Angelina Jolie visited West Mosul on Saturday, during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan. Her visit to what was recently a war-torn city comes nearly a year after Mosul was liberated from three years of ISIS control.
Jolie — a special envoy for UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency — called on the international community to help rebuild and stabilize the Iraqi city, where she said many people still have no running water, medicine or assistance to rebuild their homes.
“This is the worst devastation I’ve seen in all my years with UNHCR,” Jolie said in a video shared by the organization. “These people have lost everything, and the trauma and the loss that they’ve suffered is unparalleled. They’re here on their own with very little support — next to nothing. And they’re rebuilding themselves with their bare hands. They’re moving the rubble with their bare hands.”
“There are bodies in this rubble that stay here, and you can smell the bodies, and some of them have family members that are here, and they’re unable to move them. And there is unexploded ordinance,” Jolie said. “And yet they are so happy because the last Eid, they were under occupation and suffering. And this Eid, they have nothing, but they’re free.”