Celebrating global women summit in the city of Athena;
Goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization!
I have several favorite cities that I love going back to in the world. Since I got the invitation to attend Global Summit of Women in Athens, I been so anxious. I kept on planning, just being happy that I would go to Athens finally after a while. You see, I am originally from Izmir, a beautiful Aegean town right across the sea from Athens, same parallel, same geography, same climate.And in the years I used to cover Greece from Istanbul, I always would feel like I was visiting Izmir with the palm trees, four story apartments w sun shades, our very own food but called Greek food mostly with greens, oh and if I may add, the very same loud and beautiful blonde women I
zmir is known for J
I did my usual round, ran to the Benaki museum to smell the ethnography of a part of my town Izmir brought to Athens at end of last century; as well as traditional clothes, artifacts, paintings,
ancient and archaeological finds from Asia Minor–
the land which we call Anatolia today.
I even had time to eat dolmas at the museum restaurant, stuffed vine leaves exactly made and served with yogurt like my grandmother from Crete used to. Visiting Kolonaki was a bit shocking, the lively wonderful neighborhood I enjoy so much had a number of store closings and was quite empty, having lost some of its vibrancy with the economic crisis. Yet again, it was a grand warm feeling to remember how similar we are as two nations in so many ways despite the sea and history that divides us starkly.
At the Global Women Summit, being with one thousand women was amazing, such a huge adrenalin pump into veins to see so many incredibly accomplished strong characters in one room, aiming to make a difference right now. At the plenary on Saturday morning, I made a speech on how we women should act today and learn technology to get ahead and be globally competitive and create economic value for ourselves and for our communities. And my goodness! the reactions—tens of women got up and wanted to express themselves; and when there wasn’t enough time, we went outside, me walking out followed by some twenty or so women who wanted to meet from all around the world; from Greece, from Kenya, Namibia, from Mongolia, from Japan, from Egypt. We were quite a delegation from Turkey, the president and the accomplished members of the KAGIDER board (NGO on women entrepreneurship in Turkey), few other women representing big corporations in Turkey and widely known women journalist Yazgulu Aldogan as well as Intel folks were present at the summit.
I got back home to Istanbul so energized about the things we need to work on; achieve together as one big global community.