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Javier Bardem Visits Refugees

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Apr. 17 2008, Published 11:21 a.m. ET

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Forget the Tribeca Film Festival! Javier Bardem is all about the Sahara International Film Festival.

The Oscar winner jetted off to southwestern Algeria near the border with the Western Sahara to partake in the cinema gala’s fifth installment Thursday and took time out of his schedule to visit the Dakhla refugee camp in Tindouf, Algeria. There, the 39-year-old was welcomed with open arms by numerous exiled Sahrawi families.

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The Saharawis fled their native Western Sahara more than 30 years ago to escape Moroccan and Mauritanian oppression.

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(photo: Zuma)

Javier arrived with his brother, Carlos, for the festival, which aims to promote and raise awareness of the Sahrawi refugee population culture. The actor, an avid supporter of the cause, visited with his bro last year as well.

During his time there, Javier has taken in the sights of the desert and immersed himself within the Sahrawi culture, donning a turban and riding camels.

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