TEENAGER Hana Barzinji wants to repay the UK as a doctor — after fleeing her wartorn homeland at the age of four.
Hana, who scored four A* A-level grades last week, is set to study medicine at the University of Manchester after escaping Iraq with her family as a youngster.
The 18-year-old, whose father studies computing at Bolton University, said: “I am really grateful to this country for providing the opportunity.
“Hopefully I can contribute by becoming a doctor. This is my chance to give back.”
In 2000, before the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein, her father, Hiwa, aged 43, and mother Tka, aged 42, decided their native Kurdish region of northern Iraq was too volatile to bring up their children.
Qualified teacher Mr Barzinji came to the UK and did any odd job he could find to pave the way for his wife, also a teacher, and their then two children to follow him in 2002.
Hana said: “My father first needed to establish some sort of life to come here.
“My parents wanted a safer environment for their children. A better place for an education.
"I was only very young at the time but it was a turbulent place. The situation in Iraq that we are seeing on TV at the moment is precisely the thing they were trying to protect us from."
The family are settled in Rochdale, with Mr Barzinji studying for a computing degree in Bolton.
Hana’s brother Taman, 16, is an engineering student at Bury College.