2017 Oslo Freedom Forum
May 24, 2017
Abdulrahman Al-Mawwas is the vice president of the White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defense. The White Helmets act as first responders after airstrikes and bombings in Syria, rescuing civilians from the rubble. Once a mechanical engineer, Al-Mawwas banded together with other Syrians — including bakers, construction workers, taxi drivers, and university students — to create a defense group that could aid civilian victims during these attacks. Despite facing extreme danger, loss of life, and media disinformation campaigns, the White Helmet volunteers have saved over 92,000 lives since the organization's inception in 2013.