Riz Ahmed, the star of HBO's The Night Of, revealed he started a fundraising campaign for Syrian children on the Screen Actors Guild Awards red carpet on Sunday

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January 29, 2017 05:15 PM

Riz Ahmed, the star of HBO’s The Night Of, has joined the likes of Kal Penn in helping to raise money for Syrian refugee families.

Ahmed, 34, is celebrating his first ever Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination, but is keeping his head grounded by focusing his attention on those in need.

“I think, personally, that this isn’t a time for escapism,” he said about the current political turmoil occurring the U.S. and the world. “If people care about the future of their country and their world, now is the time to make your voice heard.”

“I’ve decided, in my own small way, to start a campaign fundraiser for Syrian refugees,” he revealed.

The fundraiser, available on Crowdrise, has raised about $127,000 at the time of his appearance on the SAG Awards red carpet. The goal of the campaign is set at $150,000. Donors can contribute money which will go towards blankets, heaters, food baskets and sleeping mats, among other things.

When it comes to his show’s relevance in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive orders banning refugees from entering the country, Ahmed said he had no idea The Night Of would be so timely.

“I think when you do work that tackles social injustice… you don’t want it to be relevant,” he said. “The sad part is that it is increasingly relevant to our lives.”

Ahmed said the fundraising campaign has received support from fellow actors such as John Turturro, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Meryl Streep.

 

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