1. ITV Report

Syrian refugee finds a better life in Cambridge

A Muslim refugee who has fled from the 7 year long conflict in Syria has found a better life with a Jewish family in Cambridge.

Human rights say up to half a million people have been killed in the conflict, many more have fled their homes. The UK has already taken in ten thousand refugees

Faraj Alnasser Credit: ITV Anglia

Faraj Alnasser fled Aleppo in Syria in 2013, aged just 16.

Simon and Shoshana Goldhill took Faraj into their home a year and a half ago.

They'd been deeply affected by the scenes from Syria and wanted to help.

They signed up with the charity Refugees at Home.

"We signed up, 6 weeks later we got an email saying we have a self-referred refugee, would we be interested meeting him, we met him not having known anything about each other and it's worked out amazingly well."

– Shoshana Goldhill
Simon and Shoshana Goldhill Credit: ITV Anglia

"You can overthink these things - the decision process was should we do this, yes, it was obviously the right thing to do, someone has a need and we could help out... It's fascinating to see the world through Faraj's eyes, imagine what it's like to have a 20 year old in your house who hasn't heard of rock and roll, who doesn't know about football, western culture, it's very humbling to be in the presence of someone so generous and kind who's been through such terrible experiences."

– Simon Goldhill

Faraj was forced from Aleppo at 16 and managed to get to Egypt.

He then travelled to Turkey working in a school for 2 years before heading on an inflatable boat to Greece, on foot through Macedonia and had a terrifying journey across Europe before stowing away in a lorry to get to Dover.

Faraj tells our Hannah Pettifer that he is now learning English Credit: ITV Anglia

Faraj is now learning English at Cambridge regional college. He wants to continue his studies here and become a child psychologist.

"In many different ways, thanks is not enough for them, helping me and supporting me and understanding who is Faraj where I've come from, they knew I was in a very difficult place, they understand that, they accept me in many different ways - I am Muslim, they are Jewish and I'm really happy to be with them, it's been a beautiful experience."

– Faraj Alnasser, Syrian refugee

The Government announced yesterday that just over 10,500 Syrian refugees have come to the UK since 2014.

So far Refugees at Home have placed 15 people in the east of England, mostly in Cambridge.