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Syrian Teen Mohamad Khalil, Who Was Shot In School Attack, Dedicates Life In Britain To Helping Others

He watched as his friends bled to death around him.

12/04/2017 16:37

A teenage refugee, who was shot in the leg during an attack on his school in Syria, has been awarded a prize for helping others in Leeds. 

Mohamad Khalil was just 10 when gunmen opened fire at his school. 

Forced to play dead to avoid being killed, he lay with a gunshot wound in his thigh as his friends bled to death around him. 

“I was really small,” Khalil, 16, told The Huffington Post UK. “When I left the school, there was nobody at home.                        

Rotary International
Mohamad Khalil was shot in the thigh during a school attack when he was 10 

“I went to my dad’s friend and he took the bullet out of my leg.”

He continued: “I lost a lot of blood because there were no doctors there and no blood. Nothing. 

“My face was very yellow.” 

After the attack, Khalil and his family fled to Romania, before travelling to the UK four years ago. 

“I feel like crying every time I see Syria on the news,” he said. “I remember all the things that happened to me. 

“It feels like all these things happened to me. For some people, all their families died. Even babies.”   

Rotary International
The 16-year-old has dedicated his life to helping others 

But while he struggles to deal with his difficult past, he has helped others since coming to the UK. 

The teen recently became a carer for both his parents after his mother was diagnosed with cancer and his father suffered a debilitating injury at work. 

“I was very sad because my mum needed an operation and my dad was sick,” Khalil said.

“I wanted to help them because nobody can help them in the house. I was shopping for my mum, I was helping my dad put his shoes on.” 

As well as working in a restaurant to help support his family, the GCSE student also tutors his classmates in school.

“I started helping people at school because my English was bad, but I was helping people who didn’t know maths.

“All the teachers in the school like me because I love helping people.” 

“His story is what pushes him and his story is what makes him want to change things,” one of Khalil’s teachers told the BBC.  

Rotary International
Khalil with his family 

“Seeing the war at such a young age, he speaks about helping people who have been through that that are not managing as well as him.” 

Khalil’s efforts were recognised recently when he was honoured with a Rotary Young Citizen award for his working helping the community. 

“My dad was so proud of me,” the teen said. “He cried and said: ‘You did something good for yourself and your family’. 

“This award means everything to me.”

One of seven winners, Khalil has donated the £500 he was awarded to a local charity that helps refugees. 

Eve Conway, president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, said: “Mohamad is an incredible young man, who is an example to us all on maintaining a positive mind-set even in the face of adversity.” 

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