Do you have to be a hero to become French ? 

Mamoudou Gassama is a migrant who obtained French nationality after he saved a child. A heroic act with a perfect end for him. But...

Roxanne D'Arco
Roxanne D'Arco NewsMavens, France
Do you have to be a hero to become French ?  - NewsMavens
Malian migrant Mamoudou Gassama arrives to receive his temporary residence permit at the Prefecture of Bobigny, northeast of Paris on May 29, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / GERARD JULIEN / ALTERNATIVE CROP

Why this story matters:

On May 26, a few minutes changed everything for Mamoudou Gassama, a young migrant from Mali. While he was walking in a street of Paris, he saw a young child hanging from a balcony.

You might know how the story ended since videos of this moment went viral all around the world. Like a superhero or an acrobat, he climbed the balconies of the building and rescued the young child.

When the media revealed his identity, many people on social media were hoping President Macron would give the young Malian French nationality. And obviously this is what happened.

But does it mean he had to act like a hero to obtain French nationality ? Even if everyone agrees he deserves it, many social workers have commented on how harsh the French policy against migrants -- and the people helping them -- has been since Macron took charge.

Details from the story:

  • Mamoudou Gassama, 22 years-old, is an illegal migrant from Mali who saved a young boy suspended at a balcony, in Paris.
  • The scene was actually recorded and the shootage went viral worldwide.
  • Mamoudou Gassama was named "Spiderman" after this action, in many news outlets.
  • Two days after this heroic act, the young man met President Macron. As many people had been asking on social medias, the President decided to give French nationality to Mamoudou Gassama.
  • If this decision is approved by most of French people, some have been asking if the decision isn't a way to hide how migrants are treated in France.
  • Since Macron has been elected, some French citizens have been judged guilty for helping refugees.
  • Along with this news, conservative commentators have been pointing out that Mamoudou Gassama is exceptional but not representative of the majority of migrants.
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Karolina ZbytniewskaEuractiv, Europe
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