Syrian Refugees Arrive Tomorrow - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Syrian Refugees Arrive Tomorrow

Published January 18, 2016

Photos by
Anna Dominick

The first round of refugees from Syria will arrive in Iceland tomorrow, and preparations for their arrival are complete.

MBL reports that these refugees, originally from Syria but until now living in Lebanese refugee camps, will be arriving in Iceland tomorrow afternoon. This group is to be comprised of 35 individuals; 23 will live in Akureyri (seen above) and the remainder will live in Kópavogur.

Akureyri mayor Ei­ríkur Björn Björg­vins­son is especially looking forward to their arrival.

“We’ve had plenty of time to prepare for their arrival as well as we can,” he told reporters. “Now we’re just waiting excitedly to welcome them. They will be four families in all, amongst them a rather large nine-person family.”

Ei­ríkur added that all practical preparations are already complete, as the town has had experience with welcoming refugees, as they did in 2003.

In fact, Akureyri was amongst the first municipalities last year to express a willingness to accept refugees from Syria.

However, despite international headlines about the willingness of Icelanders to accept many more refugees than the 50 people that the government originally proposed, a parliamentary proposal on accepting 500 refugees over the next three years has still not made it out of committee.


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