A student caught up in the attack on a school bus in Milan, Italy has been hailed a hero for saving his fellow classmates and teachers.
What should have been a 10-minute bus ride turned into a nightmare, when 51 students and their two teachers were taken hostage on their school bus. The hijacker took away all the teenagers’ phones but one student, 13-year-old Ramy Shehata, managed to hide his.
According to Italian media, Ramy pretended to pray in Arabic while, in fact, he was calling his father to tell him to alert police who then formed a blockade to stop the bus. The hijacker then set the bus on fire and was reported to have said “nobody gets off here alive,” but police were able to get everyone off the bus safely.
The student, whose father moved to Italy from Egypt in 2001, said he was sure he would die when the bus was set on fire and that he prayed to Allah.
When asked if he was brave, Ramy said he was just thinking of his classmates. He continued: “I wanted to save them, I tried to calm them down, I didn’t care what would happen to me. After talking to my dad I started praying, I am a practising Muslim.
Despite having been born in Italy in 2005, Ramy does not have Italian citizenship, but now calls are being made to give it to him, including from Italy’s Deputy Priminister, Luigi Di Maio.
He wrote on Facebook: “He put his own life at risk to save his companions. It’s also thanks to him that the worst was avoided.”