Meter by meter until touching Rayan

February 5, 2022

Ighran (Morocco), Feb 4 (EFE).- On top of a hill in the Moroccan Rif, meters are gold. Thirty-two have had to dig the machines to reach the same level as the bottom of the well where the child who has the country in suspense is. Five, four, three separate the men who, meter by meter, are drilling towards him. Little is known about the physical condition of Rayan, the five-year-old boy who has been in the well for four days, but the rescue work continues tirelessly day and night, now in its second phase: the opening of a five-meter tunnel and medium horizontally to the bottom of the well. A task that is done with extreme care to prevent landslides of the clay soil, manually, by two teams that take turns drilling a tunnel at the foot of the huge wall left by the machines that have already dug down. At the top of that wall, a precipice seen from the house of Rayan’s modest family, is the mouth of the well, which can be seen from below thanks to three sticks placed in the form of a campaign on it and a light shining on it. Downstairs, the technicians are placing tubes in the perforated tunnel and advancing centimeter by centimeter, but time and tasks are slow. Eight hours to dig two and a half meters and at four in the morning there are still three meters to reach Rayan. A SCAR ON THE HILL OF RAYAN The white, yellow and red lights of the excavations shine at night in the middle of the mountains where Morocco, and the rest of the world, have their eyes fixed. To get to them you have to climb dirt roads and cross streams of the green Rif. Along the way, an intermittent river of people come and go, shining their lights on with flashlights in the middle of the night. Already in the place, a few meters from the huge scar on the Rayan hill, contained by fences, dozens of men wait patiently for the outcome with the smell of gasoline from the generators. They wait, too, in silence, only broken by sporadic applause and the crowing of a rooster confused by so much light. They only wake up from their nocturnal lethargy when they hear a cry from the technicians who, in the front row, are working to build the tunnel in two groups and in shifts. The nocturnal murmur of the generators replaces the one made during the day by the bulldozers that were building the precipice next to Rayan. At night, his technicians sleep in the cabins, exhausted after working some 22 hours without a break. NO NEWS ON HIS CONDITION Among those waiting is Najib, who speaks a little Spanish and has been on the hill for three days. “I haven’t eaten or slept.” So much time has made him lose hope and he believes that the safest thing is that the little one will no longer breathe. Nothing has been known about the boy’s condition for hours, but a helicopter and an ambulance are waiting a few meters away to attend to him as soon as they take him out. Videos published this week on the networks show him moving and it was even said that he had eaten something that was sent to him with a rope. The latter was officially denied and the authorities do not comment on his health, simply transferring the hope of getting him out alive. Regardless of the outcome, Rayan, who is so reminiscent of the case of the Spanish Julen boy that ended in tragedy, is achieving what politics cannot. His rescue is followed from many countries and with fervor in the Arabs. The Algerian neighbors, separated from the Moroccans by diplomacy and united by a five-year-old boy, are not an exception. EFE Maria Traspaderne