Hi, I’m Zoe Zahariadis: a high school senior, student activist, lover of art, traveling, writing, amateur photographer, admirer of great coffee and avid eater of pastries. This blog will chronicle the current  refugee crisis in Lesbos, Greece.

A little background on myself and this project…

I was born to an American mother and a Greek father. Growing up surrounded by two different cultures has allowed me to see the world through a unique lens. I have had the wonderful ability to travel and explore new cultures and people. Since I do have family in Greece, I have been able to visit Greece many of times.

I strive to better my community and the world around me. As the world constantly changes and evolves, so does the task at hand. What has never changed is my sense of duty to do all I can to be the best citizen of the world. Our world is currently ravaged by violence and war. I was born three years before 9/11, and since then, my life has been surrounded by threats of terrorism and intense security protocols at airports. When war broke out in Syria, I read more and more about refugees fleeing for their lives. I felt heartbroken hearing the stories of people who risk everything to escape the violence at home. As refugees flooded in to Greece, I knew I needed to help. What could I do to help though? How can I make a difference here in Alabama? I thought about this while I traveled to Greece with my father this June. I had the wonderful opportunity to explore the beautiful island of Lesbos and learn about the refugee crisis. While there, I was able to meet with government officials, volunteers, and locals to learn more about what was going on and how to fix the problem.

Over the years, as violence escalates and innocent people loose their lives, one word seems to unite communities. Regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or tribe, communities strengthen due to intense tragedy. In the midst of this darkness, one word alwIMG_0190ays seems to bring light to a grieving community: solidarity.