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Angelina Jolie’s heartfelt appeal to support Syrian refugees

25 February 20200 comments

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has penned an essay for Time magazine on the desperate plight of refugees from Syria as the conflict there appears to be entering an endgame.

Ms Jolie, a long time special envoy for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has in recent years travelled many times to visit Syrian refugees, including survivors of ISIS attacks.

In her piece for Time she writes about her experiences and latest thoughts on the refugee crisis.

“A few months into the Syrian conflict in 2011, I visited the Jordanian border at night, where shell-shocked Syrian families were crossing under cover of darkness to avoid sniper fire,” Ms Jolie wrote.

“A medic at the border post told me about a family who’d recently arrived. They carried with them their wounded 8-year-old son and his amputated leg. His leg had been severed in an airstrike. He’d begged them to bring it with them as they fled, in the hope that it could somehow be reattached.”

“At the time, I hoped that stories like his might force the world’s rich and mighty countries to intervene to stop the violence,” she said.

“But now, nearly a decade later, it strikes me as a metaphor for the Syrian conflict itself: the shattered innocence of a generation of children; the irreversible damage inflicted upon a secular, multiethnic society; and the years of pleas for help that have gone unanswered.”


Ms Jolie pleaded for intervention from the United States to help the refugees.

“When did we stop wanting to stand up for the underdog, for the innocent, for those fighting for their human rights? And what kind of country would we be if we abandoned that principle?” she asked.

“There is a lot of focus in America today on self-preservation.

“We’re watching the brutal endgame of the war in Syria as if it has little to do with us. But it does.

“We should be using our diplomatic power to insist on a cease-fire and a negotiated peace based on at least some measure of political participation, accountability and the conditions for the safe return of refugees.”

“The alternative is that Syria stands as an infamous new reference point for the brutality and destruction that it is possible to inflict with impunity upon a civilian population–and it will fall on the already loaded shoulders of the next generation to rebuild a shattered international system,” Ms Jolie wrote.