UNHCR Egypt Celebrates World Refugee Day



Wed, 21 Jun 2017 - 11:01 GMT


Wed, 21 Jun 2017 - 11:01 GMT

Tunisian Actress Dora at UNHCR Event Egypt - Press Photo

Tunisian Actress Dora at UNHCR Event Egypt - Press Photo

CAIRO – 21 June 2017: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Egypt marked World Refugee Day with a major event at Zamalek Cinema in collaboration with the Arab Cinema Center on Tuesday.

Used as a day to both remember the plight of refugees and highlight their contributions to host societies, this year’s event, themed “Refugee Voices in Film,” aimed to shed light on the vital role films can play in standing with refugees and conveying their stories.

In a statement issued by UNHCR Egypt, UNHCR Egypt representative Karim Atassi said “Working with refugees is hard and today I will tell you what the secret is in order to be able to continue doing this job. The secret is the refugees themselves. They are the source of inspiration. They become gradually day after day, after hearing their stories, they become our heroes. They are the school of hope, school of courage.”

The event included a speech by UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and actor Adel Imam, “We should not stand still and watch the tragedies escalate, we should all give our hands to the refugees everywhere,” said Mr. Imam as he spoke about his past missions to Yemen and Syria.

Egypt Stands with Refugees - UNHCR Event Egypt - UNHCR Twitter account

Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak spoke about the importance of highlighting the difficulties of refugees on film. In addition, she spoke about the plight of refugees in Jordan and the need for supporting families “who have lost everything and the opportunity to live with dignity.” Jordan is host to over 700,000 refugees from Syria and other neighboring countries, with 80 percent living in urban areas and the reminder in camps, the largest being Zata’ari camp.

The event included the launch of the “Law Kan” music video by Egyptian band Wust El Balad, directed by Amr Salama. The leading film director said the song and video are meant to remind people that “everyone has a right to their own home.” Event host Nardine Farag said, “The song asks one to pause and imagine - If you were in their place – what would you do?”

The UNHCR screened a number of films including the rhythmic poem “What They Took With Them,” in which actors such as Keira Knightley and Juliet Stevenson and writer Neil Gaiman highlight what refugees take when they flee, and the “Dangerous Crossings” music video, created by six popular artists from Somalia and Ethiopia as well as renowned musician and actor Hany Adel from Egypt.

The evening ended with a screening of the award-winning short feature film ”Mare Nostrum” by Rana Kazkaz and Anas Khalaf, in which a Syrian father on a Mediterranean shore makes a decision that puts his daughter’s life at risk.

World Refugee Day

is observed annually on June 20 to raise awareness of refugees’ situations across the world. World Refugee Day was declared by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly under Resolution 55/76 on December 4, 2000. The day was officially celebrated as an annual event starting in 2001, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the 1951 Convention Refugees status by the UN General Assembly.

According to UNHCR, Egypt has been hosting refugees for more than 60 years. The country currently hosts over 208,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers from more than 60 different countries.



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