An Afghan father and son who are trying to make a new life in Britain suffer a huge setback as their initial asylum application is turned down
Lately, Said Norzai hasnt felt much like going to the mosque. He hasnt lost faith. Hes just tired of the questions, and one in particular: how is the asylum claim going?
I dont like to go when I dont have any good news, he says. The first question after Hello, how are you? is Whats happening with your case? Its out of kindness but I dont want to be reminded of it.
In truth, its not going so well. Norzai and his 10-year-old son, Wali Khan, arrived in the UK last winter, having fled the Taliban in Afghanistan and then lost Saids wife and six other children on the perilous journey west.
They thought their case, which the Guardian is following as part of our New Arrivals series, would be straightforward. It turned out to be anything but.
A catalogue of errors many of them down to intricacies of the asylum system that are utterly baffling to new arrivals has thrown the Norzais future in the UK into jeopardy, even though Norzai is clearly traumatised by his losses, even though Wali Khan is clearly flourishing in school.