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16 April 2022updated 10 May 2022 10:56am

Operation Warm Welcome: the hotel that became home to 150 Afghan refugees – Audio Long Reads

Europe faces a new influx of refugees from Ukraine, but many Afghans who fled the Taliban last year have yet to be properly housed in the UK.

By Sophie McBain

When the Taliban took control of Kabul in August 2021, the Koofi family were among 8,000 Afghans airlifted to the UK, as part of the government’s Operation Warm Welcome. The New Statesman’s Sophie McBain met them in a hotel in the north of England soon afterwards, where they waited to be resettled.

As the months passed she followed their new lives, as well as those of the hotel staff and its other residents: an uncertain limbo of bureaucracy and confinement.

In this podcast, Sophie McBain reads her feature with a new introduction. The original article was first published in December 2021.

Audio Long Reads is a podcast from the New Statesman showcasing the best of our reported features and essays, read by the authors and voice actors. The podcast is available in all major podcast players and here on the New Statesman website. A new episode is published every Saturday.

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