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This article was written on 05 Dec 2017, and is filed under human migration, humanity, insider information, memoir, society.

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Gulwali Passarlay — My Journey to Safety as a Child Refugee

Tuesday, 5 December 2017, at The Water Rats, Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross.

Gulwali Passarlay gave us a fascinating insight into the lives of so many refugees who go to enormous lengths to escape from whatever horrendous life awaits them if they stay put.

Gulwali Passarlay at The Galley Club, Tuesday 5 December 2107

Gulwali Passarlay at The Galley Club, Tuesday 5 December 2107

He was sent away from his home in Afghanistan by his mother at the age of twelve to save his life. Smuggled into Iran, Gulwali began a twelve-month odyssey across Europe via Turkey, Greece, Italy and France; spending time in prisons, suffering hunger, cruelty, brutality and nearly drowning in a tiny boat on the Mediterranean. He finally arrived in the UK, no longer an innocent child, but by then still a boy of thirteen. Here in Britain, he was fostered, won a place at Manchester University and was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in 2012. Now a young man, he is intent on changing the world.

See his interview with Russell Howard on YouTube.  

 

Unseen Good News: Russell Howard speaks to Gulwali Passarlay

Gulwali talks to Russell Howard

 

  Gulwali is an Afghan political refugee currently residing in the UK. He left Afghanistan in 2006 and is now reading Politics and International Relations at the University of Manchester. He is an ambassador and advisor for many prestigious political, aid and youth groups and is fast becoming a key spokesperson for refugees in Britain. He has already appeared on BBC and Channel 4 News and given a TEDx Talk.

Gulwali with Jon Snow on Channel 4 News

Gulwali with Jon Snow on Channel 4 News

 

The Lightless Skyis his gripping and often harrowing tale of survival against all the odds; an extraordinary, and often terrifying, journey; shedding light on the murky world of the people smugglers – from puppet-masters to fixers. [Published in hardback and paperback editions by Atlantic Books].

The Lightless Sky: My Journey to Safety as a Child Refugee  Gulwali Passarlay  with Nadene Ghouri  £7.99 paperback  ISBN 9781782398479

The Lightless Sky:
My Journey to Safety as a Child Refugee
Gulwali Passarlay with Nadene Ghouri
ISBN 9781782398479

Writing the book meant revisiting deeply painful experiences. Gulwali says, ‘I want people to at least consider my story and the stories of those I met along the way – and know what they have overcome and what they are running against. Many survive the journey only to live in poverty and discomfort at the fringes of society. Only a very few, like myself, found success in their adopted countries.’

Website: gulwalipassarlay.wordpress.com.

Twitter:@GulwaliP

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