Greek Granny Famed for Helping Refugees Passes Away at 93

Last Updated: March 12, 2023, 18:09 IST

Famed Greek granny Emilia Kamvysi (Left) and Italian politician Laura Boldrini (Centre) (Photo Credit: Italian politician Laura Boldrini/Twitter)

Emilia Kamvysi became a celebrity in 2015 she was pictured bottle-feeding a refugee baby whose parents had just landed in Greece after a perilous sea crossing

A 93-year-old Greek grandmother, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Price for helping refugees flooding into Europe, died on Sunday, the state news agency reported.

Emilia Kamvysi and two other elderly women became instant celebrities in 2015 when they were pictured bottle-feeding a refugee baby whose parents had just landed on Greece’s Lesbos island after a perilous sea crossing.

The arrivals were among more than a million refugees and migrants, many fleeing the Syrian civil war, who reached EU shores during the influx.

The three elderly women were children of ethnic Greek refugees from Turkey, and became a symbol of the solidarity of the people of Lesbos with the huge numbers of arriving Syrians.

Greek state news agency ANA reported Kamvysi’s death and said her funeral would take place in her village on Lesbos on Monday.

The other two grandmothers had already passed away — Maritsa Mavrapidou in 2019 at the age of 92, and Efstratia Mavrapidou in 2022, aged 96.

The trio had insisted they had done nothing special.

“What did I do, my son?” Kamvysi, famously told Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

“They were gentle people and they were just passing through,” she later told AFP.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)

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