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Friday 28 July 2017

Neeson inspired by Syrian refugee children on visit to Jordan

Liam Neeson listens to stories from Syrian and Jordanian students at a community centre in Amman. Photo: Sam McNeil/AP
Liam Neeson listens to stories from Syrian and Jordanian students at a community centre in Amman. Photo: Sam McNeil/AP
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Liam Neeson travelled to meet displaced Syrian children and their families who have fled the violence of the conflict.

The actor from Ballymena, Co Antrim, was on a two-day visit to Jordan with his eldest son Michael to the Za'atari refugee camp near the Syrian border.

He said that no one - least of all a child - should have to witness horrific violence.

"I truly admire the strength and spark of the children I met, the girls in particular," he said. "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."

Mr Neeson met with girls and boys at a Unicef-supported school and a Makani (My space in Arabic) centre that provides psychosocial support services to children and youth.

Liam and Micheal (21) also visited a Syrian family in their two-room shelter, which is home to five people. They later played a football match with Jordanian and Syrian children involved in a sports for peace programme managed by Unicef's partner, Generations for Peace.

With a population of around 80,000, Za'atari is the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world.

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