The Irish citizen who was hailed as a hero in both Ireland and Turkey when he took on a mob of Turkish shopkeepers has revealed that he fears for his life.
Mohammed Fadel Dobbous – who was born in Kuwait but has Irish citizenship – was rounded on by a group of shopkeepers in Istanbul last month after he accidentally knocked several bottles off an overstacked shelf.
It turned out that the shopkeepers had bitten off more than they could chew as Mohammed stood up to them and used his considerable boxing skills to fend them off.
His actions went down well not just in Ireland but also in Turkey where the public are fed up of the bully boy behaviour of certain shopkeepers.
Despite his heroics he said he fears for his life because he is a witness to the assault. He has had to remain in Istanbul because he is doing everything he can to help his elderly mother escape the horror in Syria.
His lawyer has helped him receive treatment for his injuries, including a cracked skull, broken arm and broken shoulder blade, and find safe accommodation.
Mohammed told RTÉ Radio One: “[My lawyer] called me this morning and told me about these arrests; the special police force came in and gathered up all of the mob, all of the people who were in the video, I think. I’m not sure.”
He wants to return to Ireland but not until he is reunited with his mother who is currently leaving Damascus to get over the border in Turkey.
Mohammed continued: “She’s over 90 now and she’s in a wheelchair. So I needed somebody to help her cross over.
“It’s two kilometres and all stones and big rocks, so she can’t walk over, she’s in a wheelchair.”
It is a difficult situation for him as he is still recovering from the brutal attack last month.
He said: “I was supposed to go back on the 8th of August, but my mum lives in Damascus and I’m trying to get her over the border from Syria to Turkey safely.
“At the moment I am biding my time now because I need the medical care. I need to go to the doctor and look after my arm. I have to get painkillers.
“At the same time, I’ve checked in with my mother and as you see on the news, the border is closed.”
Speaking about the infamous fight he told RTÉ that despite being surrounded he didn’t want to inflict unnecessary damage on his attackers.
He said: “I went back to the shop and said: ‘I want to apologise or pay whatever the damage is,’ and the next thing he was out with a stick, and you know the rest.
“In the moment of the mayhem, everyone was around you, you don’t know who was your friend or your enemy.
“I didn’t kick anybody on the floor. I was fighting nobly. I was fighting with courage. They tried to throw everything at me man – if they had a kitchen sink they would have tried to throw that as well.”
Take another look at the video of Mohammed taking on the thuggish shopkeepers which went viral last month.