Monday, December 31, 2007

I see that I am not alone in my respect for Jolie

I have a deep and profound respect for Angelina Jolie. Not because of her acting, which at times is quite brilliant (it was no accident that she received an Oscar for Girl Interrupted), but because of her humanitarian work. This is a respect I share with other people like ERV, who are also a fan of Jolie.

It turns out that we are not alone. Reuters did a survey of which celebrity humanitarian that people respect the most, and Jolie came out on top. Before people like Bono, Bill Clinton, and Bill Gates.

Unlike many celebrities, Jolie seems like the genuine thing. Ever since she became involved in the refugee work (she became goodwill ambassador of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, in 2001), I've never heard one bad thing about her from refugee workers. Rather, they have all been busy praising her to the skies not only for helping bringing attention to their work, but also for not getting in the way of their work, when she visits. Too many celebrities consider such trips a opportunity for photo-ops. Jolie considers them a chance to understand the problems that they are facing, and a chance to learn what she can do to help them.

Adding to that, is the fact that it was Angelina Jolie who asked UNHCR how she could help, rather than they who asked her to become a goodwill ambassador. On top of that, Jolie also uses a large part of her income on these causes - it's estimated that she has donated 1/3 of her lifetime income to humanitarian causes. While she is not exactly suffering from lack of money, it's an impressive amount.

In other words, Angelina Jolie is the real deal, and it would appear that I am not alone in appreciating this.

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