Some 50 Greek and Cypriot artists rallied round to play in Nicosia on Monday in a giant aid concert.
The objective was to raise money and collect essentials for Cypriots facing financial hardship and ballooning unemployment. Thousands of people turned out for Cyprus Aid beneath the medieval walls around the old part of the capital.
“We did not expect this outcome. People have been coming with trucks. Instead of a bag, they have been filling up trucks of goods and they have been bringing it to us. So it’s amazing,” said concert production manager Nicko Zavallis.
All sorts of non-perishable items were brought along and will be stored in warehouses and distributed to the poor and unemployed.
“I have mixed feelings. I am very happy that it’s working out and that people are bringing food but I am also very sad because we are forced to do this. It is almost like war. I am the generation that lived through the 1974 invasion so I am really very sad about this,” said charity worker Melina Shukuroglou.
Charities were delighted at the greater-than-expected response; and the public was delighted with the music. In fact so much was donated that a theatre had to be opened up and used as extra storage space.