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Classes From Lesvos

Stone Island Coats With Wool Hood Dark BrownWe all have the flexibility to make an impression on world issues, from wizened grandmothers, to the Hollywood elite, to your common citizen with no money however a big heart. These are lessons we can learn from Lesvos, the economically struggling Greek island whose residents have selflessly helped Syrian refugees arriving in their waters. The grassroots organization Avaaz recently organized a global marketing campaign and collected 638,000 signatures supporting Lesvos’ nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize – extra specifically an 83 year outdated grandmother who bottle fed refugee infants, a fisherman who has saved many from drowning, and American actress Susan Sarandon, who visited Lesvos and reported again for The Huffington Put up. The driving pressure behind these efforts is empathy and realizing that “they” are identical to us.

I remember my mom’s hand on my shoulder and her words as she spoke softly to me in melodious Greek. “See these people over there ” She used her eyes to direct my gaze towards the individuals she was targeted on. One time it was a lone person picking an orange from a tall pyramid at the produce store. One other time it was a household with younger children like my sister and me. One more time it was a lady wearing a headscarf. Whoever the person was, she demanded I pay them consideration. It was the 1970s and my mother was still sporting her hair teased out in a circular bouffant framing her face, with a light chiffon scarf flippantly tied over it to keep the wind from blowing her exhausting work away.

“See those people over there ” she would say. I might nod my head sure. “They’re similar to us.” I would stare at them and surprise what she meant. Were they immigrants Did they have an accent like my dad and mom Have been they Greek These folks all the time had darkish hair and eyes like us. But after they spoke, I could not perceive the language flowing from their lips. “Who are they ” I would ask her, questioning if there was one thing I was lacking as I scrutinized them. She would squeeze my shoulder and say, “They’re Armenian,” or she would say, “They are Arabs,” or “They are Persian,” or “They are from the Middle East. They are just like us.” She defined to me that they cooked the identical food, that their music sounded like ours. They liked their households. They stuck collectively. The one distinction was their religion.

My mom was one of ten children, five girls and 5 boys, growing up in a small farming village within the Peloponnesian area of Greece, near the western coastline ringing the Ionian Sea. Her family lived in a two-room house they’d made out of mud bricks they’d formed and dried and stacked themselves. They had been dirt poor, relying on their crops, livestock, and properly water to outlive. She came to the land of plenty on the age of 17 via an arranged marriage, and even now, irrespective of that nearly 60 years have gone by, she still waxes nostalgic concerning the idyllic happiness of those days among her sisters and brothers. And whereas she loves America and has deep gratitude for the comforts she’s earned right here, Greece will all the time be her homeland. In order a young mother, deeply missing her siblings and mother and father, desperately wishing for grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins for her kids, she would level out others that were like us. It was as if she was attempting to provide us and herself a spot of belonging, a way of prolonged household, if not by blood, then through cultural similarity.

In the present day I have a look at footage of Syrian refugees arriving on the shores of the Greek island of Lesvos I can not assist but think of her words: They’re identical to us. I see photos of families, mothers, fathers, and kids within the grips of terror and grief and maybe temporary relief as they attain shore. Lesvos is separated from Turkey by the narrow Mytilini Strait, at its narrowest point simply 3.4 miles huge. This small geographic measurement is the road that separates the Syrian refugees from the shores of Turkey to the following step to freedom by way of Greece, and but within these waters mothers and fathers have tried in vain to avoid wasting their kids from drowning. I hear my mom’s voice. They’re just like us.

Even as the islanders of Lesvos face their very own disaster as Greece flounders to remain afloat in its own financial emergency, they prolong their hands out to help. They seize hold of the refugees and pull them out of the water. They embrace them, dry them off, clothe them, feed them, home them. Greek fisherman patrol the darkish waters at night looking for refugees in hazard, prepared to pull them out of the sea engulfed in grief and fear, and ship them to safety. The folks of Lesvos lengthen themselves to assist the refugees, contributing their own resources, sacrificing their safety, and tirelessly working to feed and home the refugees. In doing so, they exhibit the best degree of humanity. Rather than saying, we do not have enough for ourselves, find another person that will help you, they give instead, saying, let me share what I have.

CNN experiences that 31 United States governors have stated that the Syrian refugees are not welcome in their states. Why is it so arduous for them to look on the refugees with humanity, and to discover a safe manner to assist them enter Similar to in stone island shadow project tactical anorak the outdated story about Stone Soup, the place three touring Buddhist monks showed villagers how they could make enough delicious soup to feed everyone in the event that they pooled their sources collectively, the islanders of Lesvos are working along with the Syrian refugees to find a way. I’ve read quite a few accounts of the islanders citing their own poverty as their motivation to help. When they appear at the Syrian refugees, I imagine their compassionate hearts whispering, they’re just like us. If the citizens of a small economically devastated island can find the courage and resources to help, so can we. All we want to recollect is they are similar to us.

A technique To assist: When Syrian refugees arrive on Lesvos in unstable, overcrowded boats they’re drenched in sea water. Their soiled clothes had been discarded till the Dirty Ladies of Lesvos started amassing, washing, sorting, and redistributing the clear clothes to arriving Syrian refugees. Your donation gives warm jackets and clothing to the refugees and retains their old clothes out of landfill. Even Susan Sarandon bought into the act. See her submit on serving to get clean with the Soiled Ladies. For more data see their Facebook stone island shadow project tactical anorak page.

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