Last July O’Sayed Mohammed-Adam, a 26-year-old Sudanese refugee saved three teenage girls from drowning in a river near the city of Espéraza in south of France. This September he got decorated by the city for his bravery.
O’Sayed Mohammed-Adam is 26-year-old migrant and a political refugee from Sudan who, after a brief stay in Calais in the north of France, went to the south of the country in the province of Aude to try to rebuild his life.
While he was walking down the river of Aude, he saw three teenage girls struggling for their lives in the turbulent waters after a dam release. He didn’t think twice; he jumped in and managed to save all three of them.
“When I see someone needing help, I don’t feel the fear” he said.“In a case like this, I only think about the person’s safety.”
The authorities of the province of Aude decorated him with a special medal for his heroic act. The ceremony took place in the City Hall of Espérazawith hundreds of people, where he got the chance to meet the three girls he saved, whom he hadn’t seen since the day of the drowning. At the end of the ceremony the three girls were in tears. They each embraced him, followed by their parents and relatives who all thanked him deeply.
The Mayor of Espéraza during his speech claimed that the “act of bravery [is on] that shows that humanism, the love for the other, and the spirit of sacrifice do not have any frontier »
The mayor also took this opportunity to talk about the condition of refugees in France, especially since the province of Aude is about to welcome new ones very soon: “I ask you to put yourself in their shoes for two minutes, this is what I do when I get asked for something, I try to know why … It’s like our country is about to be in war, and you are in the obligation to run away, or to even leave Europe to go elsewhere.»
O’Sayed was a student when he was threatened by the Sudanese government. To save his life he was forced to leave the country he called home. After crossing Egypt, he headed to Europe aboard a makeshift boat to arrive in Italy eleven days later, after a grueling journey. But his journey is not over yet.
Like a lot of refugees, he arrived in the so-called “Jungle of Calais”, where he stayedfor about a week in a gigantic shantytown, with the hope of crossing the channel to reach Great Britain. But instead, he ends up being placed in a home center in the city of Espéraza in the province of Aude, where he lives with other migrants and takes lessons in French.
It is crazy how destiny works. With a distant point of view, you look at O’Sayed’s story and you can’t ignorethe fact that all of those struggles lead him to being in the right place at the right moment to save the lives of three young girls a thousand miles away of where his journey began. That even in a city coincidently called Espéraza. (the spanish word for hope.)
In this difficult times for refugees, where countries create walls – like the one in Calais – to prevent them from crossing, where controversies keep sparking about the refugee’s ethics, refugees like O’Sayed still don’t hesitate even for a second to save people in danger, even when it means putting their own life in stake. But when it comes to us, while it does not change a lot in our lives at all, we continue being reluctant and daring to complain. This is a big question we must ask ourselves here. O’Sayed certainly didn’t hesitate, In a case like this, I only think about the person’s safety. What about us ?
This article is written by Zeyneb.