Mahira Khan with Afghan children at a refugee camp near Peshawar. Twitter photo
Pakistani actress and United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR) goodwill ambassador, Mahira Khan, has stepped forward evoking compassion and empathy for refugees around the world, particularly Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan, on account of the World Refugee Day.
The “Parey Hut Love” starlet has yet again joined hands with UNHCR to raise awareness about million of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan.
To shed light on their plight, Mahira has uploaded a series of posts on her Twitter account and stressed how the refugees are amongst us.The UNHCR goodwill ambassador is no stranger to talking about the issue, after visiting Afghan refugee camps across the country. Last year, Mahira publicly went to Peshawar with the UNHCR Chief Filippo Grandi, who was in Pakistan for a three-day visit along with UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock.
Siblings from an Afghan refugee family wait for their turn to get an IRIS test at the UNHCR office in Nowshera. Reuters
Now, the “Bin Roye” star took to social media to remind everyone about the plight of Afghan refugees and the nation giving many of them a home.
“They’ve been denied a home, but we haven’t denied them hope,” Mahira tweeted.
She continued, “Pakistan has been hosting millions of Afghan refugees over several years and continues to do so, we have given them a home within our motherland.”
A UNHCR video alongside the tweet was attached, with Mahira narrating Pakistan’s assistance of Afghan refugees over the past 40 years.
Actor Yasin Hussain was also present in the video, saying, “nobody would willingly choose to leave the comfort of their own homes.”
Mahira continued after the star, pointing out that refugees are in fact victims of war and terrorism.
“When the refugees of Makkah were welcomed by the Ansar of Medina with an open heart, the tradition of brotherhood and solidarity came alive,” Mahira said in the video.
“To this day, the nation has kept these traditions alive.”
This year, the theme and hashtag is #StepWithRefugees. Around the world, communities, schools, businesses, faith groups and people from all walks of life are taking big and small steps in solidarity with refugees. This World Refugee Day, UNHCR is challenging everyone to join together and take a step with refugees.
Mahira also tweeted about this notion, saying that “more than 70 million people were forced to flee in 2018.”
She is calling on her followers to take the lead in the movement by helping refugees in any way they can.
Mahira said that she was very happy to have visited Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the first time last year, after meeting with Afghan refugees. She added that she personally wanted to help them and educate them for their bright future.
Ahead of United Nations World Refugee Day, Italy's hardline Interior Minister and Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday that Italy welcomed "genuine" refugees but had no space for migrants.
"We had weddings and marriages here, our kids were born here ... We have jobs and work here, while there's no peace in Afghanistan. That's why we are happy here."
On the United Nations' World Refugee Day on Saturday, Marwan Kuwaik, a 70-year-old Palestinian in Gaza, will be focused on trying to eke out a living by selling snack food on the street.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has reminded countries of their fundamental obligation to protect the nearly 80 million people worldwide forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution and other crises.
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