In 1992, Dua Lipa‘s Albanian parents fled Kosovo to escape the conflict and political turmoil in the Balkans.  That’s why the three days she just spent in Lebanon visiting children in refugee settlements have made such an impact on her. “I’ve had the most eye-opening experience,” she wrote on Instagram.

This is personal for me. My parents fled a war-torn region and built a life for themselves in a new place. And each one of the refugee children I met has parents just like my own, who have tried to make the best decisions they could for their families,” the singer said in a statement.

The children and young people Dua visited with have been uprooted by the eight-year conflict in Syria.  Lebanon is home to around a million Syrian refugees, half of whom are children.

“You don’t really feel the absolute dire circumstances for refugees from Syria until you see them for yourself,” said Dua. “But the most powerful thing I saw was hope.”

In her lengthy Instagram post, the Grammy-winner noted, “I particularly want to speak up for refugees as I feel I have a personal connection to seeing people adapt to any circumstance they were put in because of conflict. No family or child chooses to leave their home. They all have dreams. They all deserve equality and a place to be able to live, learn and reach their full potential.”

“I always believe in children as they are our future and we have to take care of them,” she noted. “It was a heartbreaking and emotional yet hopeful experience, after seeing these kids still laugh and smile and make the most of a bad situation.”

Dua is currently working on her sophomore album.

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