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Lemriss, the story of a man who miraculously survived homelessness in Casablanca

After an association in Casablanca said that he was dead, Bilal A., nicknamed Lemriss, was saved by his old friends. The homeless man suffred from hypothermia for sleeping on the streets. 

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Bilal A., nicknamed Lemriss, is alive and well./Ph.DR

Jood, an association that helps homeless people in Casablanca, El Jadida and Marrakech, reported on January the 15th, that a man who lives on the streets and who is nicknamed Lemriss passed away.

Contacted by Yabiladi, the local authorities of Ain Chock said that they «know nothing» about the homeless man. But a few days after Jood announced Lemriss’ death on Facebook, an internet user posted a photo of the man, stating that he is still alive.

Aziz F., a travel agent, told Yabiladi that he is an old friend of Lemriss that he knew for several years. In fact, Lemriss and Aziz lived together in the same orphanage for years. He explained that accompanied by a group of friends, who lived in the same care home, he decided to look for the body of Lemriss to offer him a dignified burial.

Suffering in silence

Bilal A. is the real name of Lemriss who is now 53 years old. He lived with his brothers at the Orphanage of the Islamic Charitable Association in Casablanca.

After spending a few years in the Netherlands, he returned to Morocco in the 1990s. «When he came back to the Kingdom, Bilal A. started spending the night at the orphanage and roaming the streets during the day», the same source said. In fact, «he refused to stay at his brothers’ because he wanted to rely on himself», he added.

The orphanage was demolished two years ago and Lemriss had to find another home. «That's when he really started living on the streets», he said. On the 15th of January, «people found Bilal laying down and he was not moving. So, they thought he was dead, but he was suffering from severe hypothermia», added Aziz F.

The next day, Bilal’s friends looked for his body in several hospitals in Casablanca. «We first went to Sekkat Hospital and there, we were told that he had been transferred to Ibn Rochd University Hospital. Once at the CHU, we looked atall the bodies in the morgue».

After reviewing the list of the patients who joined the hospital, it was there that «by chance, we found him on the floor under the emergency stairs. At the hospital, they did not even take care of him while he was injured», he argued.

His friends then took him with them to shower and change his clothes. Along with his brother, they took him to Tit Mellil Hospital but, once there, «the staff did not want to welcome him».

After a night at his brother's, Lemriss finally went to the barber. He was finally taken care of, Aziz F. concluded.

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