Twelve-year-old Syrian refugee Hanan Daqqa, who has lived in Brazil since last year, is one of the first people to participate in the Olympic torch relay on the Esplanade of the Ministries, in Brasília.
Hanan was chosen by the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Organizing Committee after a suggestion from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Brazil.
“[Hanan's participation] is a symbolic gesture of solidarity towards refugees all across the world, in a moment in which millions of people are running away from wars, conflicts, and persecution. All over the globe, refugees amount to some 20 million people—the largest number since the end of World War II,” the UN agency said in a note.
Hanan landed in Brazil in 2015, and lives in a small apartment in downtown São Paulo with her father, mother, an older brother and a younger sister, along with two uncles and four cousins. Information from UNHCR shows she has been fully integrated with Brazil, is going to school near her house, speaks Portuguese, and has made a number of Brazilian friends.
According to the UN agency, Hanan and her family lived in the city of Idlib, northwestern Syria. When the civil war broke out, the city was among the targets in the conflict. The family was forced to leave the country and seek refuge in Jordan, where they lived for two years and a half in Za'atari, a refugee camp.
Hanan's family left Jordan and came to Brazil as part of a program launched by the federal government to help people affected by the Syrian conflict to get a special visa and enter the country. Some 8 thousand visas have been issued by the Brazilian authorities under the initiative, UNHCR data reveal.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Agência Brasil.