The Lightless Sky: My Journey to Safety as a Child Refugee

Author(s): Gulwali Passarlay

Biography & Memoir

'To risk my life had to mean something. Otherwise what was it all for?' Gulwali Passarlay was sent away from Afghanistan at the age of twelve, after his father was killed in a gun battle with the US Army. Smuggled into Iran, Gulwali began a twelvemonth odyssey across Europe, spending time in prisons, suffering hunger, making a terrifying journey across the Mediterranean in a tiny boat, and enduring a desolate month in the camp at Calais. Somehow he survived, and made it to Britain, no longer an innocent child but still a young boy alone. In Britain he was fostered, sent to a good school, won a place at a top university, and was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in 2012. Gulwali wants to tell his story - to bring to life the plight of the thousands of men, women and children who are making this perilous journey every day. One boy's experience is the central story of our times. This memoir celebrates the triumph of courage and determination over adversity.


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Product Information

One of the most astonishing memoirs of 2015, now in paperback - the boy who fled Afghanistan and endured a terrifying journey in the hands of people smugglers is now a young man intent on changing the world. His story is a deeply harrowing and incredibly inspiring tale of our times.

Gulwali Passarlay was sent away from Afghanistan as a young boy, fleeing the conflict that had claimed his father's life. After an extraordinarily tortuous journey across eight countries, Gulwali arrived in the UK a year later and has devoted his new life to education. Now twenty-one years old, he is set to graduate from the University of Manchester with a degree in Social Science. Gulwali is a member of many prestigious political, aid, and youth groups, each a stepping stone to his ultimate goal: to enter a life of politics. In 2012 he was invited to carry the Olympic torch.

General Fields

  • : 9781782398479
  • : Atlantic Books
  • : Atlantic Books
  • : April 2016
  • : United Kingdom
  • : July 2016
  • : October 2020
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Gulwali Passarlay
  • : Paperback
  • : Main
  • : 325.21092
  • : 384
  • : 2x4pp col. plates