British singer Dua Lipa visits Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon

British singer Dua Lipa visits Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon
2 min read
16 April, 2019
'This is personal for me,' says the Grammy award winning artist, whose parents fled a war-torn region, as she visited Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.
Dua Lipa visits children in an informal settlement near Terbol, Lebanon [Unicef/Modola]

British singer Dua Lipa visited Lebanon with UNICEF this week to spend time with Syrian and Palestinian refugees, where she took part in the traditonal Levantine Debke dance.

The London-born Grammy award-winning artist and UNICEF supporter - whose own family come from Kosovo, which was to be engulfed in war - spoke to children and young people about their challenges in finding opportunities and education in their host country.

Lipa visited the Terbol settlement in the Bekaa Valley where Lebanese NGO Lost runs projects for young people.

"You can read about the conditions or see the challenges on TV, but you don't really feel the absolute dire circumstances for refugees from Syria until you see them for yourself," said Lipa.

"But the most powerful thing I saw was hope," continued Lipa, describing a 15 year old girl called Yazee who dreams of starting a make-up business.

"And in spite of all of the excuses she could have to give up, she is every day studying and practicing and learning her craft so she can one day make her dream real."

Lipa also visited Burj al-Barajneh, a Palestinian camp, spending time with Palestinian and Syrian children.

More than 1 million Syrian refugees, of which 500,000 are children, live in Lebanon. Having fled the Syrian conflict which began eight years ago, many still struggle to access health care and education.

"We are happy to have the support of global champions like Dua Lipa advocating for vulnerable children," said UNICEF's representative in Lebanon, Tanya Chapuisat.

"She met and empowered young people who, like her, have ideas and energy to create a better world and therefore we thank her for amplifying the stories and dreams of the youth UNICEF is supporting across Lebanon."

The singer-songwriter's Kosovar-Albanian parents fled the Balkans in 1992 due to conflict. Lipa returned to Kosovo with her family when she was 11-years-old.

"This is personal for me. My parents fled a war-torn region and built a life for themselves in a new place. And each one of the refugee children I met has parents just like my own, who have tried to make the best decisions they could for their families," said Lipa.

Dua Lipa takes a selfie with a young women in her visit to Lebanon with Unicef [Unicef/Modola]
Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab