Home West London ‘I fled the Taliban as a baby and was crammed in a...

‘I fled the Taliban as a baby and was crammed in a fridge to get to the UK’

8

A British Afghan who arrived in the UK in a refrigerated container as a baby is now running to be a West London councillor in the 2022 local elections.

Darius Nasimi was just four months old in 1999, when his family fled Afghanistan to escape the Taliban in a container full of cheese and chocolate, surviving a perilous nine hour journey through Slovakia, Hungary and Austria to arrive in Dover.

Mr Nasimi said the route they took was part of the same overland route taken by 58 Chinese migrants who were found dead in a lorry arriving at the port of Dover the following year.

READ MORE: Couple forced to leave South Africa early say paying almost £4K for hotel quarantine ‘ruins us financially’

Mr Nasimi described how Border force gave his family “Snickers and yoghurts” as they were helped out of the container.

Darius was just a baby when his family arrived in the UK in a refrigerated container

His family were moved into a house in Lewisham, South London, which Mr Nasimi said was “the wrong location,” as they were among the only Afghan people in the area at the time.

Nevertheless, his father went on to set up a charity to support Afghan refugees, which grew exponentially, moved to West London, and two years ago launched the Afghan community centre in Feltham, to support the integration of Afghan refugees into the UK.

Now Mr Nasimi, 22, who studied Philosophy at King’s College, is running to be councillor for Hounslow, and hoping to become the first Conservative candidate from an Afghan background in British history.

The politician, who is currently a fundraiser for the Afghan community centre, first got involved with the Conservative party three years ago, and said he hopes to help steer government policy on refugee issues.

Mr Nasimi described his “huge sympathy” for all the refugees who have arrived from Afghanistan this year, who he said are facing the same struggles his own family did, such as navigating housing, schooling, and GP surgeries.

0 GettyImages 639998364

Do you want to stay up to date with the latest news, views, features and opinion from across the city?

MyLondon’s brilliant newsletter The 12 is absolutely jam packed with all the latest to keep you keep you entertained, informed and uplifted.

You’ll get 12 stories straight to your inbox at around 12pm. It’s the perfect lunchtime read.

And what’s more – it’s FREE!

The MyLondon team tells London stories for Londoners. Our journalists cover all the news you need – from City Hall to your local streets, so you’ll never miss a moment.

Don’t skip a beat and sign up to The 12 newsletter here.

He said the Feltham Centre was the first port of call for many, with 500 people queuing there every day after the Taliban took over Kabul in August.

Mr Nasimi said: “Both ourselves and the newly arrived people were escaping the Taliban, and nobody thought that the situation in Afghanistan would get to this stage when the Taliban would take over everything again, and we’re going back to 20 years ago.”

Mr Nasimi said he wants to give Afghan people political representation and “be a voice for the Afghan people” and refugees, and to help to make Afghan migrants aware of the “opportunities available to them” in Britain.

Mr Nasimi said he is “against illegal immigration” – instead he thinks there should be a change in the way we accept refugees into the UK.

0 b211b99c 1bd7 4e92 ae43 f5041160a0a5

He said: “I don’t think increased criminalization is helpful, but I also don’t think that refugees should be exploited by smugglers, by criminal gangs, to get to the UK.

“I think there should be a proper discussion between the European governments, the French government for example, they have refused to speak with the British government.

“There should be a change in how we accept refugees. There should be an ethical process instead of people having to risk their lives.”

Speaking about how Conservative party values fit the needs of refugees, Mr Nasimi said: “People have a bad stereotype about the Conservatives being only for English people, or for rich people.”

Mr Nasimi continued: “Especially for migrants like myself and for people who come here with nothing, they should use the opportunities in this country.”

He described how he believes in what he described as the “Conservative values” of “creativity and of innovation,” and of “individual liberty and pursuing your goals and working hard.”

0 GettyImages 1318321182

At MyLondon, we want to make sure you get the latest and greatest from across the capital.

And one way you can do that is by getting the best news, reviews and features from wherever you are straight to your inbox with our free email newsletters.

We have seven newsletters you can currently sign up for – including a different one for each part of London, as well as an EastEnders one for all the gossip from Albert Square, and a London Underground one to keep you up to date on the latest transport news.

The local newsletters go out twice a day and send the latest stories straight to your inbox.

From community stories and news covering every borough of London to celebrity and lifestyle stories, we’ll make sure you get the very best every day.

To sign up to any of our newsletters, simply follow this link and select the newsletter that’s right for you.

And to really customise your news experience on the go, you can download our top-rated free apps for iPhone and Android. Find out more here.

“I also think the Conservatives make people less lazy,” added Mr Nasimi, who described how, “when the Conservatives came to power they made the job centre very strict,” which he believes, “is good for the country and for the individual.”

In the run-up to the May elections, Mr Nasimi said he hopes his family unit will become a “role model” for other families integrating themselves into the British system, proving that, “you don’t have to be privileged to achieve something.”

The hopeful candidate added that “immigration is just one part of a councillor’s responsibility” and he also wants to be accountable to local people for other issues in the area, and to “put pressure on the council” to do more to help local residents.

To get local stories and breaking news from around London and the UK tailored to your preferences, sign up for one of our custom newsletters here.

Read More
Read More

https://www.mylondon.news/news/west-london-news/i-fled-taliban-baby-crammed-22449903