Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis received 19-year-old Iranian student Kouros Nurmohammadi Baigi at Maximos Mansion.
Baigi managed to ace this year’s national university entry exams despite having arrived in Greece as a refugee three years ago and having never spoken Greek before his arrival. He will be studying at the Electrical Engineering Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
News of the young student’s success has received nationwide media attention.
At the meeting, the Greek premier said that “Greece is always an open country to anyone who wishes to integrate,” and he added that while attending the NATO Summit last week he called the young student to congratulate him, and to invite him to the prime ministerial headquarters.
“Greeks are those who take part in education, those who feel Greek and who want to learn the language, live here and raise a family,” he pointed out.
While talking to Baigi, Mitsotakis noted that “we always want to be very open in cases like yours, so as to give all the children who came here -especially the unaccompanied refugee minors- (…) the opportunities to be able to learn the language, to study here and to live here.”
The Greek prime minister asked the student to describe his experiences to him, and Baigi told him all about how he arrived at the island of Lesvos in 2019 as a refugee and how he entered the educational system there.
Baigi thanked his teachers and the Greek Migration Ministry, adding that “I wouldn’t have been able to do all this without their support.”
Mitsotakis underlined that “each country has an obligation to guard its borders, but on the other hand we are an open country, which offers rights and opportunities to those who want to stay, live and integrate in their own way into Greek society. And I am sincerely glad that you symbolize this, and I hope that your case can be a paradigm for other young children.”