September 17, 2016

‘The White Helmets’ launches on Netflix

Yesterday a new film called ‘The White Helmets’ launches on Netflix. I’m writing to ask you, as brothers and sisters, to watch the film.

Every day our rescue workers confront the failure of the international community to address the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. Each volunteer has chosen a difficult path, with many sacrifices, in order to rescue people from the rubble. They carry on every day with the knowledge that 141 of our colleagues have been killed for saving lives. They are heroes. This film tells their stories.

My feeling is this film will shed light on the situation that is forcing White Helmets to dig for life from under the rubble. We want the world to know that there are people responsible for these crimes. We Syrians have seen outpouring of emotions like with the picture of little Omran, but we do not see any discussion of who is behind the killing. Who carried out the airstrikes? It is either Russia or the Syrian regime.

Without any accountability for these war crimes the violence increases. This film tells the true story of Syria and that’s why we hope it can create the impetus to stop the killing so we can stop digging for children trapped under collapsed buildings.

This film is very important to all our volunteers as it illustrates the work that we do and brings our message of peace to the world. We hope to reach not just people in Syria but people suffering from the pain of war across the world. We want the story of the White Helmets to plant seeds of hope.

On behalf of myself and all volunteers of the White Helmets, I want to send you my thanks and deepest gratitude. You have stood by us, you have helped us, and I assure you that this gives us a huge morale boost to continue our work.

Knowing that we have 130,000 humans around the world with us is a treasure which helps us to continue our work. It helps the people on the ground know that people are following our news, they love us, and stand by us. This has a big positive effect on the teams inside Syria.

In solidarity,

Raed Al Saleh
Head of the Syrian Civil Defence

Released yesterday this Netflix original documentary set in Aleppo, Syria and Turkey in early 2016 follows three White Helmets as they put everything on the line to save civilians affected by the war, all the while wracked with worry about the safety of their own loved ones. Moving and inspiring, The White Helmets (by Oscar-nominated © team Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara) is both a snapshot of the harrowing realities of life for ordinary Syrians who remain in the country, and a humbling portrait of the power of the human spirit.