Rabat, Feb 7 (EFE).- A five-year-old boy who died in a well in his impoverished village in northern Morocco despite a painstaking rescue effort was buried Monday amid global expressions of solidarity.
The funeral for Rayan Oram took place at a hilltop cemetery near the village of Ighran where the boy lived, according to MAP, Morocco’s national news agency.
The ceremony was attended by the young boy’s family and dozens of residents of the mountainous northern province of Chefchaouen.
Rayan became trapped after falling down a narrow, 32-meter (105-foot) dry well last Tuesday, prompting a rescue effort that gripped Morocco and also attracted global attention. Although he was pulled out on Saturday evening, the young boy was pronounced dead shortly afterward.
His parents traveled with his dead body to the capital, Rabat, before returning to their home region for a funeral in the company of family and local residents.
Rayan’s death provoked an outpouring of solidarity. On Monday, Farham Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, expressed his condolences to the child’s family and their community.
UNICEF Morocco also transmitted its support to the family of the boy, saying the massive operation launched to rescue him showed how much the country values children’s rights.
Since the boy’s death was announced on Saturday night, French President Emmanuel Macron and Pope Francis have been among the prominent global figures to express their solidarity with Rayan’s family and the Moroccan people.
“In Morocco, how all the people gathered together to save Rayan. It was all the people there, working to save a child,” the pontiff said. “They put everything they had into it. Unfortunately, he did not make it.”
Numerous sports stars also expressed their condolences, with Abderrazak Hamdallah, a Moroccan soccer player for Saudi club Al-Ittihad, saying he intended to buy the family a furnished house.
The rescue operation involved digging a parallel trench next to the well and then tunneling in from the side to reach Rayan.
It is unclear at what moment the young boy died. EFE