Refugee crisis

On a Greek Island, Two Worlds Meet

regenbogen groß
The worlds of young professionals and of migrants meet at Samos' harbor.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Thousands of refugees are arriving in Europe and the continent needs to find new ways to address the issue.

  • Facts


    • Up to 800 people arrive in Samos every day, a Greek island and popular destination for tourists.
    • Since January, the number of refugees arriving in Greece has increased tenfold to 137,613 people compared to the same period one year before.
    • Since the start of the year, 9,581 people have sought refuge in Samos; 4,186 people arrived just in the month of July.
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Unlike many of the people travelling to Samos for a summer vacation, Franziska Petersen wasn’t planning just to relax.

The 30-year-old German client manager for Facebook’s European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, had set out to the Greek island of Samos to meet a group of 20 young professionals who are trying to find new ways to deal with the growing refugee crisis in Europe.

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, the number of refugees arriving from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Eritrea has increased ten-fold since last year; over 137,613 people reached Greece by sea in the first seven months of 2015, compared to 14,714 during that period last year.

Most arrive on flimsy rubber dinghies, and manage to reach the Aegean islands or are rescued by the Greek coastal guards.

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