The young Palestinian girl who begged German Chancellor Angela Merkel to allow her to stay in Germany during an emotional appearance on national television will be permitted to remain in the European country with her family, German officials told the AFP news agency on Friday.
Merkel was confronted on national television by Reem, a young Palestinian refugee from Lebanon who was in danger of being sent back to the Middle East.
The video of the heart-wrenching encounter, which has gone viral, shows an emotional Merkel comforting the young girl as she courageously pleads with the German chancellor - in fluent German, no less - to allow her and her family to remain.
“I have goals like anyone else. I want to study like them ... it’s very unpleasant to see how others can enjoy life, and I can’t myself,” said Reem, a Palestinian whose family has been living in Rostock for the last four years after arriving from a refugee camp in Lebanon.
A stunned Merkel then approached Reem, telling her that “politics is sometimes hard. You’re right in front of me now and you’re an extremely sympathetic person. But you also know in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are thousands and thousands and if we were to say you can all come ... we just can’t manage it.”
Officials in Berlin told local press that Reem's perfect German - which the government has urged other immigrants to adopt in order to more smoothly integrate into local society - was a factor in the authorities' decision to permit her to stay.