An Afghan refugee builds a new life in South Korea

STORY: Shahpoor Ahmad Azimi has called South Korea home for a year now.

He and his family were among the nearly 400 Afghans who settled here in the wake of the Taliban takeover.

But building a new life in a new country has been tough.

“It's so hard to lose everything. Especially your homeland but you are not sure when you will visit again your family, your hometown. On that time, it was so hard for us.”

Azimi is a journalism graduate of the elite Kabul University - who worked with a Korean provincial reconstruction team in Afghanistan.

Now he packs plastic products at a factory.

"The most difficult is we don't know Korean language."

South Korea granted him a long-term stay for his work on its projects, but he and many others who settled here have struggled to find employment in their fields.

There is also a matter of cultural differences.

In a country where only around 3% of the population are foreigners, some parents held a protest against Afghan children attending local schools.

But despite all this, Azimi says he's grateful to South Korea for helping them escape - especially as the Taliban curbed the rights of women and girls.

"My daughter can't go to outside alone in Afghanistan, can't go to school alone. Everything. But here, we never think about when they go out alone.”

Azimi says he doesn't think about his past. He has no plans to return to Afghanistan in the near future.