Nadhim Zahawi: Iraqi refugee to education secretary

Nadhim Zahawi: Iraqi refugee to education secretary


Former vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has been appointed the new education secretary, replacing the sacked Gavin Williamson.

“I must be one of the luckiest human beings on earth,” Mr Zahawi has said when reflecting on his childhood.

Born in Iraq in 1967 he could easily have been sent to fight in the 1980s Iran-Iraq War.

“I would have been drafted in to the Iraqi army, had to go to front line and probably die,” he told Nick Robinson on the Political Thinking podcast earlier this year.

Instead, he and his parents were forced to flee Iraq and he grew up in Britain.

His family had been influential in the country – his grandfather was the governor of the Central Bank of Iraq and his signature appeared on the country’s banknotes.

However, when Saddam Hussein came to power in the late 1970s, his family came under threat.

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