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High Commissioner travels to Egypt

Briefing Notes, 7 June 2002

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Kris Janowski to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 7 June 2002, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers travels to Cairo on Sunday to meet with Egyptian officials. Mr. Lubbers will also meet Amr Moussa, Secretary General of the Arab League to review and seek ways to further enhance our cooperation.

This visit is part of our efforts to further strengthen links with the Arab world and Egypt. The High Commissioner will meet with Grand Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawy who leads the Al-Azhar Mosque the world-renowned centre for Islamic study and research. He will also meet His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the leader of the Orthodox Coptic Christian faith. An important part of Mr. Lubbers' visit to Egypt includes meetings with members of its civil society and with UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Mr. Adel Imam, the Arab world's most famous comedian. Mr. Adel Imam has helped raise public awareness of UNHCR's work throughout the region.

UNHCR has worked closely with the Arab Republic of Egypt since 1954; Egypt acceded to the international refugee instruments in 1981. Egypt hosts more than 90,000 refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR, including 70,000 Palestinians. The High Commissioner returns to Geneva early Tuesday.




UNHCR country pages

Barbara Hendricks and UNHCR

Hendricks' activities for refugees since 1986.

Barbara Hendricks Biography

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Muazzez Ersoy Biography

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George Dalaras Biography

A star among the pantheon of stars.

George Dalaras and UNHCR

Read about Dalaras's long link with UNHCR.

Muazzez Ersoy and UNHCR

Learn about Muazzez Ersoy's links with UNHCR.

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie meets Iraqi refugees in Syria

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie returned to the Syrian capital Damascus on 2 October, 2009 to meet Iraqi refugees two years after her last visit. The award-winning American actress, accompanied by her partner Brad Pitt, took the opportunity to urge the international community not to forget the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees who remain in exile despite a relative improvement in the security situation in their homeland. Jolie said most Iraqi refugees cannot return to Iraq in view of the severe trauma they experienced there, the uncertainty linked to the coming Iraqi elections, the security issues and the lack of basic services. They will need continued support from the international community, she said. The Goodwill Ambassador visited the homes of two vulnerable Iraqi families in the Jaramana district of southern Damascus. She was particularly moved during a meeting with a woman from a religious minority who told Jolie how she was physically abused and her son tortured after being abducted earlier this year in Iraq and held for days. They decided to flee to Syria, which has been a generous host to refugees.

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie meets Iraqi refugees in Syria

Adel Imam

Adel Imam

Crisis in Libya

UNHCR is working with the Tunisian and Egyptian authorities and aid groups to manage the dramatic influx of tens of thousands of people fleeing Libya. By the beginning of March, two weeks after the violence erupted in Libya, more than 140,000 people had fled to the neighbouring countries, while thousands more were waiting to cross. Most are Egyptian and Tunisian nationals, though small numbers of Libyans and other nationalities are managing to escape. UNHCR is particularly concerned about thousands of refugees and other foreigners trapped inside Libya, especially people from sub-Saharan Africa. The following photo essay gives a glimpse into what is happening at the borders.

Crisis in Libya

Khaled Hosseini gets to know Muzoon, the Play video

Khaled Hosseini gets to know Muzoon, the "Malala of Syrian refugees"

Muzoon is a student, a writer and a fierce advocate for education. She is also a refugee. UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador spent time with her at Azraq camp in Jordan.
Jordan: Khaled Hosseini VisitPlay video

Jordan: Khaled Hosseini Visit

Bestselling author and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Khaled Hosseini visited Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan this week to meet with Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict. As the conflict enters its fifth year, the situation is getting more desperate for Syrians, some of whom will risk everything and cross dangerous waters to find safety in Europe.
Iraq: Khaled Hosseini VisitPlay video

Iraq: Khaled Hosseini Visit

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Khaled Hosseini, a former refugee from Afghanistan, met Syrian refugees during a trip to northern Iraq. The best-selling novelist talked to many of the refugees, including an aspiring young writer.