ABER-BASED SYRIAN REFUGEE WINS WELSH LEARNER AWARD

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Photo: Aberystwyth Univeristy - Mohamad Karkoubi said he was "delighted" to be recognised for his Welsh skills

A Syrian refugee who made a new home for himself and his family in Wales has won an award for learning Welsh.

BBC News reported “Mohamad Karkoubi lives in Aberystwyth with his wife and their three children after fleeing the civil war in their home country.

Mr Karkoubi, from Aleppo, has been learning Welsh twice a week since September, which has helped him in his job as a blacksmith in Tregaron.

He was recognised for his Welsh skills at the Nation of Sanctuary Awards.

The awards, held in Cardiff for the first time last week, recognised asylum seekers who have excelled in the arts, languages, business and volunteering.

“I am delighted to receive this special award,” said Mohamad, who works for DA Rees Welding in Ceredigion.

“I really enjoy learning Welsh. The language has helped me and my family to feel part of the community in which we live.”

He learned the language through a course delivered by Learn Welsh Ceredigion-Powys-Sir Gâr on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh.

“He’s done very well, fair play to him – and he’s learning words every day,” said Steve Tandy, a colleague.

“We all speak Welsh here and we try to help him learn new words every day. He’s come from a country far away to us and we’re just trying to make him feel welcome. And his welding is spot on too.”

Mohamad and his family arrived in Aberystwyth as part of the refugee resettlement scheme in December 2015. Ceredigion was among the first counties in Wales to welcome refugees from Syria” here.

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