Hamed Amiri talking

An Inspirational Story of Hope, Humanity, Resilience and the NHS

19 June 2020

Respect for All’ is one of the Coleg Gwent’s core values and it’s important to us that everyone in our college community feels included, respected, supported and listened to. Above all, we’re an inclusive and diverse college where everyone is welcome.

We champion diversity and promote inclusivity across our five campuses, from celebrating LGBTQ History Month, to improving our website accessibility, to helping refugees to rebuild their lives through the Newport Reach Hub.

One of our college Governors, Hamed Amiri, is passionate about changing people’s perceptions, particularly those of refugees and asylum seekers. He’s recently written a book – The Boy with Two Hearts: A Story of Hope – which will be published on 18th June, to inspire young people from any background to achieve their potential and live life to the full, no matter what.

The Boy with Two Hearts

The book is based on Hamed’s first-hand experience as a refugee, moving from his home in Afghanistan to the UK with his family during a time of crisis. It tells of when his mother’s life was threatened for speaking out against the fundamentalist leaders of their country and promoting women’s rights and education, alongside the family’s desperate bid to help his brother, Hussein, who needed expert medical help for a rare heart condition.

The Boy With Two Hearts book

They travelled as refugees to seek asylum and medical care in the UK, encountering danger and suffering along the way. But the family pushed on against all odds, spurred by Hussein’s deteriorating condition and the chance of life-saving treatment in Britain.

Explaining how important it was to him and his family to tell Hussein’s story, Hamed says “it’s not just about us and our fight for freedom and to save Hussein. It’s a story about hope and resilience and about loving life, even when things are hard. More than that, it’s about humanity and it’s a love letter to the NHS and all they did for Hussein”.

Hamed continues to support the Cardiac Unit at the University Hospital of Wales in gratitude for everything they did to help his brother, and his book will inspire generations with his family’s incredible story. A Boy with Two Hearts has already featured in BBC News and will soon be featured as Radio 4’s Book of the Week from 29 June, read by Sanjeev Bhaksar.

Congratulations to Hamed for the success of his book! But even more importantly, thank you for sharing your inspirational story with us and showing us that no matter what your background, you can achieve your potential and live life to the full. We truly believe that our differences enrich our Coleg Gwent community and help us develop respect for all!

Equality and Diversity at Coleg Gwent

We’re passionate about promoting inclusivity, no matter what your age, gender, disability, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion/faith/belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy/maternity or marriage/civil partnership status is. And we pride ourselves on our forward thinking, accepting and progressive community, where our learners and staff are able to embrace themselves and be who they are without fear.

If you’re a Coleg Gwent learner who has been affected by any of the issues in this story, you can access help and advice through the support tile on CG Connect.