Rhigas Pheraios’ “Charta,” Life, and Era discussed at EMBCA Event
The East Mediterranean Business Culture Alliance (EMBCA) hosted recently another successful lecture at the 3 West Club in Manhattan. The topic was Rhigas Pheraios’ “Charta,” a reflection of the man, his ideas, and his era 221 years after his martyrdom. EMBCA President Lou Katsos hosted the lecture and introduced the subject of Rhigas Pheraios, a man who sought to create a Balkan federation out of the peoples of the Ottoman Empire. Typical of the types of events EMBCA hosts, the lecture asked important questions about what might have been and delves deeper into a history little known. Katsos’ remarks were followed by Stamatis Ghikas, First Vice President of EMBCA and former director of the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce, with an overview on the Arvanites who played such a pivotal in Greek history. Clemson instructor, author and historian Alexander Billinis discussed the Balkans in Rhigas Pheraios’ time and the common cultural affinities in the mosaic of ethnicities in the Balkans.
Distinguished guests included the Serbian Consul Marjana Zivkovic and His Grace the Right Reverend Irinej, Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church’s Eastern Diocese. Katsos invited both to speak after the lecture about the common ties between Greeks and Serbs, who also admire Rhigas Pheraios as a hero who met his martyrdom at the Turks’ hands in Belgrade. Bishop Irinej addressed the attendees in both English and Greek and recalled his years in Belgrade where he would serve at the annual doxology for Annunciation Day in front of the monument to Rhigas Pheraios in Belgrade.