Asad Hussein

Asad large21 years old, attending the International Foundation Year at Brookhouse School, Nairobi, Asad was awarded a Beacon Scholarship in November 2017.

Asad is a Somali refugee born to parents in Dadaab in Northern Kenya, after they fled the war in Somalia in 1991. His father was blind and sought eye surgery in Kenya, thinking he would immediately return to Somalia, but then spent the next 25 years in Ifo, one of the UNHCR refugee camps in Dadaab. Asad’s older sister was resettled in the US ten years ago and the parents have recently been allowed to  join her, but Asad’s application was blocked because he is now too old to be sponsored by his sister, and because of the recent US administration Executive Orders restricting refugee resettlements; he has two younger siblings in Dadaab who are being looked after by extended family.

Asad has been schooled in the refugee camp, though his education was interrupted many times over the years as his family navigated complex resettlement processes. He has completed his primary and secondary education (obtaining Kenyan national curriculum - KCPE and KCSE - certificates). He loves to read, devouring novels by Tolstoy, Marquez, Camus, and Bronte and was one of the contributors to 'The Refugee', the first magazine to be published in Dadaab. Asad started a Blog and wrote the stories of people in the refugee camp, including of his own family. He also taught English at IFO Secondary School, and has helped other refugees with translations, all in a voluntary capacity.

Asad came to the attention of an American journalist, who is now his sponsor, after he was published in the NY Times and The Guardian newspapers. He has subsequently had a number of other articles published.

Asad has won a place on the International Foundation Year Programme which will enable him to achieve 3 A-Levels and prepare him for undergraduate university study in the UK starting September 2018.