Kareem Abeed producer of Last Men in Aleppo finally got the US visa to attend the Oscars, for which his short film is nominated. Feras Fayyad, director of the film, tweeted on February 28 that Kareem Abeed finally got the travel visa and will be going to the US. He thanked everyone who helped make it possible, especially friends from America who made an excuse for helping a Syrian get into the country, despite the travel ban. Fayyad already got his travel visa and will be joined by Abeed.
Along with Abeed’s visa, the US embassy in Syria also rejected Mahmoud Al-Hattar, co-founder of White Helmets, travel visa. White Helmets had won the last Best Documentary Short category for Oscars in 2017, which was majorly shot by Netflix. Even though it was a Syrian short film, all its crew wasn’t Syrian. However, Last Men in Aleppo is the first Syrian movie produced and directed by Syria. The movie has been criticized mainly by the followers of Bashar al-Assad from Syria and Russia because they accused The White Helmets of being a part of the Al-Qaeda. Because of all the drama, al-Hattar isn’t able to apply for the Syrian passport.
After Abeed’s visa was rejected, his second visa interview was scheduled for March 2, 2018, just two days before the Oscars. It takes at least three weeks for the entire process, so it would’ve been impossible to get to the US on time. Abeed’s visa rejected previously from the Executive Order 13780 which is issued by the US president.
Change of plans
After rejecting the visa initially, the US government reversed its decision. Last Men in Aleppo nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category along with Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Strong Island, Faces Places, and Icarus. The movie’s cinematographers and assistant director will be joining Abeed at the ceremony.