A Syrian refugee has graduated as a doctor in London after studying for 10 years in four countries and living in 21 homes from the day he started medical school, the Evening Standard reports.
Dr Tirej Brimo, 27, was personally congratulated by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at his graduation from St George’s, University of London.
He told the Evening Standard: “Now I know what pain is, I am so ready to start my new role as a doctor and I am so ready to look after others’ loved ones. I promise I will do it with a heart full of love and a smile full of hope.”
Dr Brimo was 17 when he started medical school in Aleppo.
But when the civil war broke out in 2011, he fled the country 10 months before finishing the six-year course.
He crossed the Middle East through Lebanon and became separated from his family.
Dr Brimo then spent time in Egypt where he tried to complete his course twice but had to leave.
He arrived in Britain in 2013 and applied to every medical school in the UK to become a doctor.
He was rejected by most of the schools because of course differences, whilst others advised him to retake his A-levels.
However, St George’s, University of London offered him a placement after interviewing him and he was allowed to start the five-year course in the third year.
Dr Brimo’s mother, sister and brother, told the Evening Standard: “I have learnt that the UK is a fair place. If you put the effort in you get a result. I feel attached to the British community. It welcomed me, gave me love and believed in me.
“I feel attached to [Syria and the UK] and want to contribute to both of them. One day I might go somewhere where there is war because I understand how difficult it is to lose everything at once, and how important it is to have someone be compassionate towards you. But that wouldn’t compromise the love I feel towards the British community.”
Dr Brimo funded his studies by working as a phlebotomist at Croydon University Hospital, as well as taking out a student loan.
He is now working in Stafford as a junior doctor at the County Hospital.