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Real war heroes: Syria's White Helmets could win Nobel Peace Prize

When the sound of bomb blasts and air strikes fill the air of Syrian cities, these people rush in while others take shelter. These people, who were once leading normal lives as engineers or doctors or students, are now the first rescuers to reach the spot of the destruction, searching and pulling people out of the rubble with their bare hands.

These people aren't armed, these people aren't planning revenge strikes; these people only save people's lives.

These people are Syria's White Helmets, a group of 3,000 local volunteers who have been nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

The volunteers of the White Helmets are dedicated to save the lives of people worst affected by the Syrian conflict. They help people who are shocked, wounded and tormented by war.

These rescue workers have saved more than 62,000 lives in Syria and for that, they have earned the Right to Livelihood Award which is also known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize.' They are also under constant attack in a war that seems intent on killing people.

Although it has received support from many organisations and high-profile figures around the world, it has been targeted by supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime - and by Assad himself - for its ties to Western governments, from which the group receives millions in funding.

In Aleppo, 300,000 people have been exposed to relentless airstrikes. The Syrian government and Russia seem intent on crushing Aleppo, the opposition's last stronghold. Diplomacy in Aleppo has collapsed entirely, with no attempts at a ceasefire.

The white helmets do what they can locally, receiving a monthly stipend of only $150 per person. But what they represent is immense.

It is clear that these people do what they do not for money but for humanity. They represent bravery, resilience, and dedication in the time of barbarism. They uphold the ideals of humanity and their courage and bravery deserve a thousand prizes.

Syrian people have faced immeasurable atrocities and have been failed by their own government and the international community. So, as the Nobel prize committee prepares to announce this year's peace prize on Friday, the White Helmets of Syria deserve the recognition and appreciation that comes with the prize.

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Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB

Priyata thinks in words and delivers in pictures. The marriage of the two, she believes, is of utmost importance. Priyata joined the Catch team after working at Barcroft Media as a picture desk editor. Prior to that she was on the Output Desk of N...

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