A Big hero

From Ukraine to Slovakia, traveling alone at 11 to escape the war. Hassan Al-Khalaf, a child from Zaporizhzhia (where there is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe conquered by Russia) left with a backpack, a passport, a phone number written on his hand and a note by his mother who thanked anyone who would help him. He travelled alone by train, because his mother couldn’t go with him, and he headed to the home of some relatives who live in Bratislava without knowing if he would make it. A 1,000-kilometer journey. The story was told by the Interior Ministry of Slovakia. The child carried with him a note written by his mother, in which she thanked those who would help him and the Slovak government for the welcome. Hassan conquered the officials “with his smile, fearlessness and determination, worthy of a true hero”, reads a post published on the Facebook page of the Slovakian ministry. As soon as he arrived, Slovak officials were able to contact his relatives thanks to the number written on his hand and bring him to them in Bratislava, safe and sound. “With a plastic bag, passport and phone number written on his hand, he only came completely because his parents had to stay in Ukraine,” the ministry said. “The volunteers gladly took care of him, took him to a warm place and provided him with food and drink.” A story that ended well.

There are many Ukrainians who continue to leave their country every day for the war. Nearly 3 million refugees have fled Ukraine since war broke out on February 24. War is a drama for everyone, especially for children who are often separated from their family in the chaos of fleeing their homes. And Hassan is just one of the children that are leaving their country unaccompanied after being sent by family members who want their children to be safe from ground attack and aerial explosions.

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Giuseppe Panebianco


II A – Furci Siculo