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Olympic great Mo Farah was trafficked to the UK where she was forced to be a nanny

#Olympic #great #Farah #trafficked #forced #nanny

Olympic champion Mo Farah was trafficked illegally from Djibouti to the UK aged nine and forced to work as a child servant, he has revealed, saying his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin.

The long-distance runner was flown to Britain from the east African country when he was eight or nine years old by a woman he’d never met named Mohammed Farah and then made to look after another family’s children, he tells a BBC TV documentary “The Real”. Mo Farah” will be broadcast on Wednesday.

Farah, who competed in the 5,000-10,000m doubles at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, previously said he came to the UK with his parents as a refugee from Somalia.

But in startling revelations, the 39-year-old now says his parents have never been to the UK – his father was killed in civil unrest in Somalia when Farah was four, and his mother and two brothers live in the breakaway state of Somaliland, which is internationally recognized is not recognized.

“The truth is, I’m not who you think I am,” says Farah. “Most people know me as Mo Farah, but it’s not my name or it’s not reality.”

The woman who flew with him to the UK told him he was being taken to relatives and said his name was Mohamed as she had fake travel documents showing his photo next to the name ‘Mohamed Farah’.

Farah, the first British track and field athlete to win four Olympic gold medals, said his children motivated him to tell the truth about his past.

“I’ve kept it for so long, it was difficult because you don’t want to see it, and a lot of times my kids ask, ‘Dad, how come?’ And you always have an answer for everything, but you don’t have an answer for that,” he said.

“That’s the main reason I’m telling my story, because I want to feel normal and not feel like you’re stuck on something.”

– ‘Get out and run’ –

Farah’s wife, Tania, said the year before their 2010 marriage that she realized “a lot of pieces were missing from his story,” but she “eventually dumped him with the questioning” and he was telling the truth.

When he arrived in the UK, Farah said the woman who was accompanying him took a piece of paper with his relatives’ contact details from him and “ripped it up and threw it in the bin.

“In that moment, I knew I was in trouble,” he says.

Farah says he was forced to do housework and childcare “when I wanted food in my mouth” and was told, “If you ever want to see your family again, don’t say anything.”

“A lot of times I’d just lock myself in the bathroom and cry,” he says.

Farah’s physical education teacher Alan Watkinson noted how the boy’s mood changed when he was on the track.

“The only language he seemed to understand was the language of sport and sport,” says Watkinson.

Farah says it was athletics that allowed him to escape.

“The only thing I could do to get out of this[situation]was go outside and run,” he says.

Farah eventually told Watkinson the truth, and he informed local authorities.

It was Watkinson who applied for Farah’s British citizenship in what he described as a “long process”, and on 25 July 2000 Farah was recognized as a British citizen.

“I often think of the other Mohamed Farah, the boy whose place I took on this plane and I really hope he’s okay,” Farah said.

Farah was commended on Wednesday for telling his story.

“We applaud @Mo_Farah for his courage in telling his heartbreaking story,” the UK charity Refugee Council tweeted.

“He underscores the human reality at the heart of so many stories like his,” it added. “And the urgent need for safe and humane routes for asylum seekers.”

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#Olympic #great #Farah #trafficked #forced #nanny

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