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Showing posts with label Antiochia Scholarships Trust. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Antiochia Scholarships Trust. Show all posts

Saturday, January 31, 2015

NEWS FLASH: Antiochia and its Redemption Cathedral Listed in SL’s Destination Guide

News and Events

The Antiochia Team is honored and excited to announce that, less than once month after its initial opening festivities, our sim and its Redemption Cathedral, designed and built by The Time Machine’s Alexia Carnell, has been listed in Second Life’s Destination Guide here: . We were indexed in both the “Education / Non-profits” and Role-play / Historical” sections of the Guide. Please “LIKE” us on SL’s page and come visit our community, the Agora Polis Antiochia, and our beautiful home.

This Sunday, from 10:30 am to 2 pm slt, Antiochia is offering a great line-up of artists to entertain you: first, Cabaret and Jazz Performer Mihaere Shamen will rock our Forum Valentis, followed by virtuoso pianist Tip Corbett, whose performance will begin at 11:30 am slt, and finally by Joaquin Gustav, whose Latin Guitar will provide a romantic and mellow finale to the day’s activities. These events and the location SLURL are listed in the SL Events Guide.

Educational Activities

On the educational front, Antochia is happy to have brought in-world a first batch of students from the Middle East, from locations such as Beirut (Lebanon), as well as Duhok and Erbil (Iraq). Our AST Student Coordinator, Georges Kabalan, is currently develop the procedures and processes designed to assist our students to prepare for their university studies in Canada, whilst our partners from the language learning community of Virtlantis, led by Kip Yellowjacket, are preparing to provide them with customized assistance in improving their English language skills.

To publicize our sim and activities in both real life and the metaverse, we are currently producing a promotional five-minute clip of Antiochia and its key architectural and natural highlights, produced by machinima director Robert Little, with a musical score by Joaquin Gustav. The clip should be ready and available before the end of February.  Robert has already produced a clip on one of the events in Antiochia’s Forum Valentis, organized by Kemen College’s Phanessa Svenska:

We look forward to hosting you at our events this Sunday, February 1st from 10:30 am slt to 2 pm slt. For any questions, please consult our website at, contact AlexOlteanu Unplugged in-world, or email

Monday, January 19, 2015


In its first official week on the grid, Antiochia made important strides towards is goal to become a noted educational, entertainment, and cultural hub in SecondLife, and to assist its partner organisations to succeed in accomplishing their own objectives. Some of the highlights are:


Yesterday, Antiochia reached an important agreement with VIRTLANTIS (, a virtual Languages Education Community active mainly in SecondLife, to work together in order to help Antiochia Scholarship Trust Scholars acquire the English language skills they need before they arrive to Canada to pursue their studies.

Sponsored by the Oxford School of English (, VIRTLANTIS has been active in SL for almost a decade and has developed a network of volunteer professionals specialising in providing, in particular, English language and culture workshops to anyone interested, free of charge. As AST Scholars will start to participate in AST's virtual home, Antiochia, they will be introduced to VIRTLANTIS members, will go through an individualised assessment period, and will then be provided with the necessary assistance to improve their English language skills, in preparation for their university studies in Canada.

This partnership marks an important step in accomplishing ASTs vision of assisting its scholars to realise their dream of pursuing their studies in Canada. The ability to form a virtual community well before their arrival here, to get to know each other, study and create together, and acquire the skills necessary for a successful study period in Canada constitutes a milestone in this process. We look forward to working together with VIRTLANTIS for a long time to come, for the benefit of all our students. To visit VIRTLANTIS, please use this SLURL:
or contact in-world Kip Yellowjacket (


Antiochia is also offering, on a weekly basis, some of the best live music in SL. Latin Guitar player Joaquin Gustav and R&B Vocalist Mihaere Shamen now appear regularly in our main venue, Forum Valentis. Please join us there next Sunday, January 25, from noon slt to 2 pm slt, when Rock and Blues dynamo Gweeb will start the party and will be followed by Joaquin Gustav and his amazing guitar.

Due to Sandia Beaumont’s great success with her piano recital on the Opening Day of the sim, we now have dedicated an APA Piano Series, where in addition to Sandia’s French Flair, you will be able to enjoy the art of pianists Tip Corbett and Zachh Cale.  

Tip Corbett (Gregory Hall in RL) has been performing weekly live concerts of classical/compositional improvisation in Second Life since March 2009.  About the "Mysteria", his classical improvisations: "For many years I have striven to develop a style of classical improvisation.  The art of improvising did not fare as well in classical as in popular and jazz musics in the last century.   I am interested in helping to revive this lost art, once practiced by the great classical composers as readily as composition itself."  Tip will be performing in Antiochia on February 1, at 11:30 am slt. Zachh Cale is also a veteran SL performer who in addition to his classical/pop mix piano selections, also has amazing vocals. More about Zach as we get closer to his performance date – March 8, at 1 pm slt. You can listen to excerpts of Tip’s music here ( and to Zach’s here ( For further details about Antiochia’s events, please consult our website’s calendar here (

Our New Website

Finally, we have just activated our community’s new website, which can be accessed here: . We hope you will find it intuitive, accessible, and informative. In addition to our events’ calendar, you will also find our pictures on our Flickr account, brief descriptions of all Antiochia partners’ activities, how to contact us both in the Real and Virtual Worlds, a fascinating history of virtual Antiochia from its origins in 5000 BC to 600 AD (the epoch the sim is situated in), as well as our community blog.  Please bookmark it and consult it often if you wish to stay informed of our entertainment and educational activities.

If you have any questions or wish to find out more information about us, our partners, and our activities, please contact in-world AlexOlteanu Unplugged or Bromo Ivory – or use the Contact Us section of our website to send us an e-mail. It will be our pleasure to get back to you within 24 hours.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

NEWS FLASH: Antiochia Inaugural Festivities A Great Hit

From 10 am slt to 10 pm slt, Antiochia hosted SecondLife denizens from all corners of the grid. A long line-up of artists, performers, academics, and students shared their craft and stories with their audiences and, at times, filled the sim to its limits.

But before sharing with you the details of this exciting day, we would like to let you know that two of the artists who helped make last Sunday such a success will be back for repeat performances this Sunday, January 18, in Antiochia’s Forum Valentis: Maximillion Kleene from noon to 1 pm slt, followed by Joaquin Gustav, from 1 pm to 2 pm slt. Come join us to party and have fun with two of SL’s best showmen!

Hours before the events started, the Antiochia team was still working hard to put the last touches to their City and complete the remaining details required to provide tourists with a meaningful experience –such as the 45 notecards describing in detail the various points of interest of Antiochia and relating them to historical places and events.

At 10 am, Sandia Beaumont started the events with a virtuoso visual and musical performance, with her Exuberant Improvisations (literally!) on her double grand piano, artfully set up by her assistant, Alem Theas. She was followed by Georges Kabalan, an Antiochia Scholarships Trust Scholar in real life, who shared his story of being the youngest entrepreneur in Iraq to open and manage a western franchise restaurant (SecondCup), an his dream of coming to study in Canada, where he was accepted into a Master’s program at Royal Roads University, Victoria. He was followed by Antiochia Chief Architect, Alexia Carnell, who shared her vision of building this historical city, and by Antiochia Scholarship Trust representatives Bromo Ivory and AlexOlteanu Unplugged, who talked about AST’s vision of helping students from the Greater Middle East realize their dream of pursuing their post-secondary studies in Canada, and how they plan to use SL as an ideal platform to make this actually come true. For more information on AST, please visit their website, at, or contact AlexOlteanu Unplugged inworld or in real life by e-mail at

By the time Maximillion Kleene was rocking the Forum Valentis, we had reached the sim’s limit of 60 visitors and had to raise the ceiling to 70, which was almost reached by the time he sang Cohen’s “Hallelujah!”. 

In the afternoon, the crowd moved to the Acropolis Fortress and AST Square, where David Orban gave a thoughtful and highly topical speech on emergent new technologies and the changing nature of both public service and private commercial institutions, and the need for participation and democratic networks of governance to ensure such developments would work for, rather than against, the maintenance and promotion of key values such as equal dignity and respect for all individuals, wherever they may live.  The presentation was videotaped and will soon be available on YouTube for those who did not have the chance to be there “in person”.

He was followed by Joaquin Gustav’s marvelous guitar, then by a fascinating discussion panel and open debate with the audience on the theme of Ten Years of Real Governance in a Virtual World. Stephen Xootfly, a real-life professor at US university, shared his experiences of teaching university-level courses in SL, an Gwyn Llewelyn, a graduate student from Portugal and partner in SLs biggest sim development services company, discussed her views of developing participative structures of governance in virtual environment.

The last five hours were a non-stop party back in the Forum Valentis, where DJ Wally played rock and country for two hours to a hip audience, rock and blues star performer Komuso Tokugawa let his electric guitar speak all the way from Tokyo, and jazz, soul, and blues artist Gweeb delighted his audience with his own songs. The evening ended on a mellow note, with Joaquin Gustav returning for an encore performance under the stars of Antiochia, with Brazilian and Argentinian dances and guitar melodies.

And so, twelve hours after Sandia Beaumont’s first piano notes launched these inaugural festivities, Antiochia went quiet again after a truly successful launch in SecondLife. A special thank you is owed to all artists, academics, volunteers, and architects who made this all possible – and especially the visitors who came to participate in our events and made this day so much fun.

Stay tuned for up-coming events in Antiochia – the adventure is just beginning!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

NEWS FLASH: Take TIME MACHINE to Grand Opening of the Ancient Byzantine City Of ANTIOCHIA – This Sunday, January 11, 2015, from 10 am slt to 10 pm slt.

We are very happy to invite you to the opening festivities of the Antiochia sim – home of the Antiochia Community of Citizens (or, in its Greek form, "Agora Polis Antiochia").

Antiochia is the virtual platform for a number of organisations and individuals whose main aim is to extend the boundaries of information, communication, and education across both virtual and real words. It aims to become a Knowledge Community spanning Real and SecondLife, by focusing on the key values of Education, Citizenship, Creativity, and Diversity.

Antiochia’s main sponsor is the Antiochia Scholarships Trust, a Canadian non-profit organization helping students from the Greater Middle East to realize their dream of pursuing their university studies in Canada. For more information on AST, please visit its website at: .  Antiochia’s Chief Architect is SecondLife’s Alexia Carnell, owner of the Time Machine Design Studio and Store and its Landscaper is SL’s Butterfli Summers. The Terraforming and some of the buildings were done by Bagheera Kristan.

The sim itself is creatively modeled after the ancient city of Antiochia on the Orontes (today in Southern Turkey), a multicultural, tolerant and creative city with Phoenician roots, Greek origins, then Roman and Byzantine high points. We have tried to reflect this cultural diversity in our buildings, attractions, and the 44 Information Points you will find throughout the sim. A good starting point is Antiochia’s Info Center, located in the Nymphaeum Plaza, with the following slurl:

The Opening Festivities will last the entire day of Sunday, January 11, 2015, from 10 am slt to 10 pm slt, so people from all time zones can attend one or more events at times convenient for them. You will find a detailed list of all events and their venues' Landmarks below.

We have planned for you a variety of informative, educational, and entertaining events. One of AST’s Middle East students will briefly talk about his dream of studying in Canada; a European expert in leading-edge network science will give the Inaugural AST Lecture; and we will have a panel discussion with questions and answers from the public on Ten Years of Virtual Governance in SecondLife.

The musical events will cover everything from rock, pop, folk, blues, and country to Spanish guitar and even a much-anticipated classical piano concert that will open our entire day, at 10 am slt.

Please feel free to visit the sim and to join our group, Agora Polis Antiochia, so as to stay informed of our future activities and events. You can contact Antiochia’s Project Manager, Alex Olteanu, either in-world by IM-ing his avatar, AlexOlteanu Unplugged, or by e-mail, at;  or the Project Administrator, by IM-ing his SL avatar, Brent Ivory.

We hope that you are just as excited as we are by the events we have planned for you and that you will be able to attend with your friends sometime during this day.
We look forward to seeing you and your friends on Sunday, January 11, 2015, for Antiochia's Opening Festivities.

The Antiochia Team

Antiochia’s Opening Festivities Schedule & Venues
Sunday, January 11, 10  am slt to 10 pm slt

Morning: Nymphaeum Plaza & Info Center

10 - 11 am: Sandia Beaumont, Classical piano
11 - 11:30 am: An AST Student's Story: Georges Kabalan
11:30 am  - 12 pm: Inaugural Remarks: Quaestor Hax & Team
12 - 1 pm: Maximillion Kleene, Folk / pop

Afternoon: AST Square in Acropolis Fortress

1 -2 pm: Inaugural AST Lecture: David Orban: Infrastructures and Superstructures: The interactive components of our lives
2 - 3 pm: Joaquin Gustav, Spanish guitar
3 -5 pm: Discussion panel: A decade of real governance in a virtual space. Speakers: Gwyneth Llewelyn, Stephen Xootfly

Evening: Forum Valentis

5 - 7 pm: DJ Wally: Country Mix
7 - 8 pm: Komuso Tokugawa: Rock
8 - 9 pm: Gweeb: Blues

9 -10 pm: Joaquin Gustav: Latin dances

Thursday, January 8, 2015

An Educational and Historical Experience in Second Life- Introducing Agora Polis Antiochia and the Antiochia Scholarships Trust- Lanai Jarrico Reporting…

Travel back in time to 600 AD when Antiochia was a Roman province of Syria and take a historical journey through the 3rd largest Roman city in antiquity.

It is not a role play sim. Curator AlexOlteanu Unplugged is the founder and chair of the Antiochia Scholarships Trust in the real world and a knowledgeable leader in this virtual world project. Agora Polis Antiochia is a virtual world educational facility in Second Life with a historical environment designed to help students from the greater Middle East belonging to minorities or otherwise in need to continue their education abroad. The goal of this project is to help these students improve their English skills, guide them in managing projects, build leadership skills, work with other students and prepare them to study at universities in Canada, with the assistance of the Antiochia Scholarships Trust.  Founded in November 2013, AST’s vision is the make a difference one student at a time. Derived from an Arab proverb, AST ‘s motto is “A Tree Starts with a Seed”. The Antiochia Scholarship Trust strives to secure tuition-free scholarships and living expenses costs from private corporations, individual donors and partner universities in Canada.

In Second Life, students are encouraged to develop virtual world skills at Agora Polis Antiochia to help prepare them for the transition to education in Canada. There are over 44 information points throughout the sim, each describing a virtually constructed replica of structures, statues, monuments and landscaping of the time. Chief Architect Alexia Carnell is a real world architect who takes pride in her work in both worlds. She successfully recreated every detail in her builds through her research of ancient transcripts and descriptions. She is best known for her Time Machine Studio and Shop, with builds that can be seen throughout Second Life. The beautiful waterfalls, pathways, flowers, trees and landscaping were skillfully recreated by visual artist Butterfli Summers, who helped put the finishing touches on this project.

Upon landing at Agora Polis Antiochia (APA) you will walk through the Porta Aurea (Golden Gate) and enter the Cardo. This is the main North-South street leading to the Nymphaeum Plaza and APA Info Center, where you can find information about the people, projects and activities available on the sim. Other features include various cultural layers such as Greek and Roman architectural influences in the bridges, ports, arches, temples, lighthouse, ancient underground sewer system and waterways navigable by boat. One can also visit Phoenician ruins, a Byzantine cathedral and fortress, the long lost tomb of Alexander the Great and Daphne’s Gardens. The Oval Forum and the Magnaura building offer places for students and visitors to participate in lectures and entertainment events.

About the Antiochia build

Alexia Carnel shares, “Building Antiochia has been a very positive experience for me. I had a perfect "entente" with the sim owners: we shared concepts and ideas, and they would let me free to interpret them and bring them to life. Eclecticism in style, some historical quotations, a huge number of points of interest and a gifted landscaper - Butterfli Summers - made this sim so beautiful”.

Alexia went on to say, “Bagheera started terraforming ten weeks ago; the land concept was based on the Golden Gate of Constantinople, with its Citadel - which is much more exciting than a flat landscape. Then we started building the Citadel, based on early Byzantine themes such as the Cathedral, the Senate.... and added some Hellenistic and classical Roman style touches with the Forum, the Harbor, the Termae and the Tyche Temple. There are some very realistic touches such as the underground Cistern (which still exists in RL in Istanbul), and all the Cathedral mosaic textures - which was a huge task. We couldn't miss paying homage to the spirit of Alexander the Great, so we built a stunning Mausoleum based on historical sources under the landing point, with a fun secret entrance devised by Bagheera.” 

Alexia’s love of building is apparent as she shares her vision of building in Second Life.

“I started building in SL in 2007; my main aim has been to re-create atmospheres lost in the long-gone past. Walking in a reconstructed arena or in a Roman villa or in a Greek temple has always been a strong emotion for me and I wanted to share it with people who are fond of history in general, and the history of architecture in particular, And yes, my main focus has always been on concepts and ideas, not technology by itself. Many people in SL believe technology is almost a religion, and mesh its last god. Mesh is just a tool, not a goal. In my creations I use mesh components, sculpties, good old prims and many textures I personally prepare on photoshop.  I love to use all technologies for the best they have to offer and build in world rather than on a 3d program, because when you start building you HAVE to relate and adapt.”

The visual perspectives and atmosphere in the virtual world is an important part of creating an environment where people from around the world can come together, explore and contribute something great in Second Life. The Antiochia team has accomplished that goal. AlexOlteanu explained, “This is a platform in the virtual world that supplements and complements what we do in the real world.  We come together and learn together to get students from the Middle East ready to study in Canada”.

Interview with Alex Olteanu (AlexOlteanu Unplugged)

Lanai: Hi Alex, thank you for the tour of Agora Polis Antiochia. I was impressed by the time and detail you and your team put into this project for Antiochia Scholarships Trust.  What inspired you to found the Antiochia Scholarships Trust?

Alex: My students in Erbil, Kurdistan. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend one year in northern Iraq, in the capital of the Kurdish Region, and teach Business Management and English to a variety of local students – Kurdish and Arab, Christian and Muslim, from all parts of Iraq and the Middle East. All were very excited to learn and improve their English skills. Many, especially those belonging to local minorities, such as the Assyrian Christians, or those who had come to Kurdistan from southern Iraq or Syria to find safety and security, had few opportunities to continue their university studies. When I returned to Canada, they told me how much they wished to continue their university studies abroad. They asked me: “Please, don’t let our dream die!”. This is what motivated me initially to set up AST when I returned to Vancouver, in the Summer of 2013. Since then, we all know that the Greater Middle East is now in greater turmoil than ever. Young people throughout the region – but especially those belonging to minorities, live in unsafe environments, with limited educational opportunities at the post-secondary level. It is only by living in a multicultural environment abroad, obtaining undergraduate and graduate degrees and some work experience, then returning to their homes and contributing to the social, economic, and political development of their countries, that these young people from various ethnic, religious and social backgrounds will be able to work together to bring about meaningful long-term change for themselves, their families, and their communities. AST aims to make a small contribution towards this objective.

Lanai:  How can donors and volunteers get involved both in the real world and in Second Life?

The AST Website ( provides a lot of information on how anyone interested in our project can help. Donors can, of course, make contributions to AST. We are a registered Canadian non-profit organization and bank with Vancity - the biggest Canadian financial services co-operative, owned by its 500,000 members and democratically controlled on the basis of one member, one vote. Volunteers can help in the real world by assisting with publicity and fund-raising, but also by helping newly-arrived students integrate quickly in their new Canadian environment, assisting them to improve their English skills, and being part of their support network. In SecondLife, there are also many opportunities to help: new students joining SecondLife will need assistance to overcome the steep SecondLife initial learning curve and get their bearings in this unique virtual environment; once here, they will need English-speaking tutors to help them improve their English and leadership skills, and to develop their own SecondLife projects. My partner Bromo Ivory and I would be happy to talk to anyone interested to contribute to AST, in both the real and virtual worlds.

Lanai: The virtual world can be used in so many ways. What are the benefits you see in bringing AST and your scholarship candidates into Second Life?

Alex: The visual intensity of social interaction and availability of a multitude of communication tools to individuals spread out around the world. No other medium can offer the ability to re-create a physical place in the space and time of one’s choice and transform it into a place designed, managed and owned by its members, who end up developing affective and emotional ties towards it similar to those they have towards their real home environments. This ability to engage in stimulating social interaction in a rich multi-media 3D environment motivates all participants to invest extra time and effort into the project and to return again and again to what has become their “virtual home”. Participants become not simply students, but content creators and educators in their own right, and improve their communication and social skills in a very diverse, multicultural environment. This provides them with excellent preparation for their arrival in Canada, and helps cement a spirit of community and solidarity and sharing of ideas between individuals before they even meet in real life. On other levels, SL provides AST with the opportunity to interact with and develop synergies with other educational and cultural projects, and of course to engage in fund-raising activities in support of its students.

Lanai: There is such a layering of cultures entwined at Agora Polis Antiochia, it literally is a virtual look back in time. Can you tell our readers a little bit about Antiochia’s history and some of historical elements that can be found on the sim?

Alex: it would be my pleasure.

The first great civilization to settle at the mouth of this waterway was the Phoenicians, around 2500 BC. They expanded the harbor and used the nearby mountains as burial grounds. Phoenician ruins of the city of Meroe can still be found in the forests and mountains in the northern part of the sim; they mark the sources of the life-giving water theme that traverses the entire physical space and temporal eras of the sim, from the waterfalls in mountains in the north, through the great river Orontes flowing though it, and down to the port and sea, to the south.

The reason why almost all Phoenician vestiges have disappeared can be summed up in a name: Alexander the Great. In 332 the great Greek conqueror took the city and razed it all to the ground. But Alexander died, in 323 BC, and two of his generals, Antigonus and Seleucus, fought over Syria, the province surrounding what had been once a great Phoenician city.  The long-lost tomb of Alexander can actually be found hidden deep below the Main Gate of Antiochia.

When Seleucus I  Nicator finally defeated his rival Antigonus and consolidated his rule over most of Alexander's empire by founding his own, Seleucid Empire, he re-founded the city and named it after his son, Antiochus. Antiochia on the Orontes soon became the Seleucid capital. The entire lower town of Antiochia, from the lighthouse in the harbour, to the port, docks, marketplace, and ring road around Mount Sylpius, all the way to the Fishermen’s pier and the small temple of Tyche, located outside the city walls on the western side of the hill, date from these Hellenic times. Tyche, the Goddess of Fortune, remains the Pagan Goddess of the City, in front of whose statue burns an eternal flame. A circular Temple of Poseidon situated at the extreme south-western point of the land, also dates from these times.

The original city of Seleucus was laid out in imitation of the grid plan of Alexandria by the architect Xenarius. The citadel was on Mt. Sylpius and the city lay mainly on the low ground to the north, fringing the river. A great Colonnaded Street dating from the times of the Romans, who conquered Antiochia during the time of Pompeius the Great, in about 60 BC, connects the Oval Forum to the central Nymphaeum Plaza, where a beautiful Nymphaeum Fountain can be admired, and the elegant Bridge across the Orontes (a replica of the Roman bridge in Alcantara, Spain), with a Triumphal Arch at its entrance - all which date from the times of the Late Roman Republic and Early Empire. A Sanctuary of Orpheus was constructed underground by Diocletian, and is situated under the Nymphauem Plaza, at the start of the underground sewer canal.  Beyond the northern suburb of Heraclea lies the Paradise of Daphne, a park of woods and waters, in the midst of which can still be found the beautiful Phoenician ruins of the temple of Anat.

Antiochia experienced a “third foundation” under Constantine the Great, who also built the great city bearing his name - Constantinople, on the foundations of the old Greek colony, Byzantium. The entire Acropolis dominating the city to this day, together with its fortified walls, impressive aqueduct crossing the city and connecting Mount Sylpius with the northern mountains, as well as the city gate – Porta Aurea -  date from his period, although an original aqueduct has already been build a century earlier, by emperor Valens, which is why it is still known today as Valens’s Aqueduct. Antiochia became the capital of the Asian part of the Roman Empire, and one of its four major cities, with Rome, Alexandria, and Constantinople.

Diana’s Baths and the neighboring remains of Bucoleon Palace, today renamed AST Square, were also constructed during Constantine’s time. Influences of the local, Arabic culture can be found in both the exquisite mosaics of the Baths, as well as in the delicate water fountain and mosaics still standing in the ruins of Bucoleon Palace.

The final layer of the city was built by Justinian the Great in the middle of the 6th Century AD, as the transition from Rome to Byzantium was well underway. The great Redemption Cathedral, modeled on the Hagia Sophia of Constantinople, with its unique coupla and splendid mosaics and frescae, as well as its hidden underground cistern, date from this time, as does the neighboring Magnaura, which remains the seat of Government of Antiochia.

Antiochia had by then become a chief center of early Christianity. The city had a large population of Jewish origin in a quarter called the Kerateion, and so attracted the earliest missionaries. Evangelized, among others, by Peter himself. Its converts were the first to be called Christians.

The story ends here, in the early 7th Century AD, during the time of Heraclius the Great, who introduced Greek as the Eastern Roman Empire's official language, which explains the name of the Community - Agora Polis Antiochia. Heraclius himself took the title of Basileus of the Roman Empire, re-conquered many of the territories lost to the Sassanids, whom he finally defeated in 627 AD, at the battle of Niniveh.

Lanai:  Two of the most important features at Agora Polis Antiochia are the Oval Forum and the Info Center. The Info Center has information that provides great educational value and the Oval Forum is a spacious outdoor lecture facility surrounded by great columns and beautiful views. I can almost imagine ancient scholars standing in the center offering words of wisdom or reporting news to the people. What types of lectures and events do you offer at Agora Polis Antiochia?

The sim’s opening festivities will take place on Sunday, January 15, 2015, so everything is still in the planning stages. We will start with the inaugural instalment of the AST Lecture Series, to be given by European Professor David Orban, specialist in Network Governance, entitled: “Infrastructures and Superstructures: The Interactive Components of Our Lives”. We will also host a discussion panel on the topic: “A decade of real governance in a virtual space”, with real life academics and SL specialists Stephen Xootfly and Gwyneth Llewlyn. One of our students from the Middle East, currently living in Beirut, who has been accepted to study for a Masters’ in Global Management at a Canadian university and hopes to be here soon, will also share his experiences. In terms of entertainment, we are proud to present, as the opening event of our festivities, the virtuoso piano player from France, Sandia Beaumont, who will be followed by SL’s most accomplished Guitar and Latin music player, Joaquin Gustav, as well as well-known SL performers such as Maximillion Kleene (folk/pop), Komuso Tokugawa (rock) and Gweeb (blues). We plan to continue with such academic and entertainment events on a regular basis and transform Antiochia into one of SL’s most popular and most visited knowledge and cultural hubs.

Lanai:  Is there anything else you would like to share about Antiochia Scholarships Trust or Agora Polis Antiochia?

Alex: As beautiful and attractive as Antiochia’s virtual environment is, the core of our project is made up of the many people who devote their time, energies, and skills in making it come to life – both in Second Life and, especially, in real life, where we aim to help real young people pursue their actual dream to further their education and bring peace, prosperity, and participative governance back to their homes and communities. We hope to connect and develop synergies with other educational and cultural organizations who share our vision and aims, and expand Antiochia in SecondLife to a multiple-sim “micro-nation”, drawing on the various cultural and educational layers already in place now in Antiochia. I hope that such organizations, as well as individuals who wish to contribute in some way, or just enjoy the sim and the events and experiences it has to offer, will join us by contacting me or my project partner, Bromo Ivory, or joining our SL group, Agora Polis Antiochia, to stay informed of our events and activities. Building a real, vibrant community in both the real and virtual worlds will be an ongoing, daily task of communication, persuasion, and cooperation that is just beginning for us and that will become our main focus after this Sunday’s Opening Festivities in Antiochia.

Teleport to Agora Polis Antiochia

Group: Agora Polis Antiochia – Free to Join

Additional Information:

Preferred Contact AlexOlteanu Unplugged in SecondLife; by e-mail.