Making things personal. Angelina Jolie referenced her own six children as she paid a visit to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan on Friday, September 9, telling reporters that there is a disproportionate number of young people living at the camp.
“There are children here who remember no other life than this harsh, desert environment and barbed wire fences,” she told reporters. “There are teens here who bear terrible mental and physical wounds of the conflict. … Over half of all the refugees in Jordan are under 18. My own children are of that age. And like any other parent, it is impossible for me to imagine what it would be like for my own children in this situation. And it breaks my heart.”
This is the fourth trip to Jordan for Jolie, 41, who spoke as a special envoy for the UNHCR Friday. She and husband Brad Pitt share six children — Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8.
Jolie’s plea comes as Syria enters its fifth year of civil war, a conflict that has displaced about five million refugees; Jordan hosts more than 600,000 refugees, according to the United Nations.
“This is not a problem of Jordan’s making, or that Jordan should be left to bear alone,” Jolie said. “Jordan has been warning for years that they could reach a point where they on their own could do no more. The world has known about the situation here for months but no solution has been put forward. Refugees want to know when can they get back to their home. They don’t want to be passive recipients of aid, they want a political solution.”
The By the Sea actress ended her speech with a plea to the world leaders who will be meeting at the UN General Assembly in a few days’ time to “ask the fundamental question of what are the root causes of the Syrian conflict, and what will it take to end it.”
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