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Syria’s night at the Oscars

Rescue missions continue in Syria as “The White Helmets” wins Oscar

Rescue missions continue in Syria as “The White Helmets” wins Oscar

The documentary “The White Helmets,” which focuses on the lives of members of volunteer rescue group Syria Civil Defence, won an Oscar for best documentary short on Sunday night. But key members of the film’s crew weren’t able to attend. 

Filmmakers Joanna Natasegara and Orlando Von Einsiedel accepted the award, and explained that Khaled Khatib, who worked on the film as a cinematographer, had planned to fly from Istanbul to Los Angeles to attend the event, but was not allowed to enter the country reportedly due to travel restrictions enforced by the Department of Homeland Security. Raed Saleh, the leader of the White Helmets, was also unable to attend because of escalating violence.

Just hours after the ceremony, a Syria Civil Defence crew in Idlib were deployed to the city of Ariha, where an airstrike had destroyed three buildings and left 15 people dead.

“What we want isn’t support to continue, but rather support to end this work,” Saleh said later in a statement. “We hope this film and the attention helps move the world to act to stop the bloodshed in Syria.”

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