White Helmets and the Syrian Civil War as Your Research Paper Topic

The Syrian Civil War began during the uprisings of the Arab Spring in 2011. Since that time, it is estimated that the death toll from the armed conflict is at least 400,000. The Oscar win for the Netflix movie, White Helmets, brought a new wave of attention to this fight between ISIS and the Syrian government, rebel groups and the Kurds.

See what you can learn on the Syrian Civil War in the White Helmets documentary. (Credit: Netflix)

See what you can learn on the Syrian Civil War in the White Helmets documentary. (Credit: Netflix)

A wealth of research paper topics on this issue could be explored, from the roots of the fighting to the humanitarian crisis.

Oscar win to White Helmets

The 2017 Oscar for Best Short Documentary was awarded to the Netflix movie, White Helmets, in February. The film shares the story of this group of volunteer rescue workers who risk their own lives to save civilians in Syria who are affected by the Syrian Civil War.

The organization has saved more than 80,000 Syrians during the six years the war has been raging. Unfortunately, Sadie Gennis noted in her February 26, 2017, tvguide.com article, The White Helmets Director Shares Important Message from the Syrian Rescue Organization’s Leader at Oscars” that “Khaled Khatib, one of the Syrian rescue workers who also served as a cinematographer on the award-winning short, was unable to attend the ceremony after being denied entry to the U.S.” A research paper could explore the history of humanitarian aid groups such as the White Helmets or Doctors Without Borders to examine the affects they have or the controversy that surrounded the visa denial of many Middle Easterners during early 2017.

The horror of the Syrian Civil War

Another aspect of the ongoing Syrian Civil War that could be explored in a research paper is the roots of the conflict between ISIS, the Syrian government and the other groups that are involved. Oubai Shahbandar wrote, “Oscar win for White Helmets highlights Syrian regime brutality” for the Arab News on February 28, 2017, about how the Netflix movie has clarified misinformation about the atrocities of the conflict.

Shahbandar described the humanitarian workers as heroes and shared the reality of the conditions they work under. To date, 163 White Helmets have died in the line of duty. “Many were killed due to a tactic known as the “double tap,” when regime and Russian pilots purposefully target first-responders and ambulances rushing to the scene of an attack,” he wrote.

Long-term effects of Syrian Civil War

Despite the Oscar win for the Netflix documentary, White Helmets, those who work for the organization still have much to do in the region as the conflict between ISIS and the Syrian government continues. Janine Di Giovanni highlighted more details about what the group is up against in her article, “Syria’s White Helmets Save Civilians, Soldiers and Rebels Alike; Five Years into Syria’s Civil War, the Country’s Syrian Civil Defense Workers Have Saved More Than 40,000 Lives on Both Sides of the Fight,” for the January 29, 2016, edition of Newsweek.

“There are more than 2,800 White Helmets, including 80 women, all volunteers who work full time and get paid a $150 monthly stipend,” she wrote. The conflict has resulted in more than 4 million refugees and lowered the life expectancy of the average Syrian by two decades. Another research paper topic to pursue would be a look at the ongoing refugee crisis sparked by the Syrian Civil War and how the migration of millions of Syrians has had a ripple effect around the globe.

Want to learn more about the Syrian civil war? Check out Questia—particularly the section on the Islamic State.

Did the Netflix movie White Helmets give you greater insight into the Syrian Civil War? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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