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Magic relief: British magician travels to Lebanon to host free shows for child refugees

Jamie Balfour performing magic tricks for refugees [TNA]

Date of publication: 17 June, 2017

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Jamie visits the poorest areas of Jordan and Lebanon and co-ordinates with local and international NGOs to provide laughter and relief for refugees in psychosocial and educational support programmes.

A British magician has been putting a smile on the faces of Syrian child refugees in Lebanon by performing magic shows for them after fasts are broken this Ramadan.

Magician Jamie Balfour launched the Magic for Smiles initiative, which has led him to tour Lebanon and Jordan to provide free games in the Syrian refugee camps.

In a trip co-ordinated with local Lebanese non-governmental-organisation (NGO) Makhzoumi Foundation, which specialises in personal development, Jamie has been giving free performances to the refugees, shows them tricks and even speaks to them in the pockets of Arabic he has learned along the way.

Jamie visits the poorest areas of both countries and co-ordinates with local and international NGOs to provide laughter and relief for refugees in psychosocial and educational support programmes.

Magic has a high recreational value and helps relieve stress on children who have gone through traumatic situations

"Magic has a high recreational value and helps relieve stress on children who have gone through traumatic situations, especially refugees," Jamie says.

"Magic also gives children the ability to analyse knowledge and increase their focus when they try to figure out the trick, which happens all the time,” he added.

Jamie’s initiative is self-financed, but he has launched a donation platform to help him sustain his work and continue to put smiles on the faces of traumatised children.

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