Afghan girl who came to UK speaking no English gets first class law degree

A young Afghan girl, who worked as a carpet weaver before coming to the UK ten years ago, has got a first class law degree from Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge.

Ten years ago, Hameeda Hussani arrived in Peterborough from Afghanistan unable to speak English and having never been to school.

But the 23-year-old former Stanground Academy pupil has now received a First Class Law Degree at a graduation ceremony at Anglia Ruskin University.

She won a place to study law at Anglia Ruskin University at its Cambridge campus. She said: “Ever since I was a child I’d wanted to study law, but coming to the UK unable to speak, read or write English, I didn’t believe it was possible for me.”

Hameeda, who used to earn money for her family by weaving carpets with her sister, said: “Making carpets was very hard – working from morning to night every day. Eventually my family started making and selling our own Persian carpets, which at least meant we could work from home.

“I came to the UK from Afghanistan when I was 13. As well as beginning to learn English, the local Afghan community arranged Persian lessons for me so that I could also read and write in my own language,” Hameeda added.

“Coincidentally a friend of mine also hoped to study law and encouraged me to find a course that would suit not only my background but also my ambitions.”

During her final year at Anglia Ruskin, Hameeda won stages of a national law competition and eventually finished the course with a First.

Hameeda is now studying for both a Legal Practice Course and a Masters at City University in London.

Her next target is to secure a training contract with a firm of solicitors next summer with the view to specialising in property or corporate law.

She said: “Not only have I learnt so much about law, but also about myself and why it’s so important to challenge yourself and believe in your potential. Anybody can go as far as they want to go with the right determination and support.”

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