Muslim illegal migrant rescues drowning Israeli woman from Rome river

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — An illegal immigrant has been given a permit to live in Rome for the next year after he saved an Israeli woman from drowning.

Sobuj Khalifa, an illegal immigrant to Italy from Bangladesh, has been living under a bridge along the banks of the Tiber River, saw a body floating in the river last week.

The 32-year-old Muslim man, who was a fisherman in his home country, jumped into the water in his clothes and shoes and pulled the Jewish woman to safety, according to newspaper reports in Rome.

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The rescue was caught on video.

Khalifa arrived in Italy in 2008 with a permit to work in Italy; the permit expired years ago.

Since arriving in Italy he has worked odd jobs including selling flowers and umbrellas on the streets of Rome. He reportedly sends the money home to his sick mother. He reportedly has been homeless for the last four years.

The Israeli woman, 55, reportedly was trying to commit suicide.

Riccardo Pacifici, the head of Rome’s Jewish Community, told Haaretz that city’s Jews want to thank Khalifa for his bravery and are working to find him a job and housing.

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