Afghan refugee on losing hope in North Yorkshire hotel

A woman who fled Afghanistan for the UK when the Taliban swept to power says living in a hotel for almost a year has left her feeling her life has been “paused”.

Marwa Koofi left Kabul in August 2021 and has lived in two hotels while waiting for permanent housing.

Her comments come after the refugees minister appealed to councils for help in housing 10,500 Afghans.

The government said it was moving people as “quickly” as possible.

“I stayed in a hotel for 11 months, I don’t want to stay in a hotel for another 11 months,” Ms Koofi said. After arriving in the UK she and her family were placed in a hotel in Selby, North Yorkshire.

“When I think back to the year, I just see it as a blank – it’s nothing, I haven’t done anything,” she said.

“I feel like our lives are paused, I just want our lives to be played.”

She also said the family had since been split up.

Though she was moved to join her mother and brother at a hotel near Crawley, West Sussex, at the end of July, her 35-year-old sister remains at the hotel in Selby.

Her two other brothers, 23 and 26, are in a hotel in Manchester.

Ms Koofi, who is set to study International Relations at King’s College London in September, said at least in Selby they had been together.

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