Greek Women Breastfeed Migrant Children
Nobel Peace Prize Candidates
April 19th, 2016
Eighty-five years old, illiterate, candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, Maritsa (Mariuccia) Maurapidu is one of those grandmothers that today's children will no longer have. It has a wood stove for warmth and always an apron tied at the waist. She has no radio, no TV, but many cats that rub on the legs and the sea ten meters from home. Its door opens on two worlds: here is Greece and in front of it there is Turkey, "the other side" as Mariuccia says.
For her, Europe and Asia, Christianity and Islam are too close to be strangers. From “the other side," comes the bad wind, but also the rain that washes the flowers. Even her mother came from the "other side." "She escaped in '22 when the Turks threw out Greeks." And for two years now, from "the other side" arrive every day many strangers with whom Mariuccia can not talk because she does not know Arabic or Kurdish or Urdu or Persian. "We understand by gestures, is not a problem."
Mariuccia shows laughing the photo that made her famous. It is in a frame of red cardboard. She is next to Emilia Kamvisi (84 years old) who is giving a bottle to a baby and Efstatia Mavrapidu (his cousin 90 years). They are the grandmothers of Lesbos. In the drawer of the treasures there is also a plaque of the Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini delivered in February. For them, for the volunteers of the Greek islands, hundreds of thousands of signatures from all over the world ask the Nobel.
"How can they decide to send back these poor people? If they have almost drowned, it means that there could not remain. " In her eyes there are the memories of so many bailouts. "That child who was crying, all wet, paralyzed from the cold, saying all the time "mama, mama". How can you not understand? A father could not stop to thank us for embracing his child, bowing with clasped hands and crying.