Published on 6 September 2015

More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis

“People of whom we'll never be able to say in the future: ‘Your life is worth less than my life’”

By Lizzie Dearden, published in The Independent, September 1st 2015
More than 11,000 families in Iceland have offered to open their homes to Syrian refugees in a bid to raise the government’s cap of just 50 asylum seekers a year.
They responded to a call by author Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir, who set up a Facebook group with an open letter to the country’s welfare minister, Eygló Harðardóttir, asking her to allow people to help.
Ms Bjorgvinsdottir said she knew someone who could house five Syrians fleeing the country’s brutal civil war, requesting work permits, residence papers and “basic human rights” in exchange for paying for their flight and helping them integrate into national society. 
In the letter, she said she started the group to show the level of public support for welcoming more refugees, who Ms Bjorgvinsdottir called “human resources” with experience and skills that could help all Icelanders.
“They are our future spouses, best friends, the next soul mate, a drummer for our children’s band, the next colleague, Miss Iceland in 2022, the carpenter who finally finishes the bathroom, the cook in the cafeteria, a fireman and television host,” she wrote.
“People of whom we'll never be able to say in the future: ‘Your life is worth less than my life’”... Lire l'intégralité.