Path 27

Greece makes 3 migrants citizens for their wildfire rescues

Path 27

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Three migrant fishermen received Greek citizenship Wednesday for helping rescue dozens of people who were forced into the sea by flames from a summer wildfire that caused 100 deaths.

Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos hosted a ceremony for Gani Xheka, 35, from Albania and Egyptians Emad El Khaimi, 50, and Mahmoud Ibrahim Musa, 46, both to honor them and for “sending a message to Europe” to counter anti-immigrant sentiment.

The three men pulled people from the water who had fled the out-of-control wildfire at the seaside resort of Mati, east of Athens, by swimming out to sea while having difficulty breathing because of heavy smoke. The trio also guided survivors to a nearby port after the July 23 blaze reached the shore and gutted hundreds of homes.

“In a situation like that, when you are talking about people’s lives, there’s no religion, no black people, no white people. You just have to help people who are in danger,” El Khaimi said after the ceremony.

The death toll from Greece’s worst wildfire in decades included victims who drowned after seeking safety in the sea, as well as people who were trapped inside their homes or along narrow roads.

Trending:
Trump Puts Democrats on Notice with 'Virtually Unprecedented' Midterm Fundraising Haul

The decision to grant the three men citizenship was published in Greece’s official government gazette Dec. 21 but formally announced Wednesday.

“The three foreign nationals, displaying self-sacrifice and ignoring the dangers, joined Greek fishermen and saved dozens of our fellow citizens, including many children whose lives were at risk,” the decision said. “Their self-denial and the exceptional contribution … warrant the application of legal provisions for honorary naturalization.”

Interior Minister Alexis Charistis, who attended the ceremony, said the “human values” the fishermen displayed are ones people “must hold dear because unfortunately, there has been a reappearance in Greece and in Europe of voices of racism and hatred.”

___

Derek Gatopoulos on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dgatopoulos

Elena Becatoros on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ElenaBec

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Path 27
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation