On Sunday, Angelina Jolie met with Syrian refugees at the biggest refugee settlement in the Middle East. Accompanying her were two of her children, Zahara and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, who went with the star and UNHCR Special Envoy to meet children living at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. According to the UN Refugee Agency's news center, Jolie's kids spent their time playing with Syrian girls who were part of an after-school learning initiative at the camp. The girls, according to the UNHCR, described education as “their greatest source of hope for the future.”
“[Zahara and Siloh] spent time today speaking and playing with children their own age who have been forced from their homes, whose family members have been killed or have disappeared, and who are struggling with trauma and illness,” Jolie said later at a news conference, “but who at the end of the day are just children, with the same hopes and rights as children in any other nation.”
According to the news report, this is Jolie's fifth visit to Jordan since the beginning of Syria's conflict. The Zaatari Refugee Camp is home to more than 80,000 displaced Syrians, only a fraction of the 5.48 million Syrians who have had to flee the country. During the visit, Jolie called for a political solution to the Syrian conflict that respected the “dignity and human rights” of all Syrians.
“We should never forget that the war began with demands by Syrians for greater human rights,” she said during a news conference. “Peace in their country has to be built on that. It cannot be built on impunity for the targeting of civilians by all sides of the conflict, the bombing of schools and hospitals, barrel bombs, torture, chemical weapons and rape used as a weapon of war.”
“So that is my message to the international community today,” she continued. “Yes, of course, please do more to help meet the needs of desperate Syrian families and the countries hosting them. But above all please provide the leadership and strength needed to negotiate a principled end to this senseless war – without sacrificing the dignity and human rights of Syrian families. That is non-negotiable.”