Susan Sarandon Welcomes Over 300,000 Syrian Refugees in Greece in Person

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Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon has traveled to Greece to help welcome Syrian refugees to shore during the holiday season.

Last Friday, the 69-year-old actress traveled to Lesbos, a Greek island that has become one of the chief landing points for Syrian migrants seeking refuge in Europe. “I have come to hear their stories and learn,” Sarandon wrote in a Huffington Post article.

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Lesbos, according to Ben Webster, head of emergencies for the British Red Cross writing for The Guardian, has seen more than half of the 669,000 refugees that have landed on Greece’s shores. By the year’s end, it is estimated that nearly a million people will have crossed onto European soil — the largest mass migration since the Second World War.

Sarandon wrote of her time with a five-year-old Iraqi girl who had made the crossing from Turkey to Greece with her family. The girl’s mother, Sarandon said, is “trying to hold it together” and with even the smallest kindness “she breaks.”

“I hope that I can make it possible for them to have a voice so we can understand,” Sarandon wrote. “Understand that ‘these people’ are just like us, wanting to keep their children safe. Wanting them to have a future.”

Sarandon is not the first American actor to visit Lesbos. Earlier in the month “Homeland” star Mandy Patinkin also spent time on the island.

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Such stars are bringing much needed attention to the situation in Lesbos, where an estimated 4,300 people made the crossing on Wednesday alone. Over the course of the crises, with many governments offering little aid or assistance, volunteer groups have begun sprouting up wherever need arises. On Lesbos, the Huffington Post reports, volunteers from around Europe stand prepared to meet each boat, with teams set up for “first reception” and “second reception” in order to thoroughly and efficiently aid each of the roughly 50 refugees that pack onto each tiny dinghy.

So, while the situation in the Middle East and the migrant crisis are still very much in dire need of attention, the humanitarian actions of people like Susan Sarandon, Mandy Patinkin, and the numerous volunteers are invaluable and inspiring.



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About the author: Gary Joshua Garrison


Gary Joshua Garrison is the Prose Editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review. His fiction has appeared in various locations around the World Wide Web, as well as in bound reams of paper. His nonfictional musing can be found at Luminary Daily and Way Too Indie. He writes, teaches, and goes to the movies in the desert of Arizona with his well-postured cat, Widget.



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