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Refugee named Community Learner of the Year

Posted on Saturday 11th November 2017 at 11:24 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Cllr Ian Blair (left) and Hecham Alsaiyad.

A refugee living in Patchway has been named as the South Gloucestershire Community Learner of the Year for 2017.

Hecham Alsaiyad, 39, worked as a pharmacist back in Syria but the civil war in his country forced him to leave. He came to the UK under the refugee resettlement programme to make a new life for himself and his family.

Hecham, his wife and his three children arrived in November last year and have been living in the Patchway area ever since.

Keen to get on with his life, he enrolled on two English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses and also spent many hours studying English at home in his determination to excel as quickly as possible.

He said: “It has been difficult at times settling into a new life but I have found that the people I have met have been friendly and very supportive.”

Getting used to being in another country and experiencing a different culture has thrown up some interesting observations for Hecham. He says the things he enjoys most about living here is the sense of freedom and openness and how well traffic is managed, with everyone following the rules.

Hecham also has aspirations to go to university and is interested in researching stem cell science. In the meantime, he is continuing with his community learning courses and looking for opportunities to access an international English language testing system course.

More: Chair of council presented prizes »

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