Meet The 9-Year-Old Boy Who Found Sanctuary From The Horrors Of Syria In Snowy Sweden
"I just want to live a new life, far from violence, killing, and war.”
In 2012, Mahmoud and his family fled their hometown of Aleppo, in Syria, as civil war raged in the country.
They settled in Egypt, renting a small flat in the suburbs of Cairo.
Mahmoud became the victim of bullies and was physically attacked. Afraid and unable to attend school, the young boy refused to leave his family’s apartment.
Mahmoud’s father Mohamed Farid also saw no future for his eldest child in Egypt and eventually took the harrowing decision to put his son on an illegal boat to Italy, alone.
No one sends their son out into the world alone unless they live in real fear.Our lives are too difficult here.
However, the boat Mahmoud took was fired upon before it even left Egyptian waters.
"I have a dream that one day we will have a new house in a better place. I will go to school and make new friends," the incredible young boy declared.
What happened next turned his and his family’s life around.
In January of this year, the family flew to Sweden and travelled to the small town of Torsby where they would start their new lives.
The move was monumental for so many reasons.
"When I first heard I was going to travel, I was so happy," said Mahmoud.
"I have travelled twice before in my life, but the last two times we travelled we were escaping. And this time I am going to live a new life."
Initially shy, Mahmoud soon settled in and can now introduce himself in simple Swedish.
"I was so happy when I saw the school. And I was happy I made some new friends," the nine-year-old said.
"Now I just want to live a new life, far from violence, killing and war.”