ON THIS DATE in 2008, fifteen-year-old Mohamed Jaisham Ibrahim saved his president’s life.
The Maldivian president, Maumoon Gayoom, was greeting a crowd in Hoarafushi, one of his nation’s 1,190 tiny coral islands, when an apparent well-wisher extended a hand sheathed in a flag. Ibrahim, standing nearby, spotted part of a seven-inch knife twisted up in the flag and lunged at the assailant’s blade, cutting his own hands but preventing the man from stabbing the president.
The twenty-year-old attacker tried a second stab but managed only to rip the president’s shirt before security guards overpowered him.
Blood spilled on the president but it proved to be from Ibrahim’s hand wound. After the cut was stitched, the boy flew to a hospital for further treatment, eventually making a full recovery.
Gayoom, who would lose a bid for re-election 10 months later, thanked Ibrahim personally and a government spokesman informed the press, “One brave boy saved the president’s life.”