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Entries in Angelina Jolie (4)

Friday
Dec072012

Angelina Jolie Visits Syrian Refugees

ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(NEW YORK) -- Angelina Jolie, who met with Syrian refugees in the neighboring country of Jordan in September, returned to the region this week.

The United Nations' refugee agency has announced that Jolie traveled to the Jordan-Syria border Wednesday night to meet with Syrian refugees who had just left their conflict-ridden country.  Jolie is a special envoy for the UNHCR.

Jolie said in a statement released Thursday, "What I saw last night is a dramatic example of the plight of hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have been uprooted by the fighting and are in a desperate search for safety. ...I appeal to all sides in the conflict to do all they can to ensure the safe passage of these innocent civilians."

The UNHCR also announced that Jolie and her fiancé, Brad Pitt, made a $50,000 donation for the purchase of family tents for refugees.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct182012

Angelina Jolie Pens Column on Pakistani Girl Shot by Taliban

Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Actress and human rights activist Angelina Jolie was touched by the story of 14-year-old Pakistani education activist Malala Yousufzai, who was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban.  The actress has penned a column for The Daily Beast in which she details discussing the situation for her kids.

"Malala’s story stayed with them throughout the day, and that night they were full of questions," writes Jolie, who at 37 is a mother of six.  "We learned about Malala together, watching her interviews and reading her diaries. ... Our 8-year-old suggested that the world build a statue for Malala, and fittingly create a reading nook near it.  Our 6-year-old asked the practical question of whether Malala had any pets, and if so, who would take care of them?  She also asked about Malala’s parents and if they were crying."

"Malala is proof that it only takes the voice of one brave person to inspire countless men, women, and children," Jolie writes in her final paragraph.

Yousufzai was targeted by the Taliban for supporting education for girls.  She was shot a week ago while on her way home from school in Mingora, a village in the Swat Valley.  The unknown assailant reportedly approached her school bus and asked those on board to identify the young girl.  He then shot her and two classmates before fleeing.

Since the shooting, Yousufzai has been kept under medical sedation in a U.K. hospital.  Doctors are optimistic that she'll recover from her wounds.

Yousufzai's story inspired Jolie, along with Daily Beat editor Tina Brown, to lend their support to the Women in the World Foundation's campaign to raise money for girls fighting for education in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Jolie's own Education Partnership for Children of Conflict is set to donate the first $50,000 to the fundraiser.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep112012

Angelina Jolie Visits Syrian Refugee Camp

ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(JERUSALEM) -- The world’s most famous advocate for refugees visited Jordan’s dusty and fast-growing Zaatari refugee camp for Syrians Tuesday, describing it as “a horrific situation and a very, very critical time.”

Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie, in her role as special envoy for the United Nations' refugee agency, toured the camp near the Syrian border that is now home to almost 30,000 refugees. She walked around the camp with top U.N. refugee official Antonio Guterres and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

"When you meet so many innocent people and civilians, the people of Syria are asking who is on their side. 'Who is going to help us as the months go on?'" she said.

 

The U.N. has registered a quarter of a million refugees who have fled the violence of Syria’s 18-month conflict. But the actual number of refugees crossing into neighboring Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan is far higher as many don’t register, going instead to stay with family and friends, melting into border towns or going farther afield.

There are around 28,000 refugees at Zaatari, though Jordan has taken in some 200,000, according to Guterres. The camp grows by about 1,000 refugees every day, most crossing at night to avoid detection by Syrian troops near the border.

“At present we’re trying to cope with what we have, but we also need additional assistance,” UNHCR coordinator Karen Whiting told ABC News the day before Jolie’s visit. “Additional funds, and then also additional agencies to come and assist us to help provide protection and assistance to the refugees.”

“The major priority right now is to ensure that we’re ready for the winter which means that we need to take actions right away to ensure that [the refugees] are protected from the elements and that they’re in conditions of safety and dignity,” she said.

Row upon row of white UNHCR tents are lined up in the sprawling camp in the middle of the desert, the paths between them made up of rocks and powdery sand. As the sun raises temperatures to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, the wind lifts huge clouds of sand, sending it across the camp and coating everything with a layer of brown dust.

Even as the Jordanian government and aid agencies insist they are doing everything to make the refugees comfortable, many complain about the conditions, especially the swirling dust.

“There’s no milk,” said Moaz Hassan Bikai, 20, as he cradled his sleeping 8-month old niece. Others gathering around complained of “rotten food” and non-potable water. Many said they would rather be back in Syria than live in the harsh conditions.

Guterres agreed Tuesday that the conditions are “still not acceptable” and called for “massive international funding.” The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Dr. Rajiv Shah, visited Zaatari last week, promising an additional $21 million in aid.

As vans drove among the tents handing out boxed meals, representatives from Save the Children walked outside the tents with a megaphone, calling on parents to register their children for school. Many have not been inside a classroom since the conflict began a year and a half ago.

Zaatari’s maximum capacity is 80,000 refugees and with more than 100,000 expected before the end of the year, one or two more camps are expected to be built soon nearby.

“We have to be prepared,” said Whiting. “At present the situation would indicate that we’ll be here for a while.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr262012

Angelina Jolie Named Honorary Citizen of Bosnian Capital

ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(SARAJEVO, Bosnia) -- The capital of Bosnia has named Angelina Jolie an honorary citizen because of her work on the film In the Land of Blood and Honey.

According to E! Online, officials in Sarajevo will honor Jolie at a ceremony on May 3 in recognition of her role in maintaining the "truth" about the 1990s Bosnian War, which served as a backdrop to In the Land of Blood and Honey. The film represented Jolie's directorial debut.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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