Schoolboy haunted by being waterboarded now struggles to make friends

Jamal Hijazi says he feels the incident has ‘cost him his future’ (Picture: SWNS/Google Map)

The Syrian schoolboy who was filmed being attacked in a playground last year, says he is still ‘desperately looking for a school to complete his GCSEs to fulfil his dream of being a pharmacist’.

Jamal Hijazi, 16, says he also struggles to make friends as he avoids telling people who he is or where he has come from, as fellow pupils ask him about the incident and he has to relive the trauma of what happened.

On October 25 last year an unnamed 16-year-old grabbed Jamal round the neck on the field of Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

A video that later went viral shows the teenage aggressor choking the 15-year-old, squirting a bottle of water in his face and saying: ‘Ya little b******. I’ll drown ya.’

Jamal and his family fled Syria’s civil war and arrived in the UK as refugees.

Jamal was pushed to the ground and had water poured on his face at Almondbury Community School (Picture: Dan Rowlands /

Since the attack Jamal and his family have had to relocate after receiving threats from people who had seen the video.

He now says the incident has made him feel like he has ‘lost his future’ because of the delays in completing his GCSEs.

Jamal says he has been sent to an adult college where he struggles to fit in and has been told to complete an ESOL qualification, which he claims ‘would take a number of years’ and delay his dreams to ‘help people and become a pharmacist’.

He told ‘I am begging schools and colleges to just let me do my GCSEs, I want to move on from this.

Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire (Picture: Google Map)

‘It’s very hard. This incident has really changed my life.

‘I want to be a pharmacist, but you can’t do that if you don’t have GCSEs.’

He claims he has applied to a number of schools and colleges asking them to let him take his GCSEs as soon as possible, but has been turned down, without a reason being given.

‘Before this happened, I was getting good grades, I was on course to complete my studies’.

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Jamal also says his family is not very happy at the circumstances they have found themselves in following the incident and that all he wants to do is help people.

‘I want to help other people who go through similar problems, I want to help them forget about their problems’.

He added that despite what had happened he still likes it in the UK and all he wants ‘is for someone to help him complete his studies’.


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