I was so moved by this 12 year old boy when I met him at ‘the jungle’ refugee camp in Calais. By his fight, his fearlessness, courage, bravery, strength of belief and smile. Still so moved by him, as a symbol of strength, hope and resilience, that I looked into the meaning of his name.
One of the interpretations: “the sword of justice.”
I wonder if his mother, father knew everything he would grow to be when they named him as a baby.
Hossam not only led this demonstration, as a man, a true leader a fighter, but represents everything about struggle. And people that are subject to grave struggle.
I once gave a talk, which was supposed to be a part of some training. I asked everyone to discuss what inspired them. And at the end, it was my turn. My talk was on ‘strength despite adversity.’ I used two contrasting stories when I gave that talk, I didn’t realise when I was thinking about delivering it, it would cause my voice to break.
If I gave the talk again, it would include Hossam.
12 years old. From Egypt. Arrived to the jungle- alone. I don’t know where his family are. He has made friends with many in the camp, people who revere him, and who he calls brother. I have since read about him, and he lives in his tent alone and is considered ‘house proud’ despite the conditions.
During the demonstration, he was powerful. His power was in his ability to stir deep emotion within people. Within me. Disbelief, guilt, fear, love, hope. And he has no idea.
Although he was carried on the shoulders of different men throughout the demonstration because he was little, and only looked about 9/10- he stood alone.
Above and beyond everyone.
Advocating their common cause.
His chants resonated across the thousands.
No jungle, no jungle.
Hariya (Freedom in Arabic).
Azadi (Freedom in many languages including Pashto, Kurdish and Urdu).
The fact he adopted different languages, to say the same thing highlights that the cause is one.
They are one.
Humanity is one.