Five-year-old Ryan Oram fell into a well in the village of Igran on Tuesday, and his body was recovered late Saturday evening, after efforts that included removing a large part of a nearby hill, before digging a tunnel towards the bottom of the well to reach it.
Hundreds of mourners climbed the unpaved road in the Telal area to the cemetery in Igrane, near Chefchaouen, in northern Morocco, and waited for hours to perform the funeral prayer for Rayan.
One of the villagers said: “I have lived for more than 50 years, and I have never in my life seen a funeral attended by so many people. Rayan is our son all.”
The number was so great that the village cemetery did not accommodate the funeral participants, as well as the place of prayer.
Two large pavilions were erected in front of the family’s house, which was shaken by great speeches, so that mourners could offer condolences and strengthen the bereaved family.
Another villager said, “Ryan’s death renewed my belief that humanity still exists, at a time when people are showing their solidarity in different languages and from different countries.”
Condolences to his parents arrived on Saturday from King Mohammed VI, Pope Francis, French President Emmanuel Macron, Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and other celebrities and dignitaries in the world.
The Egyptian and Senegalese football players also observed a minute of silence for him, on Sunday, before the start of the final match of the African Cup of Nations.
Rescuers worked tirelessly under the constant threat of a landslide during their ultimately unsuccessful efforts to retrieve the child alive.
“I am very sad,” Ali Sahraoui, who volunteered to participate in the digging efforts, told reporters at the funeral.