Five-year-old Ahmed Dawabsha, the orphaned son of a Palestinian family killed last year in an arson attack by Israeli extremists, meets Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo, in Madrid, Spain on March 17. ( Photo: Victor Carretero/realmadrid.com/Anadolu Agenci)
Elham Asaad Buaras
A 5 year-old Palestinian boy who survived a firebomb attack by Jewish extremists that killed his parents and baby brother met Real Madrid stars, including his idol Cristiano Ronaldo on March 17..
Ahmed Dawabsha has been recovering from his injuries over the past eight months in the Jordanian capital Amman. He flew to Madrid on March 16 and toured Santiago Bernabeu the following day.
The trip was organised by Real Madrid coach and former French international Zinedine Zidane. Palestinian FA President, Jibril Rajoub, said: “There is an unknown soldier in this initiative and that is Zinedine Zidane, who we warmly thank.”
He also welcomed the “superb humanitarian gesture by Real Madrid, its administration and Cristiano Ronaldo, who are restoring hope for a child who lost his entire family.”
Moved by images of the bandaged boy wearing a Real Madrid jersey, Palestinians campaigned for months on social media to persuade the team to meet Ahmed.
And his dream came true as he posed for photos and had a Real shirt christened with his own name on the back signed by the club’s Galacticos, including three-time World Player of the Year, Ronaldo and Welsh star Bale.
The Dawabsha family were sound asleep in their home in the village of Duma, in the West Bank, when it was firebombed on July 31 last year. Saad and Riham Dawabsha and their 18-month-old son, Ali, all died while their other son, Ahmed, recovered in hospital after suffering serious burns to his body.
In December Ronaldo also met a three-year-old Lebanese boy who had lost both parents in a suicide bombing in his home country.
His on-field rival, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, was similarly moved by the plight of another five-year-old: Afghan boy Murtaza Ahmadi won the internet’s heart when he was pictured wearing a plastic bag as an improvised Messi jersey.
He traveled with his family to Kabul last month to receive two jerseys autographed by the Argentine star, which were presented to the young fan by UNICEF.