Ayham's story - Refugee Council

Ayham’s story

"If we hadn’t been able to come to the UK my brother might not be alive. My family and my future would’ve been destroyed."

I was at school, in the equivalent to Year 10. My results were good and I was working hard. I had a big, loving family all around me. My dad was an antique seller and my mum had just finished a degree in Biology at Damascus University. Then the conflict began.

It was the second year of the war my dad was shot and killed. I knew that at any point, we could be killed so we escaped to Egypt and tried to start a new life.

Four months later, we got some terrible news. My youngest brother, Hamza, had been diagnosed with leukaemia.

Then we got lucky. The UN agreed to resettle us. I’ll never forget that moment, that phone call. We were all crying, we were so happy.

Two months later, in April 2014, we arrived in Bradford. The Refugee Council people who were helping us knew all about my brother’s condition already and had already set up a hospital appointment.

Being resettled here means my family has been reborn; we’ve come back to life. My mum is hoping to do a Masters and then PhD in Biology. She’d love to be a Biology teacher one day. My youngest brother Hamza is in Year 7 at school. He’s doing so much better now. The doctors are hoping that we’ll be able to stop his treatment in September.

If we hadn’t been able to come to the UK my brother might not be alive. My family and my future would’ve been destroyed.


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