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Icelanders’ Offer of Help is World News

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Icelanders’ Offer of Help is World News

Syrian refugees on the border to Lebanon.

Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

The Facebook event Kæra Eygló Harðar—Syria calls, created by Bryndís Björgvinsdóttir, author and professor, to encourage Icelandic authorities to accept more Syrian refugees, has not only caught the attention of Icelanders, but also that of media abroad, Vísir reports. Eygló Harðardóttir is the Icelandic minister of social affairs.

A large number of Icelanders have offered to assist refugees who might come here, and all sorts of assistance has been offered, anything from social support to accommodation. More than 12,000 people have joined the group, and many have posted offers of assistance.

The online editions of The Guardian, Telegraph and Time have all covered the story, as have The Daily Star in Lebanon, The Malaysian Insider in Malaysia and Dunya News in Pakistan. There is no doubt that the goodwill of Icelanders has caught the attention of the world.

Part of the open letter on the Facebook page reads:

“Refugees are human resources, experience and skills. Refugees are our future spouses, best friends, our next soul mate, the drummer in our children’s band, our next colleague, Miss Iceland 2022, the carpenter who finally fixes our bathroom, the chef in the cafeteria, the fireman, the hacker and the television host. People who we’ll never be able to say to: ‘Your life is worth less than mine.’”

“The open letter and offers of assistance from ordinary citizens reflects a shifting attitude towards refugees in some parts of Europe,” the Guardian concludes.

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