The goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), actress Angelina Jolie, visited Lebanon secretly Saturday 22/2/2014 afternoon on a humanitarian UN mission related to the Syrian Refugees Program of the UN.
She stayed at Cristal Grand Hotel Kadri, Zahle, Brasil Street, till Monday 24/2/2014.
The Lebanese Army and Interior Security took some security measures and closed the roads leading to the hotel. Our sources confirmed that Angelina was entering the hotel from a back door and not from the main entrance.
Jolie left the hotel Sunday at 7:30 in the morning on a tour at the Syrian refugee camps in the Bekaa Valley, initiated by a visit to the camp in Al Fayda area – Zahle, accompanied by one single private camera man, excluding all other press and social media crews, who have been ordered by her escorts to leave the area. For security purposes, her convoy had to drive through difficult terrain in a longer off road circular trip.
Angelina left Zahle sunday at 2:00 PM to visit the Syrian refugee camps in Arsal (Northern Bekaa) despite the security situation, bombs and rockets. She was back to the hotel at 6 PM.
In this context, UNCHR spokeswoman in Lebanon Joelle Eid said: “Angelina will visit Syrian refugee families in Bekaa, but will not hold any press conferences.”
Angelina finished her tour on Sunday 23/2/2014 and left the hotel Monday 24/2/2014 at 8:00 AM. She had a meeting with the UNHCR crew in Zahle @ 9 AM before leaving to Beirut, where she met President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail.
During the UNHCR meeting, Jolie said that meeting with orphaned Syrian children in the eastern Bekaa Valley was a “heart-rending experience” and thanked Lebanon for assisting Syrian refugees, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in statement. “They have lost their families and their childhood has been hijacked by war. They are so young, yet they are bearing the burdens of their reality as if they are adults,” it quoted Jolie as saying.
Jolie also welcomed a UN Security Council aid resolution adopted on Saturday as “a long overdue step in the right direction for the hundreds of thousands of innocent Syrian men, women and children trapped in hard to reach areas across Syria.” She voiced hope that the resolution would be “the start of a new phase in ending the conflict.”
The UNHCR goodwill ambassador also urged the international community to provide funds to help Lebanon cope with the refugee crisis which has exacerbated its own limited resources. “The generosity and solidarity shown by Lebanon and Lebanese to its neighbour serves as an example to the world for which we should all be grateful. We all need to help them bear this burden”, said Jolie.
This was Jolie’s third visit to Lebanon on behalf of UNHCR.
Official UNHCR article about Jolie’s visit: http://www.unhcr.org/530b5c686.html
Here are some photos of her visit:
SHARBEL FARAJ SOURCES