Syrian Refugee Tripped by Camerawoman to Arrive in Spain to Work as Soccer Coach

Osama Abdul Mohsen and his son, 7, offered a chance at a new life in Spain.

September 17, 2015, 8:20 AM

— -- The Syrian refugee who was tripped while holding his child by a Hungarian camerawoman has moved to Spain after a soccer coaching school offered to help his family rebuild their lives.

Osama Abdul Mohsen, and his 7-year-old son Zaid, were emotional when they were greeted at Atocha train station in Madrid by staff from the soccer school.

"I love you, I love Madrid, I love Spain, all of Spain, thank you for all (for everything). This (is) very, very important for my life,” he said, speaking to reporters on the platform.

Camerawoman Petra Laszlo sent Osama and Zaid tumbling to the ground last week in a field while refugees and migrants were running away from authorities near the Hungarian village of Roszke. Video of the incident outraged many and the camerawoman was fired.

When Mohsen arrived in Germany, media reports emerged that he had been a soccer coach in Syria. Moved by the story, the president of CENAFE, a private Spanish soccer coaching school, decided he wanted to help them.

Now settled in his new home, Mohsen spoke about life in Syria saying it was “very, very difficult for anything, for life, for work, for sleep, for anything. War, war, war and everywhere you see dead'. He lived in Turkey one year, Osama said in an interview with Spanish television TVE, before embarking on his journey.

“Thank you to everyone in Spain who has shown solidarity with Osama and his son Zaid,” the school Tweeted, adding that Osama Abdul Mohsen and his 7-year-old son Zaid will be arriving later this evening.

Miguel Angel Galan, president of the school, called the Spanish newspaper El Mundo to ask one of their reporters to help them locate the father and son. Once they were put in touch by phone, Galan offered Mohsen to train in Spain. In a written statement, the school notes that they offered to cover his travels and pay for his housing in Getafe, a suburb of Madrid as well as paying for their maintenance until Osama would be able to find a job.

Once Mohsen accepted the offer, the school asked one of their Arabic-speaking students, Mohammed El Laubrozzi, 23, to travel to Munich to meet the family. They traveled to Paris, where they caught a train to Barcelona, and then a train to Madrid.

“I have support of the municipality to help them in their new life," Galan said in the statement, adding that he hopes to help Osama bring his wife and two more of his children who are in Turkey.

Spain last week agreed to take 17,680 refugees from Syria and other countries under a plan set up by the European Commission.

Politicians should take measures "so that they have a role here,” Galan said, adding that helping refugees "isn't about political parties or football federations."