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Clown troupe brings smiles to Syrian refugee children

- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 1, 2013

Children at a Syrian refugee camp got a rare surprise on Sunday when a troupe of Spanish clowns came to give them some much needed laughs.

The Zaatari camp in Jordan, just 10 miles from Syria, is home to thousands of children who fled Syria's civil war, which has been going on for three years.

Five European comedians working for Mabsutins, a private circus and clown group in Spain affiliated with the U.S.-based group Clowns Without Borders, performed for some 60 children at the camp, The Associated Press reported.

"It was good to bring laughter to Syrian refugee children and make them forget ... the war for a little time," said Moises Queralt, a Spaniard who performs under the name Peixoxo.

"It was best thing I have seen in my life," said 10-year-old Rana Ziad. "It was very much fun, and I loved it."

Another refugee, Mohammad Zaidan, 12, said the performance "made us forget our miseries for one hour," AP reported.

More than 2 million Syrians have fled their country's civil war, and 1.1 million of those are children.

More than 11,000 children have been killed in the violence, according to a report from the Oxford Research Group.

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