Ali the Inspirational Farmer

Ali is 62 and has lived in the Southampton area for 22 years. He has five children, and one of his daughters is a GP. In Iran, Ali was a member of the Peshmerga (Kurdish guerrilla forces). He survived an attack by the Iranian military against a Kurdish football match, when 20 people were killed; Ali lost a leg and had many other injuries.

When I came to the UK, they offered me a wheelchair, but I never used it. I try to live like normal people. I live in a house in the countryside, fields and woods all around, I have a farm with a very big yard. My wife and I grow lots of vegetables, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes and so on.

It was hard for my children to stay at home during lockdown, but I encouraged them to learn about farming. They enjoyed it in the end. We developed our farm and garden.

I bought some roosters and chickens and now we have lots of baby chickens and we produce organic eggs and meat. I have put up a new fence all around the farm. I am planting flowers with Iranian seeds.

We are well known in our area. We got a letter from the Council calling us an inspirational family. People come to our farm and we welcome all of them.

Interview by Shahsavar Rahman.