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International royalsJordan

Jordan’s Queen Rania visits refugees on Greek island of Lesbos

Queen Rania of Jordan has met with refugees at the Kara Tepe refugee camp on the Greek Island of Lesbos last Monday. Speaking of the refugees, Queen Rania said they had, “seen unspeakable horror and experiences unthinkable tragedy”. Queen Rania was enthusiastically received by the refugees, who clapped and cheered as she walked through the camp. The refugees at the Kara Tepe camp are among more than a million people who have fled conflict and poverty in Middle East, Asia and Africa and who have come to Europe since last year, in what is considered the biggest migration crisis since the Second World War.

Queen Rania’s own country has accepted more than 630,000 Syrian refugees registered with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Queen Rania met with journalists after speaking with several refugees in the camp.”It is impossible to really understand the magnitude of the crisis until you come face to face with it. These people have gone from suffering to suffering and the one thing I keep hearing time and again is that if they had a choice they would be back in their homes; that this was a last resort.  This is a crisis about human beings, not about borders and barriers. It is about human dignity, not about deals”, Queen Rania said.

There are currently over 4,000 refugees living on Lesbos and most of them are in a former military camp behind a fence. The Kara Tepe camp houses about 850 people, mostly families, and is managed by the municipality. Pope Francis visited the site last week and he flew out 12 refugees to Rome. Queen Rania had been invited by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), for which she acts as an advocate.

Jordan has been praised for its help with the refugees and Queen Rania has thanked for “remarkable empathy and kindness towards refugees” despite its own economic difficulties recently.