NEW YORK (Mar. 4)
Mikis Theodorakis, the well-known composer of the scores for the films “Zorba the Greek” and “Z, “has written a “Palestinian national anthem,” produced at the request of Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat, the World Jewish Congress reported today.
The report of this development originates from a monitored broadcast of “Tunis-Afrique Presse” (TAP) early this week. According to the broadcast, Theodorakis arrived in Beirut last week on on official visit to Lebanon having been invited by both the Lebanese Tourism Minister and the PLO. Reportedly, Arafat had requested the Greek musician to produce a Palestinian national anthem during the visit of the PLO leader in Greece at the end of last year. The TAP report stated that Theodorakis had arrived in Beirut to present his finished work.
Arafat’s visit to Greece came in the aftermath of the Greek elections which swept Andreas Papandreou and his party to power. Theodorakis is a member of Parliament in the new government.
In 1971 he and a group of musicians whom he had organized toured Israeli cities where they gave concerts. A number of songs he composed were then popular in Israel where he and his group received ovations for their staunch opposition to the then militarist government of Col. George Papadopoulos. Theodorakis, who had been imprisoned by the government, was permitted to leave in 1970 following world-wide pressure.