Abdull Grafar Ghulami was suddenly taken to Kentucky from Manus Island as part of the Australia-US refugee deal. Now he is forging a new life, despite the weight of the past and four lost years

It is a hot and sticky 25C in Louisville, Kentucky, and the young man is dressed accordingly in a polo shirt, bermuda shorts, long white socks and shoes. Like a local, Abdull Grafar Ghulami refers to the city as “Luhvul” and points out that aside from thoroughbred horse racing and Kentucky whisky, Louisville’s claims to fame are as the home of Muhammad Ali and Colonel Sanders.

Ghulami, 24, is proudly driving an older model car. He smoothly navigates the sharp turns of the city’s overhead highway maze. The GPS tracker he consults is the only outward indication that he is not yet entirely at home in this city.

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Read More ‘We thought we’d never get out’: a refugee from Manus starts life in the US

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