With their silky skills.

Ahmed Soda (top), age 11, and his family moved to Belfast late last year, fleeing the war in Syria.

In January, Ahmed tried out for football at local club Patrick Sarsfields, and despite some early jitters, has settled into the game helping the club break a dry spell in local under-12 silverware.

Ahmed, from the besieged city of Aleppo, also picked up a hurley for the first time in June, and is a natural, according to coaches.

Send him back.

Earlier: Dan Boyle: Who Are We And Who Are They?

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72 thoughts on “They Come Over Here

  1. Harry Molloy

    You should check out the hurling team in Ballyhaunis if you find the idea of people from that part of the world playing hurling to be a novel one!

  2. some old queen

    This is a nice story but I doubt if it is the norm. There is a relatively small town in rural Ireland which has accepted some Syrians already. The women walk around in full batman gear and the men have developed a reputation for harassing local girls. There has been zero integration.

    And before anyone starts throwing xenophobic stones, my home town now has several multinational companies who required people with all sorts of languages. The supermarkets are like the United Nations at times but they are all working and all paying taxes which brings new colour and character to the place. That’s great, but very different to refugees.

    My point is that we Irish have been the guests of many a country so we should know better and consideration must be given as to how to integrate these people rather than just dumping them in a holding cell, which we are already doing to others.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      You are not allowed talk about the cultural differences of refugees, it’s Islamophobic according to the political correct regressive left, and racist, according to some.
      To even suggest that people have very different cultural norms just because they came from a country with desperate illiteracy and an actual genuine cultural patriarchy means you are acting like a racist, apparently.
      As for the men, all these men need is a class on how to ‘flirt’ like they’re doing in Germany to stop them assaulting and raping women –

      Then I’m sure they’ll be allowed back to the public swimming pools… after a class in flirting….

      It’s mental, just mental !

      1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

        mental, just mental !
        … mental, just mental !

        The echo…

        Clampers, I recommend that you stay INSIDE.
        Outside is not your forté.

      2. MoyestWithExcitement

        “You are not allowed talk about the cultural differences of refugees,”

        Stop pretending you’re a victim. You are perfectly allowed to talk about that and civilised people are entitled to call out your racism when they see it.

    2. Pablo Pistachio

      ‘I’m not a racist but…’

      Why don’t you tell us the name of this small town in Ireland that doesn’t exist.

        1. Pablo Pistachio

          There are no issues like the ones you’ve described in Carrickmacross, you’ve just made that up you loon.

          You’ve also got Clampers Outside! all worked up, he’ll need to up his blood pressure medication now, you have him posting about issues happening thousands of miles away on a story which should be about seeing the good in people and reflecting on what that young lad has gone through and what he has achieved.

          1. some old queen

            No issues? Really? You know this how?

            In case you misread what I wrote, I am in support of this story and all others where these kids and young people are integrated into Irish society. That is the whole point.

            What I object to is the assumption that simply allowing people into the country and sticking them into a qausi prison is enough. It is not.

            Please refrain from aggressive name calling as you are very reminiscent of a person we hoped we had seen the back of.

          2. Pablo Pistachio

            It’s a story about an 11 year old child playing hurling.

            Why don’t you keep the racism and irrelevant babbling for another day.

          3. Harry Molloy

            it doesn’t matter how good your intentions are, there’s always someone who loves to throw labels like racist around to kill a conversation that’s too intelligent for them

          4. bisted

            …if it’s any consolation, the batman comment puts you in contention for ‘racist of the week’…the competition for this is usually fairly stiff on Broadsheet…

          5. Clampers Outside!

            My blood pressure is fine, and I’m calm, maybe Some Old has you all worked up and you’re projecting.

            Pointing out the good is great, but it should never be used as a cloak of the bad stuff. Whole picture is better than one sided.

          6. some old queen

            Totally agree Clampers. If there are cultural differences to be ironed out then they should be discussed and where possible educated.

            Oh and as for the ‘batman’ tag. The first time I heard that was many years ago in London when a woman walked past wearing a mask. Not just the veil but an actual mask. If some get offended by a humorous take on one of the most controversial dress aspects of the Muslim faith, then I wonder where their priorities really lie.

            The rude person is back I see. It was nice while it lasted.

          7. Neilo

            So the Louis Convent in Carrickmacross didn’t have to replace its male PE teacher with a female teacher to cosset the delicate sensibilities of two students, then?

          8. some old queen

            I have no idea but given that Louis Convent in Carrickmacross is as on the tin… imprisoning refugees is not good enough.

          9. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

            Excuse me SOQ-puppet, are you calling ME a name-caller?
            – If so we have different definitions of the term.

            I’m not a name-caller.
            I just call people by different names. There’s a big difference.
            – You wouldn’t udnretsnad.

    3. Deluded

      Quite correct Mike.
      Also, “Dem boys all know their rights” is a charge frequently levelled against them.

    4. Dόn Pídgéόní

      Refugees and economic migrants are different, of course those who moved for work are going to integrate differently those who are fleeting a war zone. I agree with what It think it’s your main point that they need additional support to improve integration rather than being dropped off and left to it.

      I am always wary of those who start bringing up the behaviour of refugee men around western women, especially when these same people often second guess women when they talk about street harassment, sexual harassment etc. Not saying that you do. But saying oh the men are up to this – are they? Or is it one or two? Clampers point about classes for new refugees is righti think for both sides ( though the assumptions about make behaviour just because they are Syrian make me uncomfortable) but issues of consent should also be mandatory from very early on for all children and young people.

      The batman gear line has been covered, such ignorance does your argument no favours.

      1. Mr Reality

        “full batman gear” and than lecturing people on xenophobia..

        absolutely hilarious beyond belief

      2. Clampers Outside!

        So Don, you are happy to send western men to classes to teach them how to speak and interact with fellow female students at University level because of campus ‘rape culture’ and Irish men, western men, are in need of educating.
        But when men from a genuine patriarchal culture where women are viewed as second class citizens and worse come to the West, you think it ignorant and racist to suggest that those men go through some sort of class too. Seriously…?

        The assumptions about their behaviour make you “uncomfortable”. So what, Germeny who is currently living through what makes you “uncomfortable” is spending tax-payer money on addressing these cultural issues…. but you think that’s “righti” think… >_<

        These men too are passed childhood, so they won't qualify for your "issues of consent should also be mandatory from very early on for all children and young people.".

        So…. you don't want them schooled in western thinking and cultural norms because you think it's "righti" think, and they should only be taught these norms if they are kids under 18 ('young people')…. yet, young educated Irish men should go through some sort of indoctrination class at University that teaches them they are a potential rapist….

        Wow, just WOW! Deluded in the extreme….

        Just completely BONKERS Don!

        1. Dόn Pídgéόní

          I literally said you had a point but don’t let that stop you making all those assumptions out of ‘uncomfortable’. Deluded indeed.

          Also, teaching consent should start much sooner than at uni, as also pointed out.

  3. human

    Young Ahmed and his folks also think being gay should be punished by death and that women are second class citizens but lets not let that get in the way of the warm fuzzy narrative that he’s just like us.

    1. Boy M5

      “think being gay should be punished by death and that women are second class citizens”

      No no human, we’re talking about the Syrians.

  4. bertie blenkinsop

    Nice story, fair play to the kid.

    Being the best hurler in Belfast is a bit like being the best looking Healy Rae but still good luck to him with it.

  5. Mahoney

    this young boy belonging to a winning team is proof we need unlimited unchecked immigration into our countries from people who’s cultures are vastly different to our own as long as we dont ask them to integrate to our culture because that would be racist and oppressive. Europe is for everyone we need loads more diversity and anyone saying otherwise needs to be reported for hate speech.

      1. Dolores Delorean

        Is that what you regard as the alternative to encourageing them to integrate when they come here?

    1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

      Plus three points.

      But tell me this…
      -How do you pronounce his first name?

      I bet you’re wrong, but he’s used to it. at this stage.

  6. Tony

    Patronising guff. Leave the poor lad alone. According to right thinking people he is just like the rest of us and shouldn’t be treated any differently. Honestly, some of you are becoming parodies of yourself.

    1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

      Dear Tony,
      if you really want to suppress stories like this for your barely-hidden agenda, stop responding.
      -Or say something beyond your conjecture. It’s the closest thing to parody on this thread so far.

      Tell me, how does it feel, not being able to say ‘I’m not racist but… anymore?
      – That must have been devastating for you.

  7. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq



    – Can anyone tell me?

    1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

      I’m a comedian.
      Comedy works with timing, and moderation is both a hindrance and to a certain extent, censorship.

      I don’t understand it.

      1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

        I’d understand it if I’d done something terrible in the past.
        I DON’T understand it.

        An inferiority complex

        You guys are weird.

    2. Tony

      Because you’re a tedious cuckoo that comments too much and your comments are unfunny and annoying and you are a braying bully jackass and ruin most threads you’re in?

      Just a wild guess

      1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

        Thank you Tony.
        I never saw it like that but you’re probably right…

        Only messing.
        I don’t actually post very often, and I don’t understand the term ‘ruin most threads you’re in’.
        – Are you attributing a power to me that I wasn’t aware of? How does it work?

        I’d love to know so as I can use it again.

      1. some old queen

        I do feel sorry for poor Ahmed mind. He will end up married with a couple of kids living in his mother’s house until the ‘occupying state’ give him a free house. On the Glen Road or maybe somewhere exotic… like a new build off Finaghy?

        Try calling me racist for that one Biatches.

  8. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

    ♪ Sideshow Quiller
    Qu’est-ce que c’est
    Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better
    Run run run run run run run away oh oh ♫

    Just sayin’…

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