Angelina Jolie traveled to Turkey’s Syrian border on Friday in her role as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador, to visit more than 9,600 Syrian refugees who have fled a bloody crackdown on Syrian antigovernment protesters.

In a recent video for the UNHCR to commemorate World Refugee day on June 20, Jolie, 36, called attention to the realities of war and its consequences on families. “Every day, thousands of people run from war, persecution and terror,” she said. “One family forced to flee is too many. One child growing up in a camp is too many. One refugee without hope is too many.”

Jolie arrived in the Turkish province of Hatay on Friday afternoon on a private jet with boxes of toys for the refugee camps. She was then taken by motorcade to a camp in the town of Altinozu. Turkish authorities hung a 45 foot banner, which read, “Goodness Angel of the World, Welcome” near the entrance of the camp.

Crowds of mostly women gathered on the balconies and rooftops of nearby homes and waited for hours to catch a glimpse of the actress. Police kept both fans and media away from Jolie at the airport, and most cameras were removed from rooftops and high points. One fan held a poster that read, “Angelina, kiss me for world peace.”


A week of entertainment news in your in-box.
We find the news you need to know, so you don't have to.

Jolie spent two-and-a-half hours with the refugees, asking how they were in Arabic and then conversing with them through an interpreter, Turkey's NTV television reported. She took notes and showed special interest in the women and children.

An anti-Syrian protest broke out at the camp hours before Jolie arrived. Protesters carried a white coffin that had “The Society of Arab states” written on one side and “The Conscience of Russia and China” on the other. They waved Turkish and Syrian flags and held up banners that said, "Stop the killing of children and the destruction of mosques." They could also be heard shouting messages of thanks for Turkey.

This is not Jolie’s first such trip. Back in March, Jolie paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan to visit refugee camps. In April, she traveled to Tunisia during its refugee crisis as thousands fled from its war-torn neighbor, Libya.

Jolie’s interest in humanitarian affairs was piqued in 2000 when she was filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in Cambodia.

Leave a comment

Read more about: