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Escape from terror: An eight-year-old boy’s 5600 km journey for life and education

Follow the incredible tale of determination and courage as a young boy embarks on a 5600 km journey to pursue education and a better life.

This is the incredible story of an 8-year-old boy who fled his hometown in western Mali to escape jihadists. Omar’s incredible journey aims to receive a good education and live peacefully. After walking miles through the harsh winds of the Sahara desert and a brief term in prison, Omar finally arrived in Italy, 3,500 miles away. The Daily Mail has revealed the details of this extraordinary journey undertaken solely to pursue learning.

Captured and Imprisoned

During his difficult trek, Omar was captured in Libya and imprisoned for slave labor. He had been hiding in a trash can but was discovered. Later, he crossed the Mediterranean Sea on a small boat. The boy became separated from his family four months earlier when Islamist militants attacked a village near Tambaga, Mali.

Although afraid of the terrorists, Omar was determined not to turn back. With unwavering resolve, the young boy walked through the dusty sands of the Sahara. The unforgiving terrain posed the toughest challenge on his journey, but strangers came to his aid at various points.

Upon arrival in Libya, a group captured Omar and forced him to work as a welder and painter. However, he soon escaped from them. Then, a small ship set sail, attempting to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe. Unfortunately, the Libyan army intercepted the boat.

Consequently, Omar ended up in Libya’s notorious Ain Sarah prison in Tripoli. With the help of two older fellow prisoners, he escaped by hiding in a garbage bin. He made his way back to the Mediterranean shores. There, 8-year-old Omar reunited with another older boy named Umar, who had been imprisoned with him. The two Umars continued their journey together.

Along with 23 other children and around 60 adults, the two Umars mistakenly believed another ship in the Mediterranean was the Libyan army during their perilous voyage. They feared having to return to jail. But it was an NGO lifeboat. Rescuers on a boat saved all the people from the sinking small craft after receiving a message about undocumented immigrants from Libya in distress.

Omar’s Story Shared with the World

Italian journalist Angela Niccioni, who was on the lifeboat, shared Omar’s incredible story with the world. She said his account is only being released after confirming its authenticity through her sources.

Despite his miserable journey, Omar had memorized his father’s phone number. Authorities at the local reception center facilitated a call to his father. After informing him of his safe arrival in Europe, Omar asked if he could go to school. The doctor at the center described this boy as exceptionally courageous and intelligent. Omar is currently receiving treatment for physical ailments.

Alok Verma

Alok Verma is an accomplished International Reporter at IndiaFocus with a deep-seated passion for global affairs and cross-border stories. With an impressive track record in international journalism, Alok is dedicated… More »

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