“The truth is, I’m not what you think I am. Most people know me as Mo Farah, but that’s not the reality. I was separated from my mother, and I was brought to the UK illegally in someone else’s name. The baby’s name is Mohammad Farah.”The four-time Olympic champion explained in an interview that will be broadcast on the BBC on Wednesday.
Farah, now 39, said in the interview that he got the name Mohammed Farah from a woman who brought him to the UK – told him he would join relatives there – at the age of nine from the East African country of Djibouti.
The author of the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 5,000m / 10,000m doubles event in Rio revealed that his name is actually Hussein Abdi Kahin. Her father was killed in Somalia when she was four years old. His mother and two brothers live in the separatist region of Somaliland, which is not recognized by the international community.
“The fact is that I was born in Somaliland, in northern Somalia as Hussein Abdi Kahin. Despite what I have said in the past, my parents never lived in the UK.”Farah continued.
He explained earlier that he was born in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, and came to Great Britain in 1993 at the age of 10 to join his mother and his two brothers and sister, his computer scientist father.
After arriving in the country, the woman with him took the paper so that the coordinates of her relatives were displayed, “Tear it up and throw it in the trash”Farah says. “At that moment, I knew I had a problem.”
Farah, the first British to win four Olympic titles in athletics, added that she was forced to do housework and look after other children with a British family if she wanted to. “Enough to eat” “If you want to see your family again one day, don’t say anything“, He heard himself say. “I often stuck myself in the bathroom and cried.”She believes.
Confidence in a teacher
One day, he finally revealed the truth to his physical education teacher, Alan Watkinson, who noticed a change in his mood while on the track. Then he went to live with his mother “Friend” Those happened “Really busy” From him.
“He only understood the language of physical education and sports. “ Says Alan Watkinson. “All I can do to get out of this (situation) is to get out and run.“, Farah said.
The professor then applied for British citizenship for the athlete, which was finally granted on July 25, 2000. Farah returned to Somalia in 2003 and later laid the groundwork with his wife to build wells in Africa and provide food and medicine to help.
“I realized I couldn’t stay there anymore. If I stayed, I wouldn’t be that runner.”He explained in 2007, a year after his international stage on the track (silver in the 5,000 at the European Championships).
A six-time world champion, he became a huge star in Great Britain by earning his double at the London 2012 Games, then repeated it in Rio four years later. Despite success in the famous Chicago Marathon in 2018, he then took to the streets, but with less success.
I often think of another Mohammed Farah
The athlete explained that it was his four children who persuaded him to reveal the truth about his past. “I hid it for so long, it was hard because you don’t want to face it and often my kids would ask questions (…) and you always have the answer to everything, but you don’t have the answer for that.”
“That’s the main reason I tell my story, because I want to feel normal and not feel like I’m stuck in anything.” He shouted. Farah, who calls his son Hussein by his real name, concludes: “I often think of another Mohammed Farah, the boy in whose seat I got on that plane, and I really hope he’s fine.”
There is no pursuit
Lawyers have warned Mo Farah that he could revoke his British citizenship as soon as he reveals his identity “False declaration”. “No case will be brought against Sir Mo Farah and any advice given otherwise is false.” The Home Office told AFP. “I salute Mo Farah, what an incredible man who survived this trauma as a child and has become such a role model.”Finance Minister Nadeem Zahui, who fled Iraq as a child, responded.
“We need to build a future where this kind of thing doesn’t exist anymore.”London Labor Mayor Sadiq Khan noted that the British government was planning to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda as part of its anti-immigration policy.