Angelina Jolie’s deeply moving op-ed in ‘The New York Times’ about her visit to Iraq highlights the appalling reality of violence in the Middle East. She describes stories of suffering Syrian refugees in gruesome detail, revealing that the trip left her ‘speechless’.
Angelina Jolie visited the Khanke Camp for Internally Displaced People on Jan. 25, and was horrified by the stories she heard when speaking with victims of ISIS. The Unbroken director wrote an eye-opening op-ed in The New York Times about the unspeakable violence that is tearing apart the Middle East — as well as calling us to action to fight for human rights.
Angelina Jolie On Syrian Refugees: ‘NYT’ Article Brings Awareness To Human Rights
Angelina, 39, witnessed the violence in Iraq first-hand and described it as worse than ever before.
“I have visited Iraq five times since 2007, and I have seen nothing like the suffering I’m witnessing now,” Angelina writes in her article. “For many years I have visited camps, and every time, I sit in a tent and hear stories. I try my best to give support. To say something that will show solidarity and give some kind of thoughtful guidance. On this trip I was speechless.”
The mother of six touches on the horrifying stories she heard from ISIS victims.
“What do you say to a mother with tears streaming down her face who says her daughter is in the hands of the Islamic State, or ISIS, and that she wishes she were there, too? Even if she had to be raped and tortured, she says, it would be better than not being with her daughter.”
“What do you say to the 13-year-old girl who describes the warehouses where she and the others lived and would be pulled out, three at a time, to be raped by the men? When her brother found out, he killed himself.”
This is so saddening. Angelina goes on to express how nothing could have prepared her for this awful reality of “human misery.” As she notes, the worst part is that no progress has been made on ending the war, and the violence will only continue to worsen. Syria’s neighboring countries have captured four million Syrian refugees. Everyday there are bombs going off. People are dying left and right, while children are being taken away from their families. As Angelina says, we need to step up.
“What does it say about our commitment to human rights and accountability that we seem to tolerate crimes against humanity happening in Syria and Iraq on a daily basis?,” Angelina continues. “It is not enough to defend our values at home, in our newspapers and in our institutions. We also have to defend them in the refugee camps of the Middle East, and the ruined ghost towns of Syria.”
We applaud Angelina’s noble efforts to bring awareness to human rights. We hope that people are inspired and moved by Angelina’s heart-wrenching piece.
HollywoodLifers, tell us YOUR thoughts on Angelina’s op-ed. Were you horrified by the encounters she wrote about? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
— Julianne Ishler