My father and mother have been a great influence in my life. My mother gave me the strength of character to fight, and my father the belief that through hard work life could be better for all in the future.
My father has worked in his own way tirelessly for the solution of the Cyprus problem for over 20 years. With no grand standing or show boating, Costas Apostolides has worked to bring peace in Cyprus, earning the respect from those Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities whose opinions on the Cyprus issue are not clouded by racism, hatred, or political expediency.
I would sometimes resent my father missing late nights working on the Cyprus issue while growing up, but by the time I reached university I started learning about the economics of a solution, and was intrigued. By the time I finished my PhD I was fully convinced by fathers argument that a solution is affordable and a "win-win" situation for all Cypriots that would also serve as a beacon of hope and progress for the Near East as a whole.
The past three years I was lucky to be involved in a UNDP-ACT funded project implemented by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce called "Economic Interdependence In Cyprus". I came in as a late member to the Peace Economics Consortium (PEC), an inter-communal entity that sought to bring together economists across the divide to work on common issues of economic interdependence. I learned so much by all, but especially from the Turkish Cypriot members, who gave me such a great understanding of the desires and aspirations as well as the problems of the community.
Eight reports were submitted, with the summary of the first being published by the UNDP. However some of the authors felt that a wider publication of the results were needed. As a result the parts written by Costas Apostolides, Erdal Guryay and my self (Alexander Apostolides) were extesivly reworked and submitted for a special issue of the Peace Review, which asked if a solution of Cyprus was possible.
Our take is positive: If you look at the economic interdependence rather than the politics there has been great progress, which proves the two communities can live together peacefully and prosper under a solution. More work is being done on this as we speak, which we hope to publish in the medium term: But the news are overall positive.