Some of you may have heard about Mamoudou Gassama, an undocumented immigrant from Africa who saved a little boy that was dangling from the balcony of an apartment building outside of Paris. For those who haven’t seen the video, Gassama, with Spiderman-like speed and strength, fearlessly scaled four stories up the side of the building in less than 30 seconds saving the four-year-old boy’s life. The video of the rescue went viral around the world, and Gassama has since met with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, who offered the 22-year-old man French residency and a job with the Paris Fire Brigade. In one of his many interviews, Gassama said immigrating to France by fleeing his native Mali through Burkina Faso, Niger, and Libya, where he was “treated like a slave”, was far more dangerous than climbing a four-story building.
Mamoudou Gassama is a humble man, and a true hero. Contrary to what some people would have us believe, there are millions of stories of immigrants who have risked life and limb to pursue a better life, and who have gone on to make remarkable contributions to their new country… This is just one of them.