LOOK: 'Game of Thrones' stars visit Syrian refugees in Greece
MANILA, Philippines – Some of the stars of Game of Thrones stepped away from the political intrigue and carnage in Westeros – plus the winter that has just arrived – to try and do their part for some of the 57,000 Syrian refugees in Greece.
Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), and Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seaworth) visited a Syrian refugee camp set up by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Lesbos, Greece, plus 2 other sites with IRC programs for protection and environmental health.
Lena, who plays a ruthless queen on the show, kindly met with a young Syrian woman who is in Greece, alone with her 3 children under 11 years old. Her husband is afflicted with cancer, and is in Germany. The IRC said in a press release that "she has not seen him in eighteen months and, because the process to reunite with him is so slow and so drawn-out, she may wait another 5-6 months before she sees him again."
Maisie, in visiting an IRC site in Cherso set up by the Greek Army, met a young aspiring actor who has already done 3 plays there.
"These smart, hardworking people want to go home," said Lena, as quoted in an IRC press release. "They want to return to their communities and to their neighborhoods. They want their children to continue their education. They want to continue their university and they are stuck. They’re stuck. And they’re unbelievably sad. Understandably. We can do better for them. We must do better for them."
I have met some incredible, strong people today. People who need us to stand in solidarity.— lena headey (@IAMLenaHeadey) June 30, 2016
It's shames us all when we behave like it's not our problem. It is. We can do better good people.— lena headey (@IAMLenaHeadey) June 30, 2016
When goodbye is painful it means it's love. THANKYOU @theIRC for the most life changing experience.— lena headey (@IAMLenaHeadey) July 1, 2016
Lena told the Associated Press, as quoted by ABC: "They just want a voice. That's what they all said to each of us – 'tell my story, tell my story' – and that's what we're going to do."
Maisie also spoke her mind on the matter: "For me it is about the children… children with so much potential, so many hopes and dreams. Where is the humanity that makes it acceptable for them to languish in refugee camps – in Europe?"
Liam sounded a call to action, appealing to the leaders of the EU: "This is not an earthquake, this is not a tidal wave. This is a man-made crisis. 57,000 stranded in Greece. Refugee camps in Europe? Is this truly the standard EU leaders want to set as the way to respond to the global refugee crisis?"
At these sites were people who were affected by the "one in, one out" European Union (EU)-Turkey deal, which allowed EU member states like Greece to send asylum seekers to Turkey. Basically, as The Guardian puts it: "One Syrian refugee on the Greek islands will be returned to Turkey and, in exchange, a Syrian asylum seeker in Turkey will be found a home in Europe."
Human rights groups have slammed the deal, with several consequences related to these Syrians' right to work, health care and education.
Liam also told the AP: "There are [refugees] in these camps who are oncologists, judges, successful people who've had everything taken away from them ... I was angry before but when you meet these beautiful people who are our children, our brothers, our sisters and you see what's been done to them. It's shameful." – Rappler.com