Monte-Carlo, Monaco - September 29, 2006 (11:47pm)   When I was 7 years old, only a few months after I left my homeland to escape from the hell of communism, I started listening to French pop music. The year was 1963 and back then, I lived in Bois-Colombes, a small town just outside of Paris. I would listen to the songs of Sylvie Vartan, Johnny Hallyday, Françoise Hardy, Sheila and Dalida. When I was told that Sylvie Vartan was born in Bulgaria, the very same country where I was from, I knew right away that there was something very special about her. She was only 18 years old at the time and already a superstar. She quickly became my favorite singer and I would go to my neighbor’s apartment almost every day to listen to records with her songs. Back then, I would have never imagined that someday, I would actually meet her in person. Well, here I am, right in front of Sylvie Vartan, taking a picture of her and admiring her beautiful smile! She was an inspiration to me when I was a little kid and she would become my inspiration once again several decades later. In November 2005, a wonderful French-Bulgarian woman by the name of Germaine gave me a gift: It was a book called Entre l’Ombre et la Lumière (Between Shadow and Light), the autobiography of Sylvie Vartan. I absolutely loved this book and it inspired me so much that I actually dreamed that someday, I would meet Sylvie Vartan and help the underprivileged children in Bulgaria. My dream became reality only less than a year later when I went to Sylvie Vartan’s gala on September 29, 2006 at the Hôtel de Paris in Monte-Carlo and this would be the happiest day in my entire life! (Photo by George, Canon PowerShot S200)

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