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Liam Neeson meets Syrian children during visit to refugee camp

By Staff Reporter

Published 11/11/2016

Liam Neeson with Syrian and Jordanian students at a community centre in a working-class neighbourhood of Amman, Jordan
Liam Neeson with Syrian and Jordanian students at a community centre in a working-class neighbourhood of Amman, Jordan
Oxfam Ireland campaigns executive Christine McCartney with a child’s life jacket as Belfast Lough’s foreshore was strewn with dozens of life jackets to highlight the realities of the refugee crisis. The life jackets were collected from the beaches of the Greek island Chios and were used by adults and children making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean
The Ballymena actor poses for a photograph with the group

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

The actor, from Ballymena, was on a two-day visit to Jordan with his eldest son, Michael (21), stopping at 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," Neeson added.

"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 empowers them. "

The actor also told how the violence of the Troubles affected him as a child.

"I kind of grew up cautious - very, very cautious," he said. "I have kind of seen it in some of the kids here, in their eyes, but once you engage them and talk to them that rapidly disappears."

The Taken actor met with girls and boys at a UNICEF-supported school and a centre that provides psychosocial support services to young people.

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

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