We tried to be joyful enough to deserve our new lives’: What it’s really like to be a refugee in Britain

The experience of being a refugee herself is at the forefront of Obama Fellow, Zarlasht Halaimzai's work with migrants as she watches her home Afghanistan slowly succumb to the Taliban.

During the summer I turned 15, I fell into a prolonged depression that lasted well into my 20s. My mother, my two brothers and I had just arrived in London, and because we were seeking asylum as refugees, we were moved into a hostel for vulnerable families on Fitzjohn’s Avenue in the affluent north-west of the city. The journey to London had been so difficult that we had separated from my father, one of my brothers and my sister a few months earlier. The hostel was situated on a tree-lined avenue that connects Swiss Cottage to Hampstead village. A pleasant walk north takes you to Hampstead Heath and Keats House, to the south is Regent’s Park, where my family would walk around the park’s ornate rose garden and sit by the fountain, our favourite spot.

Read the full article on the Guardian UK

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