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Poignancy Today: Port Town and Asylum Seekers

poignancy today: More than 4,400 asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa live in and around an overcrowded camp above the port town of Vathy, the capital of Samos, waiting for clearance to cross the sea to the mainland and beyond, where they hope to find a future, according to Toronto Star. The port town of Vathy is the capital of Samos. That Aesop should have come to this Northern Aegean island for freedom holds a special poignancy today, even if it is only myth, because Samos is now home to one of the largest refugee camps in Greece. More than 4,400 asylum seekers live in and around an overcrowded camp above Vathy. photos by Andrea Wyner / The New York Times Unlike the other Greek island camps, which tend to be built in remote places, the Samos camp is close enough to town to allow refugees to walk to shops and the seafront, so when I was there in October and this summer, I was able to meet some and do what I could to help, even as I was also exploring the island, renowned for its dramatic mountains and dazzling azure seas. Choosing an Airbnb in Kedros, a hamlet across the bay from Vathy, I spent my first evening sitting on a flagstone terrace, gazing across the water at the town and the Turkish mountains beyond, watching the Aegean blues shift and shimmer. Like the rest of Greece, Samos suffered from the economic crash of 2008, followed by a dip in tourism and a wave of refugees in 2015, so local business owners, volunteer organizations and refugees alike welcome tourists who wish to help and enjoy themselves at the same time. ( As reported in the news.