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Utøya survivor to fight for Eurovision crown

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Utøya survivor to fight for Eurovision crown
Mohamed Abdi Farah, at 18, performing on Norway's X Factor in 2010. Photo: Aleksander Andersen/Scanpix
22:36 CET+01:00
A survivor of the 2011 Utøya massacre is vying to represent Norway in this year's Eurovision song contest, with a song, 'Heal', inspired by his three-year struggle to recover.
Mohamed 'Mo' Farah Abdi, 21, appeared to be on the point of a pop breakthrough in the summer of 2011, after winning the nation's hearts with his performances in the country's "X Factor" talent show. 
 
But since he witnessed the brutal attack mounted by far-right terrorist Anders Breivik that July, he has been on disability benefits, after suffering serious post-traumatic stress disorder. 
 
"I was losing myself, I have struggled through one of my biggest battles," he told VG newspaper. "It is only now, three years on, that I am beginning to recover." 
 
The greatest trauma was the loss of his best friend Ismail Haji Ahmed, who had also seen success in Norway's talent shows. 
 
"You have good friends, and then you have someone who is your best, best friend. That was him," Farah Abdi told VG. 
 
The song 'Heal', is a rousing pop anthem about recovering from tough periods in life. 
 
"I hope to convey a strong hope and joy," Farah Abdi told a press conference on Monday afternoon. 
 
Norway's 15 Eurovision hopefuls, who will compete in the national Melodifestivalen contest in the coming month, were announced on Monday in Oslo. 
 
One, Linnea Dale, is well-known from Norway's "Idol" talent show. Another, Elisabeth Carew, competed at the 2010 Eurovision semi-finals. 
 
Haji Ahmed's elder brother Khaled Ahmed Taleb faces being deported from Norway after it emerged that he lied on his asylum application back in 2002.  
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