After wrapping up filming of the fifth season of Homeland in Berlin, actor Mandy Patinkin took the chance to venture to the Greek island of Lesvos.
There the actor and activist joined the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and had the chance to visit the shores of Molyvos, where thousands of Syrian refugees have been arriving by boat.
In an article written for The Age by Patinkin himself, titled ‘Mandy Patinkin: What I saw in the faces of refugees’, he writes of a Syrian mother by the name of Safae, her husband Koder and their two young sons.
“She (Safae) told me the story of her family’s escape from Islamic State. They had fled in the night across the Syrian-Turkish border and had arrived, finally, in Greece,” he wrote.
“Looking at her two beautiful boys, I was reminded of my own grown sons. How similar our families were; face to face, it was so easy to imagine myself in her shoes, worn as they were after her dangerous trek.”
Due to extremely windy conditions, the family’s money and papers had been lost at sea. Trying to reach their relatives in Germany, they were in need of €150 ($205) for their travel expenses.
Patinkin gave the family the money they needed and sent them on their way, but not before they exchanged WhatsApp numbers and email addresses, with a promise to stay in touch.
Touched by the generous people he met along the way, the actor also expressed frustration with others around the world fearing the refugee crisis.
“I simply don’t understand,” Patinkin told the IRC film crew.
“I can’t understand how so many people in so many countries can be afraid of these people who are suffering so much. They have so much need, are in despair and all they want is freedom, [and] justice.”
Patinkin is not the only celebrity to speak out in support of refugees; more than 100 celebrities are doing their part and include the likes of Orland Bloom and Bernard Cumberbatch.
Source: avgi.gr, The Age