White Helmets documentary crew heads to Oscars for ‘Last Men in Aleppo’

Syrians walk along a damaged street in Aleppo's Tareeq Al-Bab neighborhood on January 18, 2017, a month after government forces retook the northern Syrian city from rebel fighters. (AFP)
Updated 04 March 2018
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White Helmets documentary crew heads to Oscars for ‘Last Men in Aleppo’

CAIRO: Members of the the White Helmets are heading to the Oscars to be held on Sunday, where Syrian film ‘Last Men in Aleppo’ has been nominated in the Best Feature Documentary category.
The film documents the efforts of the Syrian White Helmets volunteer civil defense group that operates in rebel-held parts of Syria.
Described by its director Firas Fayyad as “a big shout out to justice” that lays bare the horrors of the war in his native country.
The movie describes the daily war atrocities through the eyes of volunteer rescue workers.
“We were very happy to be nominated,” Khaled Khatib, a member of the volunteer emergency response group and one of the film’s producers, told CBC News in a Skype call from Istanbul earlier this week.
A British documentary called ‘White Helmets’ aired on Netflix and scooped an Oscar last year in the Best Short Documentary category. It earned the online streaming service its first Academy Award.
Due to complications with their travel visas amid the Donald Trump travel ban, Khatib and others on the crew were barred form entering the US, and therefore would not have been able to attend.
However last-minute visas have been approved and they will attend the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.


Winners of prestigious photography award announced at Riyadh forum

Colors of Arabia held an event to honor artists in Riyadh. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 14 December 2018
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Winners of prestigious photography award announced at Riyadh forum

  • Colors of Arabia forum held under the patronage of SCTH President Prince Sultan bin Salman

RIYADH; The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has announced the winners of the Prince Sultan Bin Salman Photography Award in four categories.
Winners of the prestigious award, which was launched to recognize budding talent and efforts to highlight the Kingdom’s heritage, received SR300,000 each and shields at a ceremony held at the Colors of Arabia forum under the patronage of Prince Sultan bin Salman, SCTH president.
The forum, which is being held at Riyadh’s International Convention and Exhibition Center, spans 15,000 square meters and is expected to have attracted 30,000 visitors by the time it ends on Sunday.
The award for the “pioneers” category, which recognizes the work of Saudis who have successfully contributed to the development of local artists, was won by a photographer in Hafr Al-Batin who began capturing day-to-day life in the Eastern Province city at only 12 years of age. The work of Jarallah Al-Hamad is now used in government brochures.
The award in the “literature and publications” category, which was open to contenders of any nationality both within and outside the Kingdom, recognizes photographers who have captured shots for publications and the film industry. Amin Al-Qusayran, a photographer and graphic designer from Madinah who began pursuing his passion 15 years ago, had previously won two awards in recognition of his work. Al-Qusayran is also author of a pictorial book shedding light on the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
The “civilized heritage” category, meanwhile, was open to photographers from around the globe seeking to preserve world heritage through the power of image.
The award for this category was jointly won by two photographers of Arab descent. Mohamed Bouhsen, from Bahrain, had left university to document national heritage in his country and the Arabian Peninsula at large. He won the award alongside Jalal Al-Masri, an Egyptian photographer who has taken part in 133 local, Arab and international exhibitions.
The STCH also announced the winners of the photo and short film awards in seven categories.
Mazen Flamban, who won the award in the “cultural heritage” category, expressed his surprise and joy at having had his work recognized.
“My ambition is to revive Hijazi heritage through my lens,” Flamban told Arab News. “This was the first year I joined the competition. My photo depicts an old woman who lives alone as she reminisces over old photos.”