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  #81  
Old 08-25-2013, 12:19 AM
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But moving on...those pictures of Mary with the little boy are priceless
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.n...58866179_n.jpg

and the pics of the woman hugging mary and giving her a kiss were powerful
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  #82  
Old 08-25-2013, 12:36 PM
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another photo
https://twitter.com/ToleenNk/status/370993305968189440
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  #83  
Old 08-30-2013, 02:48 PM
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Summary of a number of articles and an interview in Billed Bladet #35, 2013.
All written by Ulrik Ulriksen.
Part one.

Before the situation became even more dramatic in the region Mary visited a refugee camp in Jordan, as patron for Danish Refugee council. (*) The camp she visited is the largest camp in Jordan and the second largest refugee camp in the world, housing at present some 120.000 refugees. (**)
Here Mary was taken on a tour of a part of the camp. Jordanian security and military presence was heavy as a demonstration had turned violent just the day before. As such it made Jordanian security very nervous when Mary, who was going from one part of the camp to another, decided to go down a kind of main street and came face to face with refugees who had not been vetted in advance.
A crowd gathered around her as the refugees quickly realized that Mary was an important (foreign) person. It was also here a mother somewhat surprisingly put a child in the arms of Mary. A six month old girl named Tuchtuch. Unsurprisingly the girl cried and Mary handed her back to the mother: "You'd better taker her back, after all she doesn't know me".

Mary also met a number of mothers in a centre in the camp labelled: Child friendly space". Basically a place where women in relative calm and neutral surroundings can meet and talk with other mothers or just get away from it all for a short while. (Things can understandebly become very stressful within the families from time to time).

Mary also met some children in a kind of school tent. Even though there is no schooling to speak of it has some therapeutic effect that the semblance of a school give the children a little sense of normality and of the daily routine, that has been disrupted. - And it's also a way for the children to get away from it all for a couple of hours. And drawing in particular is good way for the children to went the feelings penned up inside them.
She also had an opportunity to talk to or rather listen to the stories by some of the women, something that visibly moved Mary.

Cutting the stay in the camp short due to a demonstration the delegation drove back to the Jordanian capital Amman, and to a women's shelter there.
Here Mary and the Minister for Development, Christian Friis Back, watched a local adaption of a Danish play called: Mothers and daughters. With women from the shelter as actors. The play is about women being abused in various ways and how to deal with it.

At the shelter Mary had a long chat with a number of the women, many if not most were foreign some coming as far away as Bangladesh. And it's the usual story with women in a foreign country, with limited knowledge of the culture and the language being mistreated. Jordan is not the only country where "import-wives" risk being treated worse than dogs. That's a global problem. And the stories were just as well known as they were horrific.
The centre is working closely with the Danish organisation KVINFO. (For: KVinde INFOrmation = information for women).

Later on the delegation visited a ressource centre which offer financial support to Syrian refugees. As mentioned in my note below many Syrian refugees can't even find room in the rapidly expanding refugee camps, but must fend for themselves. Among the refugees they met here and whose stories they learned about was 80 year old Aysha, who wept at Mary's shoulder. All in all a sobering experience!

The visit ended with a visit to the Jordanian Ministry for Development and the Foreign Ministry where Mary had lunch with the Foreign Minister, Nasser Joudeh.

- To my surprise Mary did not meet members of the JRF, but perhaps they have a different set of protocols?

The interview follow in the second part.

(*) Danish Refugee Council and Danish Red Cross are among the very few relief organisations allowed to work inside Syria. - Which makes it an even more brilliant idea that the Danish government still to this moment appear willing to take part in a military action against Syria. Because we all know that bombs are much more helpful for civilians than relief organisations...

(**) I understand that only one fifth of the Syrian refugees in Jordan live in camps. The rest live with relatives, are housed privatly, live in rented homes or simply living in the streets.
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  #84  
Old 08-30-2013, 03:17 PM
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Part two.

This is an excerpt of an interview with both Mary and the Minister for Development, Christian Friis Bach.

Let me start out with Mary's comment to the then alledged gasattack in Damascus, which I now believe really was perpetrated by the regime. I was very sceptical because I could not believe anyone would be that stupid...
Mary: "You can clearly see the fear in people. They shake from worry. The latest dreadful things in Syria means that you can clearly feel the tension in the refugees we sit face to face with".

Q: Crown Princess Mary try to describe your experience of the meeting with the many Syrian refugees here in Jordan?
Mary: "We have experienced a very desperate situation. The consequences of the Syrian conflict are very severe and it's very difficult to watch. The individual stories we have heard touch you deep in the heart. And you can say the positive thing in all the horror is that the international community stand together in order to help the thousands of people who have had to flee the conflict and from their homes. They have lost everything. Also relatives. And then they come to a refugee camp.
The local communities who recieve the refugees are also subjected to a severe pressure. Here after the visit to the Za'atari camp it has become really clear to me how terrible the situation is in Syria".

Q: Crown Princess Mary, what do you as a royal and in a delegation with a Danish minister think you can achieve with such a marked/high profile trip as this?
Mary: "It's very important to focus on the plight and situation of the refugees, but it's also to put focus on Jordan as the country that is going to recieve so many thousands of refugees (*) and see how efficient they handle this situation and this crisis which is so unimaginably complex and so different from what I have experienced elsewhere.
Therefore we have to think along new lines and be innovative in order to return to the Syrian refugees some of their lost basics of life back. And in that context Denmark plays a role with the help offered by among others Danish Refugee Council".

To a question on how Mary will follow up on the visit, she responds: "I will among other things continue to put women's rights and health on the global agenda. It's important to direct focus on the groups who are most vulnerable. And experience shows that big humanitarian disasters hit women and children the hardest".

(*) Yes. Because you don't need a univerity degree in fortune telling to predict that the civil wat and thus the refugee situation will continue for quite a number of years more. This is merely the first phase of the war.

A little detail: The journalist (naturally) address Mary with formal you, while the minister is addressed with informal you.
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