Jay Abdo touches fingertips in Hollywood, California, December 22, 2016.
Valerie Macon / AFP
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For Jihad Abdo – one of the Arab world's biggest stars before the conflict in Syria made him just another anonymous refugee on the mean streets of Los Angeles – it has been particularly tough.A household name and a veteran of 43 movies and more than 1,000 TV episodes, Abdo was admired not just for his acting skills but his willingness to speak his mind in public.Known in America as Jay, his real first name, Abdo is best known for his role in "Bab al-Hara" ("The Neighborhood Gate"), one of the biggest soap operas in history, with up to 50 million viewers per episode.Last year, he appeared alongside Tom Hanks in "A Hologram for the King," a comedy about a failed corporate salesman trying to do business in Saudi Arabia.Devastated by the worsening plight of the Syrian people in the five years since he escaped the Assad regime, Abdo is unsure whether he'll ever return, but he believes he couldn't be in a better place.
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