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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.”

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They settled in Egypt, renting a small flat in the suburbs of Cairo.

UNHCR

Not long afterwards though, with the huge unrest in the country and subsequent removal of President Mohamed Morsi, public opinion turned against Syrians seeking refuge in Egypt.

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.

UNHCR

"I wanted to leave because there is no school here and I don't have friends," Mahmoud said in 2013.

"They hit me all the time."

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.

UNHCR

The young boy then spent the next five days in a detention centre without his family.

When he returned to Cairo the bullying resumed but he remained resolute.

What happened next turned his and his family’s life around.

UNHCR

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) presented Mahmoud’s case to the Swedish government after it began accepting Syrain refugees and in December 2013, Mahmoud and his family were informed they were being relocated.

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.”

Watch these videos for more on Mahmoud's remarkable story:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via UNHCR

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