Khalid Khatib has been denied by the United States to attend the 89th Academy Awards. Khatib is a Syrian male who was largely responsible for filming a British documentary called The White Helmets.

Bad Timing

This is an issue which has occurred at an extremely tense period regarding immigration in the United States. Indeed, this is especially true when we consider the highly controversial travel ban which was recently implemented by the Trump Administration but quickly suspended. This latest incident does not paint the United States in a good light.

More importantly, it is very unfortunate that such an important figure in the creation of The White Helmets will not be allowed to enter the country that is hosting the most prestigious awards ceremony in the film industry.

Importance of the Oscars

Certainly, the Oscars are a culmination of the year that was in film and are a celebration of the best that the film industry has offered us. To be nominated for an Oscar in any category is a huge honour whether it is for directing, acting, cinematography, animation, original score or, in the case of The White Helmets, short documentary.

The White Helmets

The White Helmets is a documentary that focuses on the actions of a group of volunteer rescue workers, coined The White Helmets, who are working during a period of civil war in Syria, one of the most unstable and volatile countries in the world.

Obviously, the conflict in Syria makes it a very dangerous place to film footage which makes The White Helmets’ achievement of being nominated for an Academy Award incredibly remarkable and deserving.

The Role of Khalid Khatib

A lot of credit has to go to Khalid Khatib in this regard as he was behind the cinematography of the documentary.

In essence, he filmed most of the footage for The White Helmets in a country which has claimed many innocent lives and left millions seeking refuge in other countries. When we consider all of this, this just makes it all the worse that he will not be allowed to attend the ceremony, especially as he was so proud of the film’s nomination which was evident in a tweet he recently posted:

Khatib was planning to fly to the United States from Turkey.

However, a problem with his passport meant he was denied permission to travel to the United States. Still, despite his unfortunate inability to attend the Oscars, if The White Helmets wins in the category of Best Documentary (Short Subject), then Khalid Khatib can be proud of his critical role in bringing this powerful piece of work to life.