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The Lives of Others

The Lives of Others


Theo Panayides tells the stories of 60 very different people, taken from the many hundreds he’s interviewed over the years for the Cyprus Mail newspaper.


Author/Photographer: Theo Panayides more info




“For the past 10 years, since February 2009, I’ve been writing the Sunday profiles for the Cyprus Mail newspaper…”

Theo Panayides tells the stories of 60 very different people, taken from the many hundreds he’s interviewed over the years. All human life is here – from a humble street sweeper to a former President, from a pig farmer to a millionaire businessman, from a lifelong drifter to a pastry chef turned Iraqi refugee, from an LGBTI activist to a mystic who claims to have spoken to Jesus.

World-champion freediver William Trubridge is here. Bestselling British novelist Victoria Hislop is here too. Some lives have been successful, others tragic. One man lost his family in the Rwandan genocide, another in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

Some of the stories are emotional; many are feelgood. Most relate in some way to Cyprus, the Mediterranean island where Panayides is based. With a smart, highly readable style and a deep compassion, he reveals the personalities of his very diverse subjects – though also finds himself returning often to the same questions of Time passing and life turning out unexpectedly, finding many of the same hopes and fears in these very different lives. Are they – and we – really so different, after all?

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Panayides is such a terrific writer and interviewer that I still remember profiles he wrote from 10 years ago. His characters jump off the page. Most are Cypriots, including visitors from the diaspora. And they’re from all walks of life… Entertaining, intelligent, highly recommended.

Mike Theodoulou former Middle East correspondent for The Times (London)


Theo Panayides has compiled a unique reading experience:  introducing readers to sixty different lives from the rich and famous to the lowly and dispossessed, capturing not only their unique story but more importantly their essence. 

Richard Romanus Actor and Author


Included in this anthology...

Latif Yahia, double for Saddam Hussein’s son

Arie Zeev Raskin, chief rabbi of Cyprus

Mike Togni, circus clown

Evie Michael Katsiola, street sweeper 

Klaus Kenneth, the man who spoke to Jesus

Photos Photiades, business mogul 

Andreas Artemiou, animal doctor 

Dinos Tellalis, 60s hippy 

Petros Souppouris, childhood victim of the Turkish invasion 

Dr. Naasson Munyandamutsa, survivor of the Rwandan genocide 

Tim Hunt, Nobel Prize-winning scientist 

George Vasiliou, former President of the Republic 

Yolanda Lang, “an interesting life” 

Eleni Meleagrou, “the Cypriot terrorist” 

Hermes Angeloudis, meetings with glamorous people 

Deniz Birinci, frustrated high achiever 

Christodoulos Angastiniotis, small businessman and patriot 

Michalis Paraskevas, fiery lawyer 

Rasul Yagudin, Russian fugitive 

Nikos Lygeros, genius 

Nadir Yousif, refugee and former pastry chef 

Jacques-Marie Bardintzeff, enthusiastic volcanologist 

Patrick Byrne, 49-year-old busker 

Stephane Fissentzides, nostalgic architect 

Stelana Kliris, committed Cypriot filmmaker

Victoria Hislop, a rogue streak of southern European 

Sergio Canavero, maverick scientist

Pambos Ioannou, kebab-shop owner

Costas Schiniou, actor and children’s entertainer

Sean O’Neill, wandering restaurateur

Marios Kittiras, former junkie

Kim Longinotto, documentary filmmaker

William Trubridge, world-champion freediver

‘Fidel’, disruptive influence

Janet Zenonos, soldier, lawyer, cancer survivor

Kyriacos Kyriacou, tetraplegic ‘mouth painter’

James Ker-Lindsay, academic and friend of Cyprus

Mrs. Santa, the force behind Christmas

Anna Aristotelous, prison chief

Gloria Kassianides, art-gallery owner

Christakis Neophytou, pig farmer

Maroulla Violari-Iacovidou, the first female journalist

Michele Valley, cult film actress

Albert Kagalksi, Krav Maga expert

Edie Meidav, American author, intrigued by islands

Kyriakos Philippides, 97-year-old juice seller

Marios Ioannou, a sense of drama

George Tardios, working-class poet

Dean Psaras, lifelong drifter

Sener Levent, persecuted newspaper owner

Robin Chater, “a strange fish”

Marios Georgiou, Olympic gymnast

John Zacharias Theophanous, LGBTI activist

Demetrios Pierides, culture maven and local aristocrat 

Avgoustinos Papadopoulos, lifeguard

Haig Indjirdjian, angry antiques dealer

Maria Hassabi, Bessie-winning dancer/choreographer

Christopher Morris, BBC reporter and war correspondent

Father Panaretos (Samuel Kimani), Kenyan-born Orthodox priest

Helen Christofi, Comic Con organiser