Nadhim Zahawi, Immigrant boy from Baghdad is now British finance minister


Britain’s newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi arrives at the HM Treasury to start his new job, in central London on Wednesday. AFP

In Britain, some top officials who are of immigrant origin have been occupying centre stage. Take for example, the duo who just resigned from the Boris Johnson Cabinet, Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid.

They are of Indian and Pakistani descent respectively. Now an immigrant boy from Baghdad has taken over the top finance post in the country. The new British Chancellor of the Exchequer is Nadhim Zahawi, who says his rise from “an immigrant boy” to hold the job as steward of the country’s treasury showed what a great country Britain was.

Zahawi was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer late on Tuesday after a streak of resignations from the Boris Johnson including that of his predecessor, Rishi Sunak, created a flutter in political circles. Zahawi still finds his position incredulous, and pinches himself every morning over the wonderful opportunity he got to serve the country.

A member of the Conservative Party for years, he moved to the UK when his Kurdish family fled Iraq during the rule of Saddam Hussein in the 1970s. “It’s been an incredible journey. I came to this country at the age of 11, couldn’t speak a word of English. I am now the chancellor for this great nation and entrusted with the stewardship of the economy,” Zahawi said, according to Reuters.

He has a tough task ahead: tackling an economy that is wracked by inflation and high fuel prices, not forgetting spiralling costs of living. He also has to deal with the issue of cutting taxes to aid struggling families.


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