Versione italiana | Search in site:

Yusra Mardini 1998

a young swimmer for refugee rights

Yusra Mardini

Yusra Mardini

A young Syrian swimmer, with the outbreak of war and bombardment she fled the country with her sister Sarah - also a swimmer.
In August 2015, their rubber dinghy, which had to arrive from Turkey on the island of Lesbo in a short time, began to take on water: the weight of the people on board was too much, the boat was stationary in the middle of the Aegean Sea. No one could swim, but Yusra and her sister Sarah dove into the sea to unload weight and start to propel the boat. They swam for three and a half hours, at night, for 5 km of sea, trying to give direction to the dinghy, until the engine finally started again. Thus the sisters managed to save all the shipwrecked. 

After being granted refugee status, Yusra went back to swimming, and, at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, she was one of the 9 athletes who parade under the flag with the five circles, in the team of refugees.

In September 2016, at the United Nations General Assembly, she called for the right of refugees to have access to safe housing, education, livelihoods and training opportunities. In January 2017, she represented the UNHCR at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where she was the youngest participant.

Don’t miss the story of the Righteous and the memory of Good

Once a month you will receive articles and events selected by Gariwo Editorial Board. Please fill out the field below and click on subscribe.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Civil Courage

in every part of the world

The committee the Forest of the Righteous wants to make known those that fight and are fighting to defend the persecuted, the innocent victims of crimes against humanity, and to protect human dignity and human rights wherever they are infringed upon, to declare the will to live in peace and civil coexistence, to seek truth and freedom of expression.