Afghan student starts PhD at Uni of Cambridge 13 years after being smuggled to UK

Rabia Nasimi [Image: UNILAD]

An Afghan girl who was hidden in a lorry and smuggled into the UK at the age of five has now enrolled as a PhD student at the University of Cambridge.

Rabia Nasimi, 23, and her family escaped Afghanistan after the US-led invasion in a refrigerated lorry to get into Britain.

She is now studying for a PhD at the sociology department at the University of Cambridge researching Afghan identity.

Maintaining her Afghan identity is important to her.

She told UNILAD: “I feel like I have a dual identity. I am able to feel British but equally part of Afghanistan.

“I speak my mother tongue so whenever I’m back in Afghanistan I am able to act like just a local.”

Ms Nasimi’s education is centred on her dual identity, and she is conducting research in the field of sociology with a particular focus on Afghan identity as a member of Lucy Cavendish College.

Prior to Cambridge, she studied at the prestigious London School of Economics (LSE) for her Master’s, and completed her undergraduate degree at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Describing the warm welcome she has received at Cambridge, she said: “They have welcomed me very warmly. Many lecturers and professors at the sociology department have sent me kind messages.”

Ms Nasimi added she hopes to work with the UK Government in supporting refugees in the future.

She feels there are aspects of refugees which aren’t properly represented in the media.

Ms Nasimi added: “Refugees have dreams. Refugees want to live in safety. Refugees want an education. Refugees want to work.

“They simply want to lead a happy life as does everyone else.”

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