Refugee turned author speaks at Bedales
A tale including a 12-month odyssey across Europe to escape war-torn Afghanistan, arrival in the UK and graduation from one of the UK’s top universities was retold on Monday evening when Gulwali Passarlay delivered the Bedales School annual Global Awareness Lecture.
Gulwali Passarlay is a speaker, activist and former refugee who arrived in Britain in 2007, aged just 12, after being separated from his brother during his travels. He discussed this experience and his time since arriving in Britain with moving aplomb; his best-selling book, The Lightless Sky is an account of his lone travels as a child including a 50-hour sea crossing in cramped quarters with more than 100 other refugees.
Bedales School is unique in the UK, in that Global Awareness is part of the core curriculum and available to study as a Bedales Assessed Course (BAC). The course aims to address global issues including human rights, education and women and issues surrounding the arms trade.
Head of Global Awareness at Bedales, Abi Wharton said: “Gulwali’s resilience, determination and humour is a lesson to us all. He has faced unimaginable hardship and had his childhood taken away. Despite this, he bears no grudges, and has instead dedicated his life to raising awareness and improving the lives of millions of people around the world. It was deeply humbling and an honour to listen to his story, the message of which will no doubt stay with the audience for a very long time to come.”