Thursday, June 16, 2011

Princely News

On Tuesday it was all glitz and glamour as Prince Albert II attended the charity gala “Liasons au Louvre” at the Louvre in Paris. Charlene was not on hand but everyone who is anyone in the upper echelons of society was there. However, attending to some earlier business at home was a much different affair as the Sovereign Prince came home to personally open the “Monacology Eco-Village” again this year. The event, which will run until Friday, is focused on a wide variety of environmental issues from global warming to deforestation to recycled toilette paper. Vegetables were being pushed in a big way (going vegan seems to be the “it” thing to push in the environmentalist world lately) along with a variety of subjects related to ‘sustainable living’. To be sure, if there is one thing our Albie believes in heart and soul it is environmentalism.

However, my favorite story concerns a surprise visit that occurred last Thursday. First, a little background information is in order. When all the recent unpleasantness began in Iraq, the Principality of Monaco dispatched two doctors to Damascus in 2009 to lend a hand in treating Iraqi refugees. One patient that treated was Basim Omar Basim, a 5-year-old Iraqi boy born in Syria after his parents fled their native land due to death threats against the boy’s father. It was found that the boy needed heart surgery, obviously out of the question in the area in which he found himself and so he was flown to Monaco, free of charge by the Aviation Sans Frontieres Charity using money raised in 2008 in honor of the 50th birthday of Monaco’s Sovereign Prince. The operation was performed at the Cardio-Thoracic Centre and went well but, a few days ago, he was back again for follow-up surgery. Last Thursday, in a surprise move, Prince Albert dropped in at the hospital to visit the brave little guy and check on his progress. What a story he will have to tell his children some day.

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