Plaque dedicated to Brahim Bouarram

In Paris, a son remembers a father lost to far-right violence

At age nine, Said Bouraam knew only the mountains. In the small Moroccan town of Amalou, where he and his younger sister lived, dry, brown peaks roses on every horizon.

At that age, Said had never been to France. It was hard for him to imagine the mighty Seine River coursing through Paris, on another continent, in another world. It was even harder to imagine that the Seine’s waters, swollen and ferocious from flooding, had swallowed up his father.

But that was the news a family member brought to the house that day. And what Said and his family saw on TV confirmed it: Brahim Bouarram, father of two, a Moroccan immigrant to Paris, had been pushed into the Seine. He could not swim. He drowned in its churning currents.

At the centre of this unfolding tragedy was a far-right movement Said’s family had never heard of before: France’s National Front. Its supporters were accused of the violence that killed his father.

The son of a man murdered in what was widely perceived to be a hate crime reflects on the rise of the far right in France for this profile in Al Jazeera.

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