Maria Iotova

Maria Iotova is a freelance journalist, editor, and communications strategist for the travel, non-profit, and news sectors. Among others, she has written for the Huffington Post, the Culture Trip, and the Financial Times. After intensively exploring her home country of Greece and the UK as a journalism graduate, her obsession with unearthing untold stories took her to Ghana where she worked for The Daily Graphic. Ever since, with her husband and dog, she has lived in South Korea, Mauritius, and currently in Rwanda doing what she loves the most: getting out of her comfort zone. 

«Κάποτε σιώπησα μπροστά στο ρατσισμό, αλλά ποτέ ξανά»

Πριν από εφτά χρόνια, ο τότε σύντροφος μου και νυν άντρας μου επισκέφτηκε για πρώτη φορά την Ελλάδα. Από τον ενθουσιασμό μου που θα έβλεπε τα προαιώνια μνημεία της Αθήνας και τις ανεκδιήγητες ομορφιές της Πελοποννήσου, και θα γευόταν επιτέλους τη διαφορά ανάμεσα στα γεμιστά της ελληνικής ταβέρνας του Μπράιτον και εκείνων που τρως μετά το θαλασσινό μπάνιο στο σπίτι σου, ήπια μονοκοπανιά δύο τζιν-τόνικ στο αεροδρόμιο του Γκάτγουικ.

«Όταν σιώπησα μπροστά στον ρατσισμό» H δημοσιογράφος Μαρία Ιότοβα αφηγείται μια από τις πιο δύσκολες στιγμές της ζωής της | ΓΥΝΑΙΚΑ

Πριν από εφτά χρόνια, ο τότε σύντροφος και νυν σύζυγος της δημοσιογράφου Μαρίας Ιότοβα, επισκέφτηκε για πρώτη φορά την Ελλάδα. Εκείνη την πρώτη μέρα, η Μαρία έγινε μάρτυρας μιας ρατσιστικής συμπεριφοράς προς τον σύντροφό της.

Η υποδοχή της αλλαγής στην ζωή μας

Στις 28 Νοεμβρίου του περασμένου χρόνου ήμουν με το σύζυγο μου στο αεροδρόμιο του Κιγκάλι. Εγώ θα πετούσα για Ουάσινγκτον και εκείνος θα επέστρεφε στο σπίτι με το ίδιο ταξί. Καθώς φτάσαμε στην είσοδο του κτηρίου, ένας αστυνομικός ζήτησε τα εισιτήρια μας και σήκωσε την παλάμη του σε ένδειξη “στοπ” μπροστά στο πρόσωπο του συζύγου μου για να δηλώσει ότι δεν έχει δικαίωμα να μπει μέσα εφόσον δε ταξιδεύει.

Mental health challenges during the COVID-19 lockdown

The past days, I have read articles about the impact of coronavirus on the elderly, victims of domestic violence, teachers, homeless, and mothers. Some groups are more prone to the social, economic, and health complexity of the virus, and their everyday lives have changed dramatically when compared to other [groups]. Even though a global threat, the coronavirus battle doesn’t follow universal rules of struggle.

COVID-19: An overview of the situation in the US

As of March 16, 2020, the total Coronavirus cases in the United States are 3,487 and 68 deaths. However, the data changes day-by-day meteorically, and for the most up-to-date information regarding the U.S. one should be checking with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts agree that the number of infected people exceeds the number of laboratory-confirmed cases since many COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic yet fully capable of infecting others.

How to make the most of your one-day visit to the Acropolis

THE ACROPOLIS IS AN extraordinary archaeological site comprised of several 2,500-year-old monuments, such as the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion, and the Parthenon. Being the greatest artistic complex coming out of Greek antiquity, visitors could do with some help to understand the Acropolis’ significance and appreciate its monuments’ beauty — especially if they are racing against the clock. To make your Acropolis visit as dazzling as the rest of your stay in Athens, we asked two professional tour guides, Jessica Van Der Does and Dr. Dimitria Papadopoulou, to provide some tips on how to make your one-day visit a cinch.

The 6 best non-touristy live music bars in Athens, Greece

Athenians love to meet in loud places, sip their drinks on their own time, and dance the night away to forget their everyday worries. In bars and clubs, you meet people from all walks of life from age 16 on up — especially in bars where popular Greek and international musical artists perform. Yet among all of the live music bars in the city, some bars are on another level thanks to the quality of the shows. These are the venues in Athens where you can hear live music in an intimate environment without falling into a tourist trap.

The 10 best places for dessert in Athens, Greece

Exploring the sites and museums of the capital city of Greece is great, but Athens’ heart beats where people come together to talk, laugh, and enjoy good food. So, where you really want to be in order to understand the local way of living is a patisserie. Patisseries are an indispensable part of everyday life in Greece, and indulging in a housemade dessert is a favorite pastime among Athenians of all ages.

The ultimate travel guide to Athens, Greece

Athenians are the first to admit that their city isn’t the typical European capital with acres of parkland, bicycle lanes, and well-thought-out architecture. Rather, it’s compulsively spontaneous, full of energy, and brimming with dualities -- bohemian versus mainstream, classical theater versus bouzoukia (nightclubs with live folk music), protests versus festivals. You can explore the mythical world of ancient deities and heroes then stumble across graffiti art in downtown alleyways.

The ultimate shopping guide to Athens

IF YOU LOVE perusing local stores while you travel, Athens is a great place to do some quality shopping. It can be hard to know where to go and what to look for, though, so we’ve weeded out the ordinary and predictable shopping options to save you time and help you focus on the unique and eminent that Athens has to offer. The city is flush with unbeatable boutiques, malls, and street markets. Here’s a primer on what unique Athenian gifts to look for and where you need to shop in Athens to catch the best shopping vibes the city has to offer.

The Feminist Activist Behind Paper Crown Institute

The first thing that strikes you about Katie Carlson is her vocality, which stems from her passion about what she stands for: women’s and girls’ rights. She loves planting the flag of feminism on the ground when she introduces herself because she never feels that her confidence is dependent on other people’s validation. Katie, the founder of Paper Crown Institute, a Rwandan NGO that works with youth to transform gender norms and create lasting social change, is a feminist activist and an international gender specialist with a focus on the Rwandan context.

It’s time to visit Kigali, Rwanda, one of Africa’s most influential cities

Mountain gorillas are Rwanda’s wealth. But if you don’t have a few thousand dollars to spare — yes, that’s how expensive it is to see gorillas — or don’t have the time to hit the verdant volcanic mountains, Rwanda’s capital city is a destination in itself. Since the end of the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994, Kigali has become a cornerstone of African development. Despite its relatively small size, with just 800,000 residents, Kigali is tremendously influential.

Kigali Creatives: Ishimwa Muhimanyi’s Countless Blessings

When I met performance artist Ishimwa Muhimanyi in Kigali a few weeks ago, I immediately read the artistic genius in his eyes. He is multidimensional — concerned with psychology, writing, travelling, and body language, among others. He is grateful for his privileges and feels that luck has played an important role in his life. Here’s Ishimwa’s story on owning your past and emotions, and being an Artist with a capital “A.”

The Peloponnese belongs on your must-visit list in Greece

The Peloponnese, the mulberry-leaf-shaped southern peninsula of mainland Greece, may not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning a trip to the cradle of Western civilization. The historical city of Athens and picture-perfect islands of Mykonos and Santorini have arguably established themselves as Greece’s must-gos. But the well-kept secrets of the Peloponnese and the region’s landscape of contrasts will make you feel like you’ve discovered a whole new world.
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