NewsWorldLast of "Lesvos grannies" dies at 93

Last of “Lesvos grannies” dies at 93

Aimilia Kamvyssi, one of three Greek women who garnered international attention for helping refugees on the island of Lesvos, has died at age 93.

The women became a symbol of solidarity after they were pictured nursing the baby of a young Syrian woman who had just arrived in Lesvos, as a refugee on a boat.

“Lesvos grannies,” Maritsa Mavrapidou, Evstratia Mavrapidou and Kamvyssi were captured by local photographer Lefteris Partsalis.

The picture made the rounds in media worldwide, earning the residents of the Aegean island a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 for their response to the refugee crisis.

In an interview with USA Today, Kamvyssi said: “I wish that Greece wins this prize, not just me,” promising if she wins the cash award that comes with the Nobel to give her share to the decaying Greek healthcare system.

“What am I going to do with it anyway?” she added while revealing she lives just fine on her $360 per month pension.

The three women were children of refugees who arrived in Greece from Turkey in 1922, after the Greco-Turkish war.

“My mom was born in Turkey,” Kamvyssi told USA Today.

“She left persecuted and arrived here when she was only 17 years old. They came with hurt souls. It’s exactly how I see the refugees are today. When they arrived in Greece, the locals didn’t want them and saw them as foreigners.”

“Our mothers arrived on a fishing boat only with a trunk of clothes and a sewing machine,” Maritsa Mavrapidou added.

“Those poor babies, escaping war and drowning in the waters. It’s such a shame. We’re all crying in the village whenever there’s a shipwreck.”

Kamvyssi, 93, died on Sunday, March 12, a year after Evstratia Mavrapidou, who passed away at age 96, on February 14, 2022. Her cousin Maritsa died in 2019, at age 90.

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