A Citizen’s Guide to Greece 2015


February 3, 2014

You don’t have to go to Greece, you know…

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Written by: pdcadmin

By Francesca Kareivis

I had to get a physical examination to study abroad and when I told my doctor I was going to Greece the first thing she said was “You know, it’s not too late… You don’t have to go.” Needless to say, not many people supported my decision to study in Greece.

And why would they? For months, the media has shown us riots, rebellions, acts of violence all over the news. During the summer leading up to my trip The New York time read, “More children in Greece start to go hungry” and “Gunmen in Greece attack German Ambassador.” All the media was doing was portraying Greeks to be barbaric; they were constantly rebelling against the government, destroying their communities, and children being abducted and forced to work at very young ages.

When I went to Greece I definitely saw the crises that the citizens were going through; there are no jobs, people are homeless, and corruption in the government. However, you can see this happening in many places around the world right now, yet the focus is on Greece. When I went to City Hall and interviewed a member of the Municipal Council he explained to me, “They only show the terrorists. There are good people who are trying to act for a better future, but all the media will show are the terrorists smashing buildings and lighting cars on fire.”

He is absolutely right; it is portrayed in many forms of media in all different countries. The world views Greeks as violent terrorists who have no hope.

Yet that is not what I saw; I saw genuinely good people who cared about their country.

What about my neighbor in Alexandrias who went out to feed the stray cats every morning? Or the elderly people on the bus who heard us speaking English and would try so hard to speak the little English they knew because they wanted to have a conversation with us. What about the Greek students who are going to multiple different universities regardless of the economic crises, because they understand the importance of their education.

Yes, there are some bad eggs that are completely fed up with their government, but there are still so many people who are trying to work for a better tomorrow in Greece.

Francesca Kareivis undertook a Public Service Internship at the Dukakis Center during the fall 2013 semester. She is a senior at Rutgers University majoring in Public Service, is particularly interested in human rights and health care, and plans to study for an MA in Health Care Administration. Francesca is a member of the Rutgers Red Cross and has completed an alternative spring break with MTV and United Way.


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