Waheed Sabawoon was hiding with his family in Kabul’s darkened walls, afraid of being accosted by the Taliban.

‘It was a time of bombs and fear where the threat of revenge attacks hung over us and we wondered each time we left home if we would return,’ the former interpreter recalls.

Since August when the Taliban overthrew Afghanistan’s government, fighter cells had been targeting those who were supporting the West throughout the conflict.

‘There was uncertainty and real fear. England was a dream to hang on to – it represented hope for me and my family, and for all of us who risked our lives beside British soldiers. We feared that it might never be a reality, but we needed that dream to keep going,’ he says.

Last Christmas, Waheed Sabawoon and his family were hiding in the darkened rooms of their mud-walled house overlooking Kabul

Waheed Sabawoon, his family and their Christmas presents were hidden in darkened rooms at the house with a mud wall overlooking Kabul.

Now the 30-year-old, who worked for three years with military spies and frontline troops in Helmand Province, is sipping a latte in Bristol’s Christmas Market, with Jingle Bells in the background. After a reindeer merry go-round ride, his four-year-old son, Naveed is sipping hot chocolate with marshmallow and cream.

Waheed is now a Bristol resident with Mashita (29), and Muska (21).

‘The contrast is so great it is hard to believe,’ he says. ‘Our dream has come true. It will be a Christmas we’ll never forget. People give presents and thank others at Christmas, which I understand. So I’d like to say thanks to the British Government.

‘But most of all, and with all my heart, I would like to thank the Daily Mail. The translators were never abandoned by you. It was possible thanks to you. It is the greatest gift you could give my family.’

This newspaper’s award-winning Betrayal of the Brave campaign has championed the case of interpreters who served alongside British forces.

Waheed was a highly skilled Electronic Warfare Unit (Brigade Reconnaissance Forces) employee between 2010-2013. He lost his job after he discovered a Kindle ereader among his possessions.

The gift was from an officer. However, Waheed had to be dismissed when it was found. Electronic devices are not allowed on the base for security reasons. As with others highlighted by our campaign, Waheed’s case was overturned and his family were among 15,000 rescued in the summer RAF airlift from Kabul.

The family of the victim made it to their flight 24 hours after a suicide bomb struck crowds at the airport killing 183.

They spent nearly three months in hotels before being given a three-bedroom flat in Bristol, which they have ‘fallen in love with’. Waheed is certain they have a lot of luck. Only 4000 have found their homes. Mehr than 10,000 children remain living in hotels and are sometimes unable to travel to school.

Farid Rahmani’s wife Fatima (32), and their five-month old children Ahmad, Mohammad, Mohammad, 12 and Sumaya (6 and 6 respectively) are currently staying in a Hertfordshire Hotel. The 37-year old former chief interpreter at the British Embassy in Kabul, Christmas gave the children insight into their country.

Waheed worked for the highly sensitive Electronic Warfare Unit and Brigade Reconnaissance Forces between 2010 and 2013, but lost his job when a Kindle e-reader was found among his belongings (file photo)

Waheed, who worked between 2010-2013 for highly sensitive Electronic Warfare Units and Brigade Reconnaissance Forces, lost his job in 2013 when a Kindle ereader was discovered among his belongings. (file photo).

Farid, a seventeen-year veteran of the Embassy, was denied relocation after he was wounded in a Taliban attack in July. After his Mail story highlighted the situation, Farid was granted reprieve. Farid says his family will be ‘forever grateful’.

‘I know I am lucky to be alive and lucky to be in England where my family can celebrate the Christmas season. While on duty at Embassy, I was able to experience many Christmases. We are now in a completely different country this year.

‘Everyone is excited, there is a spirit that is uplifting at this time of year, whatever your religion and beliefs.’ That can be seen in his children’s faces as they put up a Christmas tree in the west London flat of their aunt, Muzghan, 35, a British citizen. There’s confusion when handed crackers – they have never seen them before. One tries pulling both ends. One wears the crown as a necklace.

Farid gets jokes from his friends. He asks the girls to repeat English words for him. ‘What do snowmen eat for lunch?’ Answer: ‘Iceburgers.’ There is frowning as they wait for the translation, and then squeals of laughter.

Farid says: ‘My wife was always worried, she would beg me to change my routines because of the Taliban threat. We now have a new bright beginning. I asked my daughter if she wanted to go back to Afghanistan and she said, “This is our home now”.’