May 21, 2024

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The Iraqi father who lost his 7-year-old daughter in the English Channel is deeply saddened

The Iraqi father who lost his 7-year-old daughter in the English Channel is deeply saddened

The Iraqi father who lost his seven-year-old daughter last week while his family tried to cross the border English channel He spoke to the BBC about his tragic loss, saying he would “never be able to forgive himself.”

Ahmed Al Hashemi had boarded the rubber boat with his wife and three children from the side of Vimir, south of Calais, on April 23, with the aim, like the rest of his fellow passengers, of To cross into Britain illegally. Shortly before departure, a group of migrants rushed to board the already overcrowded boat. The moments that followed were horrific, leading to 7-year-old Sarah and four other people being trampled to death.

“I was asking him to move so I could take my child,” the 41-year-old says today about the Sudanese young man who was among the group of migrants who boarded the boat at the last minute, causing the tragedy. But he ignored him at first and then threatened him.

“We saw people dying. I saw how these people behaved. They didn't care who they stepped on, whether it was a child, a young man or an old person. People started suffocating.”

Although Ahmed is Iraqi, his daughter has never set foot in the house Iraq. She was born in Belgium and spent most of her short, tragic life in Sweden.

Al-Hussaimi described to the British network his efforts to rescue his daughter, whose body was trapped in the overcrowded boat, appealing to other migrants to help him. His wife, Nour Al-Saeed, and their two other children, 13-year-old Rahaf and 8-year-old Hossam, were also trapped, but were able to breathe. “I work in construction. I'm strong. But even I couldn't free my legs,” he says characteristically, explaining that his daughter was under the feet of the passengers.

According to BBCThe Al-Hashemi family has arrived OK Two months ago, this was the fourth time they had attempted to cross the English Channel. On previous occasions, local police intervened and prevented them. This time, the traffickers – who charge 1,500 euros for each adult passenger on their boats and about half that amount for each child – promised them that the boat would carry only 40 people, most of them Iraqis. The arrival of the group of Sudanese migrants shortly before departure from the coast surprised the passengers. When Al-Hussaimi lifted the seven-year-old off his shoulders to help her sister on, little Sarah was swept away from the rest of her family and became trapped under the passengers' feet. The tragic father was only able to reach his daughter when French rescuers arrived and began evacuating the boat with 100 migrants on board.

“I saw her head in the corner of the boat. She was bruised. She was already dead when we took her out. He wasn’t breathing,” the Iraqi says, crying.

Today, Ahmed's family is still in France awaiting permission to bury Sarah. Today he responds to criticism that he put his family in danger in order to enter Britain illegally. “I will never forgive myself. But the sea was our only option. Nothing that happened was anything I wanted. I ran out of options. People blame me and ask how I could put my daughters in danger. But I spent 14 years in Europe and they rejected me.”“, says the 41-year-old. According to him, all his previous attempts to secure permanent residency in the European Union for himself and his family, after fleeing Iraq due to threats from paramilitary groups, have failed.

Sarah and her older brothers

The 41-year-old said that Belgium refused to grant him asylum because… BasraHis birthplace in Iraq is considered a safe area. His children have spent the past seven years staying with relatives in Sweden, but he was recently informed that they would be deported with him to Iraq.

“If I had known there was a 1% chance the children would stay in Belgium, France, Sweden or Finland I would have kept them there. All I wanted was for my children to go to school. I didn’t want financial help. My wife and I could work.” I just wanted to protect my children And their dignity,” says the 41-year-old, wondering what his accusers would do in his place. “They did not suffer as I suffered. This was my last resort,” he says as he seeks support from the British government.

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