BY Alexia Amvrazi

| Feb 03, 2016

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The Out-of-Towners: Farida El Gazzar

Farida El Gazzar is an artist who has been exploring her Egyptian past through her artworks while living fully in the Greek present. She is this week’s featured Out-of-Towner, offering us personalized views, insider experiences and know­-how of Greek life.

Name
Farida El Gazzar

Profession
Artist

Life status
Living for the magic.

Where on earth I am from
Born in Alexandria, with Armenian, Egyptian and Greek roots.

Rate your homeland vs Greece
Egypt and Greece share many cultural similarities. Apart from differences in language and religion, I find that family values and social behaviors are very much alike. I spent nine years of my childhood in Kuwait, where the cultural experience was something like a blend of the Gulf and the US – nothing at all like Greece.

I came to Greece because…
My parents thought Athens would be a healthy place to grow up in. Also, I have Greek roots from my mom’s side.

I’ve fallen in love with…
The nature, landscape and climate and  the fact thatI can meet up with friends at a moment’s notice at a Greek kafeneio, taverna or open air cinema.

I get mad because…
of the chaotic bureaucracy, and because people think more as individuals than as a whole.

Greece in the palm of my hand…
Is a pine cone.

If I knew then what I know now…
I would have built a small house near the sea.

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MY FAVORITE PLACE TO:
eat:
Avocado vegan/vegetarian restaurant (30 Nikis St, Syntagma).

watch the sun set: A friend’s roof terrace in the Lycabettus area, overlooking the Athenian cityscape (and the sea from a distance on a clear day), drinking wine.

party all night: Blue Bird (4 Ipitou St, Plaka), Kitty Cat (7 Stadiou St, Syntagma) or Cantina Social (6 Leokoriou, Kerameikos).

swim: at Legraina beach near Sounio.

shop: on Ermou St at Mango, Hondos Center and H&M.

watch the world go by: from a  train window on my way to Piraeus port, where I’ll catch a ferry to Andros, Tinos or Mykonos.

read peacefully: in the shade, on a park-bench in the National Gardens.

connect with Greek culture: eating at a taverna in Plaka.

work out: in my pilates class at Campion School.

escape to: Pelion, Evia, Nafplio or Epidaurus for a weekend road trip.

feel like an Athenian: at an outdoor cafe such as Clementines (the old Brazilian, 10 Valaoritou St, Kolonaki) or Zonars (9 Voukourestiou St, Syntagma), where I can indulge in people-watching and chat for hours.

 

Photo by Nikos Kokkas