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Greek PM Meets with Refugee Student Facing Deportation

saidu kamara greek refugee kyriakos mitsotakis
Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with refugee student Saidu Kamara on Tuesday to discuss his asylum application. Credit: Office of the Greek Prime Minister

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with Saidu Kamara, a refugee student facing deportation who won over the hearts of Greeks across the country, on Tuesday.

During the meeting, Mitsotakis helped guide the refugee regarding the status of his asylum application.

Kamara’s story inspired the Greek public last week, as it exemplified the struggles of unaccompanied minor refugees in the country.

The 17-year-old refugee arrived on the island of Kalymnos in 2019 as an unaccompanied minor.

He fled his native country of Guinea in West Africa due to discrimination and domestic violence. He first made his way to Senegal and then to Turkey, where he got on a boat headed to Greece.

Upon arriving on Kalymnos, the young refugee embraced his new home by integrating into Greek society.

Greek PM Mitsotakis meets with refugee student Saidu Kamara

Kamara became a beloved figure in Agios Dimitrios, a southern suburb of Athens, where he eventually settled into a home for refugees.

He began attending Greek high school in Agios Dimitrios. Kamara began to shine academically despite the fact that Greek is not his first language.

The refugee was one of the students with the highest grades in his class and he paraded proudly at his school’s parade for Greek Independence Day last week on March 25th.

Despite his success and complete immersion into Greek society, Kamara may soon face deportation. As his application for asylum was rejected in December 2021, the young adult is set to be deported when he turns 18.

However, Kamara’s appeal against the decision is due to be heard by immigration officials in a few weeks.

Greeks across the country were appalled by the decision with thousands of social media users speaking out against Kamara’s potential deportation.

Mitsotakis invited Kamara to the Maximos Mansion in Athens to discuss his case on Tuesday. He expressed his wish for Kamara to stay in Greece, which has now become his home.

He has also consulted the Ministry of Education for advice on how to strengthen the young refugee’s asylum application by including details of his impressive academic achievements.

Kamara “found his home” in Agios Dimitrios

In speaking to the television network ERT last Thursday, Nikolas Kaklamanos, the principal of the high school in Agios Nikolaos where Kamara is enrolled, stated that the student is “a shining example of integration in our educational system and in Greek society.”

After traveling so far, Kaklamanos said Kamara “found his family in Agios Dimitrios.”

He stressed that Kamara wishes to stay in Greece and that the entire school and the local community have banded together to try to help the young refugee remain in the country.

The young refugee was permitted to remain in Greece when he was a child, and he was housed by organizations aimed at helping unaccompanied refugee children in Greece.

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