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Turkish actress calls for focusing on education during Zaatari tour

By Muath Freij - Mar 04,2015 - Last updated at Mar 04,2015

ZAATARI – What caught the attention of Turkish actress Tuba Büyüküstün when she visited the Zaatari Refugee Camp on Wednesday was Syrian girls’ thirst for education, she said. 

Büyüküstün, who is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, urged Syrians to seek education regardless of the situation in their country.

“We are here to give them hope and the motive to live. When I looked at the eyes of mothers, I noticed that they are the source of hope for their children,” she told The Jordan Times in an interview at the camp, some 90k northeast of Amman.

The Turkish actress, who spoke through an interpreter, met with a number of Syrian children at the camp, who performed a short play as a welcoming gesture.

Many of them gathered around Büyüküstün to shake her hand or take photos using their parents’ mobile phones. 

Büyüküstün gained popularity in the Arab world for her part in the Turkish soap opera “Ihlamurlar altinda” (Under the lime trees) which was dubbed into Arabic.

The Istanbul-born actress said her one-day visit is a bid to highlight the problems facing refugees.

“I noticed that most refugees are children and there are many who are not receiving education. I came today to highlight many of the issues that Syrians need here and this is a step that everyone has to take for the sake of refugees in Jordan,” she added.  

Büyüküstün, a graduate of the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, noted there are around 24 camps for Syrian refugees in her country, and she only visited one of them. 

The privilege of being an actress, she said, brings her closer to people.

“I’m happy when I make people’s voices heard.”

Büyüküstün said it is important for any actor or artist to have the chance to visit camps like Zaatari, where around 80,000 refugees currently reside. 

“To have the chance to be close to children and ask them about their feelings is a good step to boost their morale, which is more important to me than being a famous actress.”

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