Captiol Hill to Host Event to Highlight Plight of World's Refugees as a Little Bit "Miami Comes to DC."

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Includes a special message from UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and Oscar winning actress Angelina Jolie UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones will also attend

With the current refugee crisis unfolding on the Syrian and Turkish border, a major symposium “Global Response to Refugee Crises in the Middle East and South Asia,” will be held on Capitol Hill on June 22nd 2011. Under the auspices of Congressman Zoe Lofgren [D-CA], a founding member of the Biparistan Congressional Refugee Caucus, the symposium will include a special message from UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees [UNHCR], is also celebrating its 60th Anniversary this week.

Foreign Policy Magazine’s editor in chief, Susan Glasser will moderate the discussion among the panel which includes: Ambassador Ali Suleiman Aujali of Libya; Hamed Wardak, an Afghan refugee and philanthropist; Vincent Cochetel of the UNHCR; Michel Gabaudan of Refugees International, and UFC Light Heavy Weight Champion Jon Jones. Refugee issues strike home particularly for Mr Wardak, who spent his childhood as a refugee, escaping the violent struggles in Afghanistan. His father, General Rahim Wardak, is currently serving as Afghanistan’s Defense Minister.

Congresswoman Loefgren will also be introducing a bill to coincide with this symposium, which will support the landmark Refugee Protection act, which strengthens the country’s commitment to protecting refugees fleeing persecution or torture. The Refugee Protection Act of 2010 contains provisions of a bipartisan bill that is co-sponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy [D-VT], and Senator Carl Levin [D-MI].

Later in the evening, Hamed Wardak, a Georgetown University valedictorian is bringing a bit of his new home, Miami, to his former stomping grounds --- a hip, fundraising event to coincide with World Refugee Day and to mark the 60th Anniversary of UNHCR. Mr Wardak is currently CEO of Ludus Athletics an eco-friendly, socially conscious clothing line. Ludus is a new South Beach lifestyle brand. South Beach is a haven for fashion, beauty and entertainment, and the city is also known for its new green initiatives and support for philanthropy. Said Mr Wardak, “I am now in a position to make a difference for those who remain in displacement camps and participate in events like these today. Being in Washington DC always reminds me of the can do American spirit. It’s especially timely given the crisis we’re seeing with Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey.”

UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones will be attending his first fundraising event to help promote the refugee issue, and with the “Miami to DC” vibe he wants to show how mixing sports, philanthropy and politics can be fun, and can be done.

Both events are designed to keep the issue of refugees on the forefront of people’s minds, and lend a voice to the over 43 million people who have lost everything including their homeland. To quote UNHCR, “Each American has the power to unlock a better future.”


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Nicolla Hewitt
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