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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

British Olympic champion Farah reveals he was trafficked to the UK as a child

Olympic champion Mo Farah revealed in an article published on Monday that he was brought to Britain illegally under the name of another child to work as a domestic worker.

Farah told the BBC that a woman gave him the name Mohamed Farah and brought him to the UK from Djibouti, an East African country, when he was 9 years old.

The 39-year-old, whose father was killed in Somalia when he was 4, said his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin and claimed he was forced to care for another family’s children in Britain.

“The truth is that I am not who you think I am,” he said as part of a documentary that will air on Wednesday.

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“Most people know me as Mo Farah, but it’s not my name, or it’s not reality.

“The real story is that I was born in Somaliland, north of Somalia, as Hussein Abdi Kahin. Despite what I’ve said in the past, my parents never lived in the UK.

“When I was 4 years old, my father died in the civil war, you know, as a family we were separated.

“I was separated from my mother and illegally brought to the UK under the name of another child called Mohamed Farah.”

Farah, who became the first British track and field athlete to win four Olympic gold medals, said his children encouraged him to be honest about his past.

File - In This Aug. 20, 2016 File Photo, Britain'S Mo Farah Celebrates Winning The Men'S 5,000M Gold Medal At The 2016 Summer Olympics In Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

FILE – In this Aug. 20, 2016 file photo, Britain’s Mo Farah celebrates winning the men’s 5,000m gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“I’ve been keeping it for so long that it’s been hard because you don’t want to face it and often my kids ask, ‘Dad, how come this?’ And you always have an answer for everything, but you don’t have an answer for that,” he said.

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

‘Just being honest’

Farah’s wife, Tania, said that in the year leading up to their 2010 wedding she realized “many pieces were missing from his story” but eventually “weared him out with questioning” and he told the truth.

During the TV show, Farah said she thought she was going to Europe to live with relatives and recalled going through a UK passport control in the guise of Mohamed at the age of 9.

“I had all the contact details of my relative and once we got to her house the lady took it from me and right in front of me she tore it up and threw it in the trash and at that moment I knew I was in trouble.” he said.

Farah eventually told his PE teacher, Alan Watkinson, the truth and moved in with his friend’s mother, Kinsi, who “really took such good care of him,” and stayed for seven years.

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

Farah, who named his son Hussein after his real name, said: “I often think of the other Mohamed Farah, the boy whose place I took on that plane, and I really hope he is okay.”

“Wherever he is, I carry his name and that could bring problems now for me and my family.

“The important thing for me is to be able to look, this is what happened and be honest, really.”

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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