The Syrian refugee studying in the South determined to build back his war-torn home

Omar Alsalih speaks to ITV News Meridian's James Dunham about his hopes and dreams

A refugee whose family escaped the war in Syria is hoping to rebuild his country thanks to teachers in the South East.

Omar Alsalih arrived in the UK knowing very little English, his mother and father, grateful that they'd taken him and his four siblings out of a dangerous and deadly environment.

"We had to leave"

"People were literally dying, who knows what would've happened? I think my dad wanted us to just get out for his children, my brothers and sister."

"I left a lot of people in Syria, my uncles, a lot of people I know. I look forward to going there once it's all back to normal."

Many refugees are fleeing from the war in Syria. Credit: PA

Omar arrived in Kent from Jordan as a refugee in 2017, he'd missed five years of education because he needed to work to financially support his families after escaping Syria in 2011.

"The only words I knew were just 'yes' I didn't know anything else. I didn't even know how to write my own name or speak to people, to communicate.

At 16 Omar started studying at Homewood School and Sixth Form in Tenterden in Kent, and with the help of teachers he managed to achieve several GCSE qualifications.

"It was challenging because I didn't have any friends when I came here. It was so hard for me but now it's alright thanks to my teachers there because they always tried to help me as much as I can."

After accepting a foundation place at the University of Brighton, the 20-year old is three weeks into his architecture degree which he hopes to use to build a career but also to help transform lives back home,

"I want to finish architecture, I will definitely try to help as much as I can to make it the same, or different, or even better because there's a lot of buildings down.

"I'm studying hard. My father always tells me that if you study hard you will get something and that's what I hope to achieve."