#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 2°C Wednesday 20 January 2021

"They want to be doctors, lawyers and engineers to rebuild Syria" - Liam Neeson meets refugee children

“It is incredibly inspiring to see how education so empowers them. I will never forget them.”

IRISH ACTOR LIAM Neeson says he will “never forget” the refugee children he met in Jordan this week.

Neeson is a Unicef goodwill ambassador and wrapped up a two-day visit to Jordan this week, along with his eldest son Mícheal. They met with Syrian children, young people and their families whose lives have been greatly affected by conflict – now close to its sixth year.

20161108_JOR_LiamNeeson-23 Source: © UNICEF/UN038488/Herwig

“Every person has a story of loss and of witnessing horrific violence that no one – least of all a child – should ever have to see,” said Neeson after visiting the Za’atari refugee camp near the Syrian border on Monday.

I truly admire the strength and spark of the children I met, the girls in particular. They want to be doctors, lawyers, police officers and engineers, so that when they can go back to Syria they can rebuild their country. It is incredibly inspiring to see how education so empowers them. I will never forget them.

20161107_JOR_LiamNeeson-12 Liam Neeson encourages a young female rapper during a visit to a school in Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan. Source: © UNICEF/UN038477/Herwig

UNICEF Representative Robert Jenkins said that Neeson’s visit would help the charity tell the children’s’ stories.

“We are grateful for his commitment in helping us amplify the voices of millions of Syrian children and youth, who, despite the protracted conflict, remain incredibly resilient and hopeful.”

With a population of around 80,000, Za’atari – just a short drive from the Syrian border – is the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world.

UNICEF and partners are providing support through vaccinations, medicines, clean water, sanitation, and opportunities for children and youth to get an education and learn skills for their future.

In host countries throughout the region, 2.4 million Syrian children are now living as refugees.

Read: Italy’s ‘get tough’ approach to refugees leading to unlawful expulsions, ill-treatment – report

Read: Stephen Rea opens pop-up café aiming to raise awareness about Direct Provision

Read next: