Andreas Zapounidis, who won the “People of Afghanistan” category with his photo “History and Smiling Future” had the following to say in response to winning:
- On why he entered the contest:
I like very much the art of photography , the magic moment , the second of eternity. I entered the contest also coz its my duty, as án amateur photographer , but first as a member of ISAF and always as a [distant relative] of Afghans; before 2300, Greeks and Afghans were family.
- On having won:
…thanks very much all the people who voted my photo (Greeks and not Greeks), thanks to the people who didn’t vote for my photo, but participated the contest.
Thanks the administrator of this contest with his efforts to help this contest succed. My photo with the Greek king Great Alexander symbol of Thessaloniki city (my birthplace)
and with the smiling carpet trader, is the target of the 42 Nations members of ISAF and of NATO countries. Hearts and minds. If we want a peaceful world , under the rules of democracy justice and progression, without terrorists and enemies of freedom, we should read more the Greek history and the art of Great Alexander’s leadership. Hearts and minds was the task before 2300 years for Hellenic army. He succeeded in that 2300 years ago, without internet, tv, radio and satelites, we can do it and today it is easy. Just we should follow his steps and then all the world will see the greatness of blessed future. Afghans love Great Alexander, the carpet trader in Kabul bazaar was proud of his History. The Hellenic army helps the peace and Alliance with many costs, but with pride.
- On how will you use your prize?
I will sell my old camera and I will send the money to USAID, they NGO’S (non-governmental organization’s) need support too. They are also my allies ! I am military but first I am citizen of the world, and our world needs solidarity between troops and civilians.
- Other thoughts or impressions?
I want to send two messages. One to the people of Afghanistan – I want to say that, as Hellenicos (Greek) from Pontos and from Macedonia, as faraway [relatives], always I will do my best for a better future in Afghanistan for all Middle East and Persia. Half of my heart is in the West and the other half is in Asia. Keep staying proud for your future brothers.
God bless Hellas. God bless our Alliance. God bless Afghanistan