Palestinian refugees to start work at London hospitals after fleeing conflict

A Palestinian refugee born and schooled in one of the world’s most dangerous refugee camps is set to become a nurse in London.

Fayzeh Rachid, 22, was born at Al Rashidieh Camp in Lebanon and studied medicine there despite violence often breaking out around her.

In the past year, the 10,000 resident refugee camp has seen intense fighting involving rocket launchers, machine guns and hand grenades, according to local news agencies.

Fayzeh said: “Palestinians like me face an uphill everything they do. I was the first one of my family to become a registered nurse.

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Fayzeh Rachid grew up and studied in a refugee camp in Lebanon and will soon become a NHS nurse

“Ultimately, despite all the struggles that face us in the camp on and outside it on a daily basis, I am always working hard towards my goal.”

Now Fayzeh will train to become a nurse at St Pancras Hospital and will start a new life in the capital.

Fayzeh earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing Sciences from Lebanese University in October 2020 after studying at schools set up by the United Nations inside her refugee camp.

She is among five Palestinian refugees who arrived at Heathrow on Saturday and will begin a career at Central and Northwest London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL).

Alongside Fayzeh are twin sisters Rawan and Yara Kassab, 20, who has also spent their lives fleeing violence.

Rawan said: “Having lived my entire life as a refugee unable to fully live with safety and security, I expect to be assisted to fulfil my dreams and secure a successful and safe future.”

Rami Mansour and Mohammad Al Qanawan, will both start roles at Hawthorne Intermediate Care Unit at Hillingdon Hospital after studying at Liverpool John Moore University.

Rami Mansour said: “I’ve finally made it. I envisioned this moment but could have never expected it to be this special in reality.

“I will forever cherish this moment and will vow to work hard in order to serve the great UK community. I can already say this is our home.”

CNWL’s chief executive Claire Murdoch said: “I’m really pleased to welcome these talented and qualified people.

“I’m looking forward to meeting them in person – a real privilege for me. They have experienced a life many of us can scarcely comprehend and now have a new beginning with us in the NHS and CNWL.

“We will provide support and training so their skills can be used right now, and wherever their futures take them. Welcome to CNWL.”

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