The 2017 Academy Awards were everything the Academy Awards failed to be in the past - diverse and fair, not just in its nominees, but also in its wins. 

Last year, the Academy Awards were criticized for being "so white" - when none of the acting nominees were of a different race, ethnicity or background. 

This year, things were a bit different. Actors, directors and powerful stories that represent minority groups got the attention they deserved. 

Maybe it was ignited by last year's criticism. Maybe it was triggered by U.S. president Donald Trump's xenophobic rhetoric. 

Regardless, minority groups have finally taken the spotlight after years of remaining in the dark. 

Looking at this year's winners, one can't help but notice that a number of the wins were one big statement against Trump's Muslim ban - which prohibited people from 7 Muslim majority countries from entering the U.S. 

Iranians, Muslims and Syrians came out as winners. If Trump wants America to be great again, he should think twice about who he wants to keep out.

Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar

Mahershala Ali (born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore) made history last night at the 89th Academy Awards as he scooped up an Oscar for his performance in the drama film Moonlight - which tells the story of a black gay man's coming of age. 

Ali's win made international headlines as he became the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar. 

Ali was raised a Christian but converted to Islam while in graduate school after a visit to a mosque with his now-wife. 

He has spoken out about the discrimination he has faced as an African American Muslim time and again. 

"If you convert to Islam after a couple of decades of being a black man in the U.S., the discrimination you receive as a Muslim doesn’t feel like a shock," he told Radio Times

An Iranian filmmaker won "Best Foreign Language Film" ... But he did not attend the awards

Iranian Asghar Farhadi's film The Salesman was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and won big last night - making it his second ever Oscar win. 

However, the Iranian filmmaker alongside the lead actress in the film Taraneh Alidoosti, boycotted the Oscars in protest of Trump's now-frozen Muslim ban

"I'm sorry I'm not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country, and those of [the] other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.," Farhadi's speech read. 

Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian and first self-funded astronaut, accepted the award on behalf of Farhadi - delivering a powerful statement penned by the filmmaker. 

"Dividing the world into the 'us' and 'our enemies' categories creates fear – a deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which have themselves been victims of aggression.

Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others, an empathy which we need today more than ever," the speech read.

This would be the second Oscar Farhadi picks up at the Academy Awards with his first being in 2012 for A Separation.

A documentary about Syria's rescue team "The White Helmets" took home an Oscar for Best Documentary Short

The White Helmets, a 40-minute Netflix documentary that tells the story of the rescue teams saving lives in the midst of the Syrian civil war, took home an Oscar for Best Documentary Short. 

Despite the fact that the documentary is not produced nor directed by a Syrian, it does tell the story of a group of rescue workers who have saved over than 80,000 civilian lives in Syria. 

Syrian cinematographer and member of the Syrian Civil Defense Khaled Khateeb worked on the documentary and was potentially supposed to make it to the awards show. 

However, when flying to Los Angeles via Turkey, he was barred from continuing his travels by Turkish authorities after officials from the Department of Homeland Security said they found "derogatory information" linked to him.

The head of the rescue group Raed Saleh was also scheduled to fly out to the Academy Awards but needed to stay in Syria because "intense air strikes across the country mean he must focus on work inside Syria," according to Vox.

British director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara received the award and read a statement by Saleh, which quoted a line from the Quran - a line that is also The White Helmet's motto: 

"To save one life is to save all of humanity."