Greek islanders to be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Greek islanders who have been on the frontline of the refugee crisis are to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize with the support of their national government.

Of the 9,00,000 refugees who entered Europe last year, most were received — scared, soaked and travelling in rickety boats — by those who live on the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.

The islanders, including fishermen who gave up their work to rescue people from the sea, are in line to be honoured with one of the world’s most esteemed awards. Eminent academics from the universities of Oxford, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell and Copenhagen are drafting a submission in favour of awarding the prize to the people of Lesbos, Kos, Chíos, Samos, Rhodes and Leros.

The nomination deadline is February 1, but those behind the plan have already met the Greek Minister for Migration, Yiannis Mouzalas, who they say has offered his government’s full support. A petition on the website of the grassroots campaign group, Avaaz, in favour of the nomination has amassed 2,80,000 signatures. According to the petition: “On remote Greek islands, grandmothers have sung terrified little babies to sleep, while teachers, pensioners and students have spent months offering food, shelter, clothing and comfort to refugees who have risked their lives to flee war and terror.”

While the official nomination letter is yet to be finalised, it is understood the academics, whose identities will be revealed in the coming days, will implore the Nobel committee members to accept their nomination.

They will say it must be noted that a people of a country already dealing with its own economic crisis responded to the unfolding tragedy of the refugee crisis with “empathy and self-sacrifice”, opening their homes to the dispossessed, risking their lives to save others and taking care of the sick and injured.

Only individuals or organisations are eligible to win the prize. 

Source - THE Hindu & Guardian

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