go to content

Teen Asylum Seeker Who Cried With German Chancellor Angela Merkel Is Allowed To Stay

"It's upsetting to see others enjoy life, and I can't," the teenager famously told the German chancellor during a television broadcast.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Reem, a Palestinian who is fluent in German, gained fame after bursting into tears over the apparent inability of her and her family to gain residency. But on Friday, the mayor of the town she lived in told the daily Tagesspiegel that officials had no intention of deporting the family.

The development came after this powerful video was widely shared in Germany.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

The teenager, who is president of her class, explained her situation, telling the chancellor – in German – that her family arrived in the city from a Lebanese refugee camp, but were facing deportation.

Merkel told the teenager that while she understood, "politics is sometimes hard."

She noted that there were "thousands and thousands" of people in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, and that "if we say, 'You can all come here ... You can all come from Africa,' we can't cope with that."

The host of the event said it wasn't about "doing well," but about Reem's "wearying situation."

"I know that this is a wearying situation, but I just want to give her a hug right now," Merkel replied.

She told Reem, "We don't want to put you in this position," and praised her for "showing to many others how one can get into this predicament."

The incident has been shared in Germany with the hashtag #MerkelStreichelt (Merkel strokes).

Merkel streichelt auch die Flüchtlingskrise im Mittelmeer weg. #merkelstreichelt

"Merkel caresses the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean."

"Yeah, I want to caress Merkel too. In her face, with a punch."

"I didnt know what to do so I caressed her."

Flüchtlingsproblem gelöst. #merkelstreichelt

"Refugee problem solved."

Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alan White at alan.white@buzzfeed.com.

Juliane Leopold ist Gründungschefin und Chefredakteurin bei BuzzFeed Deutschland und lebt in Berlin.

Contact Juliane Leopold at juliane.leopold@buzzfeed.com.

Philipp Jahner ist Redakteur bei BuzzFeed und lebt in Berlin.

Contact Phil Jahner at philipp.jahner@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.