World Refugee Day Street Festival 2023—A Show of Solidarity in the Shadow of Tragedy

On June 16, over 20 organizations from across the island gathered in Nicosia’s Faneromeni Square to mark World Refugee Day 2023. Together—and with those who find themselves in Cyprus far from home—they shared experiences, food and music. World Refugee Day is held every year on June 20 to commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of the millions of refugees around the world. This year’s Festival was particularly poignant given the tragedy that was unfolding off the coast of Pelos, Greece. The organizers of the event—the Cyprus Refugee Council and Bridges for Tomorrow under the auspices of UNHCR and the Municipality of Nicosia—underscored that the Festival was meant to be a strong sign of solidarity and to illustrate that Cypriot society stands with refugees and migrants and against intolerance and xenophobia. The hundreds of people gathered in Faneromeni Square observed a moment of silence for all those lost on their journeys to safety and called for safe routes for migration and asylum.