At home in China she is a film star, but in her three-day visit to Lebanon, Yao Chen is turning the cameras round to capture the suffering of Syrian refugees and help spread awareness about their plight.

Chinese actress Yao Shen meets Syrian refugees at a collective shelter in Tyre, Lebanon
Chinese actress Yao Shen meets Syrian refugees at a collective shelter in Tyre, Lebanon
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On Tuesday, the UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador spent a day with some of those who have fled bombing and destruction in northern Syria and found shelter in the settlement of Ras el-Ein, near the southern Lebanese city of Tyre.

Chen, 34, is making a documentary about the experience that she will post on her Weibo account – China’s version of Twitter. She hopes to remind her 68 million followers about those who have lost everything in the struggle to escape war.

In four years of working with UNHCR, Chen said she had been inspired by refugee stories, but she found Syrians unique in their determination to regain the lives that were shattered by war. “I can see they have good hopes for the future,” she said, adding: “The Syrian refugees have faith… they wish not only to survive, they wish to have a better life.”

To read the full account of Yao Chen’s trip, click here.

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