A-level Results Day 2018: Syrian refugee achieves A*AA at Newham Sixth Form College
PUBLISHED: 14:28 16 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:28 16 August 2018
Abed Mosa-Al-Refaee, a Syrian refugee who fled the civil war in 2012, was among those celebrating A-level results in Newham today.
Abed, who studies at Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIc) in Plaistow, fled Damascus for Lebanon six years ago, before moving to the UK alone in 2015.
On Thursday’s A-level results day, the 19-year-old celebrated a fantastic set of results, achieving A* in maths, A in physics and A in further maths.
“I feel a bit overwhelmed,” he said.
“I can’t believe what I’ve achieved but it just seemed to happen. I’ve told my friends and some of my family and they’re happy.”
Abed has moved around London since arriving three years ago. He currently lives in Croydon, where he’s been commuting an hour and a half every day to get to college.
“It’s a long journey,” he said.
“I have been through a lot but I have just overcome my situation.”
Newham’s mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, who also visited NewVIc for results day, praised the efforts of Abed and other students who’ve overcome adversity.
She said: “It blows my mind, the determination and the talent of the young people in our borough.
“Coming from Syria at that time, during such conflict, and managing to come to NewVIc and remain so focused, is so ambitious.
“I just feel really proud.”
Abed hopes to study aerospace engineering at Bristol or Cambridge, and is just one of many success stories from NewVic, which achieved its highest A-level pass rate for the second year in a row.
Bilal Mizra, who has autism, achieved D*DD in his Level Three Btec in IT – the equivalent to A*AA at A-level.
“When I opened my results, I kept thinking, no way,” he said.
“It’s made me realise anything is possible.”
Principal Eddie Playfair, whose 10-year tenure at NewVIc ends in a month, said it was the perfect note to end on.
“It’s a nice leaving present for me,” he said.
“The strength of the college is its steady, continuous improvement, and it feels like my 10 years of NewVIc’s 25-year history have been a part of this improvement.
“These results mean that hundreds of young people have the opportunity to progress. We’re very proud of their achievements and proud of the work of the staff.”