(10-11 Oct) Ms. Ani Hristova Visits Rotary Club Chisinau, Moldova (+GAL)

Our Past President, Ms. Ani Hristova visited Rotary Club Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. Ms. Hristova spent two wonderful nights with the Rotarians in Chisinau.

On 10 October the President of Rotary Club Chisinau, Mrs. Marina Teleaga invited Ms. Hristova to her lovely restaurant “Baf Bulvar”. Mrs. Teleaga organized a special dinner for our Past President and Rotarians from the Club were invited.

The atmosphere was warm and friendly. At the entrance, Mrs. Teleaga and all Rotarians welcomed Ms. Hristova with smiles and hugs.

The Assistant District Governor – Mr. Dmitri Popa was there, and he was the main organizer of the meeting, the District Governor of District 2241 Romania and Moldova, Dr. Ovidiu Constantin Bunget, kindly provided the contact of Mr. Popa to Ms. Hristova.

Numerous amazing Rotarian ladies were in attendance: Mrs. Silvia Volosatii – Secretary of the Club; Mrs. Eugenia Potorac; Ms. Alina Ceban, Mrs. Zinaida Jioara and Mrs. Vitalia Pavlicenco.

Rotary Club Chisinau is the first Club in Moldova, and they celebrated their 25th Birthday, you can find more information here.

After the standard introductions, we discussed the projects of the clubs, the Club lives, the situation in our Countries and to potentially have a joint project in the future.

Mrs. Teleaga prepared delicious dinner and we all enjoyed her hospitality, and great Moldovan wine.

The traditional flag exchange was done and of course we took many pictures.

The night was filled with great emotions, and Ms. Hristova received wine as a present!

On the next day, 11 October was the Excellence in Music Gala, reaching its 5th edition, organized by Rotary Club Chisinau, which took a place in the Organ Hall. It was an impressive gala concert, where awards were given in different categories to musicians.

The Minister of Culture of the Republic of Moldova, Mr. Sergiu Prodan, was present and congratulated the organizers and the graduates of the current edition and mentioned that art people, artists and the care for facilitating an environment favorable to creation are the main concern of the Ministry of Culture.

On stage, Minister Prodan presented the Medal “Maria Bieșu”, to the tenor Mr. Mihail Muntean and the composer, Mr. Constantin Rusnac, personalities who indisputably mark the musical history of the country. The “Dedication and Devotion” award was presented to this year’s discovery – a  little violinist, who is given a future to choose virtuoso, Mr. Cesar Moldovanu. A Diploma of gratitude for supporting the musical arts in the Republic of Moldova was given to Rotary Club Chisinau.

Bravo dear friends! Thank you for your typical Rotarian hospitality, we look forward to welcoming you in Bulgaria in the near future.

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(4 Oct) Rotary Club Sofia International Welcomes Mrs. Biliana Toncheva and Mr. Plamen Belchev (+GAL)

It is with great joy and a true Rotary spirit that we witnessed the robust participation of our members and prospective candidate-members, coming together for our 2nd meeting of this Rotary year. 

We extended a heartfelt welcome to our guests, embodying the essence of Rotary service. Among them, we were honored to host our dear friend Mr. Plamen Belchev, a visionary and the driving force behind the “Rehabilitation Center for Children with Oncohematological Diseases”.

Additionally, we had the pleasure of the presence of Biliana Toncheva, who shared her inspiring project and journey as a woman leading “EcoGlobe” a company pioneering European projects in energy efficiency and innovation.

This meeting began with a warm welcome from the President. He highlighted the important upcoming events. We were expecting the Ambassador of India for our next meeting, unfortunately we have to postpone this, and our Rotary friend, Serkan Halil will present the topic: ‘Building Trust & Providing Value – System, Product, and Person Certification’ during our next meeting. Moreover, we were extended invitations by the District Governor, Christo Mihailovsky, to two Rotary events: a gathering of multiple Rotary Clubs in Sofia and a round table on November 4th, commemorating the 90th anniversary of Rotary in Bulgaria.

After the energetic words of Mrs. Toncheva, the stage was graciously given to our friend Mr. Plamen Belchev, a true hope creator. He shared with us the invaluable work being carried out at the Rehabilitation Center located in Opitsvet village, Kostinbrod Municipality. This center, being the only one in the Balkans, offers specially tailored programs for various beneficiaries – children and young warriors who have battled over cancer, loving parents, resilient siblings, and families who have faced the unfathomable loss of a child in the relentless battle against this disease. All of them find solace and support within the center at least once a year.

The Rehabilitation Center now has seven single-family houses, an administrative hub housing offices dedicated to working with children and parents, a sports arena, a canteen, a well-equipped kitchen, multiple halls, a swimming pool, and a chapel. It’s worthy to mention that one of Rotary Club Sofia International’s recent contributions was the creation and donation of a “Tiny House” Container, to facilitate their sustainability in providing nutritious vegetables for the center.

This project remains an ongoing commitment for Rotary Club Sofia International to ensure its sustainability. We are unwavering in our determination to continue visiting, supporting, and nurturing this noble cause.

Our heartfelt gratitude extends to each and every member for their active participation and engaging with our guests. Special thanks to Mr. Rumen Rusinov and Ms. Ani Hristova for their unparalleled dedication in organizing this gathering. As the meeting proceeded, our social hour provided an opportunity for everyone to share ideas and engage in warm interactions. Together, we shall continue to make a positive impact on our community and beyond. – Create hope in the world.

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(27 Sept) First Regular Meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International for the Rotarian Year (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia International, part of Rotary, a worldwide organization dedicated to service and community development, embarked on a new journey with the beginning of the new rotational year. On September 27th, 2023, members of the club gathered for a first regular meeting, setting the tone for a year filled with impactful projects and a shared commitment to making the world a better place.

The meeting began with a warm and enthusiastic welcome from 2023/2024 club president Grant Dale. Grant emphasized the club’s enduring legacy by acknowledging the projects that continue to make a difference in the community and the world, reinforcing the club’s dedication to service above self. As part of ongoing initiatives for the year, RCSI is actively involved in supporting a Rehabilitation Center that specializes in caring for children with onco-hematological diseases, contribution to Rotary Club Sandton – Blanket Drive and dedication to continuous donations and contribution to Bulgarian Field Hockey Federation (BFHF) for the ID Hockey Team.

A brief moment was taken to express the opportunities the new year would bring, and a vote on the internal rules being amended was anonymously passed. The club’s members engaged in a lively exchange of ideas, prioritizing community needs. This collaborative spirit ensured that the club would continue its tradition of meaningful service.

The meeting provided an opportunity to introduce and welcome guests, namely: Markus Kroeger, Elisaveta Lachina, Gergana Taseva, Iva Mihailova, Nikolay Tzaribachev, Domagoj Stefan, Birgit Wetzel, Abdulkader Husrieh. Each new friend shared their stories and motivation for joining the meeting. After the official proceedings, all enjoyed a social hour, fostering a sense of fellowship and unity, reminding that the moments of informal interaction are integral to building strong connections among the organization.

The first meeting of the Rotary Club’s new rotational year was a testament to the organization’s enduring commitment to bring a positive impact on the community and the world – Create Hope in the World.

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(6 Sept) Opening of the Exhibition – “Sandro Prince Alexander von Battenberg. A European Destiny” (+GAL)

On September 6th, one day prior to the National holiday commemorating the Unification of the Principality of Bulgaria with Eastern Rumelia, the exhibition “Sandro Prince Alexander von Battenberg: A European Destiny” was officially inaugurated at the National Gallery in Sofia.

This exhibition unveils previously undiscovered photographs and facts about the life of the first Bulgarian ruler after the 1878 liberation. It is the culmination of a three-year research effort by a team of German scholars and researchers. Initially presented by the Heiligenberg Jügenheim Foundation in Germany, it is now brought to Bulgaria through the efforts of the “Cennosti” (Values) foundation and its chairperson, Mrs. Antonina Stoyanova.

During the exhibition’s opening, Mrs. Stoyanova underscored Battenberg’s remarkable role in the Unification, highlighting how he facilitated the union of the Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia, even at the risk of his own throne. She remarked, “This act of self-sacrifice transformed him from a Bulgarian prince into a unifier of the Bulgarian state. Alexander von Battenberg will forever remain in our memories because of this.”

Mr. Rosen Zhelyazkov, the Speaker of the National Assembly, added, “This is the man who, upon entering Plovdiv, was greeted with shouts: ‘Prince of Northern and Southern Bulgaria!’ He chose Bulgarian names for his children – Vera-Tsvetana and Krum-Asen, and his last wish was to be buried in Sofia. Today, his tomb seamlessly blends into our urban landscape, almost unnoticed. He has become an indelible part of Bulgarian history, and this exhibition seeks to rectify that oversight.”

Two of the researchers, Dr. Zigrun Komati and Johnny Glover, elaborated on Sandro’s contributions to Bulgaria’s progress and the unification that transpired 138 years ago. Dr. Komati, Chairman of the German-Bulgarian Society for the Promotion of Relations and Friendship with Bulgaria, explained that during Sandro’s rule, compulsory education for children was initiated, cultural life flourished, new large parks were designed by German architects, and the tradition of celebrating Christmas with a tree and gifts was introduced by the prince. The young capital saw the development of well-lit streets with gas lighting, the establishment of the Alexander Hospital, the founding of the Faculty of Medicine, and the inception of the idea to build the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

Deborah Laval, Head of Culture and Media Relations on behalf of German Ambassador Irene Maria Plank, extended a warm welcome to the event. Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova, was also in attendance, as Sofia Municipality sponsored the exhibition. The exhibition will be open for public viewing until October 29th at the National Gallery in Sofia.

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(19 Aug) Rotary Club Sofia International on the Top of Maliovitsa Peak (+GAL)

Peak Maliovitsa served as a gathering ground for Rotarians and friends hailing from diverse corners of Bulgaria, uniting under the banner of camaraderie and shared purpose. Orchestrated by the visionary leadership of President Hristina Bardarska, the Rotary Club Samokov orchestrated a splendid affair, a time-honored tradition designed not only to celebrate but also to strengthen the bonds among Rotary clubs across the nation. This event served as a nexus for cultivating new friendships and sowing the seeds of collaborative ideas that will blossom into impactful initiatives in the forthcoming Rotary year.

The event was honored by District Governor Mr. Christo Mihailovsky 23/24 of Rotary Bulgaria, District 2482, PDG Mrs. Violina Kostova 22/23, PDG Mr. Borislav Kadrеkov 21/22, PHF Secretary of District 2482 Mrs. Desislava Petrova, committee chairs, Rotarians from across Bulgaria, and many friends of the Samokov club.

Our club was represented by Mrs. Inna Badan, Ms. Ani Hristova, and Mr. Grant Dale.

The palpable sense of gratitude emanating from the hosts, Rotary Club Samokov, extended to all attendees who shared this day in unison, rallying behind the club’s causes with unwavering support. The emotional resonance of confronting challenges—both of spirit and body—alongside Rotarians from every nook and cranny of Bulgaria was nothing short of extraordinary.

The clubs that participated were: Rotary Club Aytos, Rotary Club Dupnitsa, Rotary Club Blagoevgrad, Rotary Club Bansko, Rotary Club Gotse Delchev, Rotary Club Sandanski, Rotary Club Harmanli, Rotary Club Sofia-Center, Rotary Club Burgas, Rotary Club Sofia International, Rotary Club Ruse-Danube, Rotary Club Vidin. Their collaborative efforts and shared commitment were acknowledged with sincere gratitude.

This gathering epitomized the Rotary spirit, encapsulating the essence of unity, friendship, and the shared aspiration to create hope in the world. We also enjoyed a wonderful dinner with many dances and surprises!

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(4-5 Aug) District 2482 Extended Executive Committee Meeting in Bansko: Exploring New Horizons in Rotary Bulgaria (+GAL)

On August 4th, the picturesque town of Bansko hosted the Extended Executive Committee Meeting of District 2482, Rotary Bulgaria. Despite the absence of Mrs. Hristina Malchevska, Chair of the International Service Committee, Ms. Ani Hristova, a dedicated member of her team, ably represented the committee at this significant gathering.

The meeting delved into a range of topics, fostering vibrant discussions and embracing novel ideas that promise to shape the future of Rotary initiatives in the district.

As the day transitioned into evening, participants enjoyed a convivial gathering dinner featuring a delectable spread of traditional dishes. Adding a melodious touch to the ambiance, live Macedonian music set the stage for a memorable evening of camaraderie.

The following day unfolded with the much-anticipated traditional golf tournament against the stunning backdrop of Pirin, offering not only strategic gameplay but also a splendid fusion of sport and scenic beauty. This annual event has become a hallmark, bringing together Rotary enthusiasts in the spirit of friendly competition and shared passion for the game.

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(11 July) Celebration in Embassy of Mongolia (+GAL)

Our Club was extended a special invitation to the celebration at the Embassy of Mongolia, an honor graciously extended by Her Excellency Mrs. Savanaa Lhagvasuren, the Ambassador of Mongolia in Bulgaria.

Her Excellency Lhagvasuren delivered a captivating speech, setting the tone for an evening infused with Mongolian cultural richness. The event showcased a remarkable performance by a talented artist playing the morin khuur, also known as the horsehead fiddle – a quintessential Mongolian bowed stringed instrument. Recognized as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, the morin khuur holds deep cultural significance, symbolizing the spirit of the Mongol people and their nation.

The cultural extravaganza continued with an exhilarating acrobatic show, complemented by the soulful melodies of a saxophone, creating a harmonious ambiance. Attendees were treated to a delightful array of cocktails and exquisite meals, adding a culinary dimension to the celebration.

Representing our Club at this distinguished gathering were Ms. Ani Hristova, Ms. Mariam Melikyan, Mr. Grant Dale, Mr. Plamen Lazarov, Mr. Serkan Halil, Mr. Domagoj Stefan and Mr. Boyan Griffen. In addition, the presence of our Rotaract President, Ms. Nevena Ivanova, added to the vibrancy of the occasion.

Rotary Club Sofia International extends its heartfelt gratitude to Her Excellency Lhagvasuren for the gracious invitation, and we look forward to the prospect of future engagements that further deepen our connection with Mongolia.

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(28 June) Last Meeting and the Great News, that our National Field Hockey ID Team Won Silver at the World Games of Special Olympics in Berlin.(+GAL)

Our meeting on June 28th was the last official meeting for the Rotary year 2022/23. It was held at our home base, Hotel Hilton. The meeting was visited by 26 participants, including 13 Club members and 13 guests, mainly from our Rotaract club.



  • Dr. Nikolay Tzaribachev – Candidate Member
  • Mr. Domagoj Stefan – Candidate Member
  • Mr. Greg Sharpe – Candidate Member
  • Ms. Elisaveta Lachina
  • Mrs. Veselina Yordanova
  • Mrs. Nevena Ivanova
  • Mr. Valentin Guetzov
  • Mr. Vladislav Nosikov
  • Ms. Ivelina Ivanova
  • Mr. Alexander Ivanov Ivanov
  • Mr. Robert Isaac
  • Mr. Teodor Geonov
  • Prof. Antonio Antonov

Our President opened the meeting by first greeting the many guests who had come to witness the necklace handover ceremony and right after that he presented the many events during the past week.

He shared information about the visit of the Rock Concert held on Saturday, the 24th of June, in Opicvet at the “Sveti Stiliyan” Recreation center for children with oncohematological diseases.

The next slide was about the news that we already knew and that was of great importance to our club and our society. The incredible success of the ID Field Hockey team proved that our efforts to support the team were not in vain. The team won a silver medal at the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023. The team and coaches made a splash at the World Games. This is an incredible result for a team that has been preparing for just seven months. The merits of the coaches, the Bulgarian Field Hockey Federation, Special Olympics Bulgaria, the Regional Center for Supporting the Process of Inclusive Education, and Rotary Club Sofia International are enormous, and we can all be proud of that.

Towards the end of the Olympics, our field hockey athletes were already quite exhausted from the numerous matches. Along with the division, our youngest team played 12 games against teams with long traditions in this sport, but nevertheless, the spirit and motivation of the athletes were unbreakable, and they returned back home with silver medals.

Our President gave the word to Prof. Antonio Antonov, CEO of the Bulgarian Hockey Federation, who talked about the whole process of the organization, from the first initiative meeting, went through the difficult process of training, and told details about the matches and exciting moments of the team at the World Games themselves.

Our Rotary Club welcomed our heroes at the Sofia airport upon their arrival on Monday, 26th of June. We welcomed the whole delegation of Special Olympics consisting of about 60 athletes and coaches. The delegation came back home with 19 medals – 5 gold, 5 silver, and 9 bronze from the largest inclusive sports event, which took place in Berlin from 17 – 25 June 2023. Our club members Rumen, Ani, Grant, and Candidate members Domagoj and Dr. Tsaribachev took pictures with the whole delegation, the Field hockey team, the national coach of the field hockey team – Mr. Dimitar Georgiev and the coach Mr. Georgi Angelov, the CEO of the federation Prof. Antonio Antonov, and the Director of Special Olympics – Mr. Hristo Hristozov. It was a very touching moment, and many welcomers could not hide their tears of excitement.

Our President then showed a retrospective of the past Rotary year with all the more significant moments. Among them were the collection of funds at the Octoberfest event, the donation of a medical bed by our club member and their company Termed to the Pediatric hospital – “Ivan Mitev” in Sofia, the visit of the Recreation Center for Children with Onco-hematologic Diseases, and the subsequent donation of a tiny house (container) for their needs, the joint meeting with all Rotary Clubs from Sofia celebrating the 21st anniversary of Rotary Club Sofia Serdika, the participation of our club member, Mr. Claude Badan at the “World Polio Day 2022 and Beyond” at the World Health Organization Headquarters in Geneva.

The e-learn project for the treatment of wounds in cooperation with Rotary Club Witten-Hohenstein from Germany, our participation in the 10 years Anniversary from the twinning of Rotary Club Sofia-Vitosha and Rotary Club Pirot-Serbia, the visit of our “Interact club Sofia International at Meridian 22 High-school,” the winning of the 18-year-old Jacqueline Taracchi, Past President of our Interact Club Sofia International as the new “Voice of Bulgaria,” the adoption of a new flag design and the new Rotary Club logo, our Christmas Party, the celebration of 18 years since the chartering of our club, the fondue meeting at Linda’s home, the meeting with Mrs. Philippines, the celebration of 90 years of Rotary in Bulgaria, the joint meeting with Rotary Club Sofia Vitosha and Rotary Club Gorna Banya, and the whole process dedicated to the support of the field hockey team to participate in the World Games Special Olympics in Berlin 2023, like the whole organization about the Fundraising event where we collected 12175 BGN, the District conference, the achievements of the project “Danube Alliance” from our dear member, Mrs. Hristina Malchevska from the International Service Committee and team members – Ms. Ani Hristova, Ms. Radina Moskova, Ms. Nevena Ivanova, and Ms. Veronika Botsova, the donation for an initiative of Rotary Club Gorna Banya, the meeting at Granatus Bakery and Café, the donation to Rotary Club Berkovitsa in support of the disaster of the flooding, the Rotary friendship exchange and the visit of Rotary Club Paris Agora in Paris and the many achievements of our Rotaract club.

Our President announced that at the board meeting on the same day, our board members voted for the club to continue supporting the Field hockey team as a long-term engagement.

Then the meeting was followed by the long-awaited handover ceremony of our Rotaractors. Ms. Nevena Ivanova, President of our Rotaract club 2022/23, handed over the necklace to Ms. Ivelina Ivanova – President-elect of the Rotaract club for 2023/24.

The ceremony was followed by our Rotarians. Mr. Rumen Rusinov, President of our Rotary club 2022/23, handed over the necklace to Mr. Grant Dale – President-elect for 2023/24. Congratulations to the new Presidents! We wish them a fruitful and successful year.

Rumen and Nevena thanked all club and board members for their efforts, support, dedication, and the achievements in this fantastic Rotary year 2022/23. Then the Past presidents and the new presidents held speeches, it was a very touching and emotional moment – what a year, what a day, what a night!

Our new President 2023/24 – Mr. Grant Dale announces that the informal Summer Meetings will be held at the Architects Club (ul. Krakra 11, Sofia). The first meeting is on Wednesday, 5th of July at 19:00h.

The meeting ended with wishes for a wonderful Summer Season full of joy, happiness, health, and wishes for new friendships.

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(27 June) Celebrating “36 Years of Women in Rotary” (+GAL)

On the 27th of June, we joyously celebrated “36 years of Women in Rotary.” It was an occasion filled with inspiration and feminine energy, where Ms. Hristova was among the distinguished 40 ladies who received a special invitation from District Governor Mrs. Violina Kostova.

The event was held at the Ariana Hall Event Center and was much more than just a gathering; it was a tribute to the remarkable women who have made their mark in Rotary.

The proceedings began with opening remarks by Mrs. Tsvetelina Maymarova, followed by Mrs. Kostova, who shared intriguing insights and the history of women in Rotary in Bulgaria.

In a time when Rotary clubs worldwide were predominantly male, pre-war Bulgarian Rotary clubs paved the way for women’s participation. A mere two years after the establishment of the first Bulgarian club in 1933, Sofia Rotarians took the bold step of holding joint meetings with their wives every three months.

Rotarians and their wives consistently accompanied each other when visiting friendly clubs and during visits by Rotary International presidents to Bulgaria. In 1938, the Veliko Tarnovo and Plovdiv clubs initiated the tradition of “Ladies’ Nights,” hosting distinguished women like Dora Gabe, Elisaveta Bagryana, Anna Kamenova, Hristina Morfova, Maria Pavlovna (the granddaughter of Tsar Osvoboditel), and many others, as guests and lecturers at Rotary gatherings.

The year 1991 marked a historic moment when Elena Dimitrova, daughter of the last pre-war president of the Republic of Sofia, Prof. Dimitar Atanasov, became the first female Rotarian in Bulgaria.

In 1994, Nellie Penyabad, who served as the Ambassador of the Republic of Argentina to Bulgaria until 1997, became the second female member of the Bulgarian Rotary Club.

In 1996, Rada Nikolaeva, daughter of the founder of Rotary in Bulgaria, Dr. Nikolay P. Nikolaev, was honored as an honorary member of the Rotary Club.

The year 1997 witnessed the acceptance of Prof. Bistra Boeva as the third female member of the Bulgarian Rotary Club, and she continues to be an esteemed member of the Rotary Club Sofia.

In 2001-02, Silvia Balinova from RK Dupnitsa made history by becoming the first female president of a Bulgarian Rotary club.

Finally, in 2011-12, Anelia Dosheva from Rotary Club Sofia-Vitosha proudly served as Bulgaria’s first female District Governor, paving the way for more women to excel in Rotary and beyond. Here’s to celebrating these incredible achievements and the ongoing journey of women in Rotary!

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(26 Jun) Warm Welcome Back: ID Field Hockey Team Celebrates Silver Medal Win (+GAL)

We’re delighted to share the heartwarming news that our ID Field Hockey team has returned from the Special Olympics as proud silver medalists! The journey was nothing short of inspiring, and the Rotary Club Sofia International, was there to extend a warm welcome back to these exceptional athletes. Ms. Hristova, Mr. Dale, Mr. Stefan, Mr. Rusinov, and Mr. Tzaribachev were all on hand at the airport to personally welcome the delegation.

This remarkable achievement took place on the grand stage of the Special Olympics, where our team’s dedication and hard work shone brightly. Their exceptional performance secured them the silver medal, a testament to their unwavering spirit and athletic prowess.

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Hilton Sofia, 1 Bulgaria Blvd., Sofia.

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