Ben Stiller teams up with UNHRC on World Refugee Day


Photo credit: Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed
Photo credit: Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

The world’s largest social food network, BuzzFeed, and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, have teamed up to create a special video to celebrate World Refugee Day, featuring UNHCR Supporter and actor Ben Stiller.

In the video, entitled “Homemade Chicken Shawarma, As Made By Ben Stiller and Ahmed Badr”, funnyman Stiller joins writer and former Iraqi refugee Ahmed Badr to make an at-home version of chicken shawarma, a traditional dish from Badr’s homeland Iraq, bringing back memories of his childhood in Baghdad before he was forced to flee.

Badr shares with Stiller the story of his family, who were forced to leave Iraq in 2006 when he was just eight years old, and later Syria when he was 10. Discussing the realities, misconceptions and hardships that refugees and displaced people face, Badr and Stiller connect over their common love of shawarma as they prepare it together – Stiller grew up eating shawarma on New York’s Upper West Side. “Shawarma is to Aleppo what pizza is to New York,” says Badr.

By highlighting the connection between food, family, memories and culture, the video hopes to raise awareness of the plight of refugees, and the challenges that result from their displacement. “Refugees are everyday people who have survived extraordinary circumstances and, like everyone else, they have hopes, dreams and favourite foods that remind them of special times and places in their lives,” the UNHRC says about the nature of the video.

Tasty video courtesy of BuzzFeed.

Across the world in over 125 countries, UNHCR staff deliver life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water for people who have been forced to flee and help them build a better future.


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