George Iordanou Politics, Philosophy and (not much) Real Life
Author

George Iordanou

I'm mostly interested in politics and philosophy, which makes up for the majority of this blog. As this is an archive of what I have written over the years, it also provides a glimpse into my personal life. I'm currently working in the humanitarian sector. In my past life I was in academia where I completed a Ph.D. in political theory with focus on multicultural citizenship. I'm one of the few people lucky enough to be given the opportunity to actually practice their research interests. Needless to say, whatever I write here is strictly my personal opinion and does not represent anyone else. You can also find me on twitter @iordanou.

Fatherhood Diaries: Religion

This is part of a series of blog posts under the title Fatherhood Diaries. In this post I want to discuss the difficult decision to christen our baby. Difficult because although my wife is religious, I avoid any dealings with either theism or spirituality. If anything, I have in the past been anti-religious, though recently I have turned, much like G.A.Cohen, anti-anti-religious; that is, a non-religious person with a growing adversity towards militant atheists. In any case, it is my firm belief that this world would have been a better place had religion never been invented. Yet I conceded to christening our son. Let me give you some background here. I have always been an atheist and my wife has always been a religious person who grew up in a deeply religious family. That much we knew...

Fatherhood Diaries: Everywhere

This is part of a series of blog posts under the title Fatherhood Diaries, which will be published here every Monday (for the foreseeable future). Enjoy. Ever since the birth of my baby boy I see his face in all the children who find themselves in harm’s way. I see his face on the refugee children who flee the violence in Syria either with their parents and family members or completely unaccompanied. I see him in the children who are abused by monstrous adults who find it in them to scar little children inside and out forever. I see his face on the dead bodies of little babies less lucky than him paraded on our social media feeds by organizations looking for donations. I also see myself on the faces of their parents. I feel the desperation of the father who does not have the money...

Fatherhood Diaries: Inadequate

This is part of a series of blog posts under the title Fatherhood Diaries, which will be published here every Monday (for the foreseeable future). Enjoy. These days I am constantly exhausted. My work days are longer than they should, my nights are sleepless, my Monday and Wednesday evenings are dedicated to learning french, and my weekends are full. Busy-ness is not something to feel proud about. We should not fetishise what is a essentially a failure of prioritization and an inability to say the occasional ‘NO’. That said, being busy is not a first for me but the accompanied feelings of guilt and inadequacy are. When I am at work I feel guilty for not being with the baby and not helping at home. When I leave the office at a reasonable time, I feel guilty for not staying...

Fatherhood Diaries: Friendships

This is part of a series of blog posts under the title Fatherhood Diaries, which will be published here every Monday (for the foreseeable future). Enjoy. The birth of our baby has tested our friendships. Though some didn’t make it to the other side, our closest friendships are now stronger. Admittedly talking about baby-related topics — his naps, his appetite and you-know-what — can get really boring exceedingly fast and so does refusing most invitations that involve us getting out of the house. Being among the first of our friends to have children immediately rendered our lives incompatible with theirs. The joint life that Sunshine and I led over the past decade, and up until a couple of years ago, was that of the academic nomad. We moved cities every couple of years, from...

The two leaders’ meeting makes me feel… nothing

We hardly have anything in common with the president of the Republic of Cyprus. We come from different ideological, political and moral worlds, and our priorities and viewpoints in life are diametrically opposed. Nevertheless, and although I never voted for him, I have been a strong supporter of his efforts to reunify the island in the only realistic way that I think possible; namely through a federal state with territorial rights to its constituent parts. Make what you will with this but I don’t think there is any other way to solve the Cyprus problem besides a bizonal, bicommunal, federal state, which makes me increasingly suspicious towards those who reject it without offering any plausible alternative. When the negotiations collapsed I was so devastated that I needed a few days...

Fatherhood Diaries: Normality

This is part of a series of blog posts under the title Fatherhood Diaries, which will be published here every Monday (for the foreseeable future). Enjoy. Five months into parenthood. I am grateful for a couple of things. First, we now know how to address most of our baby’s needs. It is unlikely that he will be crying his lungs out without us being able to do something about it or at least understand the reasons for his discontent. Second, he is healthy and has started to interact with us. This brings us a totally primitive sense of joy. But we are still taking it one day at the time. Every day he survives is a win. There is no plan. We have no plan, at least not one we can stick to. Each day is different irrespective of our consistent efforts to adopt a spartan routine that babies...

Fatherhood Diaries: Expectations

This is part of a series of blog posts under the title Fatherhood Diaries, which will be published here every Monday (for the foreseeable future). Enjoy.  If you recently had a child, you must absolutely be happy and content. A slight digression is allowed but only just, and only due to the tiredness of sleepless nights that you are expected to have. The happiness of having a newborn ought to make up for everything physical as well as emotional. Such are the social expectations for new parents, which although for the most part true, they can be suffocating. It was about two weeks after we brought the newborn home from the hospital. He was neither eating nor sleeping, and we were both exhausted and concerned — concerned for the baby, concerned with our exhaustion and exhausted from...

Fatherhood Diaries: Separation

Every time I leave the baby is a small separation, ranging from midly upsetting to full-on heartbreaking. The most difficult of separations was during my return to work following the lapse of my job’s (rather generous) paternity leave. It was hard leaving him and his mum alone, knowing full well that she was not confident enough to become his sole caregiver during the ten or so hours that I would be away from home. I am one of those few lucky people who like their job and who get fulfillment out of it. But the first couple of days back in the office felt like an assault; as if someone was forcing me to be away from where my heart and instincs were urging me to be, like a forced separation. I have since then realised that my instincts and my feelings are not objective determinants of...

Fatherhood Diaries: Unprecedented

This is part of a series of blog posts under the title Fatherhood Diaries, which will be published here every Monday (for the foreseeable future). Enjoy. It is difficult to discuss feelings. Not the opening-up part but rather the description of a feeling that may not be familiar to everyone, which I only experienced after the occurrence of the life-changing event that was the birth of my son. I met my son seconds after his birth. I wasn’t able to see him immediately. I had to remove my glasses and get the tears out of my eyes. The same for his mum who was in the delivery room laying on the bed next to me holding him for the very first time. The initial feelings were shock-driven from the sighting of the woman I love making unprecedented sounds and getting a baby out of her formerly...

Fatherhood Diaries: Being a new dad

This is part of a series of blog posts under the title Fatherhood Diaries, which will be published here every Monday (for the foreseeable future). Enjoy. A new baby boy joined our family a little more than four months ago. My job’s generous paternity leave entitlements enabled me to spend precious time with him during the first month of his birth. Being at home during this critical adjustment period gave me an insight into the exhausting affair that is taking care of a newborn and made me appreciate all of the hard work that my wife is putting in whilst I sit comfortably in my office. The day-to-day tasks required to keep a baby clean and happy are easy to master. Really, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to change a nappy, neither does it require a PhD to...

Τα νηπιαγωγεία των παπάδων

Αυτές τις μέρες γίνεται λόγος για τα νηπιαγωγεία της αρχιεπισκοπής με αναφορές στα θρησκευτικά σχολεία άλλων χωρών (κυρίως του Η.Β.) χρησιμοποιώντας ως επιχείρημα ότι οι γονείς μπορούν να κάνουν ότι θέλουν με τα παιδιά τους. Λίγες σκέψεις επί του θέματος όπως τις εξέφρασα στο twitter. Ξεκινάμε με το πρώτο: ότι οι γονείς μπορούν να κάνουν ό,τι θέλουν με τα παιδιά τους. Σε ένα βαθμό σωστό· παραδοσιακά οι γονείς μεταδίδουν γνώσεις, δεξιότητες και πιστεύω στα παιδιά τους, κάποτε λανθασμένα και εις βάρος αυτών. Όμως η ‘ελευθερία’ αυτή των γονιών δεν είναι απόλυτη. Tα παιδιά χρειάζονται κάποιες συγκεκριμένες γνώσεις και δεξιότητες για να μπορέσουν να γίνουν ισότιμα μέλη της κοινωνίας και να αδράξουν τις όποιες ευκαιρίες βρεθούν στο διάβα τους. Ελλείψει αυτών των γνώσεων/δεξιοτήτων...

Apathy is not the reason people don’t bother voting

The lack of interest in the forthcoming presidential elections in Cyprus is noteworthy. Contrary to previous elections, I don’t see people passionate about any of the three candidates (perfectly understandable) and I don’t hear heated political arguments for or against either of them. I reckon the abstention rate will be high. This, of course, is not to say that Cyprus is in any way special. After all, voters are disenchanted with formal politics everywhere and in particular where there are high levels of nepotism fueling distrust towards the political system as a whole. As a result, people who generally want little to do with formal politics often engage in alternative political action or end up supporting unorthodox (read: populist or radical) candidates. Others are just...

Περί αξιογράφων

Το βρίσκω πραγματικά εξωφρενικό ότι σε μια πολιτισμένη χώρα συζητούμε σοβαρά το να χαραμίσουμε δημόσιο χρήμα εμάς των φορολογουμένων για να αποζημιώσουμε (“στηρίξουμε κοινωνικά”) άτομα που επένδυσαν οικειοθελώς σε αξιόγραφα μιας ιδιωτικής εταιρείας. Ακόμα και αν δεχτούμε ότι τα άτομα αυτά εξαπατήθηκαν από τις τράπεζες, ισχυρισμός που σηκώνει αρκετή συζήτηση, το ότι ζητούν τα σπασμένα όχι από τις τράπεζες αλλά από εμάς τους συμπολίτες τους, περιλαμβανομένων ατόμων λιγότερο προνομιούχων από αυτούς, είναι όχι μόνο παράλογο αλλά και θρασύ. Αναδιανομή, δηλαδή, αλλά από την ανάποδη. Ναι, περί θράσους πρόκειται. Έχουν το θράσος να εισηγούνται ότι δεν πρέπει να επενδύσουμε σε σχολεία, νοσοκομεία, θέσεις εργασίας, σχέδια επαγγελματικής κατάρτισης, υποδομές ανάπτυξης κτλ και αντί αυτού...

Ο κλέφτης και ο ψεύτης τον πρώτο χρόνο χαίρονται

Ο χρόνος αυτός έχει εκλείψει για τον Νίκο Αναστασιάδη. Για κακή του τύχη πριν τις προεδρικές εκλογές. Πριν μπούμε στο δια ταύτα να τονίσουμε την προνομιούχα θέση στην οποία βρέθηκε ο πρόεδρος. Ο Νίκος Αναστασιάδης είχε την υποστήριξη μια μερίδας — όχι πλειοψηφούσας αλλά με σημαντικό πολιτικό κεφάλαιο — του κόμματος του καθώς και της πλειοψηφίας του κόσμου της αριστεράς που ασκώντας το πατριωτικό τους καθήκον τον υποστήριξαν στην προσπάθειά του να λύσει το κυπριακό. Ξεκίνησε, δηλαδή, τις διαπραγματεύσεις, έχοντας μια κριτική μάζα υποστηρικτών, γύρω στο 30%. Οι δημοσκοπήσεις έδειχναν επίσης ότι οι διαφωνούντες, εντός και εκτός του κόμματός του, ήταν δεδομένοι και θα παρέμεναν τέτοιοι ανεξαρτήτως της έκβασης των διαπραγματεύσεων και ανέρχονταν επίσης γύρω στο 30%. Ο Νίκος...

Περάστε κόσμε

Διαβάζουμε από τη Stockwatch: Την ίδρυση εθνικού ταμείου αποζημίωσης και κοινωνικής συνοχής εισηγείται με πρόταση νόμου που κατέθεσε ο πρόεδρος του Δημοκρατικού Συναγερμού Αβέρωφ Νεοφύτου, για την αποζημίωση των κουρεμένων καταθετών και των κουρεμένων κατόχων αξιογράφων. Σκοπός του ταμείου, σύμφωνα με την αιτιολογική έκθεση, είναι η ίδρυση, χρηματοδότηση ή οικονομική ενίσχυση επιχειρήσεων και η αποζημίωση καταθετών τραπεζών. Συγκεκριμένα, ως ένας από τους σκοπούς αναφέρεται η σταδιακή αποζημίωση των καταθετών της πρώην Λαϊκής Τράπεζας που έχασαν καταθέσεις και των καταθετών της Τράπεζας Κύπρου των οποίων οι καταθέσεις μετατράπηκαν σε μετοχικό κεφάλαιο.Παράλληλα, σκοπείται σταδιακή αποζημίωση των κατόχων αξιογράφων των εν λόγω τραπεζών και των μετόχων της Τράπεζας Κύπρου, που ήταν...

George Iordanou Politics, Philosophy and (not much) Real Life

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