The refugee bringing the taste of Syria to Darlington

A refugee from Syria has set up a locally famous falafel takeaway in Darlington.

Mouhyedeen, known as Mouhy, fled the Syrian war when he was just 18.

But refugees were not welcome in Lebanon, and he soon found himself without papers and in danger.

He was contemplating making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe when the United Nations offered him safe passage to the UK.

Mouhy told ITV News Tyne Tees of relief he felt when boarding the plane to England.

"Since the day I went to Lebanon Airport and met the first English person on the airplane, even though I didn't understand any English, I was very happy because I was safe," he said.

"In the end, refugees are not someone who is here for money... he is here for life. Not for a better life. For life."

His restaurant brings a 'taste of Syria' to Darlington. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Mouhy was taken in by Fran Wood of Darlington Assistance for Refugees to learn English. After working three jobs, he decided to set up his own business.

But there was one problem - he could not cook. His mother taught him traditional dishes over the phone from Syria.

Four years and a successful business later, Mouhy still lives with Fran as he saves for his own home.

"I feel really privileged to know him [...] and I know lots of other people in Darlington do," Fran said.

"He's made such a difference in our lives. He's made us laugh when we've been sad and down.

"He's taught us about getting on with life and smiling. It's just like having a dynamo in your house. It's great."