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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

18-year-old former refugee wins scholarship, set to study Medicine at University of Cambridge

An 18-year-old former refugee named Buraq Ahmed has won a scholarship that earned him an acceptance at the prestigious University of Cambridge to study Medicine.

Ahmed is an Iraqi refugee who moved to the United Kingdom with his grandmother at the age of three in a bid to undergo urgent medical treatment for a hip condition. However, the war in Iraq intensified and they could not return which made the United Kingdom granted them refugee status.

He told SWNS that he was unable to see his parents and his other sibling for ten years. Ahmed mentioned that he and his grandmother faced the challenges of not being able to speak in English when they got to the United Kingdom.

“Initially we were only coming to the UK for a limited time however the Iraq War and ICIS terrorism attacks meant we couldn’t go back. As a child, you don’t realize the trauma you and your family are going through and I was fortunate that my grandmother was always there for me,” he said.

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He stated that he and his grandmother later moved in with his aunt and uncle, who had relocated to Cardiff in the United Kingdom. Ahmed attended a comprehensive school in Cardiff where he was a footballer and was chosen to play for Cardiff Academy.

But as his condition worsened and he was less able to move he could no longer play. With his worsened hip condition, Ahmed spent more time studying and secured a scholarship to Cardiff Sixth Form College.

At college, Ahmed chose subjects at A-level which would allow him to study medicine. He competed in Oxford and Cambridge regional debates and became an active member of the student-led Medical Ethics Society.


He stated that his top grades were achieved in economics, maths, biology, and chemistry. Ahmed also earned a series of achievements, including awards for the ‘most outstanding student’, extracurricular qualifications, and helping other students succeed.

Ahmed’s top grade score has secured him a place at the University of Cambridge to study medicine. He mentioned that he is studying medicine as he plans to become a National Health Service(NHS) Doctor.

He said the care and attention the NHS staff gave him while in the hospital inspired his decisions.“Having spent so much time in hospitals with some of my happiest times being looked after by the amazing nurses, I decided I wanted to help other people who were suffering,” he said.

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