my Cyprus, my Κύπρος, my Kıbrıs

Hazy days, clear minds

Dust brings everything to a halt in Larnaca

Dust from the Middle East descends into the Salt Lake in the distance

As the dust clouds rolled in this week, apart from the obvious threat to everyone’s health, it created an oppressive ominous atmosphere, as if there was something lurking in the greyness, waiting to pounce.

On my way to work I pass by the Larnaca Salt Lake which is almost dry, finally, but all the dust and humidity had descended into the Lake, covering the Hala Sultan Tekke, and coming right up to the Lake’s shoreline.

I started thinking about the oppressive nature of the Cyprus problem, weighing down on us year after year; weighing down our hearts and our health. How much longer can this ‘problem’ take up space in our minds and hearts?

But through the haze, daylight must break eventually, lifting our spirits and allowing us to finally breathe some clean air.

During the recent inauguration of The Personal Collections of Glafcos Clerides exhibition at the Centre of Visual Arts and Research (CVAR), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı reminded us just how we might finally breathe some clean air.

He referred to one of Constantinos Kavafis’ most famous poems, Ithaca, inspired by the Homeric return journey of Odysseus to his home island, as depicted in the ‘Odyssey’.

“One of the famous poems written about journeys, is the one written by Kavafis, who advises people to always keep Ithaca in their minds during the journey. Likewise, I believe we must not lose sight of our goal for a better and brighter future for our younger generations in a bicommunal and bizonal federal solution whereby all Cypriots will live in peace and harmony.”

“Let us keep our journey to Ithaca much shorter this time; because we must have learned a lot from the previous journeys!”

Both leaders Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akıncı at the Centre of Visual Arts and Research (CVAR)

Both leaders Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akıncı at the Centre of Visual Arts and Research 
Credit: Στηρίζουμε τις συνομιλίες – Προχωράμε για λύση

To finally catch sight of the sun through the hazy dust though, is to keep the momentum up, so our leaders, both Nicos Anastasiades and Akıncı, never doubt that we’re by their side. Two men alone cannot achieve by themselves the will of a whole nation that has been so long overdue.

In the words of Kavafis:

Keep Ithaka always in your mind

Arriving there is what you’re destined for


Πάντα στον νου σου νάχεις την Ιθάκη

Το φθάσιμον εκεί είν’ ο προορισμός σου


Hiç aklından çıkarma İthaka’yı

Oraya varmak senin başlıca yazgın


The idea of Ithaca, and a solution, will always be the end goal but the journey before and after is just as important.


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One thought on “Hazy days, clear minds

  1. William Everett

    And may the beautiful peacefulness of Hala Sultan Tekke, one of my most favorite places in all of Cyprus, be part of the vision of an “Ithaca” that welcomes all. Thank you for this inspiring reflection, Natalie.

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