Angelina Jolie Visits Refugee Reception In Athens
Angelina Jolie was met with hundreds of migrants when she arrived at a port in Athens, Greece, where thousands are stranded.
Angelina Jolie In Athens
Jolie, a special envoy for the United Nations refugee agency, was swarmed as she tried to make her way through the crowd Wednesday. Trying to connect to the refugees in her midst, Jolie asked the eager reporters and photographers to be more “thoughtful.” Leaning down to speak to a young boy who was present, Jolie explained her reason for being there and encouraged him to keep his strength.
“‘I’m here to learn and speak with you and the agencies and the government to learn what is happening, OK?” she said, according to the Daily Mail. “Try to stay strong.”
There are currently an estimated 4,000 refugees that are more or less trapped at the port of Pirause in Athens. They are waiting to either have the opportunity to head north through Macedonia, or to be placed in an official refugee shelter. In total, there are about 44,000 refugees and migrants stuck in Greece.
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On Tuesday, Jolie weathered a torrential downpour in the Bekka Valley in Lebanon to mark the fifth anniversary of the conflict in Syria. Thus far, the conflict has forced some 4.8 million refugees to seek relative safety in Lebanon.
“I appeal to all governments to uphold the UN Convention on Refugees and basic human rights law, because it is both necessary and possible to protect people fleeing persecution and death and protect citizens at home. It should not be reduced to a choice between one or the other,” Jolie said during her appearance. “In my view it comes down to understanding the law, choosing not to be afraid, and showing political will. For the sake of the people of Syria, and for all the refugees around the world looking desperately to the international community to provide solutions, I hope we will do this.
Jolie added, “And I also hope that the 15th of March next year will finally herald a Syria at peace, and will be the beginning of a time of returns so that these refugees are able to fulfill their desire to go home.”
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