Last month, Iceland announced that it would only be able to help 50 refugees from Syrian, the infamous author Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir raised a call to her Icelandic friends: To find refuge for the Syrians in need. Bjorgvinsdottir may not have been able to predict what would happen next: Over 10,000 Icelanders rose to the challenge and offered solitude for the refugees in need.
What’s more amazing is this all happened in less than 24 hours. It’s heart-warming to see so many people with the ability to help those in need, offer their services on a whim. Especially considering the government was only able to assist with a very small fraction of the number of individuals who opened their doors to the Syrians. One woman wrote on Facebook, “”I’m a single mother with a 6-year-old son… We can take a child in need. I’m a teacher and would teach the child to speak, read and write Icelandic and adjust to Icelandic society. We have clothes, a bed, toys and everything a child needs. I would of course pay for the airplane ticket.” It’s so amazing to see such hospitality, especially with how grim the world can seem to be sometimes.
Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir , amazed at the outcome, rationalized that, “I think people have had enough of seeing news stories from the Mediterranean and refugee camps of dying people and they want something done now.” It’s true that Syria has been going through some difficult times, not to mention the rest of the world. Iceland is a notoriously beautiful country, and it’ll be great to see Syrian women and children have such a positively drastic change of scenery for a chance. The Telegraph reports that Iceland’s government has made mention they’re currently interested in expanding their refugee limitation from 50 to an uncertain number. Time will tell whether they follow through with that claim, but if they do, then it’s certain that the moving assistance from the local Icelanders had some sort of emotional impact on the government’s stance on the matter. Lizzie Dearden of The Independent reported, “Iceland, which has a population of little over 330,000, welcomed 1,117 immigrants in 2014, according to government figures.Germany is currently leading Europe for taking in asylum seekers, receiving more than 73,000 first-time asylum claims in the first three months of this year alone, compared to 7,300 in the UK.” It’s great to see such a positive impact in such a time of need!