President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou met with Militsa (Emilia) Kamvysi and Efrstratia Mavrapidou, two of the three “Lesvos grandmothers”.
The Greek grandmothers became a symbol of the Lesvos islanders’ solidarity with refugees after they were captured by a local photographer helping a young Syrian mother who had just landed on the shores of Lesvos after making the treacherous crossing from Turkey.
The photograph went viral when the refugee crisis was at its height in 2015-2016.
Στη Σκάλα Συκαμιάς χθες, με την Ευστρατία Μαυραπίδη και την Αιμιλία Καμβύση, τις «γιαγιάδες της Λέσβου». Τις ευχαρίστησα για την αλληλεγγύη που επέδειξαν απέναντι σε πονεμένους ανθρώπους στη μεγάλη κρίση του προσφυγικού. Μας συγκίνησαν και μας έκαναν περήφανους. pic.twitter.com/ZhKXWIeh71
— President GR (@PresidencyGR) August 19, 2020
“You are like grandmothers to all of us. You made us all proud and we thank you for that,” Sakellaropoulou told the two women, now in their 90s, during a visit at the seaside village of Skala Sykamias on Tuesday.
Maritsa Mavrapidou, the third woman captured in the photo, passed away two years ago. Maritsa herself was a child of refugees that fled to Lesvos from Asia Minor in the early 1920s.