The happy tears of an Afghan family finally entered their new home

Burhan Vesal, his wife Narcis and their son, Sepehr, are adjusting to their new surroundings in Aberdeen after being evacuated from Afghanistan (Image: Burhan Vesal)

A former Afghan interpreter and his wife cried as they moved into their new home after a stranger touched by their story offered her a free apartment.

Burhan and Narcis Vesal were evacuated with their son from Kabul in the final days of the mass airlift, but then spent five months waiting in hotels to find out if they would be granted a permanent home in the UK.

The family was stuck in limbo in Crawley before Helga Macfarlane heard their story and contacted them via email, providing the apartment she owns 600 miles away in Aberdeen.

Helga was moved by their plight when her mother, Helene, was a Silesian refugee in World War II who also served as an interpreter for British Army before being given to a reserve in the UK.

Burhan, 34, told that the Home Office initially rejected the move before the final paperwork was signed in the city on Tuesday.

He said: ‘We went from Afghanistan to our new apartment in Aberdeen. It’s hard to describe in words what it feels like to give up all your dreams in Afghanistan and go to a new country to start over with your life.

‘But fortunately I got away with being jailed or killed. We feel so lucky and comforted to be here. It’s been a long journey from Afghanistan to Aberdeen, when we walk into our apartment, our tears come. ‘

The family moved in last week after months of precarious return to Burhan’s time as a battlefield interpreter in Afghanistan, where he served with British forces including the Gurkhas.

Burhan and his family are looking forward to a fresh start in the holy city of Aberdeen (Image: Burhan Vesal)

He fear for his life after the Taliban came to power in August 2021 and had been in hiding for four months waiting for an evacuation flight from Kabul Airport, where initially chaos and crowds blocked the way.

The family, along with thousands of others, were taken to safety by British troops, moved to temporary accommodation in central London and then the Arora Hotel in Crawley.

Burhan, who previously spoke to anonymously, Sincere thanks to the UK military when they touch Heathrow.

The trio suffered disappointment when they were told by the Home Office that they would be moved to a home in Peterborough, only to be told on the day they arrived in the city that it was unavailable.

The couple and their six-year-old son, Sepehr, are now headquartered in the UK with the support of Aberdeen City Council and the welcome of the locals, with final approval from the Aberdeen City Council. Burhan on the move to the Work Center.

The move to Scotland comes amid fears of thousands of Afghan families and individuals those who stay in the ‘bridging accommodation’ organized by the Home Office, several months after the rapid evacuation of UK troops.

“We have finally reached the end of the journey,” said Burhan.

‘It feels really great because staying at the bridging hotel is not good.

Sepehr plays with Lego as he settles into his new surroundings at an Aberdeen apartment after five months at the hotel (Image: Burhan Vesal)
Narcis Vesal, pictured with Sepehr, is a qualified doctor and is looking to learn English so he can work in the UK (Image: Burhan Vesal)

‘There are hundreds of families from all over the world with many different cultures, some polite, some impolite.

‘I’m not worried for myself but for my son. Now we are the lucky ones. We have a new home in a new area that we love and we move on with our lives in safety. ‘

Helga wanted to help the family open a new chapter in the brutal and deadly scenes on the ground in Afghanistan during and after the coalition’s withdrawal. ended two decades of intervention.

Realizing similarities with her mother’s story, she opened her home and charged no rent while Burhan and his wife stood their ground and established their independence.

“Helga is an example to the world,” says Burhan. ‘I have never met someone as kind and free as her. She proved that there are people in the world who believe in humanity.

‘She gave us a shoulder and helped us resettle to start a new life.’

Burhan Vesal with his wife and son during his time in Afghanistan before the country fell to the Taliban (Image: Burhan Vesal/
Burhan Vesal served with British forces in Helmand province as an interpreter (Image: Burhan Vesal)

Burhan hopes to complete his security training so he can work in the industry while Narcis, a doctor, is planning to learn English so he can continue his work.

Their journey north took place a few days before whistleblowers tell of chaotic scenes at the Office of Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development at the height of the relocation effort.

Raphael Marshall, a junior civil servant, told the Commons committee that thousands of desperate emails from people who believed their lives were in danger went unanswered.

The department told this week that the UK Government has evacuated more than 15,000 people from Afghanistan within two weeks and is still helping others leave.

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Huynh Nguyen

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