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Syrians sponsored by soccer school tour their new home

Osama Abdul Mohsen and his sons Mohammed and Zaid were greeted by residents of the Madrid suburb of Getafe

  • There was a global public outcry over images of Osama Abdul Mohsen, a Syrian refugee, falling to the ground with a child in his arms after a Hungarian reporter tripped him up in front of the cameras. It was this scene that motivated Miguel Ángel Galán, president of the National Soccer Coach Training Center (Cenafe), to help Abdul Mohsen move to Spain. The Syrian man arrived in Madrid on Wednesday night with two of his children, Zaid, 7 and Mohammed, 18. On Thursday, they spent their first day in Getafe, their new home, where they visited Cenafe headquarters. Pictured is Zaid with a soccer ball he had just received as a present.
    1There was a global public outcry over images of Osama Abdul Mohsen, a Syrian refugee, falling to the ground with a child in his arms after a Hungarian reporter tripped him up in front of the cameras. It was this scene that motivated Miguel Ángel Galán, president of the National Soccer Coach Training Center (Cenafe), to help Abdul Mohsen move to Spain. The Syrian man arrived in Madrid on Wednesday night with two of his children, Zaid, 7 and Mohammed, 18. On Thursday, they spent their first day in Getafe, their new home, where they visited Cenafe headquarters. Pictured is Zaid with a soccer ball he had just received as a present.
  • Abdul Mohsen’s wife and two other children remain in Turkey, where the family resided for a year-and-a-half after fleeing Syria. “Life was extremely expensive there, I had no job and no future for our kids,” he explains. “That is why we left.” Now he wants his children to go back to school, and to find a job for himself. Back home he used to be a soccer coach, and he wants to keep on doing that in Spain. Pictured, Abdul Mohsen (second from left), his sons Zaid and Mohammed, and Miguel Ángel Galán (far right), head of Cenafe, which paid for the Syrian family’s trip to Madrid from Munich.
    2Abdul Mohsen’s wife and two other children remain in Turkey, where the family resided for a year-and-a-half after fleeing Syria. “Life was extremely expensive there, I had no job and no future for our kids,” he explains. “That is why we left.” Now he wants his children to go back to school, and to find a job for himself. Back home he used to be a soccer coach, and he wants to keep on doing that in Spain. Pictured, Abdul Mohsen (second from left), his sons Zaid and Mohammed, and Miguel Ángel Galán (far right), head of Cenafe, which paid for the Syrian family’s trip to Madrid from Munich.
  • Mohammed traveled to Germany a few months before his father and little brother. His journey on a boat from Turkey to Italy was “tough...very tough,” he says. From there he continued on his way to Munich. Now he says he wants to go back to school and play soccer. Pictured, Mohammed holding his brother Zaid in his arms during a stroll in Getafe.
    3Mohammed traveled to Germany a few months before his father and little brother. His journey on a boat from Turkey to Italy was “tough...very tough,” he says. From there he continued on his way to Munich. Now he says he wants to go back to school and play soccer. Pictured, Mohammed holding his brother Zaid in his arms during a stroll in Getafe.
  • “I am very happy,” says Abdul Mohsen over and over, expressing gratitude for the help he and his family have received. The national soccer coach training center Cenafe has pledged to pay for their rental home and upkeep until he finds a job. Back in Syria he used to work as a soccer coach. Pictured, Abdul Mohsen greeting a Cenafe employee during a visit to the facilities.
    4“I am very happy,” says Abdul Mohsen over and over, expressing gratitude for the help he and his family have received. The national soccer coach training center Cenafe has pledged to pay for their rental home and upkeep until he finds a job. Back in Syria he used to work as a soccer coach. Pictured, Abdul Mohsen greeting a Cenafe employee during a visit to the facilities.
  • “I want to find a job, bring my wife and two other kids over from Turkey, and I want the children to go back to school,” he says. “Once I have achieved that, my intention is to help the people of my country. They need help back in Syria. [President Bachar] El Assad is bad. And so is the Islamic State. People are suffering a lot. I would like to see this discussed more in Spain.” Pictured, Abdul Mohsen during a walk in Getafe.
    5“I want to find a job, bring my wife and two other kids over from Turkey, and I want the children to go back to school,” he says. “Once I have achieved that, my intention is to help the people of my country. They need help back in Syria. [President Bachar] El Assad is bad. And so is the Islamic State. People are suffering a lot. I would like to see this discussed more in Spain.” Pictured, Abdul Mohsen during a walk in Getafe.
  • The family had a very busy schedule on Thursday. The phone has been ringing off the hook since early in the morning, and they have talked to dozens of journalists and local residents who stopped them as they walked down the street. Little Zaid was given a soccer ball that he played with the whole time that his father and older brother visited Cenafe facilities in Getafe.
    6The family had a very busy schedule on Thursday. The phone has been ringing off the hook since early in the morning, and they have talked to dozens of journalists and local residents who stopped them as they walked down the street. Little Zaid was given a soccer ball that he played with the whole time that his father and older brother visited Cenafe facilities in Getafe.