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Personal Experiences & Stories

Personal Experiences and Stories of Young Refugees and Asylum Seekers

This page provides access to a series of YouTube presentations by young refugees and asylum seekers including celebrities on their lived experiences and journeys reaching to safety and growing up in the UK and/or the host country.

The YouTube videos below have been researched and compiled by Dr Farkhondeh Farsimadan, a Chartered Counselling Psychologist, who is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and an HCPC registered psychologist.   

Please use the links below to view these YouTube presentations. 


If you had to flee your home what would you take? 

• What They Took with Them:

UNHCR, 2016, 5:25 minutes


YouTube video presentation of acclaimed American author Khaled Hosseini who knows what it’s like to be a refugee:
• Khaled Hosseini tells his refugee story:
UNHCR, 2014, 5:14 minutes

YouTube video presentation of UNHCR goodwill ambassador Cate Blanchett meeting successful business owner and refugee Razan Alsous:
• Business owner &refugee talks about her successful business:
UNHCR, 2019, 4:01 minutes

YouTube video of Douglas Booth UNHCR high profile supporter meeting trainee pilot and Syrian refugee, Maya Ghazal:

• Becoming the first ever female Syrian refugee pilot:

 UNHCR, 2019, 4:06 minutes


YouTube video presentation of Jawahir Roble “JJ” UK’s first FA registered Muslim female referee:

Paypalluk, 2019, 2:32 Minutes 


YouTube video of Alphonso Davies Canadian international footballer talking to BBC Football Focus about his journey from Ghanaian refugee to teenage Bayern Munich star:    

BBC Sport, 2020, 3:58 minutes 


YouTube video of Lovren LFC footballer telling the harrowing story of how his family were forced to flee the Bosnian war:

LFCTV, 2017, 22 minutes


YouTube video of Rita Ora: “As a refugee you never want to hear the words 'get out'.”

Channel 4 News, 2015, 4:13 minutes


YouTube video of of Model Halima Aden visiting the refugee camp she was born in: 

Teen Vogue, 2018, 13:43 minutes


YouTube videos of the author Viet Thanh Nguyen sharing his experiences as a refugee:

Late Night with Seth Meyers, 2017, 3:14 minutes

PBS NewsHour, 2017, 5:56 minutes


YouTube video of Ger Duany, a Sudanese actor, model and speaker on being a child soldier, refugee, and now a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador for the East and Horn of Africa:

TEDx Talks, 2016, 20:05 minutes


From a Syrian war zone to work experience in Parliament: one refugee’s story:

ITV News, 2018, 3:12 minutes


YouTube video of Anh Do Australian comedian describing his experience of being attacked by pirates on his way to Australia as a Vietnamese refugee child and how the experience inspired him to write a book:

ABC TV & iview, 2011, 7 minutes


YouTube videos of Jamal Osman, now a journalist, personal journey on the refugee road:

Channel 4 News, 12 minutes

Channel 4 News, 12:27 minutes

Channel News 4, 1:46 minutes

Channel 4 News, 2:17 minutes

Channel 4 News, 1:45 minutes

Channel 4 News, 1:57 minutes

Channel 4 News, 2:01 minutes


YouTube videos of Abdi-Aziz Suleiman’s lived experience as a young refugee growing up in the UK:

The University of Sheffield, 1:05 minutes

The University of Sheffield, 1:22 minutes

The University of Sheffield, 1:37 minutes