The life of a young, ambitious Moroccan champion ended in tragedy because of an irregular migration attempt.
Ayoub Mabrouk, a 21-year-old Moroccan kick-boxing champion who drowned off the coast of Spain while trying to irregularly migrate, was buried in Sale, Rabat’s twin city, on Wednesday.
Mabrouk’s close friends, relatives, and Moroccan social media users lamented his early death driven by his dream to migrate.
Mabrouk’s coach, Noureddine Belmalha, shared old pictures of them and of Mabrouk’s coffin during his funeral.
Spain repatriated Mabrouk’s body which arrived on Tuesday, January 8. He was buried in Sidi Daoui cemetery in his home city, Sale.
Mabrouk drowned last November off the coast of Cadiz in southern Spain while he and other Moroccans tried to immigrate from Tangier.
After their boat wrecked near Los Canos de Meca beach, 18 of 23 migrants on board died, Mabrouk included, according to Spanish news outlet Europa Press.
Five of the victims were buried in December in Kenitra, north of Sale, and the other 13 were buried in Meknes and Sale.
A fan of Moroccan-Dutch super heavyweight kickboxer, Badr Hari, Mabrouk was a three-time kick-boxing champion in national competitions.
Mabrouk was one of many young Moroccans who attempt to leave the country in search of better living circumstances.
In November 2018, hundreds of African migrants, including Moroccans, died crossing the Mediterranean.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), by November, as many as 631 African migrants had died in 2018 while trying to cross to Spain.
About 120 migrants from Africa arrived in the country daily in the same month.