DUBAI: Lebanese-Australian model and influencer Jessica Kahawaty took her Instagram followers on a trip to Jordan’s Al-Azraq refugee camp near the border with Syria on Wednesday, in a bid to raise awareness about the plight of the families who live there.
Hosted by UNICEF, she posted a series of Instagram Stories about her visit to the camp, including information on the various educational programs being run in the facility. Kahawaty also highlighted the work done by women in the camp, who have taken to finding scraps of material to create and sell small bags and fashion items.
The influencer, who regularly emcees events across the Middle East, took to Instagram a day before her trip to share the news with her 720,000 followers.
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The reason I’ve been silent. Preparing for one of the biggest humanitarian missions. This is my third and it doesn’t get any easier. Al-Azraq Refugee Camp, off the Syrian border. Tomorrow. "لم أرَ وردةً منذ وقتٍ طويل" – هذه هي كلمات ريان البالغة من العمر 13 عاماً والمقيمة في مخيّم الأزرق للنازيحين السوريين في الأردن. خلال ساعات قليلة، سأكون في مخيّم الأزرق للنازحين على الحدود السّورية لمشاركتكم قصص أمل، حكايات حسرة وللتّعرف على مواهب عديدة موجودة بين 13 مليون و500 ألف سوريّ ابتعد عن موطنه بسبب الحرب الأهلية في سوريا. انا ممتنّة لإعطاء هؤلاء الأطفال فرصة إيصال أصواتهم. فالهدف هو خلق الوعي والآمال بجمع التّبرعات التي يستحقّونها الأولاد النّازحين
“Preparing for one of the biggest humanitarian missions. This is my third and it doesn’t get any easier. Al-Azraq refugee camp off the Syrian border,” she wrote on Instagram.
“Good morning. From where I stand... Al-Azraq refugee camp off the border of Syria (at) 8 a.m. 17 April 2019,” she captioned a geo-tagged Instagram post showing a map of exactly where the camp is.
Kahawaty studied business, finance and law in Sydney and is a keen supporter of a number of humanitarian causes, including UNICEF and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Last year, fashion house Louis Vuitton selected Kahawaty to work with UNICEF at the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan to help children affected by the Syrian crisis, which has seen millions of people displaced.
The multi-talented celebrity also gave a talk at the TEDxSciencesPo event in Paris in April 2018.
The conference, according to a press release, brought together influencers “who work toward breaking the wall between the East and the West” and aims to “provide an essential bridge, to fuse the gap between rising trends of neo-conservatism predominant in the South of France and the cultural diversity that characterizes the Arab world.”
Kahawaty isn’t the only charitable celebrity to visit Jordan this week — British singer Dua Lipa shared an emotional message with her 28.5 million Instagram followers earlier in the week, after spending three days at various refugee camps in Lebanon.
The Grammy-winning singer visited camps in Rayak and Bekaa with UNICEF to meet with refugee children whose families fled the war in Syria.
She described the experience as “eye-opening” in a lengthy Instagram post and added: “I always believe in children as they are our future and we have to take care of them. It was a heartbreaking and emotional yet hopeful experience after seeing these kids still laugh and smile and make the most of a bad situation.”