The Syrian stars of Oscar-nominated documentary short White Helmets are making the most of the halt of U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration ban and will be attending the Academy Awards.
The new leader signed an executive order aimed at keeping people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering America last month (Jan17), but following protests and public outcry, his plans were overturned by top lawmakers.
And now there is no indefinite ban on Syrian refugees entering the U.S., the subjects of the Syria-set Netflix film have announced they will be attending the Oscars later this month (26Feb17).
"They are not yet on U.S. soil, and we await their arrival with a tense anticipation," a spokesman for Raed Saleh and Khaled Khateeb tells The Hollywood Reporter. "In these uncertain times, their story is one of the most moving of our generation. We stand ready to welcome them."
Raed Saleh is the leader of the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Syrian rescue group the White Helmets, and Khaled Khateeb, an active White Helmet and Syrian national, is the cinematographer of the documentary about the work of the organisation.
"We are eagerly looking forward to coming to the Oscars," Saleh writes in a statement. "It will give us an important platform for the voices of Syrian children and women trapped under the rubble as a result of the airstrikes and artillery shelling, and for the voices of thousands of displaced Syrians who have been forced from their homes."