Haval Temmu | Syrian refugee student from Ain Al-Arab (Kobani) overcomes adversity and graduates from UK school with top marks
For more than nine years of war, Syria has experienced horror and tragedies which left many Syrians face unknown fate and uncertain future. However, young Syrians have overcome obstacles and excelled in their studies in their host countries, offering many of us a glimpse of hope. Many young Syrians have achieved noticeable progress at both professional and academic levels.
One successful and inspiring example, among many, is the story of Haval Temmu, a young Kurdish man from Ain Al-Arab (Kobani), a city that is a symbol of resistance against ISIS.
Temmu was born in 2002, and lived and studied in Aleppo until 2015. After his father’s death in 2013 and the deterioration of the family’s living conditions, Temmu decided to move to UK with his family (his mother and sister) and join his brother who has lived in UK since 2004.
The boy’s trip to UK was a real challenge and struggle, as he had to travel with his family first to Lebanon, and then to Turkey, where they put a lot of efforts into trying to leave the country and many of their attempts were unsuccessful. In one of these attempts, the Turkish police arrested and imprisoned the then 14-year old Haval , an experience that shock him to the core.
Haval had to leave Turkey, so he travelled with his mother to Greece in early 2016, after his sister had managed to move to UK. The boy’s mother also managed to travel to UK in May 2016, after several attempts. However, Haval stayed with a Greek family that took care of him for another year.
Temmu says “although the Greek family did their best to make my life easy, I felt lonely in an unfamiliar country with a language that I had never spoken. I could not go to school in Greece. However, I managed to learn Greek at home with the Greek family.”
“My mother sought asylum in UK until she was granted refugee status, and finally, I joined my family in London in May 2017. I went to Hendon local school to sit high school exams, it was already the end of the school’s academic year,” Haval added.
The young man continued saying: “I determined to make up for the years I missed, so I worked hard and got excellent results in 2018, although I was not speaking English fluently at that time. I later joined Ryan Academy where I studied and graduated from the British high school with the top marks in science, chemistry and math. As a result, I have accepted to start studying medicine at the University of Exeter in September 2020.”
By sharing the details of his success story, the Kurdish teenager seeks to inspire more young Syrians overcome adversity and war and turn their dreams into reality. Temmu also thanked his family and the Greek family which took care of him for long time.