"Aghia Sophia/the Holy Wisdom". Reflections on "the 8th wonder of the World" Panel Discussion
A reminder to join us live this Sunday August, 9 at 2 PM EST/9 PM in Greece (YouTube participants link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGzaXei3WTg) for EMBCA’s “Aghia Sophia/the Holy Wisdom”. Reflections on “the 8th wonder of the World” Panel Discussion Zoom Webinar in Association with AHEPA’s Hellenic Cultural Commission and AHEPA District 6. I will moderate the panel and the distinguished panelists will include John Fotiadis, President/Founder John Fotiadis Architect PLLC, Author/Writer/Byzantinist Alexander Billinis, and Academic Researcher/Community Leader Dr. Peter Stavrianidis. AHEPA Supreme President Brother George Horiates will join us during the panel discussion. Mike Savvas a UNESCO award artist, songwriter, guitarist and tsoura player will be playing musical reflections on Aghia Sophia. Aghia Sofia over its long history, has been an Orthodox Patriarchal Cathedral, Catholic Church, Mosque and Museum.
More than any other building which has survived from antiquity, it symbolizes the crossing and meeting of religions, cultures, empires, civilizations and regional hegemons. 1,500 years after its dedication, it has transcended its original function as Cathedral, and transformed into a celebrated and contested symbol emblematic of the history of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Although short notice the recent conversion of this UNESCO World Heritage Site from a museum into a Mosque recently has created global condemnation and we felt that it was important to discuss the issues around it. The panel will discuss Aghia Sophia’s history, architectural and cultural significance but also the geopolitics being played in the Eastern Mediterranean behind Erdogan’s reconversion of Aghia Sophia. This event is among the many, as previously mentioned, that are planned for the upcoming 200th Anniversary of the Hellenic Revolution of 1821 by the American Hellenic Revolution of 1821 Bicentennial Committee.
Brother Lou Katsos
AHEPA District 6 Governor