He had never heard of Scotland when he arrived as a refugee 20 years ago. Today, Abdul Bostani wants to “reimburse” his people by serving as MSP.
The community activist was only 18 when the Home Office brought him here.
His wife Khalida followed and they now have six children and a handful of awards for his inclusion and sporting work in Glasgow through the Scottish Unity League and Glasgow Afghan United.
He says it was the work that saw him challenge Westminster austerity and the harsh environment.
Now he has come forward for selection at East Kilbride, where several other candidates also want the SNP ticket as Linda Fabiani MSP steps down.
He said: “My life story embodies the values of the SNP – Scotland welcomed me, sheltered me, educated me and made me part of the community.
“Afghanistan will always be where I come from, but Scotland is now my home.
“Scotland has great potential to become an independent country. We are one of the leading countries in the world in terms of renewable energy sources, the natural environment and the provision of higher education per capita.
“Our economy is very diverse and consists of resource-based activities such as food, agriculture, oil and gas extraction and related engineering and high-tech sectors, including life sciences, financial services and the creative industries.
“It would be an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Scotland. I take this as a debt that I want to repay for the open arms that the people of Scotland have shown me.”
Other candidates for selection include SNP staff member Grant Costello and Danish adviser Ashraf, as well as Grant Ferguson and Colette Stevenson.