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Inspirational student on YouTube

Dema pictured running indoors.

A refugee, who was helped to start a new life by The Bedford College Group after escaping war torn Syria is now featured in a major music video by Anne Marie.

Called Beautiful, the video has been watched by millions and stars Dema Aktaa, who lost her leg in a bombing at her village in 2012.

Dema arrived in the UK in 2017 and began walking and running with a new prosthetic limb. Her training sessions are featured on the film.

Dema helped to raise thousands of pounds for the Help Refugees campaign in a sponsored event and as a result in March 2020 was welcomed into the Lionhearts squad linked to the England football team.


Now aged 27 and living in Flitwick, Bedfordshire, Dema and her sister Nour both joined English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes at Bedford College in 2018 and went on to successfully achieve qualifications.


Martin Tobutt, Lecturer at the ESOL department said he and colleagues had been watching Dema’s “inspirational” progress with interest:

“The traumas of Syria’s civil war, both mentally and physically could have left these two as introverted and melancholy people, yet the opposite was true.  They could fill a room with radiant smiles and so much positivity that anyone else had to wonder whether we have any right to complain about our lives.”

The Bedford College Group is a gateway to post-16 education for everyone. From entry level courses to full degrees in a range of subjects in arts BAs and science, technology and engineering BScs. Find your new pathway via

Dema Aktaa
Dema Aktaa
Dema pictured running indoors.
Dema pictured at a running event.
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