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AHF eNews April 8th, 2005 - SPECIAL APRIL 2 MEETING COVERAGE
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4/8/2005 - HOT NEWS: House Resolution 191 moves forward urging the "prompt and fair restitution of church properties by Rumania." AHF strongly supports this measure and will continue its efforts aimed at swift adoption.

“We applaud Representatives Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Tom Tancredo (R-CO) for their leadership on an issue that goes to the very heart of democracy, rule of law and minority rights in Romania – the return of religious properties illegally confiscated by the former Communist government,” noted Frank Koszorus, Jr. “This has been a long process, beginning with statements in 2002 by Representatives Lantos, Tancredo and Robert Matsui urging the prompt and fair restitution of properties by Romania and Slovakia and continuing in 2004 when Representative Tancredo introduced a similar resolution that was cosponsored by 15 Members,” he added.

[download the resolution] here or on the right under "Related Downloads. The resolution is available online at www.congress.gov. Select "by bill" and enter "H.Res. 191"


4/7/2005 - Successful AHF Meeting on April 2nd, 2005 in Washington, D.C. Over 40 Members came together representing organizations from all over the country at the Marriott Crystal City to review the past year and plan for the future. The Meeting, chaired by Dr. Paul J. Szilagyi, was organized by the Executive Committee. Members were welcomed by AHF President Stephen Varga who introduced Rev. Imre Bertalan, Jr., for the invocation. The new found energy was apparent both at the dinner / reception the evening before and at the meeting.

Sandor Murray provided a financial report, noting that donations have risen significantly. AHF has also donated to a number of important causes from university scholarships to the Torn from the Flag project (a documentary film about the 1956 Freedom Fight) by AHF member Klaudia Kovacs. Bryan Dawson-Szilagyi presented highlights of the last year's activities as well as an overview on AHF communications and use of technology. He remarked that AHF was on the right track as both visitors to the Website and additions to the AHF mailing list continue to grow dramatically. Membership has also grown as the Hungarian American community becomes increasingly aware of AHF's activities and direction. New members have also taken advantage of the AHF Website's online eCommerce system to pay member dues.

Atilla Kocsis provided a status report on the National Headquarters, which is located in the National Press Building. AHF 1st VP, Frank Koszorus, summarized both recent and upcoming activities for the Political Affairs committee. He read the most recent public statement signed by AHF and a cross-section of the American Hungarian community and others condemning former President Ion Iliescu’s shocking statement on March 25th blaming Hungarians of Tirgu Mures (Marosvasarhely) for the violence in March 1990 when ethnic Rumanians brought in by trucks viciously attacked ethnic Hungarians who were seeking rights denied them by the dictator Ceaucescu In keeping with AHF's goals of media outreach, the statement was written in English, Hungarian, and Rumanian. See "Related Downloads" on the right to download the letter.

Tibor Purger provided a synopsis on AHF participation in the Szabadka Forum and offered an excellent analysis on its outcomes and future developments. He noted that AHF participated in a truly historic occasion as the forum held in Szabadka (Subotica in Serbo-Croatian) marked the first time ethnic Hungarian political parties met without the support or participation of the Hungarian government in Budapest. Read more and view the joint declaration by clicking [here].

One of the highlights of the meeting included Rev. Dr. Stephen Szilagyi's stirring presentation on his organization's charitable activities. SARA has already provided over 30 million dollars of medical supplies and countless services to the poor in former Hungarian territories such as Carpatho-Ukraine (Karpatalja) and now around the world. In addition to distributing medical supplies, SARA develops a network of doctors, dentists, and other service providers to provide medical care and surgery to those who cannot afford it. AHF presented to Rev. Dr. Szilagyi its second "Tako Geza Award" given to individuals of outstanding character and contributions to the Hungarian people.

Acclaimed poet-performers Mihaly Czinkota and Kinga M. DeChapelle read some of their poems reflecting on the tragedies and triumphs of the 1956 revolution. Their uniquely choreographed presentation echoed each others thoughts and provided a bi-lingual glimpse into their words and ideas.

Dr. Paul J. Szilagyi introduced a new project code-named "Fulgur" or "lightning" in Latin. Fulgur was the title of a children's book about Hungary and its historic borders. Like its namesake, the Fulgur project aims to develop programs to support the survival of Hungarian communities in former Hungarian territories. Bryan Dawson-Szilagyi promoted the idea of supporting ethnic Hungarian organizations through sponsorship of technology and other innovations that can contribute to effective communication and coordination in former Hungarian territories. He commented there is a lack of centralized information and community outreach and that AHF can help provide that. Rev. Imre Bertalan Jr. added that Fulgur can also target ethnic Hungarians in the United States through educational opportunities and information dissemination. Dawson-Szilagyi added that the lack of full-time elementary education as well as a strong national presence in Washington that could offer internship and other government related educational opportunities are a major concern. Those interested in participating, are invited to join us!

Finally, AHF Director Attila Micheller formally announced AHF's plans to commemorate the 1956 Revolution's 50th Anniversary and called on members to join in the "1956 Commemoration Committee." Renowned artist and sculptor George Hollosy, gave a presentation of his work and ideas for a 1956 memorial. His sculptures are already standing in Liberty Square Boston, Cleveland, Akron and New Brunswick. Member organizations around the country are joining in this important milestone. AHF is seeking ways to support these local organizations, coordinate activities to increase media impact, and ways to make a permanent mark in Washington DC. AHF formed a 1956 Commemoration Committee and all are invited to join us and participate. If you are a local organization making plans for this event, please let us know how we can help!

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More AHF News

AHF joins statement entitled,"PROVOCATIVE ANTI-MINORITY STATEMENT UNDERMINES DEMOCRACY IN ROMANIA" - "As much as we welcome newly-elected President Traian Basescu’s pledge to implement reforms in Romania, we are appalled by former President Ion Iliescu’s shocking statement on March 25 blaming Hungarians of Tirgu Mures (Marosvasarhely) for the violence in March 1990 when ethnic Romanians brought in by trucks viciously attacked ethnic Hungarians who were seeking rights denied them by the dictator Ceaucescu."


Featured Link: Do you think you know something about famous Hungarians? Think again! See "Nobel Prize Winners and Famous Hungarians" on www.thehungarypage.com

A Special Note
From one of our members recovering from surgery:

4/8/2005 - Tisztelt igazgatosag, tisztelt tagok, barataim! Gratulalok a sikeres gyulesnek. Koszonom kedves lapotokat, az alairasokat es a jo kivansagokat. Lassan, de biztosan gyogyulok es a kovetkezo osszejovetelen remelem talakozuk. Tisztelettel Kiss Janos, Philadelphia


Featured Member

Rev. Imre Bertalan has been the minister of the Hungarian Reformed Church of Washington, D.C., since 1981. In 1980, he was elected President of the Hungarian Reformed Federation of America and led the organization until his retirement in 1992. He is President Emeritus of the American Hungarian Federation and has served on the boards of the HRFA, the Hungarian American Coalition, and the American Section of the World Alliance of Hungarians. [Read More]


International News

"Serbia for the Serbs"- ANOTHER PROTESTANT SITE DESECRATED IN SERBIA.
RFE/RL Newsline - 7 April 2005

Unknown people desecrated crosses and other symbols on a Protestant church in
Zrenjanin on 6 April, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported. The vandals covered the walls with graffiti,
including messages such as: "[Serbian] Orthodoxy or death," "Here they serve the devil," and "Serbia for the Serbs." The incident is the latest in a series of incidents across Serbia directed primarily against
ethnic and religious minorities, which began after the strong electoral showing by the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) in December
2003. Some commentators have linked the latest incidents to the general elections widely expected in the course of 2005.
[read more]


Germans against Kosovo Independence
RFE/RL Newsline - 7 April 2005

"Die Welt" stressed that the international
community appears united on the need to change the province's status if only because administering it as a UN mandate has proven too costly. The daily added that Berlin rules out the full independence
demanded by all ethnic Albanian political parties in Kosova as well as an ethnically based partition, which many Serbs favor (see "RFE/RL Balkan Report," 19 December 2003 and 16 April and 17 December 2004)


The Hungarian Revolution as example to today's freedom fighters!
Persian Journal, IRANIAN NEWS, April 7th, 2005

"It is fitting amongst all these fast paced revolutions to remember the forerunners of these revolutions. The seed of the present mushrooming of successful civilian revolutions can be traced to the will of thousands of students, who marched in the streets of Budapest on 23 October 1956, and the fortitude of the Tank man's defiance on 5 June, 1989." [read more]


"La Cicciolina," Ilona Staller Runs for Hungarian Parliament
Staller Campaign, Budapest, Hungary, 4/8/2005

After winning election in Italy, the porn star-turned politician has begun fundraising and calling for volunteers for a parliament bid in Hungary as an independent candidate. [Contact her representative] [read more in Hungarian]


Eyes on the Prize
Budapest Business Journal, April 6, 2005

Once deemed ahead of its time, an award-winning Hungarian security technology is now being pitched at the world market.

SaveAs Kft, a small Hungarian company specializing in IT consultancy and security, expects a huge boost in its revenue as a result of winning a prestigious prize at a well-known information and communication technology fair. "I would be surprised if the product does not double the revenue of the company by 2006," says Tamás Gautier, managing director of SaveAs Kft, referring to the EagleEye security software. This product won the silver European Seal of Excellence in Multimedia 2005 in the software category awarded by European Multimedia Association at the Cebit fair, held in March in Hannover, Germany.
[read more]


[BDsz - Is Ukraine really stable enough?]
U.S. PRESIDENT SUPPORTS UKRAINE'S ENTRY TO NATO.

RFE/RL Newsline - 5 April 2005

Speaking at a press conference in Washington on 4 April after his meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, U.S. President George W. Bush said that
the United States supports Ukraine's bid to join NATO. According to the White House website. Bush remarked: "I'm a supporter of the idea of Ukraine becoming a member of NATO. I think it's important." Bush added that he has requested Congress to provide $60 million in additional funding for Ukraine to strengthen law enforcement and the fight against corruption, and to promote a free media and civil society organizations.


Microsoft Inaugurates Hungary Center
Forbes.com (AP), April 5, 2005

Microsoft Corp. opened a technical support center for central and eastern Europe on Tuesday. The center, set to employ more than 50 people by July, will assist corporate customers in the region and western Europe.

"The opportunities in the local market and the confidence in the internationally recognized knowledge of Hungarian professionals were decisive factors in Microsoft's decision to set up the center in Budapest," said Microsoft Hungary CEO Peter Vityi. [Read More]


MORE ATTACKS ON MINORITIES IN SERBIA.
RFE/RL Newsline - 5 April 2005

Unknown people broke the
windows of the Seventh Day Adventist church building in Smederevo on 4 April, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported. The attackers also destroyed some gravestones and opened some graves in the nearby cemetery. [read more]


ANOTHER NATIONALIST INCIDENT IN SERBIA.
RFE/RL Newsline - 5 April 2005

Unknown vandals on 23 March defaced with anti-Croatian slogans a monument in Kragujevac dedicated to 7,000 school children and other Serbs killed there by German forces in 1941 in retaliation for guerrilla attacks on German personnel, RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported on 24 March. The monument was a gift from Croatia about 20 years ago
[read more]


[BDSz - how ironic - he'll study religion! The nationalist/academic oxymoron]
ROMANIAN NATIONALIST LEADER STEPS DOWN.
RFE/RL Newsline - 5 April 2005

Corneliu Vadim Tudor, the founder of the nationalist Greater Romania Party, resigned as party president to pursue an academic career, Reuters reported on 13 March citing a senior party official. "Vadim chose to step down and become our honorary president to have more time for his academic career: he must finish four books and needs to focus on his Ph.D. diploma in Sociology of Religions," said Corneliu Ciontu, the party's new leader. After winning 20 percent in the 2000 elections, the Greater Romania Party has seen its popularity plunge to 12 percent in polls conducted late last year.


Former Hungarian President Pal Losonczi Dies
Washington Post.com (AP), April 4, 2005

Pal Losonczi, 85, the president of communist Hungary from 1967 to 1987, died of cancer March 28 at a hospital in Kaposvar in southwestern Hungary.

Mr. Losonczi was minister of agriculture from 1960 to 1967. He then was appointed head of the Presidential Council of the Hungarian People's Republic, a figurehead presidency. He was also a parliamentary deputy from 1953 until 1989, when he retired. [read more]


Hungarian athletes lose golds on appeal
USA Today (AP), April 3, 2005

GENEVA — Hammer thrower Adrian Annus and discus thrower Robert Fazekas lost appeals to keep their Olympic gold medals Friday when world sport's highest court upheld an earlier decision by the IOC.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport agreed with the International Olympic Committee that the two Hungarians should be stripped of their Athens medals. [read more]


Vojvodina Hungarians call for Kosovo Serb-style autonomy
Kosovar Report, April 2, 2005

The leader of the Democratic Party of Vojvodina Hungarians, Andras Agoston, says that Serbia already has a basic concept of personal autonomy for national minorities, which is incorporated in the Serbian government's plan for the Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija. [read more]



Hungarian unemployment rises sharply: More bad news for the Socialists
Washington Times (UPI), 3/30/2005

Hungary's unemployment rate rose to 6.9 percent at the end of February, official figures showed Wednesday. [read more]


Black Hand: The Dream of
Greater Serbia
by Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

Global Politician, 3/28/2005

"A self-appointed "guardian of all Serbs", the Serbian state willingly engaged in agitation and confronted both other ethnicities and the Dual Monarchy."
[read more]


Steven Udvar-Hazy: Aviation Power Broker Flies Under the Radar
By Dan Reed, USA TODAY, 3/28/2005

At a time in the late 1960s, it seemed like every college student in the USA was busy tuning in and dropping out. Not UCLA's Steven Udvar-Hazy, "one of the greatest successes ever in the aviation business." [read more]


Huns of Hungary Demands Minority Status
Anadolu News Agency, March 24, 2005

Hungarian Parliament will convene next week to discuss a petition with 2,400 signatures to recognize the Huns in the country as a minority. At least two-thirds of parliamentary members need to vote in favor for the descendents of the Huns who settled in the region in the early 4th century to be officially recognized as minority. [read more]


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