Syrian refugee celebrates GCSE success

Hasna Ali gained four GCSEs despite arriving in the UK unable to speak English.

Syrian refugee celebrates GCSE success

A 16-year-old Syrian refugee who could not speak English when she arrived in the UK has said she hopes to study at college after passing her GCSEs.

Hasna Ali said she wanted to continue studying to become a doctor after gaining a B in Arabic, C in art and design, and DD in double science.

The teenager arrived in the UK two years ago after fleeing her war-torn county with her Kurdish parents and three younger siblings.

The family had spent the three previous years at an Iraqi refugee camp before being relocated to Wrexham, North Wales, in September 2016 as part of the UK Government’s resettlement scheme.

Hasna was enrolled in Ysgol y Grango secondary school in the Welsh town and, despite barely speaking a word of English, thrived in her studies.

She says she now wants to enrol into college to gain two more GCSEs in English and maths.

Hasna Ali with Louise Hollingsworth outside Ysgol y Grango
Hasna Ali with her language support teacher Louise Hollingsworth (Home Office)

The Minister for Immigration, Caroline Nokes MP, said: “I would like to send my warmest congratulations to Hasna on her impressive GCSE results.

“As a country we can be proud that we have resettled 12,851 vulnerable refugees fleeing Syria through our Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.

“In the last four years, communities across Wales have welcomed 854 refugees, like Hasna and her family, under the scheme and supported them in rebuilding their lives here in safety.”

Kim Mills, Hasna’s support worker from the British Red Cross, said: “We’d like to congratulate Hasna on her GCSE results which she has achieved through real hard work, having arrived in Wales almost two years ago with no English.

“The Red Cross has supported Hasna and her family since they arrived in the Wrexham area as the first family to move to North Wales as part of the resettlement scheme in September 2016 and they have all been welcomed warmly by the community of Rhosllanerchrugog.

“Hasna’s achievement and ambition to become a doctor just goes to show the great contribution refugees can make in the UK and how important resettlement services are in assisting refugees as they adapt to life in a new community.”

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