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Young Fawad Mohammadi, a first-time actor who was discovered selling gum and touristmaps on a street corner in Kabul, will be attending this year’s Oscar ceremony thanks to a worldwide campaign to raise the money for his trip.

Fawad, 14, stars in the Oscar-nominated live-action short film Buzkashi Boys but had no hopes of getting to the ceremony in Los Angeles on February 24 until the Afghan Film Project launched a fund-raising effort.

So far more than $10,000 has been raised, which will not only pay for Fawad and his co-star Jawa Paiz’s trip, but will also go towards Fawad’s college education.

Fawad, who will be fitted with a tuxedo for the walk up the Oscar red carpet, has never previously been far from the corner of Kabul’s Chicken Street, so the visit, which will involve a full schedule of interviews and parties, will be a major cultural change for him.

To help them make the transition, he and Jawa, who has been acting since he was five-years-old, will be staying at the home of an Afghan couple in Los Angeles and will be accompanied by a chaperone from Kabul.

Buzkashi Boys is set against the background of contemporary Afghanistan and the national sport of Buzkashi—a brutal game of horse polo played with a dead goat. The film follows two best friends, a defiant blacksmith’s son (Fawad) and a charismatic street urchin (Jawa) as they struggle to survive in one of the most war-torn countries on Earth.



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