee member and ruling ND party MP Antonis Karpouzas.
In Egypt, the majority of the young members of the Greek community are found in Alexandria and Cairo, while in Syria the roughly 2,200-member-strong Greek community is not organized. The same is in effect in the under Palestinian Administration West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In Jordan, the younger generation Greek community members are organized since 1998 and their association, that numbers 56 registered members, has an elected board. In Lebanon, the young Greek community members are not organized while the entire Greek community numbers roughly 2,800 members. The Greek expatriates in South Africa are very active since 1948 when the first Youth Committee was established. Today, NAHYSOSA is a strong association engaging in various activities and initiatives.