Glasgow Girl Roza Salih first refugee elected in Scotland

The SNP candidate fled from war-torn Kurdistan in 2001, after a family member had been brutally murdered.

Glasgow Girl Roza Salih makes history as first refugee councillor elected in Scotland Roza Salih/Twitter

Roza Salih has made history as Scotland’s first-ever refugee councillor, representing the Greater Pollok ward at Glasgow City Council.

Unable to speak a word of English, the SNP candidate first arrived in Glasgow as a frightened 12-year-old in October 2001.

She started campaigning for immigrants’ rights early on, starting the Glasgow Girls club while in high school.

The club made national headlines and changed laws after a successful campaign to stop their friend and fellow Drumchapel High School pupil Agnesa Murselaj being deported.

Now, 21 years later, Ms Salih will represent the Greater Pollok ward at Glasgow City Council for the next four years.

Expressing her gratitude on Twitter, Ms Salih said: “As a kid I came to Glasgow as a refugee. Now elected to its city council to represent this wonderful city that I love so dearly.

“If you told me 20 years ago I would be a councillor I would not have believed you. Thank you.

“I’m proud of my background.”

In May 2021, she stood as a candidate at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, standing as the lead candidate for the Scottish National Party on the Glasgow region.

She was congratulated on her historic victory by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who claimed to shed a “very happy tear” at the result.

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