A Spanish soccer coaching school has offered help to a Syrian man who was caught on camera being intentionally tripped by a camerawoman while fleeing from authorities in Hungary.
Osama Abdul Mohsen left Syria in 2012 and had been living in Turkey before making the journey to Europe this year, NBC reports. The 52-year-old said he left Syria with his family because it was “very, very difficult for anything, for life, for work, for sleep, for anything. War, war, war and everywhere you see dead."
Mohsen was carrying his 7-year-old son in his arms as he fled Hungarian police in the village of Roszke when a Hungarian camerawoman, Petra Laszlo, stuck out her leg and made him fall to the ground. Laszlo was fired for the incident, and for kicking other fleeing refugees in the village. Hungary has been especially unwelcoming to refugees, having built a razor wire fence on their border with Serbia and with their president still threatening to arrest all asylum seekers found in his country.
As reports about Mohsen's ordeal emerged, Spanish soccer coaching academy Escuela Cenafe heard that he used to be a soccer coach in Syria. They sent one of their alumni to meet Mohsen in Germany to help him and his two sons get to Spain, where they're offering him housing and support to get his family settled. ABC reports:
Miguel Angel Galan, president of the school, called the Spanish newspaper El Mundo to ask one of their reporters to help them locate the father and son. Once they were put in touch by phone, Galan offered Mohsen to train in Spain. In a written statement, the school notes that they offered to cover his travels and pay for his housing in Getafe, a suburb of Madrid as well as paying for their maintenance until Osama would be able to find a job.
"Thank you to all of Spain for the solidarity with Osama and his son Zaid. At midnight they arrive in Spain with our alum Mohamed," the school tweeted yesterday.
The school will help Mohsen apply for refugee status, learn Spanish, and find a job, according to Al Jazeera. His wife and two other children are still in Turkey. Under the latest European Union agreement, Spain will accept 17,680 refugees from Syria and other high-priority countries.