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Post by party animal - not! on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 13:58



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George and Amal support 3000 refugee children through school in Lebanon Empty Re: George and Amal support 3000 refugee children through school in Lebanon

Post by annemarie on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 15:40

[size=36]As Lebanon Educates Syrian Refugee Kids, George And Amal Clooney Step In To Help[/size]
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Malcolm Farley[size=12]Brand Contributor

UNICEF USA
BRANDVOICE| Paid Program

Leadership[/size]




The recent violence in Afrin, Idlib and Eastern Ghouta suggests all too graphically why the Syrian refugee crisis remains the largest humanitarian emergency since World War II. Syria's civil war has driven millions of families from their homes. More than 5.3 million Syrians — including 2.5 million children, for example — have been living as registered refugees in nearby countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. More than 90 percent of these Syrian refugees confront high poverty rates, high costs of living, limited job opportunities and the exhaustion of family savings. 
More than 90 percent of Syrian refugees confront high poverty rates, high costs of living, limited job opportunities and the exhaustion of family savings.
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Lebanon, which has the world’s highest per capita refugee population, has been particularly affected by an influx of more than one million Syrian refugees. This is equivalent to nearly one quarter of the country's total population before the Syrian conflict began. The surge has taxed local resources, particularly schools, and has affected both refugee children and Lebanese students.
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Nine-year-old Syrian refugee Fares sits in the two room apartment he shares with his mother, little brother and other families in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.“Register me in any school you want,” Fares asks. ©UNICEF/UN052418/Halldorsson
 :copyright:UNICEF/UN052418/HALLDORSSON

As Human Rights Watch has reported: “Lost revenue due to the war in Syria and the burden of hosting refugees have cost Lebanon an estimated $13.1 billion, and the refugee influx has strained public services and infrastructure, including health, energy, water, waste collection, and education.”
The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon has also reported that, despite generous support, international funding for the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan “…has not been enough to turn the tide of refugees’ deepening poverty and vulnerabilities affecting both Lebanese host communities and refugees…families are surviving on the bare minimum, having long exhausted their limited resources. [Some]…70.5 percent of Syrian refugees in Lebanon live below the poverty line with $3.8 a day. Some 30 percent of the Lebanese population also live below the poverty line, and 10 percent live in extreme poverty.”
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Significant percentages of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are not enrolled in school.
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The most recent estimates from UNHCR suggest that 37% of registered refugee children in Lebanon aged 6-to-14 are not enrolled in formal schooling, while 69% of registered refugee children aged 3-5 are not participating in formal education, either, although schooling for this latter group is not compulsory in Lebanon. Even worse, the lives of these children have been shaped by violence, displacement and lack of opportunity, and many have never been enrolled in formal education. Without access to learning and a return to a sense of normalcy, these children risk becoming a lost generation.

A New Partnership for Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon

To help address the urgent needs of both Syrian refugee children and their host country, the Clooney Foundation for Justice announced a $3.25 million partnership with UNICEF in July 2017, which includes a generous donation from Google.org, and a $1 million in-kind technology contribution from HP. The partnership will support eight public schools in Lebanon as they provide critical education opportunities to approximately 3,000 formerly out-of-school Syrian refugee students.
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Syrian refugee Zein, 10, who attends school in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, holds his younger sister Rokaya. "I don’t remember how long I’ve been here," says Zein, "this is home. I am going to school, to second grade. Now I know how to read and write."
 :copyright:UNICEF/UN043247/ROMENZI

Through support from The Clooney Foundation for Justice, these eight schools have opened doors for the first time to students in the second shift, allowing Syrian refugee students to enroll in school, and also to receive transportation and school supplies under the country-wide “Reaching All Children with Education” initiative of the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) — to which UNICEF contributes.  MEHE oversees the implementation of national policies, trainings and curricula in 360 “second-shift” public schools across Lebanon. UNICEF has invested in the existing MEHE public school system to strengthen the Lebanese education system as a whole, in a sustainable manner, as part of a larger strategy to benefit a country that is also struggling under an enormous influx of Syrian refugees.
The Clooney Foundation for Justice partnership is also supporting an innovative pilot program that will provide technology tools in these schools to advance learning outcomes for both refugee children and Lebanese school children.
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The Clooney Foundation for Justice is committed to supporting efforts that ensure children get the educational experiences they need to thrive. 
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The Clooney Foundation for Justice is committed to supporting efforts that ensure children get the educational experiences they need to thrive. UNICEF has been working with partners across the region to put children first since the Syrian refugee crisis began. In addition to providing emergency assistance and essential services, including child-friendly spaces, UNICEF and partners have been at the forefront of efforts to address the long-term needs of Syrian refugee children, including education, counseling and social inclusion..

An Inner-City Lebanese School

The inner city areas of Lebanon struggle with funding and resources. The movement of Syrian refugees into Lebanon, often heading to cities in search of work, has placed a seemingly insurmountable burden on the education system, with every school seeing rising pupil numbers and static levels of resources.
All areas of Lebanon have found themselves affected in some way by the overflow of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria. Communities have seen their long-term stability disturbed and disrupted. Social facilities, such as schools have been stretched to, and often beyond, their limits.
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Teenage girls from Syrian and Lebanese communities in Lebanon work on 3D modeling during a UNICEF-sponsored "Girls Got IT" event — aimed at encouraging girls to enter STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) — at the University of Balamand in Northern Lebanon.
 :copyright:UNICEF/DALIA KHAMISSY

But the one thread that ties these communities together is the men and women who are committed to the importance of continuing education for all — Lebanese and newcomers alike.
Madame Claude Harfouche is the director of one such school in a deprived area of Furn Al Shibak. She does the best she can, but with the addition of a second shift of 260 young Syrians for the first time this year, sees challenges and a constant juggling of resources ahead.
“As director,” Harfouche explained, “I’m trying to recreate this school as a model for all schools in Lebanon. This is why we need support across all aspects of the school for the benefit of the students, the teachers and the local community. Here, we have the possibility to become a focal point for education and learning in the community.”
“The school is large enough to absorb a greater number of students, and this neighborhood includes a large number of refugees, so we must plan for their future and incorporate technology. Schooling today is about more than simply books and writing,” Harfouche added.
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Our teachers and students deserve the latest and the best — to compete with the world.
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“We particularly need to access teacher-training to enable them to show children how to adapt to technological approaches and how to apply them,” Harfouche said. “This interactive approach will help in the teaching process by making it more engaging. Our teachers and students deserve the latest and the best — to compete with the world.”

Marah’s Story

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Marah and two other Syrian refugee children in a "second-shift" school in Lebanon.
 :copyright:UNICEF LEBANON

Marah is a Syrian refugee student at Harfouche’s school. Originally from Deraa in Syria, and now 11 years old, Marah spent the past five years in Lebanon. She tells a familiar tale: “When I first arrived in Lebanon, I was unable to join a school — there was no provision for children like me. In Syria, I only completed half a year of school, then I was out of school for a full year. I like it here, I like my teachers, and I’m happy that I’m able to learn while I’m here.”
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I like my teachers, and I’m happy that I’m able to learn while I’m here.
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Marah added: “The learning environment is good here. My favorite lesson is English, second biology. In Syria, we didn’t learn another language, only Arabic. To be able to learn languages here is good, and it will help me as I grow older and can meet other people and let them understand me. It is my wish that we could work with computers at school. My family has a computer at home, and I love using it because I’m constantly curious about the world, and it’s an easy way to learn a lot of information very quickly. We should have [a computer] at school, too — we miss out on so much by not being connected to the rest of the world while we’re at school.”

A Top-Performing Lebanese School

Majed Kiwan directs the Chhim Public School, one of the largest in the Chouf area, as well as the most academically successful. “Our 9th Graders are the highest achievers across the whole of Lebanon this year,” Kiwan explained proudly.
But Kiwan is worried about significant student over-enrollment — 522 Lebanese and Syrians in his first-shift classes, and 420 in his exclusively Syrian second-shift. The large number of Syrian refugees has created a huge burden on his school — not only in human resources, but also in terms of practical and physical elements — the electricity consumption is higher, general wear and tear has increased and, of course, there are higher demands on books and stationary.
“One of the other greatest burdens generated by the influx of refugees is that we end up with a very high number of students per class. In our first-shift classes, the maximum is limited by law to 25 per class. Yet there’s no limit to second shift numbers. We’re reaching up to 47 per class! The only alternative is to turn children away, to consign them to growing up without an education and that, of course, would be even worse,” said Kiwan.
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New technology must play a high-profile role if children are to receive the education they deserve.
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“We need to be looking at new areas and finding new ways to teach the child and how to engage them. New technology must play a high-profile role if we are to give the children the education they deserve,” Kiwan added.
Due to the shortage of time, the second-shift students do not have an opportunity to access extra-curricular activities in the same way as first-shift students do. They’re already missing out on child favorites including drawing and sports but, most concerning of all, they are not able to use the school’s computer lab.
Kiwan and his teachers are aware that work-related computer skills and experience with technology are critical for their students’ futures too, and he’s keen to boost his school’s tech credentials — it’s at the top of his very long list.

Amina’s Story

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Amina, a Syrian teen refugee, and a school official from her "second-shift" school in Lebanon.
 :copyright:UNICEF LEBANON

Amina, a 15-year-old Kurd from Syria, is typical of the school’s second-shift students. When she first arrived in Lebanon as a refugee, her hopes of joining a school were dashed — there were simply no places for children like her.
“This is my first year at this school. When I first arrived in Lebanon as a 9-year-old, I was unable to register at a school and then, after a year, I was able to join a three-month accelerated learning program. After that, I joined a public school,” Amina explained.
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What I most appreciate about this school is the support it gives me and my classmates.
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“What I most appreciate about this school is the amount of support it gives me and my classmates. Some of my friends had been out of school for up to two or three years. Here, the director, principal and teachers have worked hard.
We know other children are luckier than us and get to use computers all the time — we’re falling behind if we’re not at a school that can give us access to use computers ourselves. It would be good if we could use computers at school. Most of us don’t know how to use them — so if the teachers were able to teach us I know it would be very good for us. We know we’re going to need to rely on computer skills when we go for jobs.”
As the Syrian conflict continues, the possibility that Syrian refugees — in Lebanon or elsewhere — will able able to return to Syria any time soon seems dim.  In the meantime, Syria refugee children in Lebanon need your help.
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Three Syrian refugee children living in a refugee camp in Lebanon in 2016. Approximately 70.5 percent of Syrian refugees in Lebanon live below the poverty line on just $3.8 a day.
 :copyright:UNICEF/UN0127915/HAIDAR
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George and Amal support 3000 refugee children through school in Lebanon Empty Re: George and Amal support 3000 refugee children through school in Lebanon

Post by LizzyNY on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 16:16

I wonder how their schools are being affected by the corona virus. I can't imagine that they're operating as normal, what with virus concerns and the economic consequences of the situation. If countries with substantially more resources can't figure out how to safely educate their kids, how can countries with severely strained economies manage it?
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Post by carolhathaway on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 19:18

Lizzy,

these thoughts just came to my mind. We're still trying to figure out under which circumstances school might work, protecting every risk group. My kids didn't go to school when it re-started, but did home-schooling. They both have their own laptop, access to a printer and a quite good wifi connection. And a school assistant came to our house every day and did the lessons with them. And our schools have an internet platform where teachers and pupils share materials, tests and letters.
Which, all in all, led to the fact that my kids got very good certificates. But even here, the premises are very different. Families without a computer, a printer and a good wifi connection have lots of problems, and when kids get no support by their parents, it's even more difficult. Not mentioning the fact that for lots of kids, school lunch is the only chance for a warm meal.

So how about the chances for a good education for kids in war torn countries? Kids in refugee camps? I worry that they are a lost generation, at least most of them. Something we shouldn't accept, but we also accept the fact that kids in our own countries don't get the same equality of ecucational opportunity...
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George and Amal support 3000 refugee children through school in Lebanon Empty Re: George and Amal support 3000 refugee children through school in Lebanon

Post by party animal - not! on Wed 05 Aug 2020, 21:42

It's the same here in the UK, and the government have loaned laptops to those children who

don't have them. I imagine if you have a family of four it could be a problem. There are

many many foodbanks here now to help too.

I seem to remember that Microsoft are also behind this scheme too, so hopefully those few

will have a better chance than most....Oops, no, it''s Google, HP and UNICEF USA.



Microsoft are their partners in the court tracking.....

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Post by LizzyNY on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 01:43

One of the concerns teachers here in NYC have is that many of our school buildings are really old and haven't been especially well maintained. They've also never been deep cleaned in the way they would have to be to make staff and parents feel safe and in many the ventilation systems would have to be improved. Considering that maintenance has never been a priority (it costs money) it doesn't seem likely that it will be physically safe to use many of our schools. The teachers just don't trust things will be done right.

That leaves many teachers and parents reluctant to see in-school classes in September. I don't know what we'll actually end up with, but right now it's really a mess.
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George and Amal support 3000 refugee children through school in Lebanon Empty Re: George and Amal support 3000 refugee children through school in Lebanon

Post by Donnamarie on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 03:50

I can’t imagine NYC schools will be open for very long if indeed they do open.  Just look at what’s happening to the Major League Baseball teams.  Even under controlled situations, with frequent testing, the virus can’t be truly controlled.  Imagine children and teachers together in a classroom all day.  As you said Lizzy many schools have outdated ventilation systems.  There will be no access to daily coronavirus tests.  I don’t think any school can be successful in riding out the school year with even a hybrid plan (in school for two days a week).

Despite the Clooney Foundation’s efforts to give these Syrian refugees a chance of getting an education the extraordinary bomb blast yesterday has got to make the situation even worse.  Listening to news reports today it sounds like Lebanon’s economic crisis compounded by the virus and this latest disaster is taking the country to almost collapse.  There doesn’t seem to be any coherent governance.  Against the odds it seems it will be an uphill fight for the Clooney Foundation to provide the basic academic skills for these children.  Maybe it’s my ‘glass half empty’ take on all of this but it just seems that Lebanon is in dire straits at the moment.  Goodness knows these children deserve so much better than what they are living through.
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Post by party animal - not! on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 12:57


I just took a look at the Clooney Foundation for Justice website - and couldn't believe the

amount of work that they are doing!


Here is the relevant page on the schools and a map showing where they all are.....


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Post by carolhathaway on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 13:26

PAN,

thanks for the reminder! I just had a look at their website, and it really is impressive!
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Post by LizzyNY on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 15:24

Everything I hear and read leads me to think that the education of our children may be the least of our problems in the near future - and I'm not talking just about the US.

We're one of the richest countries in the world yet many families are having trouble putting food on the table because of unemployment and inflating food prices. Imagine dealing with that, and the virus, and climate disasters and war. Sending your kids to school safely might seem a pipe dream.
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Post by party animal - not! on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 16:40

And that is why millions of families in this country are all working from home together - and

furloughed if not. Quite a few parents are getting to know their children very well - and the

numbers of families all out for a walk at the end of the day is staggering....!

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Post by Admin on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 19:09

It's incredible what the Clooney's are doing for the world.
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Post by LizzyNY on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 19:48

party animal - not! wrote:And that is why millions of families in this country are all working from home together - and

furloughed if not.  Quite a few parents are getting to know their children very well  - and the

numbers of families all out for a walk at the end of the day is staggering....!
PAN - Same here. I've never seen so many dads out with their kids. Small blessings, I guess.
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Post by Admin on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 19:54

Just realised that my post above may sound like I was being sarcastic. I wasn't. I'm genuinely impressed by them.
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Post by party animal - not! on Thu 06 Aug 2020, 22:20


So am I, Katie.


And I suspect that there is a lot more like this that they don't shout from the rooftops.



I think we may hear more from organisations like March for Our Lives, and others which

they support, within a few weeks too...




































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Post by Donnamarie on Fri 07 Aug 2020, 03:36

PAN, just today March For Our Lives released its first campaign ad.  It’s terrific and powerful in its message.  No mention of Trump.  It’s a powerful message to motivate young activists to fight for racial justice, against gun violence, get involved and vote.  I think George would be very impressed by its message. I remember when they had their March in Washington DC (when George and Amal attended).  They cleverly had people in place to register new voters that day.

I have to imagine the group felt just a bit of satisfaction after the NY State Attorney General filed a lawsuit today to dissolve the NRA.  March for Our Lives sent out a tweet ...
‘Sending thoughts and prayers to @NRA’.  

Apologies for getting off track a bit.  

George and Amal make a terrific team fighting for human rights.  Their foundation’s scope is pretty impressive.  They must have a sizable staff to do a lot of the behind the scenes work. Wouldn’t seem there's enough time in the day for the two of them to balance everything plus raise two toddlers.


Last edited by Donnamarie on Fri 07 Aug 2020, 03:41; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : edit text)
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Post by party animal - not! on Sun 30 Aug 2020, 11:32

Donnamarie - sorry, bit late with this - yes, so impressed with these youngsters while their

President is dismantling the law in all directions and aligning himself to QAnon who think he's God

And then there's this

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And Michael Moore has just put out a warning, as Trump supporters fight Black Live Matter protesters in Portland


March For Our LIves seem to have had voter registration in place wherever they have held their

marches across the country....extra financial support probably continues...

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Post by annemarie on Sun 30 Aug 2020, 14:18


[size=36]Trump’s national security chief scales back briefings on election interference

Critics say the move 'just reinforces the pass Putin is getting' from the US

Phil Thomas
New York
@philipthomaspt
17 hours ago





Donald Trump's director of national intelligence will no longer offer verbal briefings on the security of US elections, according to reports.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said that it will continue to provide written briefings to the House and Senate intelligence committees but will not guarantee in-person ones, CNN reported.
An official said that John Ratcliffe the director of national intelligence, "is committed to meeting our statutory responsibilities and keeping Congress fully and currently informed".

However, the move was met with alarm by Democrats and former members of the Obama administration.

Adam Schiff, Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee, tweeted: "The ODNI has cancelled all further briefings on foreign election interference. The Administration clearly does not want Congress or the country informed of what Russia is doing. The last DNI was fired for doing so, and the IC has now been fully brought to heel."

James Clapper, a former director of national intelligence himself, said the move "just reinforces the pass Putin is getting" from the US.

Read more


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[size]

He told CNN: "I think it's both amazing and disturbing that, here we are just over two months away from a crucial election, and of course we all know the history of 2016, where the Russians pervasively and deep invaded us and our political process.
"And now what I think is probably the single most important government voice on this, the director of national intelligence, is about to go silent."
He added: "It's a new norm for me that appearing before the Congress is kind of optional. It certainly hasn't been that way in the past."
Gen Clapper said verbal reports were crucial because the back-and-forth of questioning can elicit important information.

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    Trump shares AOC opponent's Russia probe conspiracy theory


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Mr Trump has repeatedly played down US intelligence reports that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, even publicly siding with Vladimir Putin over his own officials at a press conference in Helsinki in 2018.











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Security sources have said they believe the Kremlin wants Mr Trump to win re-election in November, and has also said they believe China favours Joe Biden as he is less unpredictable, something Republicans have seized on to boost their candidate.
In July Bill Evanina, the top intelligence official in charge of election security, issued a statement saying: "We assess that China prefers that President Trump -- whom Beijing sees as unpredictable -- does not win re-election.

"China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China's interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China."
He added: "We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia 'establishment'.
"This is consistent with Moscow's public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration's policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia."


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  • DONALD TRUMP
  • 2020 ELECTION
  • JOHN RATCLIFFE
  • JAMES CLAPPER
  • VLADIMIR PUTIN
  • RUSSIA
  • KREMLIN
  • JOE BIDEN
  • CHINA

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annemarie
Clooney superfan

Posts : 9472
Join date : 2011-09-11

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George and Amal support 3000 refugee children through school in Lebanon Empty Re: George and Amal support 3000 refugee children through school in Lebanon

Post by LizzyNY on Sun 30 Aug 2020, 14:29

If anyone is rigging this election it is drumpf and his thugs. He is dead set on staying in power for as long as possible, no matter what it takes, and he has a lot of supporters. They will wake up someday when their rights are all gone and wonder what possessed them to vote for him, but it will be too late.
LizzyNY
LizzyNY
Zip a dee Clooney!

Posts : 7141
Join date : 2013-08-28
Location : NY, USA

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George and Amal support 3000 refugee children through school in Lebanon Empty Re: George and Amal support 3000 refugee children through school in Lebanon

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