Shah Rukh Khan, Cate Blanchett and Elton John pick up awards at Davos forum

Cate Blanchett, Shah Rukh Khan and Elton John pictured at the Crystal Awards ceremony of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. (Reuters)
Updated 22 January 2018

Shah Rukh Khan, Cate Blanchett and Elton John pick up awards at Davos forum

DAVOS: Three international celebrities on Monday picked up awards in Davos as the annual World Economic Forum meeting got underway.

The 24th Annual Crystal Awards celebrates the achievements of outstanding artists who have shown a commitment to improving the state of the world.

Actor Cate Blanchett was honored for her leadership in raising awareness of the refugee crisis. She told the audience that nowhere is the fractured world more humanly embodied than in the refugee.

Blanchett was appointed a UNHCR Global Goodwill Ambassador in 2016, in recognition of her commitment to refugees, and has lent her voice and influence to raising awareness, advocating and fundraising for the UNHCR.

Indian film actor Shah Rukh Khan was awarded for his leadership in championing children’s and women’s rights in India. The star is the founder of the non‐profit Meer Foundation, which provides support to female victims of acid attacks and major burn injuries through medical treatment, legal aid, vocational training, rehabilitation and livelihood support.

The third awardee was musician Elton John, for his leadership in the fight against HIV and AIDS. He urged participants to use their sense of human connection to change the world. In 1992, he established the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), which has raised more than $400 million to date.

The World Economic Forum’s 48th Annual Meeting in Davos is being held under the theme of “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.”

Exiled actress Farahani decries ‘massacre’ in Iran

Updated 06 December 2019

Exiled actress Farahani decries ‘massacre’ in Iran

  • Golshifteh Farahani: ‘It’s a massacre, with hundreds of people dead’
  • Farahani upset the Iranian authorities when she appeared in Ridley Scott’s spy thriller ‘Body of Lies’

MARRAKESH, Morocco: Exiled Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani has condemned what she called a “massacre” in her homeland, which has been rocked by a wave of deadly protests.
Farahani, Iran’s first actress to star in a Hollywood film since the 1979 revolution, told AFP in an interview that the Iranian people were “suffering economically, politically and democratically.”
The United States said Thursday that Iranian authorities may have killed more than 1,000 people in a crackdown on demonstrations, after the government abruptly hiked fuel prices.
According to London-based human rights group Amnesty International, at least 208 people died in the protests that erupted on November 15.
“It’s a massacre, with hundreds of people dead,” Farahani said on the sidelines of the Marrakesh International Film Festival.
“I’ve learned not to dream when it comes to Iran. We cannot guess what will happen tomorrow.
“I didn’t expect the price of petrol to triple overnight. At the same time, I know that the people are suffering economically, politically and democratically. And when people suffer, it can explode quickly,” she said.
Iran has dismissed the high death tolls reported by foreign sources as “utter lies” and has so far confirmed only five dead — four security force personnel killed by “rioters” and one civilian.
Farahani — daughter of the acclaimed director Behzad Farahani — upset the Iranian authorities when she appeared in Ridley Scott’s spy thriller “Body of Lies” in 2008 alongside Leonardo DiCaprio.
She went into exile, first in the United States and then in France where she now lives.
“I realized that I preferred being in Europe, in the middle of the world,” she said.
“Being in exile is like being in an ocean. Your only choice is to swim or you’ll die.”
Farahani said she cannot return to Iran.
“Because of my films, because I’m a woman, for not wearing the veil,” she said.
“Everything I did when I left Iran became like a political act, when it was not the case,” she added.
“I wasn’t a politician or an activist. I was just an actress. A female actress. If I were a man I would have taken a different path.”