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Angelina Jolie: Refugees Give Me New Appreciation For Life

Angelina Jolie: Refugees Give Me New Appreciation For Life

Angelina Jolie appreciates life a whole lot more now thanks to the world’s refugees. Here’s what the 34-year-old actress told Today Show‘s Ann Curry:

On her childhood being much different if she’d grown up knowing what she has learned as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador: “I think it would have got me through my youth easier. I would have been less self-destructive… You see people that have suffered things that you will never, ever know. And you know how lucky you are.”

On making sure her children grow up knowing refugee children: “I want them to see it as an area where they can go down the street and play football with those kids and get to know them, and as they grow up seem them as those friends they spent time with. Hopefully I can raise them with a more accurate view of the world than I was raised with, maybe they’ll naturally be better people. And I’m sure my children will be visiting and learning from refugees in the future.”

On agreeing with Brad Pitt that this is one of the happiest times of her life: “I am extememly happy in my life. My children are healthy and it’s one of the most extraordinary times in my life and I’m able to do good things and good work.”

On being the “next Audrey Hepburn”: “I’m lucky to be in this. And I’m sure Audrey Hepburn felt the same. That she was the fortunate one to be able to meet all those kids around the world. You know, we’re just in a very fortunate situation that we get to be able to give a voice to these extraordinary people.”

On having birthday celebrations year-round: “I do have the twins, and I just had Shi in May. We have so many kids that we just have year-round birthdays. It’s a lot of fun now ’cause the older kids are old enough to help plan the birthdays for the younger kids. So it’s one of the great pleasures of life, the birthdays.” (This quote was actually from her speech at the National Geographic Society.)

Watch Angie‘s interview on The Today Show below!

Angelina Jolie – “The Today Show”, 6/19
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Posted to: Angelina Jolie

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  • pete


  • Zaza

    love her

  • Ms.JOLIE4ever!

    I admire her more and more every second.

  • andrea

    this is the kind of celeb we need people that do good not for fame but knowing its the right thing to do

  • Nousnous

    She’s jealous, neurotic, unstable and weird. She’s a bad mother!

  • Orchid

    Finally it’s on JJ.

  • Giselles

    bless angie and her family

  • jupi3

    So well-spoken, so heartfelt and wise beyond her years

    She admittedly turned her life around and is a great role model for all.

  • fresh

    people talk crap about her all the time but atleast she’s out there doing something good. she’s pretty inspiring. and to be crass she looks hot.

  • Davids

    I saw this interview last night and felt for these children left out by violence. Could you believe the story about the little girl who saved her brother.

  • chuck


  • Ryan

    She is just an inspiration for everyone.i love this women

  • maggie

    Love this lady.She is so compassionate.

  • fan

    Beautiful and real. Love her much. Keep up the good work Angie..

  • cristina

    shes such an inspiration….following the footsteps of mother teresa and ghandi, thats somethiing to truly admire.
    don’t discredit this woman for having a soul and beiing an invidual, all you stupid iggnorant haters, thats all you are, stupid and ignorrant. grow up. i don’t see you risking your lives setting foot in those countries giving your money to help these children.

    so think twice before you start opening your mouth speaking nonsence. its horrid and frankly embarassing.

  • joyce

    shes the only celebrity i admire because of all the work shes doing when she doesnt even have to. i dont see any other big time a-listers doing this.

    ill forever support angelina jolie and brad pitt.

  • luvangie4ever

    Angie touches my heart like no other celebrity has. She’s an extraordinary woman.

  • Sindra

    Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde

  • Amelia

    I appreciate the work she does for poor children, yet, somehow there is something about Angelina, that is just off a little.

  • F u g F a c e M a n ! s t o n

    bullshīt, bish! buy your bought babies some new shoes!

  • paco

    Angelina tiene tante compasion a los pobres.Bendiga y su familia.

  • sharon

    Angie is remarkable. I admire her.

  • maggie

    Poor jealous fools.

  • jen

    I admire her, she is my hero. God bless you and your family Angie. Love you all.

  • Rhonda

    People act like she’s saving the world, she shows up and people take her picture. Kudos for showing up!


  • Nose job

    I love the picture of her before her nose job.

  • luvd80s2

    To all the haters, this is why the world thinks Americans are ignorant and stupid, Instead of hating you should say thank you, she is doing something for these children who did not ask for this to happen to them. Bravo Angelina! thank you for your goodwill and I think you’re an awesome mom!

  • briseis

    She is just so compassionate and caring. She tears up everytime she talks about the little boy who died. Others would have been jaded by all the inhumanity she has seen, but you can feel her distress about the refugee situation, her overwhelming desire to help, and always, her maternal instincts and love for her family shining through in every interview.

  • to angie

    You will be blessed.You will not ever be forgotten by the higher power.

  • maggie

    27 R u talking about maniston.The plastic one.

  • jupi3

    to Rhonda……

    you are a sour puss, a dried up old prune with a stone in place of a heart.

    Go have some vinegar to drink. It would be homeopathic!

  • annie

    Regardless of what you think of her she puts her money where her mouth is and that should be looked at not her personal life.

  • right

    I am American and most Americans are prejudice and racist.

  • Rhonda

    people, get a grip, its what they call a “photo shoot” “photo op” shes not even taking care of her own kids!

  • K.G.

    yada, yada. Keep kissing her ass, Jared. Oh and Angelina will NEVER be the next Audrey Hepburn!

  • correction

    no, the last quote is from Anderson 360 show

  • debra77

    Amazingly giving woman. What I like most about her is her ability to be honest about who she is and what she has done and has not done in her life. I admire that she herself is able to look at her life and see mistakes. That she is grateful for having her eyes opened early enough to make changes in that life and move in a different and more productive direction. She is admired and respected because what she does is true and honest. I was watching a clip from a Bill O’ Riley show and he was interviewing Jon Voight. He told Mr. Voight that he and his staff had done some extensive research into Angelina’s work. He said that that what he found was a woman that did what she said she did..that she walked the walk.. I am sure with all the people out there who would love to bring her down. NONE of them have been able to prove that she is not the real deal. Nay sayers will come here and call her names. Say she is a phony.. WHY? because when you are not giving back to the world it is difficult for you to believe that someone else can do or be what you know you will never be..

    Yeah there will be people who come here and call her names. Bring up her past.. true or false. mostly false. The reason so many people know about her life is because she has been so honest about every part of it. she has shared the bright and dark parts of it. And when you look at the things she has done that others call dark even her.. they occured when she was 14-20 years old. They love to talk about her having all these relationships, yet they can prove none of their claims. They love to talk about her taking a man from someone. Yet again you can’t make another person leave a relationship unless they want to go.

    She is an honest and honorable woman. She is respected throughout the industry. Other actors praise her perfessionalism and talent, Directors would kill to have her in their film. She is able to work when she wants, and probably turns down more film roles than some actors would be offered in their entire careers. I have never heard of a person who has ever met her or worked with her say anything negative.

    She and Brad have a partnership of love and respect. They were lucky to find in each other what most people search forever to find; a person that shares their passions and interest, yet gives the other person room to presue the things that challenge them together as a couple or as individual. Both had stated in countless interviews that they wanted a big family. Now in each other they have a person that shares those dreams.

    I don’t care if I am called a lunatic or not. I admire them both a great deal. Yes if you have a lot of money it is easier to give some away.. Yet most people do not do that at all. I don’t understand why Brad/Angie are expected to live in a hut to prove that they care about people less fortunate. Some people scream help at home in America.. What they do not understand because most of them have never been anywhere outside the US. Is even the poorest person in this country can get help. Statements like that are just too ignorant to attempt to answer.

    So to the fans.. Yeah the world can see why we are passionate about our praise of this woman.. She is an example for many to follow.

  • right

    Who cares if she will never be Audrey Hepburn.We love her the way she is.By the way your idol the maniston will never win an Oscar or get a man or Brad Pitt.

  • t.m.delafonda

    She doesn’t need to be the next Audrey Hepburn, she’s doing great being the great and compassionate Angelina Jolie. She is an icon in her own right she doesn’t need the ride the coattails of anyone else. Fifty years from now YOUR grandchildren will know her and Brad Pitt’s names.

  • K.G.

    I don’t even like Aniston. get a new insult because not everyone that doesn’t praise the ground Angelina walks on is a fan of JA.

  • correction

    Why bring up Brad Pitt? Angie sure as hell didn’t . ha! Love her and so happy that she didn’t give the brangie turds and her haters what they wanted.

  • bdj

    World Refugee Day
    19 Jun 2009 14:02:43 GMT
    Source: UNHCR

    Tomorrow (Saturday, June 20) is World Refugee Day – a day we remember the more than 42 million uprooted people worldwide as well as the tens of millions of former refugees who have rebuilt their lives.As the High Commissioner notes in his World Refugee Day message, this is a time of enormous global uncertainty, especially so for tens of millions of refugees and displaced people uprooted by conflict and persecution. They have lost not only their livelihoods and their homes, but their loved ones, their friends, their communities and their countries.As we reported on Tuesday, there were more than 42 million refugees and internally displaced people worldwide at the end of 2008. And the number has grown significantly since the beginning of this year – in places such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Somalia. Although this is a huge number, each and every one of them has a very human story to tell.Refugees are not faceless statistics – they are real people just like us who through no fault of their own have lost everything. And those who work with refugees are struggling more than ever to meet even their most basic needs. Thus the theme of this year’s World Refugee Day – “Real People, Real Needs.” The sobering reality is that there are substantial gaps in our ability to provide them with essentials such as shelter, health, education, nutrition, sanitation and protection from violence and abuse.The High Commissioner cites some of those gaps in his message.The global economic crisis, gaping disparities between North and South, growing xenophobia, climate change, the relentless outbreak of new conflicts and the intractability of old ones all threaten to exacerbate this already massive displacement problem.So World Refugee Day is a good time to remember the 42 million uprooted people around the world who are still waiting to go home .As Mr. Guterres says, they are among the most vulnerable people on Earth and helping them must be a priority.UNHCR offices worldwide have prepared a wide range of activities for World Refugee Day, including light shows, film screenings, photography exhibitions, lectures, panel discussions, food bazaars, fashion shows, cultural performances, concerts and sports contests. Events include a concert at Washington’s Kennedy Center by Congolese vocalist and bandleader Samba Mapangala; a football match between refugees from Myanmar and Sudan in Australia; a musical performance by Kurdish refugees from Iran in northern Iraq; and a film festival in Japan.Angelina Jolie and our other committed Goodwill Ambassadors are doing their part to help as well. We issued a press release late yesterday on an event in Washington, DC, featuring Ms. Jolie and the High Commissioner. A video of the Washington event can be viewed on the UNHCR website.Here in Geneva, the 140-metre-high Jet d’Eau is being lit in UN blue and UNHCR flags will be flown along the Mont Blanc Bridge and on city buses and trams. UNHCR staff will take part in a city walk starting at 1145 a.m. this morning , arriving back at our headquarters at 1300 hours.On Monday, UNHCR launched its new website as part of activities timed to coincide with World Refugee Day. On Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST in the United States (2 p.m. to 2 a.m. GMT) a new web site, , will feature live video streams from Iraq, Pakistan, a refugee camp in Africa and a settlement for the displaced in Colombia.

  • Sofia

    She’s an amazing person!!!

  • kim

    @Nose job: I love the pics of her after her nose job more, refined makes her look more beautiful. Plastic surgery is wonderful when its done in moderation. But she looks good either way.

  • awwwww

    Angie and Brad are so happy together. SWOON.

  • bdj

    Entire article at link with pix
    Sapor Yon Rendall tempts Cambodia’s clothing industry with her
    new fashion collection, a range of designs for slinky cocktail dresses

    Owner of Cambodia’s first modelling agency and training school, 37-year-old Sapor Yon Rendall is one of Cambodia’s best-known women.

    However, her story is hardly the stuff fairy tales are made of. When Sapor was 10, her father died and she was adopted by her rich, business-savvy Sino-Cambodian neighbours.

    She voyaged to Australia with her new foster family – the boat almost sunk on the way there – and, upon her return to Cambodia in 1995, Sapor, endowed with newfound confidence, started her own modelling agency.

    Since then, she’s been the first lady of Khmer fashion, grooming local beauties for the catwalk

    Do you have a personal style icon?
    Oh, so many! I like Angelina Jolie. In fact, I know her; we met about five years ago in Siem Reap. She’s very beautiful, both inside and out, and her style is very casual and down to earth.

    I also admire Jennifer Lopez. As a model, Kate Moss is petite but she’s great. And Tyra Banks, of course … Victoria Beckham. I’ve even been told I look like Halle Berry once or twice.

  • there’s one thing i can say

    where do they get the figure of $1m why is it never $2m or $5m … why is it always amplified that the donation of $1m dollars is a lot to donate is seems so limited. angelina had done good in highlighting the needs of others but i cannot agree with her in stating that if she exposes her children to the reality of life that they would become better people. her children think that walking in the street with 100′s of cameramen rushing about them is normal. this is a reason why i did not agree with her selling pics of the birth of her children even if it was to raise money for her to donate to charity. her children will never live their lives in the reality of the worlds suffering.

  • observer

    Angie is reminding the world not to forget the 40 million refugess out there. This world is a lot smaller now and things that happen half way around the world can have immediate impact on America. I hope Americans who can empathize with others find their voices and speak out more. Angie is doing her part and I admire her for it.

  • bdj

    Monsoon season compounds refugees’ troubles

    Many of these refugees are living in minimal standards for shelter and are exposed daily to the harshest elements of weather, the report says.

    For example, in Pakistan, some 300,000 refugees are living outdoors, in tents or similar structures, said Michael Kocher, vice president of international programs for the International Rescue Committee.

    That part of the world has been hit hard by extreme weather over the past couple of months. First, extreme heat plagued Pakistan, with temperatures in May and June soaring past 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). The heat is escalating the discomfort for many.

    “People are living in cramped situations, often unsanitary situations, and it’s very hot,” Kocher said. “In many places, there is not enough clean water or adequate sanitation. Heat exacerbates that problem.”

    As World Refugee Day approaches — it falls on Saturday this year — the forecast calls for even more dramatic weather changes in the coming weeks. In Southeast Asia, long stretches of scorching temperatures are usually the prelude to the rainy, or monsoon, season.

    The term “monsoon” refers to a seasonal reversal of wind that typically occurs in late June or early July. For countries like Pakistan and India, this change brings daily, nonstop downpours.