From Kabul To Kent

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2014020920150726

The story of a young Afghan, who made a new life in Britain after smuggling himself from Calais on a Channel Tunnel train.

At the age of 14 "Ali" found himself in a fight for his life. Taliban fighters came to his village and many of his family were killed. Ali escaped. For the next two years he travelled west, in extremely dangerous conditions, before finally making it to Calais and evading Kent police at the border.

Since then he has fought to become a legal British citizen, and is now living and working in the UK legally.

Ali tells his story to reporter Michael Goldfarb as he returns for the first time to the camps in Calais where people still wait desperately for a chance to get into the UK. Ali shows Michael around the MoD training centre where he now helps train British troops. Through Ali we also meet a community of young Afghan refugees who are making their way in Britain and trying to help their home country from here.

This is an immigrant's story, but also a chance to hear an Afghan's perspective on what the future holds for his country.

20140209

As the UK prepares to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, this documentary tells the story of a remarkable young Afghan whose life has been saved because he made it to Britain.

For the first time, this young man tells BBC Radio 5 live how he nearly died smuggling himself on board a Channel Tunnel train in France, evaded Kent police at the border and fought to become a legal British citizen now living and working in the UK legally.

His journey was dangerous. At the age of 14 "Ali" found himself in a fight for his life. Taliban fighters came to his village and many of his family were killed. Ali escaped. For the next two years he travelled west, in extremely dangerous conditions, before finally making it to Calais and from there into Britain, just weeks before the British joined the US in invading Afghanistan.

Life in Britain has been far from easy. But he would not give up. Today he is finishing a degree in international relations and earns a living running Ministry of Defence training courses, educating troops about to deploy to his native land, on its culture and history.

Ali tells his story to reporter Michael Goldfarb as he returns for the first time to the camps in Calais where people still wait desperately for a chance to get into the UK. Ali shows Michael around the MoD training centre where he now helps train British troops. Through Ali we also meet a community of young Afghan refugees who are making their way in Britain and trying to help their home country from here.

This is an immigrant's story but also a chance to hear an Afghan's perspective on what the future holds for his country as the West withdraws its troops.