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A new French hero

(35 Posts)
varian Mon 28-May-18 19:08:10

A Malian immigrant, who scaled an apartment building in Paris to save the life of a dangling toddler is to be granted French citizenship, President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.

Mamoudou Gassama, a 22-year-old undocumented immigrant who carried out a spectacular rescue of a four-year-old who was dangling from a balcony in Paris has been rewarded by the French president.

Macron revealed on Tuesday after meeting with Gassama at the Elysée Palace that the young hero, dubbed "Le Spiderman" would be granted French citizenship and enrolled as a voluntary firefighter in the French fire service.

"You have become an example because millions of people have seen you. It is only right that the nation be grateful," Macron told the 22-year-old, adding that his immigration status would be "put in order."

Here is a film of the rescue-

Niobe Mon 28-May-18 19:19:03

Compare that to the way Britain has treated first the Gukhas and then the Iraqui and Afghan translators who risked all to help British soldiers in those countries.

Joelsnan Mon 28-May-18 19:23:45

A wonderful thing for this young man to have done, but I wonder if Macron's gesture regarding his immigration status was only prompted by the massive media attention this act of selflessness and bravery attracted.

Anniebach Mon 28-May-18 19:26:40

A very brave man

Fennel Mon 28-May-18 19:36:21

It seems to have been an instinctive act of bravery - wonderful!
Macron is so different from previous presidents, he has an aura of sincerity which the french do appreciate.
I just hope that the french media - who are better regulated than the UK. - don't manage to destroy him.
And the powerful unions haven't given up yet.
We used to watch France 24 on tv, which gies a good coverage in english of what's going on in France.

merlotgran Mon 28-May-18 19:58:51

An amazing and very courageous thing to do. If it had been a scene in an action movie I'd have said it was far fetched.

Don't take this the wrong way but I had to giggle when DD said, 'Oh my, do you think he's a cat burglar?' grin

sodapop Mon 28-May-18 20:47:10

My husband said exactly the same thing Merlotgran a brave man indeed.

MargaretX Mon 28-May-18 21:13:14

Don't forget Mme Macron. he relies on her judgement- always has, and she has made some excellent decisions regardiing his behaviour as president.

OldMeg Mon 28-May-18 22:05:59

Yes, a wonderful and spontaneous act of bravery.

We all need heroes

Chewbacca Mon 28-May-18 22:41:36

And he's the 2nd Malian immigrant to France to show such selfless bravery too. In 2015, Lassana Bathily, also Malian, showed great courage and bravery during an extremist attack in a Jewish supermarket in Paris. Within 2 weeks of his heroic act, he too was given leave to remain, after struggling for 6 years.

dbDB77 Mon 28-May-18 22:41:40

Yes Old Meg - particularly Bonnie Tyler ?

Gerispringer Tue 29-May-18 05:14:44

Yes they do things like this quickly in France. In this country he’d probably be locked up until there was a newspaper campaign to free him. There would be a crowdfunding appeal which would pay his legal fees.

Baggs Tue 29-May-18 05:35:56

"struggling for six years" (see chew's mention of a previous story of the same kind) doesn't sound like 'quickly' to me.

I do wonder if it's possible for countries to grant citizenship 'quickly' (whatever that means: weeks? months? a year or two?). If you think about checks that presumably have to be made and the sincerity of applications, etc, etc, it soon doesn't look like a thing that can be done quickly anywhere except in exceptional circumstances like the heroism mentioned.

Citizenship isn't a simple thing nor, necessarily, an issue. Individuals can still be allowed to live and work in a country in which they are not citizens. My brother only became a US citizen after living and working there for over two decades. Similarly, I have a friend in UK who has been here for decades but who is not a UK citizen and who doesn't feel any need to be one.

OldMeg Tue 29-May-18 06:34:45

You overthinking this perhaps Baggs?

Baggs Tue 29-May-18 06:58:23

Nope. I think most people underthink stuff like this and make all sorts of stupid assumptions because of that.

OldMeg Tue 29-May-18 07:33:02

So not a grear believer in Occam's razor then?

Gerispringer Tue 29-May-18 07:45:19

I do know you don’t have to be a citizen to live and work in a country. #notthatstupid

DanniRae Tue 29-May-18 08:15:56

This is an inspiring story and well done President Macron for his prompt acknowledgement of such bravery BUT do we have to take this opportunity to KNOCK this country? And why?

Mamie Tue 29-May-18 09:19:43

I think what he is getting is a fast-track to a Carte de Séjour, which is more like an entitlement to permanent residence. We have these cards (after a lengthy bureaucratic process involving masses of paperwork, several visits to the préfecture and some costs for official translations). It is not Citizenship which takes much longer and involves a language exam for under sixties.
The comment about doing things quickly in France brought a wry smile to my lips.

felice Tue 29-May-18 10:06:19

As long as you have all the correct papers and required translations it take exactly 4 months to recieve citizenship here in Belguim. I know as I am in the process of applying, I went to the local commune on Monday morning but forgot to take passport sized photos.angry at myself.

ffinnochio Tue 29-May-18 10:10:07

When we arrived in France in 2003, a Carte de Séjour was no longer required. If I remember correctly, they had been considered unnecessary several years before that.

Perhaps that was because we were European, and other types of residency papers are now required for those who used to live outside the EU. Obtaining citizenship was certainly known to be a very long drawn out process.

ffinnochio Tue 29-May-18 10:15:38

Wry smile to my lips, too Mamie

Permanent residency was just ‘allowed’ to us. No form filling, but as we were French tax payers, I guess that made it all ok.

Mamie Tue 29-May-18 10:45:18

Citizenship takes apparently about two years at the moment.
For Carte de Séjour the amount of paperwork varies between regions. Ours was on the weighty side - translations of birth and marriage certificates, minimum five years tax returns, proof of health cover, proof of income, electricity bills, photographs, proof of local taxes. I think it took us about 60 hours of collecting and photocopying and cost about 300€, though the card itself was free.

varian Tue 29-May-18 11:00:41

I am glad that this story has met with so many favourable comments.

I think President Macron's response has been exemplary - swift and inspired, recognising this young man's bravery, not just with a medal, but a promise to facilitate his becoming a French citizen and also offering him a position as a trainee firefighter - a job which requires the level of fitness, courage and humanitarian instincts which Mamoudou Gassama demonstrated when he saved that child. I hope he has a very successful career and a happy life in France

Baggs Tue 29-May-18 11:21:12

Thanks for the info, mamie.

om, I love Occam's razor but it doesn't apply to this, as mamie's posts confirm. What my so-called over-thinking was about is questioning assumptions about how things are done in other countries just as a way of UK-bashing.

I'm glad the man's quick action has been recognised as good and worthy of quick acknowledgement and reward.