Monthly Archives: October 2015

Guardian article and Independent review. 

At 13 I found sanctuary in Britain, now we’re failing refugee childrenGulwali Passarlay:

Young asylum seekers are lonely and traumatised. Helping them could save money in the long run.
The Lightless Sky, by Gulwali Passarlay – book review: A refugee’s long, hard road to a new life;

A harrowing journey in search of sanctuary. TCS:

BBC radio Scotland,Sunday morning,  my interview starts 1:23 minutes into the programme;

‘The smell of freedom’: A young Afghan refugee’s story of survival; NewsDay :

.@gulwalip talks to @franku105 about @amnestyni @belfastfestival annual lecture tomorrow night;

Gulwali Passarlay’s tortuous journey aged 12 as a refugee escaping Afghanistan #BelFest


Times and Mail articles 

Huge thanks to both The Mails and TheTimes for their support and serialisation of The Lightless Sky. 
The Taliban 10-year-old who ran for his life… all the way to the Olympics: He was destined for death as a suicide bomber. So how DID a small boy make it here to star in London 2012? Not the best headlines I have to say 🙂
The Afghan boy smuggled to Britain at age 12
Gulwali Passarlay – the survivor


Blogs for The Lightless Sky 


BBC NWTonight: 10 minutes into the news;
He crossed nine countries to flee war. And he was just 12 years old.

PRI’s The World

The Refugee Council: Gulwali Passarlay was forced to flee his home in Afghanistan when he was just 12 years old. His debut book, The Lightless Sky, charts his perilous journey over land and sea to Britain, where he finally found safety. A tale of fortitude and friendship told through a child’s eyes, Gulwali’s story casts much needed light on the difficult decisions refugees are forced to take about who to trust and how to stay alive against a backdrop of political indifference.
All refugees want is to be treated as humans
Gulwali Passarlay fled Afghanistan and travelled across Europe as a refugee at the age of 12. Ahead of giving the Amnesty International lecture at this year’s Ulster Bank Belfast International Arts Festival, he spoke to Jane Hardy
Crossing cultures; 

by Gulwali Passarlay


BBC Radio Interviews 


 BBC 5Live – Afternoon Eidtion: 40 minutes into the program, I talk discuss refugee issues and #TheLightlessSky
Radio 4 – MidWeek; 10 minutes into the discussion: I was part of an incredible panel. 

At 12 Gulwali Passarlay was sent away from Afghanistan by his mother to escape the conflict that claimed his father’s life. After a harrowing journey across eight countries he arrived in the UK a year later. Now 21, he is in his third year studying politics at the University of Manchester and works with aid organisations and youth groups. His ambition is to return to Afghanistan and become its president in 2035. The Lightless Sky – An Afghan Refugee Boy’s Journey is published by Atlantic Books.

BBC world service – Outlook;

Gulwali Passarlay grew up in eastern Afghanistan, not far from where the al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, had his stronghold. Gulwali’s family were very pro-Taliban- his uncle was a senior commander – and Gulwali grew up hating the West and all it stood for. He has been on a phenomenal journey since then – both physically and mentally. As a 12-year-old he made the journey, by himself, from Afghanistan to the UK, facing one catastrophe after another. Now 21, he is a final year student at a leading university in Britain.

And many more local radio interviews but this one was interesting with US;

The Lightless Sky Lauch event. 

One of our main event will take place in London at SOAS on the 29th October 7pm. The event is organised by SOAS AfghanSociety and I look forward to your attendance and participations in the evening. Here is the link to the event:

Also here is a recent article in The Mail about #TheLightless Sky:

My involvement in youth work. 

Youth activism and political engagements.   
For the last five years, I have had the opportunity to get involve with many different committees, groups, forums and commissions to make a positive difference, influence policy and decision makers on issues; I am passionate and care about. However, it’s now time to move on but without forgetting the amazing experiences of being part of a change through youth representation and participation. I shall certainly not forget the inspiring people I met along the way and will continue play my part to make the world a better place. Of course, I have left many local groups a few years back as I have move forward in my personal and political developments. Here are some of my involvement and participation. I shall continue to play my part and make a positive difference. 
Member of Bolton Youth Council; served as Youth Councillor from 2010-2012
2020 Education Youth Ambassador; 

2013 onwards working with a group of young people to created an education fit for purpose and 21st century. The project is lead by MomentumWorld.

Member of National Scrutiny Group [Representing the North West in NSG] – 2012-2014, this has been an excellent opportunity for me to represent the voices of young people and advice the government on youth policies.

Commissioner on Children’s Commission on Child Poverty – TCS

2013- 2015; we have produced a few reports into child poverty in the UK.

Youthforia Youth Employment Commission -YYEC – 2013-2014. One of the young commissioner on the panel; 

Click to access 4f094680-eb28-41bd-9f65-3661ab217779.pdf

NHS Youth Forum Member (BYC) 

2014/15, absolutely one of the best and amazing opportunity to work with young people and some dedicated and committed youth voice champion at the NHS 😉

Member of Youth Management Board ~ NCVYS 2014/15

ParliaMentor 2014/15 – 3FF
Model Westminster Ambassador;

Trainer-Mentor for CareLeaver Association;

Young Ambassador for Refugee Week:

Young Labour Representative

Youth Ambassadors for Refugees & Asylum Seekers
President of Afghan Youth Movement – AYMUK