Kareem Abeed, who produced the Oscar-nominated documentary Last Men in Aleppo, has been petitioning to attend the Academy Awards despite being barred from entering the country by Donald Trump’s travel ban. Abeed is a Syrian man living in Turkey, and Syria was one of the eight countries included in the president’s blacklist. But Variety is reporting today that the filmmaker has secured a travel visa.
Abeed was informed earlier this month that he would not be permitted to fly into the United States, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences published a statement of solidarity that praised the importance of Last Men in Aleppo, the first Syrian Documentary Feature nominee in Oscar history, which spotlights the efforts of a volunteer group called the White Helmets, who provide aid to those wounded in the Syrian civil war. Prior to getting the last-minute visa, Abeed and others who worked on Aleppo had been accumulating as many Oscar after-party invitations as possible to prove they had business reasons to fly into the U.S. This afternoon, the movie’s director, Feras Fayyad, offered his thanks to those who have supported the film team throughout the ordeal.