Mesut Ozil Visits Jordan, Plays Football with Syrian Refugees and the Jordan U17 Women’s National Team
Young football fans at the world's second largest refugee camp of Zaatari had the opportunity today to dribble the ball with football superstar Mesut Ozil, midfielder at Arsenal FC former midfielder of the German National Team.
Syrian boys and girls under the age of 13 who participate in regular football tournaments inside Zaatari were thrilled to witness the international football idol make a surprise appearance during a football festival on Wednesday morning. The festival was organized by the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP) which has been running various football and social development programs in and around the camp in Northern Jordan since 2012, employing the sport as a platform for education, strengthening social cohesion and bringing back a sense of normalcy in the lives of refugees and host-communities.
“It”s great to have my good friend Mesut Ozil come and visit Jordan, he is such an inspiration to so many people, and he got to see first hand how football can be a positive force for young refugees. I’m also glad he gave a massive boost of encouragement to our U17 Women’s National Team who are preparing to take part in FIFA Women’s World Cup,” Prince Ali noted.
“When my friend Prince Ali suggested to me to visit the Zaatari camp, I immediately said yes, I cannot say more than that it was a moving experience for me to play football with these kids here today,” Ozil commented.
Rania Juneidi, a 12-year-old Syrian refugee and Arsenal fan expressed her gratitude to Ozil for his visit, “I passed the ball to Ozil himself and he gave me a high five, this is the best day of my life,” she said.