Watch the moment Germany’s Merkel made a Palestinian girl cry

Published July 16th, 2015 - 07:06 GMT
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was criticized for her country's stance on refugees after she made a refugee cry on TV. (AFP/File)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was criticized for her country's stance on refugees after she made a refugee cry on TV. (AFP/File)

It's hard being a politician. But it's harder being a refugee.

So when German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her country's asylum and immigration policies to a refugee girl, who broke into tears, it's only natural the international community felt more sympathetic toward the Palestinian.

Reem's family currently resides in Rostock, Germany, after leaving a refugee camp in Lebanon. She was told she can't stay.

Essentially, this is how the conversation goes. (Translations found on The Jerusalem Post and other publications.)

Reem: I have goals like anyone else. I want to study like them ... it’s very unpleasant to see how others can enjoy life, and I can’t myself.

Merkel: Politics is sometimes hard. You’re right in front of me now and you’re an extremely sympathetic person. But you also know in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are thousands and thousands, and if we were to say you can all come ... we just can’t manage it.

Suffice it to say, Merkel got some flack. She went up to the girl afterward and began "stroking" her hair, which became inspiration for the Twitter hashtag #merkelstreichelt ("Merkel strokes") currently trending in Germany.

Others defended the EU leader and said she seemed to express genuine sympathy for the girl's problems. 

By Hayat Norimine


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