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Amal Clooney meets Syrian refugees, discusses her own family fleeing war

By WITW Staff on March 17, 2016

To mark the fifth anniversary of the war in Syria, which has displaced millions of people both within the country and internationally, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and her husband George met with Syrian refugees living in Berlin. As the people they met shared stories about being imprisoned, tortured and eventually escaping the violence, Amal decided to talk about how her own family had to flee war when she was only three years old. “My own family is from Lebanon,“ she says in a video of the meeting, released by the International Rescue Committee. “They also ran away from a war and was lucky enough to be accepted by a European country in 1982 when the violence there was really bad. Many years later, my family is doing well. My father has returned to Beirut,” adding: “I hope you will be able to go back to a safe and free Syria.”

George talked about how his own family came to the U.S. as Irish refugees 100 years ago and said the U.S. seems to have forgotten what it stands for: “We always look around at the end of these tragedies and say if we knew, we would have done something and the reality is, of course we know,” he said. “What is shocking to me is not that it happened but its continuing to happen for five years.”

The celebrity couple has been publicly campaigning on behalf of the Syrian refugees, meeting with Angela Merkel to discuss her open-door policy for refugees and urging other Western governments to act.

Amal and George Clooney talk to Syrian families in Berlin

Today, on the 5th anniversary of the Syria conflict, we share a message of hope stemming from a recent meeting with George Clooney and Amal Clooney and three Syrian refugee families now safe in Germany. The families shared with the Clooney's the terror of fleeing war-ravaged Syria and their hopes for a better future. In turn, George also shared his family’s history of flourishing in America after fleeing Ireland, and Amal her family’s history of leaving war-torn Lebanon for the United Kingdom. We're honored to have organized this meeting. Share this video if you stand #withSyria, IRC, George, and Amal in making #RefugeesWelcome– wherever they are.

Posted by International Rescue Committee on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Read the full story at The Independent.