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Emma Watson, 33, enjoys a friendly lunch with a Bafta-winning Syrian refugee who arrived in the UK by dinghy.


Her list of ex-boyfriends includes Silicon Valley millionaires and the son of street guru Sir Philip Green.

But Harry Potter star Emma Watson may have cast her spell on a Syrian refugee filmmaker, who was seen smiling this week.

The 33-year-old actress met Hassan Akkad – an English teacher in Damascus turned writer and human rights activist – over lunch in Mayfair.

Ms Watson and Mr Akkad, who arrived in the UK by dinghy in 2015 after an 87-day journey across Europe, enjoyed a date at pricey Italian restaurant Cecconi’s, where starters cost up to £23.

One onlooker said: “They looked very comfortable. »

HAPPY TOGETHER Emma Watson seems to be getting closer to Syrian filmmaker Hassan Akkad

Harry Potter star Emma Watson may have cast her spell on a Syrian refugee filmmaker, who was seen smiling this week

Harry Potter star Emma Watson may have cast her spell on a Syrian refugee filmmaker, who was seen smiling this week

Mr Akkad was seen putting a smile on Ms Watson's face during lunch this week in Mayfair, London.

Mr Akkad was seen putting a smile on Ms Watson’s face during lunch this week in Mayfair, London.

Mr. Akkad, 35, had written at length in his memoir Hope Not Fear, which Ms. Watson shared widely on her UNO Instagram book club in 2021, about his experience meeting the actress and model.

Mr. Akkad, 35, had written at length in his memoir Hope Not Fear, which Ms. Watson shared widely on her UNO Instagram book club in 2021, about his experience meeting the actress and model.

Ms Watson was seen kissing him during their lunch

Ms Watson was seen kissing him during their lunch

The couple had a date at expensive Italian restaurant Cecconi's, where starters cost up to £23.

The couple had a date at expensive Italian restaurant Cecconi’s, where starters cost up to £23.

Mr Akkad was then seen carrying his water bottle as they left the restaurant.

Mr Akkad was then seen carrying his water bottle as they left the restaurant.

Ms Watson's bamboo water bottle bears her initials ECW

Ms Watson’s bamboo water bottle bears her initials ECW

The two men were then seen getting into Mr Akkad's Skoda SUV.

The two men were then seen getting into Mr Akkad’s Skoda SUV.

They have had a close friendship since 2017, but Mr Akkad told the Mail yesterday that Ms Watson was

They have had a close friendship since 2017, but Mr Akkad told the Mail yesterday that Ms Watson was “out of my league”.

However, Mr Akkad told the Mail yesterday: “She’s out of my league.”

However, Ms Watson was seen kissing him during their lunch, and he was later spotted carrying her bamboo water bottle – bearing her initials, ECW – as they left the restaurant and drove away in his SUV Skoda.

The two have enjoyed a close friendship since 2017, when they met at a summit in Italy where they were both giving interviews. Mr. Akkad, 35, wrote at length in his memoir Hope Not Fear, which Ms. Watson released widely on her UNO Instagram book club in 2021, about his experience meeting the actress and model.

He wrote: “I suggested we borrow one of the Maseratis that were loaned to guests and go for a spin.

“There I was, driving a car with Emma Watson through beautiful countryside.

“I kept saying how surreal the whole experience was and so Emma started filming me on her cell phone.

“We came back and that night we danced together at the hotel.” Mr Akkad continued: “Back in the UK, my friendship with Emma grew.

“We went to a music festival together and she introduced me to her friends. We have a common passion for photography and cinema. We usually spent time at her house because she didn’t want to go out and be recognized.

Ms Watson (pictured at the Soho House Awards in New York) dated California businessman Leo Robinton for two years.

Ms Watson (pictured at the Soho House Awards in New York) dated California businessman Leo Robinton for two years.

Mr Akkad, an English teacher turned filmmaker and human rights campaigner, arrived in the UK by canoe in 2015 after an 87-day journey across Europe.

Mr Akkad, an English teacher turned filmmaker and human rights campaigner, arrived in the UK by canoe in 2015 after an 87-day journey across Europe.

Earlier this year, Ms Watson split from Brandon Green, son of Sir Phillip Green, after dating for 18 months.

Earlier this year, Ms Watson split from Brandon Green, son of Sir Phillip Green, after dating for 18 months.

In 2017, Mr Akkad won a Bafta for his BBC2 documentary series Exodus: Our Journey To Europe, which included footage of him clinging to the edge of a sinking, overcrowded dinghy as he attempted to cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece.

In 2017, Mr Akkad won a Bafta for his BBC2 documentary series Exodus: Our Journey To Europe, which included footage of him clinging to the edge of a sinking, overcrowded dinghy as he attempted to cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece.

In 2017, Mr Akkad won a Bafta for his BBC2 documentary series Exodus: Our Journey To Europe. He filmed footage for the series while traveling to the UK from Syria in 2015, having fled Damascus after being jailed for protesting against the government.

The documentary includes harrowing footage of Mr. Akkad clinging to the edge of a sinking, overcrowded dinghy as he attempts to cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece.

In 2020 he volunteered as a cleaner in an east London Covid ward and gained British citizenship in 2022.

Ms Watson previously dated California businessman Leo Robinton for two years.

Most recently, she dated Sir Philip’s son Brandon Green for 18 months, but the couple split earlier this year.

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