UN General Assembly – the Diplomats Transported into Aleppo

ASML have produced an immersive film revealing the everyday life of the population in Aleppo for Aleppo through the Eyes of its Heroic Citizens, an event organized by the Dutch and the Italian missions at the United Nations in New York. Ministers and diplomats attending the meeting were given a sense of what life is really like in the besieged city.

Secretary of State John Kerry and his Dutch counterpart Bert Koenders


The event, held during the week of the UN General Assembly, highlighted the crucial work of civil society actors including doctors, journalists, human rights activists, and first aid workers.  The meeting was supervised by Bert Koenders, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs and attended by high-profile figures including John Kerry, US Secretary of State

Prominent Civil Society actors from Aleppo were invited to the meeting to share their experiences, including Dr Mahmoud, Director of the Independent Doctors Association, Raed Saleh,  head of the White Helmets, Marcell Shehwaro, an award-winning citizen journalist and blogger, and Mutasem Alsyofi, a human rights activist.


“Every day, these people risk their lives in one of the most dangerous places in the world. They are absolute heroes”.

Bert Koenders, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs


In order to illustrate these testimonies of the dramatic situation in Aleppo more fully, the participants to this meeting were transported into the destroyed city through an immersive 360° film, co-produced by ASML.

In this film, the viewer is placed amongst the White Helmets rescue workers, travelling in one of their pickup trucks towards a recently bombed neighbourhood. Once the team has arrived at the site, another bomb strikes and everyone runs for shelter. The rescue team, however, return to search for survivors amongst rubble, not knowing where unexploded bombs might be. The viewer starts to understand how dangerous the work of these rescue team volunteers and why they were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The event Aleppo through the Eyes of its Heroic Citizens took place while Aleppo continues to be bombed by Syrian and Russian forces and the United States and Russia find themselves at an impasse.

Virtual reality (VR) is an immersive multimedia experience that captures a real environment and allows users to interact with their surroundings. The images are first of all shot with a 360° scope and then viewed through a VR headset.