Belfast Telegraph

Downton star visits refugee camp

Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery has spoken of the "traumatic conditions" she witnessed when she visited a Syrian refugee camp.

Michelle, who plays Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV period drama, travelled to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, she said she "had been unaware of the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis" in Syria.

The Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated English actress met children and families in the camp and in rented accommodation in Amman.

She wrote: "It became clear to me that many of the refugees had come from a life not dissimilar to ours - with jobs, homes and families - but the war had robbed them of the life they knew and loved.

"All of the Syrian refugees, young and old, are innocent victims of an unrelenting conflict, but it is the plight of the children that most concerns me."

Michelle, who is supporting a fundraising campaign which Oxfam is launching this week, described the living conditions in the camp: "They live in a sparse, makeshift city, most of them in rudimentary tents or caravans that offer little shelter from the harsh elements.

"Yet despite what they are going through, and the traumatic conditions under which they are forced to live, the people I met on my first day at the camp remained positive, cheery and house-proud, even in those meagre tents or caravans."

Michelle urged the British public to "give whatever they can to help Oxfam's appeal to help these people".

Zaatari is home to more than 110,000 displaced Syrians, half of them under 18, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

It is under the joint administration of the Jordanian Government and the UN Human Rights Council.

There are now over two million registered Syrian refugees from Syria, since the country's civil war began in 2011.

Donations can be made at to Oxfam's 12 Days of Giving Campaign which aims to raise £1 million for the emergency response to the Syria crisis.


From Belfast Telegraph