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Quirky Pairing for Refugee Day

June 21, 2002|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A celebration of World Refugee Day on Thursday brought together an unusual diplomatic pair: Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and actress Angelina Jolie.

Jolie, a United Nations goodwill ambassador, has visited refugee camps around the world. Thursday, she helped Powell present awards to four students and cut a ribbon to open an exhibit of pictures, children's artwork and performances by refugee artists in the main hall of Union Station.

She praised refugees for their courage despite being uprooted from home and losing everything.

"Refugees are just like you and me," Jolie said. "They want the same things we do."

This year's World Refugee Day honors refugee women, who with their children make up the bulk of the world's 22 million refugees.

"To look into the face of a refugee woman is to peer into the very eyes of the exodus," Powell said. "They are also the eyes of hope."

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