One billion rising

onebillion ‘Myrto, can you tell us what the purpose of today’s event was?’ my friend Anna asked her 9-year old daughter.
‘Some women are not treated right and they have to be treated with respect,’ was Myrto’s instant and matter-of-factly response. I was stunned by the power of her words, the determination of her voice, but above all, the spark in her eyes.
Myrto was alluding to the ‘One Billion Rising’ event, which was held at the Mall of Nicosia, Cyprus on February 14, V-Day’s 15th anniversary.  A global incentive to have one billion women and men strike, dance, rise up and demand an end to violence against women, the Cyprus event was organized by The Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies.
The mission? Getting the world to unite voices and demand an end to violence against women through:
‘A global strike…an invitation to dance..a call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends. An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers. A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given. A new time and a new way of being’
We danced in unison, and, paying close attention to Myrto’s tenacious comments, I am confident that ‘One billion rising’ got people to ponder and reflect too. After all, together, we can create miracles!
The photos were taken at yesterday’s Nicosia event. Amongst these phenomenal women is my dear friend Anna Koukkides-Procopiou, President of AIPFE (Women of Europe)- a friend who never ceases to amaze me with her will power, determination, wit, humor, but above all, her zest for a meaningful life. Myrto has already inherited many of these attributes and I am sure that one day she will ‘shake’ the world!

About Mahi S

I was born on the island of Cyprus in 1971. For years, I lived the life of a nomad: I grew up in the Arab Gulf, finished high school in Cyprus, then went to the U.S. for five remarkable, life-changing years of study and work in public relations. With every change of home, I was confronted with the challenge of separation and the issue of identity, but ultimately the rewarding experience of interacting with people of different cultures has informed my life ever since. It inspired me to create an ideal setting wherever I found myself, to live meaningfully and use passion as the main ingredient in my life. I run to keep myself motivated and to fire the kind of creative thinking that keeps me balanced and content. But it’s also an ongoing challenge: since 1999, I have completed 17 half-marathons, which I try to run in a different city every time. In fact, running and travel are the two pillars of my life philosophy: “Travel is fascinating, whether it’s about a series of mesmerizing destinations or a journey within myself”. “Running keeps me sane, motivated and focused!” Right now, I am focusing on promoting my new book, ‘A squirrel in your kitchen’ an e-cookbook with quick, easy and delicious recipes (and anecdotes) from dearest friends around the world. I am also hoping to experience the fascinating challenge of a full marathon in 2016; in Athens or New York. We’ll see!

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