The past few days have seen the sad passing of another child star and the surprise demise of another Hollywood marriage. So, is anyone else in the mood for some positive news in the form a celebrity good deed? Thought so.
Angelina Jolie, who's currently shooting the spy flick "The Tourist" with Johnny Depp in Venice, Italy, touched off celebrations in Tangi, Afghanistan, last week thanks to a gift that keeps on giving.
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The megastar mom of Brad Pitt's six kids visited the region in 2008 in her capacity as a UN goodwill ambassador and was struck by the serious need for educational resources for refugees returning to the area.
According to the UNHCR, Jolie made a $75,000 donation that helped build a girls elementary school in the country's Nangarhar province. The facility, with eight classrooms that can handle 800 girls in two daily shifts, was unveiled amid much excitement last Thursday, just in time for the start of the school year.
Why a girls school? That appears to be the most pressing need. Seems cultural mores make many parents wary about sending their daughters to schools attended by boys, and there have been reports of harassment and violence against girls and young women who are attempting to get an education.
Jolie apparently did her research on the subject. In December, she was photographed toting a copy of Greg Mortenson's acclaimed book, "Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan."
In between doing that do-gooder thing she does so well and emoting on-camera with Depp, Jolie has been taking in some of Italy's most famous tourist attractions with Pitt and the kids.
On Sunday, the A-list amours gave Maddox, 8, Pax, 6, Zahara, 5, and Shiloh, 3, a crash course in art appreciation with a trip to Florence, where they browsed the many masterpieces housed at the Uffizi gallery (Pax, we hear, is just crazy for Botticelli) before strolling over to the Ponte Vecchio bridge.
Two days earlier, 20-month-old twins Vivienne and Knox got in a bit of one-on-one time with Mom and Dad with some sightseeing in Venice, which included a visit to the opulent Hotel Gritti Palace, with its Murano glass chandeliers and gold-accented ceilings presumably providing plenty of entertainment for the bright-and-shiny-object-loving tots.
By Tuesday, Jolie was back at work filming scenes on a water taxi with Depp, who was spotted looking fetching in blue-striped PJs.
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