What is life like as a young refugee as time moves as time moves on? Young reporters in Newcastle caught up with Ahmad Ahmadi, 22, who had spoken to them 5 years before.

To see his previous interview click here...

The past few years have been tough, I fell in love, the relationship ended and I lost the plot. I drank heavily, gave up college, went to London and was homeless. East to west, North to South, I went, talking to people on the street and in parks. I bumped into a friend and went to stay in Birmingham. With their help I got better, more motivated and got back into exercise – Thai boxing, cage fighting and running. Once I got my head straight I came back to Newcastle. 

Before London I had learned hairdressing, bricklaying, joinery and plastering. Even when homeless I did some barbering to get extra money. I came back here, kept quiet and work seven days a week here at the barbers of Heaton Road.

I got deep into religion. If I want to know something I got deep inside, it’s my nature. I read a book by a prophet and was practising the same way, with long hair and traditional dress. I wasn’t extremist; I was keeping myself humble. The clothes felt good. At the same time I was meeting girls. Going clubbing; I was still myself. I wasn’t drinking. I still go to mosque and pray but I stopped wearing traditional dress because I found it hard to explain to people. They don’t understand the real picture of Islam.

I stick to my religion. We are still connected with the past; someone who is not is blind in my view.

The immigration system had to deal with problems but I think the United Kingdom is still fair. People have a chance to be safe here. I was one of the lucky ones; I got right remain at 18 through legacy case. Yes, I have friends deported to Somalia, Kenya. Iraq. Turkey.  I believe if it is someone’s destiny to be in place they stay there, be there, eat there. And if it their destiny to get back from a place, they will make it happen.

My business is good. I want my customers to feel relaxed. I play good music and try to make them in a good mood if they are in bad mood. My customers become friends.

I am 23 but I feel 30 years old, I have done so much. My next ambition is to build a family. People are always ready to share happiness with you; it’s finding someone to also share their pains…young girls don’t have the mentality and strength to deal with that.

Life is not about age, it’s about how you grow through learning and experience. I know a wise eight-year-old; I know an 80-year-old who seems 45. Love is something that will come. In time. Good things do.

I am looking forward to the next election in Afghanistan. I will go back one day to share the building of the country. I have to my bid for the kids who have missed out. People have suffered mental and financial hardship there. I have suffered too, but not as much. I will go back and put my experiences to good use.

My advice is keep a strong faith. Whenever you are, in whatever condition, God is still looking. Family should always be priority and whatever plan or goal you have in life, go for it, strike for it, sacrifice things if you need to. If you don’t believe in God, listen to yourself and you will find what you need.

Originally created by Headliners journalists for the 'Culture Rocks' magazine in 2014

For more comment and stories by young refugees and asylum seekers search the word refugee on our website. Follow @HeadlinersUK or the hashtag #YoungRefugeeVoices on twitter for the latest updates.

Support us to get more refugee voices into the press here: #YoungRefugeeVoiceCampaign or join the campaign below.