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© UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

From refugee to OBE: Sabir Zazai honoured for refugee work

Dr Sabir Zazai, Chair of Together With Refugees, CEO of Scottish Refugee Council and himself a refugee has today (Thursday 2nd June 2022) been awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of his work advocating for refugee rights.

This is a wonderful testament not only to the work of Sabir, but also to the contribution that refugees can make throughout our society. It’s been an exceptionally challenging year for refugees in the UK. This recognition by the Queen has come at a particularly poignant time for those struggling to find safety and those working to support them.”

Enver Solomon, spokesperson for Together With Refugees and CEO of Refugee Council
Picture of Sabir Zazai giving a talk
Sabir Zazai giving a talk

Sabir Zazai said, “In accepting this honour, I hope that it shines a light on the many incredible people who work tirelessly in campaigning, services and community action to welcome refugees, and to the many refugees who have come to the UK to find protection but who then give so much back.

“At a time when some seek to stir up division and hatred by scapegoating refugees, I hope this award speaks to a very different kind of future for our country, one where the vast majority of people support refugees.

“I also decided to accept the award to honour my father and my family who sacrificed everything to get me to safety, and my children who will look back on my journey and hopefully be proud and inspired. I believe this award honours the unique gifts, talents and potential that all refugees bring to our communities, and that it demonstrates what can be achieved when we truly welcome those seeking sanctuary.”

Anyone wanting to know more about Sabir’s story of arriving in the UK as a refugee 23 years ago to receiving an OBE can see the story on Scottish Refuge Council’s website.