A meeting with a Palestinian refugee has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel in pain after straining her compassion muscle.
The incident happened during a meeting at a high school when the chancellor tried to comfort 14-year-old Reem Sahwil after telling the refugee she would be unable to stay in Germany. As Ms Merkel leaned in to hug a Sahwil devastated that her dreams of better life were being denied by Merkel government policies, the chancellor appeared to wince and pull up suddenly.
A spokesperson for Ms Merkel confirmed the injury, saying the problem was the German leader’s compassion muscle was weak and underdeveloped for lack of use, and its sudden use caused it to seize up.
“It is like a lot of these injuries, a lack of warm up is a major factor. But the chancellor has spent the past few months talking to Greece and so the compassion muscle just hasn’t come in to play all. It’s really much more the ‘give me all your goddamn money or I’ll blow up your banks’ muscle that’s been getting a strong work out.”
The spokesperson said that Ms Merkel would receive a course of therapy to recover, but the injury was not expected to get in the way of her duties, as “there is just not much call for compassion in her line of work”.
For her part, Sahwil told The (un)Australian her heart went out to Merkel: “I thought I had problems as a representative of one of the world’s largest refugee populations whose homeland remains occupied, but when Ms Merkel responded to my comments by saying ‘politics is hard’, my heart just broke.
“It is just such a sad situation, and you just think ‘if only I could do something to help’. But asides from disappearing off the face of the Earth, I am not sure there is much I can do.
“I just wish her the best on her road to recovery.”