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AN INSPIRING teenager who arrived in Leicester as a Syrian refugee, is excelling in his education against the odds, by achieving a string of A* GCSES.

16-year-old Adnan Hannah Khoraki (pictured), has managed to gain a total of nine GCSES at the highest possible grade, through sheer grit and determination, plus a desire to make a better life for his family.

The tenacious teen was in year two when war broke out in his home country of Syria, resulting in him losing two years of education.

He and his family fled the country in order to escape the difficult humanitarian crisis which blighted their lives.

Picture: Suleman Nagdi

Adnan miraculously fought death many times and escaped to Lebanon, where he was bullied and discriminated against for being a refugee.

However, this is something which is said to have led to him developing an inner strength and resilience and now he is determined to make a success of himself through an admirable commitment to his education.

“This young man gave me a perspective that I did not think was ever possible,” said Suleman Nagdi, Federation of Muslim Organisations Leicestershire, who met Adnan during a meal at Madani Schools, which was designed to welcome the Afghan community to Leicester.

“Adnan’s only hope in this life was to make his family’s life better,” he added.

“He is determined to do what it takes for as long as it takes, in order to achieve the highest grades, no matter what it will take.”

“He has in the truest sense, discovered the world and humanity through his experience and very difficult young life.”

After 5 years of living in Lebanon, Adnan and his family sought refuge in the UK and with no prior knowledge of English, he managed to achieve a grade 6 in English, despite only having lived in the country for 3 years.

Maths is a particular strength of his. In year 10, he completed the UKMT Maths challenge and managed to get a bronze medal. In addition to this, in year 9, he represented his school Crown Hills in the Rotary challenge for design, where he competed with 12 other schools in Leicester, and achieved third place.

When asked why he enjoys Mathematics, Adnan said that he realised it is all down to his personality, as he enjoy the challenge of “questions with unequivocal answers.”

The teenager’s hobbies include watching courses about programming. Therefore, he was been able to learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, C#, Python and has touched upon many others. As well as this, he has created several websites and software. 

Moreover, he has also completed a few electronics projects, such as creating a RFID door lock and a home automation system.

In year 9, he achieved a grade 9 in Arabic. In addition to that he has already learnt most of the basics about calculus and developed a wide range of knowledge about the things he is taught about in college.

Although he is still unsure of the career, he is interested in Computer Science, and confident that his experience in Electronics, Physics and Further Maths will help him determine his future career.

He believes that studying at college will equip him with even greater skills and knowledge.

“This young 16-year-old boy is a lesson to us that we have to encounter problems in the course of our existence and the challenge for us is to deal with the problems and to develop our resilience,” said Mr Nagdi, who hails Adnan as an “inspiration”.

“Regardless of our faith colour, creed or any other beliefs be their political or personal, this boy’s journey is evidence that in any situation with hope, sincerity and hard work we can overcome adversity as individuals and as humanity.”

By Louise Steel