Raed Al Saleh

Raed Al Saleh

Raed Al Saleh is the head of the Syrian Civil Defense, better known as the White Helmets, a nonprofit which consists of almost 3,000 volunteers who work to “save lives and strengthen communities” in Syria. After bombings and airstrikes, the White Helmets rush to the scene to minimize injury and property damage, and to save as many lives as possible. Before the Syrian Revolution, Al Saleh worked as a businessman, but when the protests started in March 2011, he began organizing demonstrations and peaceful protests in his hometown of Jisr Ashughour. He was forced into hiding when the Syrian Army invaded the city in June 2011. He returned to Idlib, Syria by the end of 2012 and soon became a relief worker, aiding displaced people and refugees. Al Saleh joined the Syrian Civil Defense in 2013, and helped set up 20 teams in Idlib in just one year. He was later appointed as the head of the Syrian Civil Defense for liberated areas and now oversees 114 stations. The White Helmets were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016, and a documentary on the group’s work, titled “White Helmets,” won an Oscar in 2017. 

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