Palestinian girl who cried after confronting Merkel on TV allowed to stay in Germany

September 4, 2015 19:31

The 14-year-old Palestinian girl who burst into tears after German Chancellor Angela Merkel told her she might be deported has had her residency permit extended until March 2016, the mayor's office in the northern city of Rostock said on Friday.

Merkel was criticized in July after she told the girl, identified as Reem, during a televised discussion forum that Germany could not admit everyone who wanted to live there, and then stroked her on her back when Reem started crying.

The video clip of the exchange went viral and started the hashtag #merkelstreichelt (merkelstrokes) with critics accusing her of looking clumsy and lacking empathy.

Reem, who is from Lebanon, has lived in Germany for four years and had told Merkel in fluent German that she wanted to study there, but that it was uncertain whether she would be allowed to stay.

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