Lovely piece. I have taught people like Ahmed for the last 12 years. The back stories are usually heart-breaking. At the end of my first year, working with 16-19 year olds, I wrote this:

Ahmir arrived uneducated, joined in mainstream school.

Picked up Manchester lingo but no grammar or spelling rules.

Mariana has better skills, a polite and pleasant manner.

She writes of a violent fiancé who’s still waiting in Albania.

Hassan has different coloured eyes. One blue, one dark brown

He writes of the shrapnel behind it . A bomb pulled his home down.

Ahmad writes of the loss of a boat which left the coast with a friend;

A small hand amongst 50 waving, never to be seen again.

Fazhad has facial scar. It covers a third of his skin.

His father protected him from a terror attack when they bombed the bus he was in.

None of these kids tell their stories, they come out in a writing task.

I read the text, change the grammar, and correct spelling mistakes,

But about the content, I don’t ask.

It is my privilege to give them skills to express themselves in English

And humbling to hear their stories buried deep beneath their wishes.

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Thanks for all the work which has gone into this eye-opening piece. I look forward to the video, and, like others who have commented, wish Ahmed all the best.

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What a thought provoking read. I do hope Ahmed achieves his ambitions.

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Very best wishes, dear Ahmed.

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This was really great!

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Good luck to Ahmed. I hope he makes his dream a reality.

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