African "SpiderMan" Awarded French Citizenship After Saving Child
A Malian migrant who saved a four-year-old child hanging from a fourth-floor Paris balcony after scaling the building with his bare hands was honored by French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday and offered citizenship. Two days after his daring Spiderman-style rescue — viewed millions of times online — Mamoudou Gassama was received by Macron at the presidential palace. “All the (Gassama’s) documents will be put in order,” Macron told the sporty 22-year-old who has become a national hero, referring to his immigration status. In the meeting, live footage of which was carried on the president’s Facebook page, Macron gave Gassama a medal for bravery and also proposed that Gassama join the French fire service. “I was not thinking of anything. I went straight up,” Gassama, who wore jeans and a short-sleeved patterned shirt, told Macron, recounting the episode. “Bravo,” Macron replied. “I’m pleased because it’s the first time I’ve received a trophy like that,” Gassama, who arrived in France in September 2017, said after receiving his medal. Gassama leaped into action Saturday evening on seeing a child dangling in mid-air from a balcony half-way up an apartment block in the multi-ethnic 18th district of the French capital. The video shows him pulling himself up from balcony to balcony as a man on the fourth floor tries to hold on to the child by leaning across from a neighboring balcony.