They want to be Greek – but Greece doesn't want them

Edlira Xhezairaj, a 28-year-old nurse, teaches Greek to migrants at a Sunday school run by volunteers in Athens on March 8, 2015There are tears in their eyes and the last hugs are achingly long. Edlira had been giving up her Sundays to teach Greek to immigrants in a dusty Athens suburb until the country’s crisis finally caught up with her. She is leaving the country she calls home, where she went to school and university, without a Greek passport. “But there is a moment in job interviews when they look at my name — Edlira Xhezairaj — and they say, ‘So you are not Greek?’ And then conversation drops.

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