12 pics of Angelina Jolie demanding the world help Syrian refugees.

The actor wants change.

Wherever Angelina Jolie goes, adoring fans will wait just to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood star.

Like in Athens, Greece, where the actor was greeted by crowds on March 16, 2016.


Photo by Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images.

But the families in the photo above couldn't be further away from the bright lights of Hollywood (or the comforts of home, for that matter). They're refugees staying in Greece's port of Piraeus.

Jolie, a UNHCR special envoy, dropped by the port on Wednesday to greet the refugees, most of whom fled Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan due to war.

Photo by Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images.

Jolie is also meeting with leaders there to reiterate the humanitarian group's commitment in helping Greece — where about 85% of all the Middle East's refugees have poured into Europe — to reinforce and expand resettlement efforts.

Her visit came just a day after a rainy trip to Lebanon, where she gave an emotional speech pleading for the world to do more to alleviate the refugee crisis.

Photo by Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images.

"Every Syrian refugee I have spoken to on this visit, without exception, talked of their desire to return home when the war is over and it is safe for them to do so," she said. "Not with resignation, but with the light in their eyes of people dreaming of being reunited with the country that they love."

In recent years, Jolie has become one of the most visible figures demanding action on the Syrian refugee crisis. Like in 2007, when she visited a camp in Damascus, where 1,200 people who'd been torn away from their communities were staying.

Photo by Morris Bernard/UN High Commissioner for Refugeesvia Getty Images.

Or when she met with an elderly woman, who was trapped inside an Iraqi camp, unable to leave due to violence in neighboring regions.

Photo by Morris Bernard/UN High Commissioner for Refugeesvia Getty Images.

In 2012, Jolie visited victims of war near the Syria-Jordan border.

Photo by Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images.

At that time, more than 250,000 people had fled Syria due to conflict — now, that figure's closer to 4.8 million.

Jolie met with displaced families in Khanke last January, too, a few months before giving them a voice on the world stage at the UN.

Photo by Andrew McConnell/UNHCR via Getty Images.

"In 2011, the Syrian refugees I met were full of hope," Jolie said in a speech in front of the UN Security Council in April 2015 in New York City. "They said 'please, tell people what is happening to us,' trusting that the truth alone would guarantee international action."

"When I returned, hope was turning into anger: the anger of the man who held his baby up to me, asking, 'Is this a terrorist? Is my son a terrorist?' On my last visit in February, anger had subsided into resignation, misery and the bitter question, 'Why are we, the Syrian people, not worth saving?'”

And throughout all of these travels, she's had a special place in her heart for those most vulnerable in times of war: children.

Photo by J. Tanner/UNHCR via Getty Images.

Photo by Andrew McConnell/UNHCR via Getty Images.

Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

Her most recent visit with refugees, however, comes at an especially critical time.

A summit is underway this week in Brussels, with the European Union and Turkey hoping to finalize a resettlement strategy in the region by March 18.

The deal, however, hasn't been without controversy, as it could send thousands of Syrians who came to Greece unlawfully back to Turkey in exchange for "genuine" asylum seekers — a move some protesters say is both illegal and immoral, given international law regarding refugees.


Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images.

What's more, ISIS — the terror group that's uprooted millions of families now seeking refuge in Europe — is officially considered responsible for genocide, Secretary of State John Kerry announced on March 17.

The categorization reflects a grave situation unfolding where Jolie is working on the ground.

During this pivotal week, Jolie met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in hopes of making sure helping refugees remains a top priority.

Photo by Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images.

"I am here to reinforce efforts by UNHCR and the Greek government to step up the emergency response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation," Jolie said in a press release. "I look forward to meeting authorities, partners and volunteers working on the ground to improve conditions and ensure the vulnerable are protected."

Photo by Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images.

Jolie may have a bigger megaphone than you when it comes to promoting action, but you shouldn't feel hopeless.

There are plenty of ways everyday people can fight for refugees, from spreading critical information on the crisis through social media channels, to lending a hand as a volunteer, or donating funds for support. Learn more about ways you can help here.

More

Mom and blogger Mary Katherine Backstrom regularly shares snippets of life with her two children on her Facebook page. One particularly touching interaction with her daughter is melting hearts and blowing minds due to the three-year-old's wise words about forgiveness.

Even adults struggle with the concept of forgiveness. Entire books have been written about how and why to forgive those who have wronged us, but many still have a hard time getting it. Who would guess that a preschooler could encapsulate what forgiveness means in a handful of innocent words?

Keep Reading Show less
Family

California has a housing crisis. Rent is so astronomical, one San Francisco company is offering bunk bedsfor $1,200 a month; Google even pledged$1 billion to help tackle the issue in the Bay Area. But the person who might fix it for good? Kanye West.

The music mogul first announced his plan to build low-income housing on Twitter late last year.

"We're starting a Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy home. We're looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better," West tweeted.

Keep Reading Show less
Cities

The U.S. women's soccer team won the Women's World Cup, but the victory is marred by the fact that the team is currently fighting for equal pay. In soccer, the game is won by scoring points, but the fight for equal pay isn't as clearly winnable and the playing field isn't as even.

We live in a world where winning the World Cup is easier than winning equal pay, but co-captain Megan Rapinoe says there's one easy way fans can support the team: Go see games.

Some people argue the men's team deserves to get paid more because they are more successful and earn more money for the United States Soccer Federation. Pay depends on merchandise and ticket sales, and in general, men's sporting events tend to draw a bigger crowd than women's sporting events. It's not about sex, many argue; it's about the fact that people just prefer to see men play.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

You think you know someone pretty well when you spend years with them, but, as we've seen time and again, that's not always the case. And though many relationships don't get to a point where the producers of "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?" start calling every day just to chat, the reality is that sometimes partners will reveal shocking things even after you thought you'd been all shocked out.

That's the case for one woman whose Reddit thread has recently gone viral. The 25-year-old, who's been with her boyfriend for five years, took to a forum for relationship advice to ask if it was normal that her seemingly cool and loving boyfriend recently revealed women shouldn't have a fundamental right. (And no, it's not abortion — although there are a lot of "otherwise best ever boyfriends" out there who want to deny women the rights to bodily autonomy, too.)

Keep Reading Show less
Recommended