The father and son who were tripped by a camerawoman while fleeing from Hungarian police arrived in Madrid Thursday morning. In Madrid, the father, Osama Abdul Mohsen, will be taught Spanish and will then coach a soccer team. Once up on his feet and adjusted in the country, his whole family, who are staying in Turkey at present, will hopefully be granted asylum in Spain.
Days after the footage of Hungarian camerawoman Petra Laszlo hit the worldwide web, Almuhannad, Osama’s oldest son who is living in Turkey, spoke with NBC News via email. He said they were forced to flee their hometown of Deir el-Zor because their house was destroyed in the wakes of the civil war in the region. Furthermore, there had been no water, no electricity and no schools back home.
Almuhannad told NBC that his father used to supervise sports teams back home. His father had also coached at the Al-Fotuwa Soccer club. Asked about seeing the footage of his father and 7-year-old brother Zaid, Almuhannad said, “It is very difficult. I could not imagine the painful reality they experienced in those moments.”
A separate news from NBC said Osama was wounded in Munich after the incident. “We are better now thank God. I fell on him but I put my hand under him so he would not get hurt. I cannot understand how she had the audacity to do such a thing. I actually thought it was a policeman who tripped me,” Osama recalled.
A separate report from The Telegraph said Osama was initially shocked after being tripped and then he felt pain “when I saw the fear and panic in my son’s face.” Osama said Zaid cried for two hours. As if the incident was not enough, the Hungarian police took them at the station, got their fingerprints and threatened imprisonment.
Now while his story is being reported by international media, Miguel Angel Calan, president of the CENAFE soccer school in Spain, took an interest on him. He was specially moved knowing that Osama, just like him, has the love of the sports.
According to Mashable, Galan reached out to a journalist and sought help to locate Osama. Once located, Galan offered to buy Osama and his son Zaid their tickets to Spain. The soccer school will support his family while Osama is learning Spanish. Galan will also pay for the rent of their home until the family can do on their own. The school is also planning to help the family to apply for asylum in Spain.
“The first thing is to get him settled. First we’re giving him a hand as a humanitarian gesture. Later we’ll look for something. He’s interested in our school,” Luis Miguel Pedraza, the school’s spokesman said.
On Thursday morning, The Bellingham Herald reported that Osama and Zaid arrived in Madrid. According to the report, the father and son arrived past midnight after travelling for more than 20 hours from Germany to Spain. Osama’s first words upon stepping out of the train were “Thank you all.”
“This is very, very important for my life. Thank you very much. Now I feel that I am (flying) in the sky. I am very happy,” Osama said.
Zaid, who was obviously tired, emerged with a broad smile. The boy said he loves soccer and his greatest idol is “Christiano Ronaldo.”