Geographical Society of Philadelphia

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Border Crossings: Embracing Refugees in Crisis

August 15, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

$10 – $15
Join Jai Mexis and GEO for an evening of cultural conversation and cocktails! 

Jai will give a Greek example of how can we embrace refugees and benefit local, vulnerable groups.


In 1939 during Turkey’s annexation of the Sanjak of Alexandretta, approximately 12,000 Greeks fled as refugees to Damascus and Aleppo joining existing Greek communities. Some decades later, history reversed and in 2015, 1 million refugees cross the Aegean and land on the Greek shores. This will be a short presentation of their journey, highlighting how a country like Greece in its worst economic crisis was able to welcome these displaced groups, transforming a challenging reality into a story of solidarity and hope. We will explore some examples of the most innovative ways that are currently happening to help them integrate and become an integral dynamic part of the Greek society.

Jai Mexis is an award-winning architect and one of the leading young social entrepreneurs in Greece. He is the founder and director of Odyssea, a humanitarian non-governmental organisation in Greece focused on up-cycling, digital fabrication and social design. With NextFab Foundation, he established Astrolab, the first FabLab in Athens for social innovation that is serving hundreds of vulnerable groups every year. Jai was awarded the City of Glasgow Eimear Kelt Medal for Architecture 2014, as well as several other architecture prizes, specializing in the intersection of social design and architecture for humanitarian relief. His practice is already completing the design & construction of a large 4000m2 community center in the outskirts of Athens as well as, a large school for 800 orphan children in Enugu, Nigeria amongst other humanitarian & tech architectural projects.


Geographical Society of Philadelphia


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Philadelphia, PA 19146 United States
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