Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com
I am a poet, writer fiction, photographer and organizational consultant. I am proud to be part of the team leading Ourboox. I love to dance, learn new languages and cultures.
Jan 2014
Member Since
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Published Books

The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki

by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo

Artwork: Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo

Αγαπητέ  φίλε μου Γιώργο

Σε ευχαριστώ πολύ,

που άνοιξες το σπίτι σου,

και την Καρδιά σου  σε μας.

 

*

 The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki

I would like to dedicate this book to

My wonderful friends George and Antigoni,

To George’ dear family:

The parents Christos and Kiki,

The grandma Dimitroula,

And the sister Dimitra.

And to Leonidas, my amazing Greek teacher, from Thessaloniki.

 

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Gulls made love / Shulamit Sapir- Nevo

 

Gulls made love

On the water

I heard the sea

Pass gently

Between them

Even the surrounding sands

Held off the while.

 

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

I always wanted to go to Thessaloniki.

Everybody that visits there keeps telling me

What a beautiful city it is.

 

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

And since I started learning Greek

With my great teacher ,Leonidas, from Thessaloniki,

I keep hearing from Him how much He is proud of

And loves this city That he was Born and grew up in.

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Last July, while Mel and I were in London,   

Having coffee and catching up with our dear friends Antigoni and Yorgos from Bristol, hearing about their plans to visit their families in Thessaloniki and Crete, during Christmas. All of a sudden they made us an offer that can’t be Resisted, to join them in Thessaloniki.

And who am I to refuse a dream which knocks on my door :)?

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

 

3/11/2014

Kαλησπέρα Αγαπητοί μας , Antigoni and George

Θεσσαλονίκη!  Είμαι χαρούμενη τόσο πολύ!

 In Electra palace  hotel, 24-27   Δεκ

Φιλιά , Τα λέμε, Shuli

*

My Dear Shuli!!!

So wonderful news – it would be so nice and exciting for me to welcome you Both in my hometown!!! I cannot wait!!!

All the best! George

*

Wow this is wonderful news! Fantastika nea!

The evening of the 24th is actually good fun in Thessaloniki as most people Are going out for ouzo :).

I’m really looking forward to seeing you both and thank you for coming to Meet us in Greece

Polla filia ,Antigoni

*

And the next wonderful thing, our good friends

Heli and Baruch decided to join us :).

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

December 24th

 

Thessaloniki is welcoming us

With a grey, cloudy face,

But all the lights around will soon be on,

And the whole city will look like a fairy tale.

Music is coming out of the Central Square and its shops

“Jingle bells, Jingle bells,

Jingle all the way…”

I wander the streets like Alice in wonderland.

 

And what do you know,

I start believing in Santa Claus…:)

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Juicy and ripe

The lights are hanging

Like a thousand fruits

Laden

On the green branches.

The trees bear them happily

It’s the season of December,

Their time to bloom.

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

George, Antigoni and Dimitra (Yorgos’ sister)

Are here,

Bringing us  Melomakarona (Μελομακάρονα

The traditional Thessaloniki cookies

For Christmas,

Made of biscuits dipped in honey

And topped with cinnamon.

 

 

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

In Thessaloniki you don’t just eat.

Food is an important issue here.

And the Thessalonikis definitely know

How to please you,

With their delicious dishes and fine wine.

So we sit in a nice place called “Panellinion” (Πανελλήνιον).

 

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

And here we learn about the:

The The Bougiornti (Μπουγιουρντί)  – hot cheese salad)

The Myxithropitaki (Μυζιθροπιτάκι) – hot Cheese baked with pita bread.

The Fava (Φάβα )- it’s a crushed plant, tasted like hummus ,

But more delicate.

And some other great dishes, but sorry,

I was too busy eating and had to stop taking notes.

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

 And the wines

 

Greek wines have a lineage !

They are so good. You can tell they are made with lots of care and pride.

Drinking Greek Wines from lunch till late night – is a must.

It’s a social thing, opening the warmth of the Thessaloniki hearts.

They can talk, sing, laugh, dance and even cry better with it.

 

So here we are having our second bottle of wine. This one called

Amethystos (Αμέθυστος ) – it’s written that ” It will not get you drunk”.

Antigoni said and added ” but don’t believe it, it is just the name.”

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Then we wandered around the celebrating streets.

It’s pretty cold outside, but who cares,

As the wine is sitting well in your head,

And the lights are like magnets to your eyes,

When there is music in the squares that pull your legs to dance,

And when you have terrific friends to fill your heart with love.

Dimitra is my partner for dancing. I can see she loves to dance,

So we start and soon all the group joined us.

 

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Dimitra is a Marathon runner,

And she has already won competitions in Greece.

I look at this thin delicate girl and can’t believe how powerful

She is to run those  Marathons.

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

In the night when nobody can see

Santa Claus sneaks into my room

Whispers in my ear

Was I right to bring you here

He winks with his blue eyes

And when he moves his red hat

Stars are flying in my skies

“I can make dreams come true

All you need is just to call me

 And to believe”.

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

It’s a foggy day in Thessaloniki Town.

We are having breakfast at the beautiful balcony on the 7th floor of the “Electra Palace” hotel.

It is so misty and mysterious. You can’t see the sea (which is so close),

Or the buildings across the square, or even the square below, but some blue lights that hanging on the trees are trying to fight the fog.

A flock of pigeons, flying above the unseen space cry with sharp long tunes .

A scene that was taken straight from a fantasy story,

And you could feel the witches in the air, riding on their brooms.

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

When Thessaloniki opens her foggy eyes

The doves pass over

Like white tears

They fall among last night’s Christmas lights

To the awakening dawn.

 

*Photo by Baruch  Peled

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

It is Christmas day and almost all the people are at home.

Nothing remains from the big noisy celebration

Οf the night before.

 *

The boulevard of the bitter orange trees

Stands like a line of statues

No wind caresses their cheeks.

All the sweet candies are locked in the stores

Out of reach

The streets are empty and quiet from steps

The music is sleeping

And the shattered windows keep the night on. 

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Stella, our guide today is taking us around

For a six-hour walking tour.

Every thing is closed, even the synagogues.

But Stella stopped at one of them

And she started to call, “Suzi, Suzi ” .

And Suzi appeared on the second floor, opening her window.

A few words in Greek between the two women

And the door of the synagogue is open for us.

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

We are holding the book about the Jews of Thessaloniki,

That George’ family gave us.

We learn there about their history

And about the rich life of the community.

 

 

* George’ Grandma Dimitroula, beautiful hand woven tablecloth.

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

On the 25th of December we are all invited to George’ home.

The door is open.

One can tell from the first smile how welcome we are.

Warm so warm are the hearts the smiles the kisses and the hugs-

This is the soul of Thessaloniki.

A beautiful decorated home, with dolls and souvenirs

That amazing Kiki (the mother) collects.

Every spot is colorful and full of joy.

 

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Christos, the father, doesn’t waste time

And fills us glasses with the red wine that he made.

The night is young and there is lots of drinking to do.

It ‘s Christos’ name day today so everybody is phoning to greet him,

And you can see how happy he is.

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Grandma Dimitroula is joining us.

She is giving us one of her beautiful hand woven tablecloths- wow!!!

And George hugs the pullover that he is wearing,

Telling us with emotion that grandma knitted it for him.

 

The wood is burning slowly in the fireplace.

The food and the wine are great. We laugh, and talk and dance.

My goodness, am I ever happy to be here.

Guess what ?

I love Christmas!

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

 

The doves surround the big White Tower

Spreading their grey marks on the walls

With their brush wings

 

Singing around

As a choir of angels,

Praying

All day long.

 

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

On our third day we took a tour bus around the city.

When we reached the old city we decided to get off the bus.

We found a beautiful place for coffee ,

And inside there is an old gramophone

Which the owner’s son played especially for us.

 

 

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

We are walking along the old streets, no maps, no guide.

It is so nice sometimes to get lost,

To let your legs lead you wherever they want.

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

And we go through streets and some alleys,

Discovering the beautiful face of Thessaloniki.

Old houses colored in rose, yellow, orange, light blue,

With small gardens, flowers and plants that grow as they wish,

like the stones around and the houses on the hill.

Nothing is in order and all looks so beautiful.

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Time to meet George’ family again

And to celebrate in one of those gorgeous restaurants

Along the seashore .

With candles, and lamps, and flowers, and lights and music.

Every one with its special touch and decoration.

The street is so crowded , so many smiling, well-dressed people.

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Time to say goodbye to beautiful Thessaloniki,

To George wonderful family.

And to our Dear Antigoni and George  that invited us and 

Made our trip unforgettable .

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

The seagulls of Thessaloniki

Dance their waltz

As soft  waves

The velvet sea opens a

Dark blue dance floor

For them.

Even the skies bend down to see

And they open their pockets

To drop silver stars

On their wings.

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

Αγαπητοί μου φίλοι Γιώργο και  Αντιγόνη

Σας ευχαριστώ πολύ για τις υπέροχες στιγμές

Που περάσαμε μαζί στη Θεσσαλονίκη.

 

 

ΣΟΦΙΑ ΠΑΠΑΖΟΓΛΟΥ – Θεσσαλονίκη πόλη μαγική

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCGQfD0aVEA#t=40

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Artwork from the book - The Soul and the Seagulls of Thessaloniki by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Illustrated by Photos by Shulamit Sapir-Nevo - Ourboox.com

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