Welcome home, Arash! Afghanistan, UK My family has been going through something pretty difficult recently… I haven’t wanted to share it on social media whilst we were in the midst of it, but finally we are out the other side, so it feels right… This is my little brother Arash. My parents started fostering him a year ago now and he has well and truly become part of the family. Arash is 16. He’s from Afghanistan but left his country after his father and brother were killed by the Taliban. He doesn’t know whether his mum is alive or dead. He had a crazy journey to get here, during which his boat capsized as he crossed the Med and he was pulled from the water unconscious. He lived in the Calais Jungle for a while and eventually made it to the UK. Here, he has been going to college, learning English and doing all the normal things a 16 year old boy does.. But by night, he struggles to sleep. He has had something huge looming over him since the day he arrived here… His Asylum. As much as Arash threw himself into life in the UK, the fear of being sent back to Afghanistan held him back in every way. The process took so long he felt like he was in limbo. He did his best to continue as normal but he was plagued by nightmares, panic attacks and post traumatic stress. After over a year of waiting, last month he finally received a verdict from the UK Home Office… His claim for Asylum had been denied. The letter stated that Arash would be deported to Kabul, Afghanistan on the 1st November. We were all completely shocked. How could they send him back to Afghanistan where he had noone and nothing but fear for his life. Whilst here he has a loving family – a mum, a dad, siblings, friends and a future. And Arash…? Well Arash was devastated. Absolutely, earth-shatteringly devastated. He couldn’t eat. He couldn’t sleep. He was crushed. We immediately launched an appeal, and a week or so later our whole family was in court, fighting for Arash. My mum stood up to testify. To try and put across that Arash was too vulnerable to live alone in the UK, let alone back in Afghanistan. What followed was two weeks of waiting for us, and two weeks of absolute internal torture for Arash…. Until yesterday…when he got home from college, to a letter… A letter from the Home Office. He sat with my mum to open it, and they struggled to find the words they were looking for amongst the pages of writing…. The appeal was successful. Arash has been granted asylum. We couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t believe it. My mum said he instantly looked like a new person. Like a weight had been lifted and like he could breathe again. Finally. Finally Arash can start his life. Finally we can get to know him for who he really is, without the constant, crushing fear at the pit of his stomach. Finally he has reached the light at the end of a long tunnel. A tunnel so dark most of us could not even imagine it. Finally he can smile again. This is a smile I hardly recognise. The smile of a new boy. A new life. A new hope. Welcome home Arash. We love you so much. —- I am sharing this story because Arash is one of many boys living this reality. Many young boys are being deported from the UK to Afghanistan, to face great danger alone. Sending teenage boys back to Afghanistan like this is a breach of human rights, and it is important that we all know that this is happening in our country. Please SHARE this story to raise awareness about the thousands of boys just like Arash. To DONATE to our continued work supporting refugees across Europe: December 1, 2017/by jaz jaz https://theworldwidetribe.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Wolrdwide-Tribe-Icon-Logo-Black.png jaz2017-12-01 18:30:322018-03-05 10:36:56Welcome home, Arash!