Russell Peters says Syrian refugees 'not freeloading runaways'
Brampton-born global superstar commented on refugee crisis after visit to camp
Relying on the media to stay informed about the Syrian refugee crisis "is a very lazy way of discovering information," Canadian comedian Russell Peters suggested on Instagram Tuesday.
The Brampton-born performer posted the comment following a visit to the Za'atari refugee camp in northern Jordan, which he called "eye-opening." The camp, which was set up in 2011, is home to some 120,000 Syrians.
"Seeing it first hand and talking to the actual humans that are displaced from their beloved homes, really made me understand that they (while they're appreciative) just want the peace of mind to be able to just go back home," Peters said on Instagram.
Emotional & enlightening day <a href="https://twitter.com/ZaatariCamp">@ZaatariCamp</a> Jordan. Met these actors & comedians living there. Thank U <a href="https://twitter.com/CanEmbJordan">@CanEmbJordan</a> <a href="https://t.co/oFpsV1M8WP">pic.twitter.com/oFpsV1M8WP</a>—@therealrussellp
"They are not the freeloading, runaways that they are portrayed to be," Peters said. "They are human beings like u and I and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect."
.<a href="https://twitter.com/therealrussellp">@therealrussellp</a> visited <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Zaatari?src=hash">#Zaatari</a> today to meet with refugees & to see the scale of the Syrian humanitarian crisis <a href="https://t.co/XaCfzfKA6Z">pic.twitter.com/XaCfzfKA6Z</a>—@ZaatariCamp
"As a comedian, we're the truth-tellers in the world. We say what actually happens," Peters said. "You know, politicians say what you want to hear, and the media says what they want you to hear, and comedians are the only people that are out there telling the truth to the people."
Rachna Mishra, a spokeswoman with Global Affairs Canada, told CBC News the Canadian Embassy in Amman invited Peters to tour the camp and to participate in a news conference after his visit.
Mishra said the embassy "identified the occasion of Mr. Russell Peters' visit to Jordan as an opportunity to bring attention to the continuing Syrian refugee crisis, Jordan's generosity in sheltering Syrians fleeing the violence across the border, and Canada's response to help Jordan deal with the influx, as well as our refugee resettlement efforts."
Peters, who Forbes Magazine ranked the third top earning comedian in the world in 2013, is scheduled to perform two sold-out shows in Amman on Wednesday and Thursday.
With files from The Associated Press