Mo Farah: I’m Hussein Abdi Khain – The Child Trafficked From Djibouti 

Mo Farah is a global spectacle. He has won multiple Olympic gold medals and is one of the greatest Olympians in the history of the games.

In the United Kingdom, he’s a household name. Every long stride, and the dangling necklace is a race to triumph. But that race is also against not going back to a life of pain and anguish – the type he left behind in Djibouti, and faced in the UK.

When he was just nine, Mo Farah was trafficked to the UK to become a child servant. His real name, he has revealed is Hussein Abdi Khain, from Djibouti.

The woman who flew him into the UK, he claims was a stranger. He was given the name Mohammed Farah and was asked to look after a family’s children, despite being a child himself. 

Mo Farah narrated his story to the BBC in a documentary that will air on Wednesday. 

Now 39, the star athlete said his family members have never been to the UK – his father died in a civil unrest in Somalia and his brothers and mother are in Somaliland- a breakaway state of Somalia still battling for international recognition.

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Farah said the woman who trafficked him lied that he was going to live with relatives and had to change his name as he had no travel papers. 

Now encouraged by his children to narrate his story, Farah said;

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

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

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

He said when he arrived in the UK, the woman took the paper which had his relative’s details, tore it apart and put it in the bin. 

He was forced to do housecare if he wanted to put food in his mouth and was warned not to talk to anyone if he wanted to see his family members again. 

Farah’s only respite became athletics and it has given him fame and prestige.

“The only thing I could do to get away from this (situation) was to get out and run,” he said. 

While Farah has enjoyed great success in the UK and has turned his pathetic story around, he feels for the real Mohammed Farah – the boy whose place he took on the plane.

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“I often think about the other Mohamed Farah, the boy whose place I took on that plane and I really hope he’s OK,”

Farah, the Olympian became a British citizen on the 25th of July, 2000 helped by his PE teacher Alan Watkinson who saw a future athletics star in him. 

Now a staple in the United Kingdom, he remembers the journey brought him to the UK. And the race against that life. 


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