Novak and Snell speak on Syrian migrants journey to Lesvos

Journey to Lesvos: Migrants, Volunteers, and the

Unfolding of a Human Tragedy


On Friday, February 12, Dr. Irwin Novak and Mary Snell presented a talk on the refugee crisis on Lesvos, Greece: Journey to Lesvos: Migrants, Volunteers and the Unfolding of a Human Tragedy. Speaking in Colvin 107, they recounted their experience on Lesvos this past October when they witnessed the current historic migration – a crisis which has shaken the entire European continent.

The island of Lesvos in the northern Aegean Sea has become the gateway for the wave of migrants and refugees that are flooding into Europe through Greece. As of last count, more than half of the nearly one million people who have come through Greece in 2015, first landed on Lesvos. Maine is connected to this situation because Portland, Maine and Mytilene, Lesvos are Sister Cities.

In their PowerPoint presentation Novak and Snell – who have spent the past 25 summers on Lesvos — showed videos of raft landings, discussed the thorny issues of border controls, and introduced their audience to some of the people of the island (symbolically nominated this year for the Nobel Peace Prize) who have been helping with this crisis even though their lives have been​ upside down.

The following link is to a clip with narrative by Mary Snell (voice over by Business Insider staff):