The refugee who was tripped by a camera operator while carrying his son across a field in Hungary has been identified as Osama Abdul Mohsen, a soccer coach who was forced to flee after his hometown was destroyed in the civil war.
“We lost our house in Syria after suffering a number of artillery shells by [President] Assad’s forces,” his oldest son, Almuhannad, told NBC News.
Almuhannad, 19, is currently in Turkey with his mother and 13-year-old sister – and he hasn’t seen his dad, or brother Zaid, 7, in 10 days.
But he has seen the footage of Petra Laszlo, who worked for the N1TV channel, tripping his dad earlier this week. “It is very difficult,” he wrote from Turkey. He added, “I could not imagine the painful reality they experienced in those moments.”
Almuhannad said the family was forced to flee the eastern Syrian city of Deir-al-Zour after it became uninhabitable. In addition to the rockets and missiles, he said there was “no water, no electricity, no schools.”
The Syrian, whose dream is to play soccer professionally, said his father’s goal was to reach Germany. “We were hoping for a better life but life [in Turkey] is very difficult for the Syrians.”
Meanwhile, the camera operator who was fired for her actions, apologized on Friday. In a letter, she said she was “honestly really sorry” and said she panicked, feeling she was under attack as the migrants fled from police.
“I am not a heartless nationalist racist camerawoman. I don’t think I deserve the political witch hunt, hate campaign and death threats,” said Laszlo, who added that she was now the unemployed mother of a small child.