Abeed holds a Syrian passport and is currently living in Turkey. According to a letter from the U.S. consulate in Istanbul, his application was rejected under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. President Donald Trump placed a travel ban on eight countries, including Syria. A copy of the letter was provided by a representative from the movie.
Mahmoud Al-Hattar, co-founder of the White Helmets and a subject of the film, will also not attend the Oscar ceremony. He has been denied a passport by the Syrian government, as the Assad regime has accused the White Helmets of having links to terrorism, although those claims are unfounded.
The documentary about the Syrian civil war, directed by Feras Fayyad, focuses on the White Helmets, the search and rescue volunteer organization that has tried to save lives and respond to bombing attacks in the war-torn region.
“Last Men in Aleppo” was nominated for the best documentary feature Oscar, along with “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” “Faces Places,” “Icarus,” and “Strong Island.”