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Artichoke: Are we real?

By Melissa Hekkers

In between people placing razor blades in shieftalia meatballs and feeding them to dogs and the threat of 91 trees being cut down in the Academias Park in Aglantzia, I returned to Nicosia with a sour taste in my mouth.

It was almost as though summer’s holiday bliss evaporated in an instant.

Perhaps the 91 trees are designated to be replanted on the artificial island said to be planned for what is being called ‘Eden City’ on the shores of Yerospkipou.

Surely they will be needing trees in the gardens of the university, five-star hotel, marina and whatever else already exists in Paphos and which Hungarian developers want to build on the 200-hectare island.

Has anyone been to Paphos recently? It’s had a face lift on almost every point on its circumference, from the city centre to its city limits. Most of it isn’t fully functional as yet; everywhere you go looks like a semi-construction site.

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The developers at hand are in communication with the Department of Antiquities to try and push through with their project.

I wonder how many more projects have gone through, bulldozing the remains of our ancestors… and we want more of that?

The Akamas is heaving with messy campers and developments gradually seeping through its perimeters. Farmers are rescuing lost tourists.

In most countries, areas such as these are turned into national parks for the benefit of the environment, but also the adequate use of visitors. Are we going to wait until it’s too late to deal with that, too?

We’ve got one of the worst kinds of animal cruelty going around: feeding to kill. We have free, abundant shade and oxygen providers being cut down to their roots with no explanation.

We have developers of all kinds envisioning a mini Dubai on our shores while we turn a blind eye to some of the only resources we have left to indicate our culture and heritage.

And we have natural riches at our feet, both in terms of flora and fauna, which we’re too lazy to look after.

Happy new academic year, people. There’s a lot to be accomplished.

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