February 18, 2014

Malala sees Syrian refugees crossing border into Jordan

Ewan Watt

Online Editor, Theirworld

 

Malala with refugee child in Jordan

Malala with refugee child at Jordanian border Picture: Malala Fund

Education campaigner Malala Yousafzai has visited the Syrian-Jordan barrier to meet refugees and their children.

The teenage activist went to the border crossing at Hadalat, where hundreds pour into the country every day.

Malala, who was there with her father Ziadduin on February 16, said: "I could see little children with no shoes and with dirty clothes and all suffering from pain because they had started walking at 4 o'clock in the morning."

Her father said: "It is a big difference when you hear about something and when you see something. I could not control my tears. We cried."

The pair helped some of the refugees cross the no-man's land between the two countries. And Malala even joined in a game of football with the children.

UNHRC, the UN refugee agency, says it now has 600,000 Syrian refugees registered in Jordan.

In 2013 Malala challenged world leaders to back plans to educate Syrian children who had fled to Lebanon to escape the civil war.

The Pakistani teenager, who moved to the UK after being shot by the Taliban, said at the time: ""I can feel what's happening in Syria because it's what happened to us in Pakistan."

Marwan refugee boy at Jordan border

 

Marwan is helped by UNHRC staff at the Jordanian border Picture: Andrew Harper/UNHRC

The agency also tweeted a picture on the same day showing a four-year-old boy crossing the desert to get to the Syria-Jordan border.

The boy, called Marwan, had become temporarily separated from his family. 

UNHRC chief in Jordan Andrew Harper said this was not unusual as groups surged towards the gate at the border.

Marwan was reunited with his mother only a few minutes later after falling a few hundred yards behind the main group of refugees.

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