COMMUNITY

‘Lesvos granny,’ a symbol of solidarity in the refugee crisis, dies at age 90

Maritsa Mavrapidi is seen sitting between her cousins Eftratia Mavrapidi (left) and Militsa (Emilia) Kamvisi in the photograph by Lefteris Partsalis, first published on the Lesvos News website.

TAGS: Migration, Society

A Greek woman who became an international symbol of solidarity at the peak of the refugee crisis has died and will be buried on Thursday on the island of Lesvos.

Maritsa Mavrapidi was 90 years old, according to local reports.

She was one of three elderly women, who became known as the “Lesvos grannies,” captured by local photographer Lefteris Partsalis helping a young Syrian mother who had just landed on the shores of the eastern Aegean island after making the treacherous crossing from Turkey in October 2015.

The image of the three women tending to the infant as its mother changed into dry clothes was published around the world and prompted a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for Lesvos’s residents in 2016.

“She was an honest woman who made us proud, and we will remember her always,” the community president of Mavrapidi’s village, Skala Skamnias, told state broadcaster ERT Aegean on Wednesday. 

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