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May 2008

Congressman Ed Royce Salutes Greek Independence Day!

U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) took part April 9 in a celebration organized by the American Hellenic Institute on Capitol Hill to commemorate the 187th anniversary of Greek Independence. Joined by the Hellenic Co-Caucus Chairs Rep. Gus Bilirakis and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Representative Royce spoke of the struggles Greeks endured at the hands of the Ottoman Empire and the friendship that the United States and Greece have come to share.

"Greece has not only been a long ally of the United States, for which we are very thankful, but also served as a vast influence on our own society," said Rep. Royce. "Two thousand years ago, the Greeks ushered in one of the most important ages in Western Civilization, bringing about the poetry of Homer, the philosophy of Aristotle and Socrates, and the birth of democratic government."

In addition to paying tribute to a close relationship between the U.S. and Greece during the Second World War, Representative Royce spoke on the current situation surrounding the Ecumenical Patriarch and His Holiness Bartholomew's subjection to Turkish restrictions on the Patriarchal see. Last year, Representative Royce joined several of his colleagues in sending a letter to Prime Minister Erdoğan urging him to ends his limits on religious freedom. Rep. Royce is a cosponsor of H.Res.373 "Urging Turkey to respect the rights and religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate." He is also a cosponsor of H.Res.356 "Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) should stop the utilization of materials that violate provisions of the United Nations-brokered Interim Agreement between the FYROM and Greece."

Representative Royce is a Senior Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee and a member of the Hellenic Caucus. In 1999, he was selected by the American Hellenic Council of California as the recipient of the Pericles Award given to elected officials who have demonstrated a commitment to Hellenic issues, ranging from support of the Ecumenical Patriarch's right to existence and an end to the occupation of Cyprus.

Mastihashop opens Its 1st US Location in NYC's Lower East Side

Drink from the tree of life and live forever… well, until that exists we have become obsessed with mastiha, the natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial miracle sap that ONLY seeps from evergreen bushes found in the southern part of the Greek Island of Chios. Until this year, the full mastiha experience could not be found in the United States, but thanks to sisters Kalliopi and Artemis Kohas, mastiha is now available on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in America’s first ever mastihashop. Located at 145 Orchard Street, between Stanton and Rivington Streets, the shop has every mastiha product one could wish for! From lotion to chewing gum, mastiha’s natural antioxidants freshen breath, fight plaque and gingivitis, heal and regenerate skin, relieve ulcers, ease digestion and stomach disorders and strengthen hair and nails all at the same time!

With over 300 known applications, the very versatile mastiha can be found in a variety of products from baked goods, sweets, preserves, ice cream, chocolate, chewing gum, candy, beverages, tea, coffee, milk products, pasta, sauces, liquor, wine, dietary supplements, oral hygiene products, surgical sutures, compresses for burns, soap, cosmetics, scented candles and essential oils to name a few! Its’ addicting piney aroma and unique earthy flavor can be enjoyed in the raw or as a spice to cook with. Although few in the west are familiar with mastiha, the unique and extraordinary resin was first referenced over 2,500 years ago! It has a history dating back to antiquity and is documented before the 1st century. In an effort to further educate people on the many benefits and uses of this unique resin, the Chios Mastiha Growers Association gave birth to a daughter company, Mediterra SA, which created the mastihashop brand in 2002. There are 11 stores in Greece, one in Cyprus, Jeddah, Tokyo, and now in New York!

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