Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Monday, August 31, 2015

Why I swam across the Mediterranean in solidarity with refugees

Contrary to the cruelty attitudes of today, 70 years ago the world opened its arms when it was Europeans fleeing crisis – and benefited as a result Last Friday, I swam from Turkey to Greece in solidarity with the refugees who are making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean into Europe. I crossed from Kaş, a Turkish resort town where European tourists flock in the summer, into Greek waters near Kastellorizo, a Greek island 5km kilometres off the coast of Turkey. The crossing is near where many refugees have crossed the Mediterranean in recent months. The situation here is tense. Earlier in August, refugees were locked in a stadium on Kos and the Greek government sent riot police to deal with refugee protests. So why did I do this swim? I was motivated, first, by a deep concern that thousands of people are drowning off the coast of Italy and Libya, being tear-gassed in Macedonia, blocked by razor wire on the Hungarian border. I am concerned that many European governments are responding with force to people who have risked everything for the sake of survival. My swim was nothing compared to the distance, uncertainties and challenges many refugees face on their way to Europe Related: Angela Merkel’s humane stance on immigration is a lesson to us all | Will Hutton Continue reading...