Life begins in Leitrim: memoir is a story of hope, acceptance and the power of sport

Trapped with his Kurdish family in a camp in Iraq, Zak Moradi little dreamed that he would end up playing senior hurling for Leitrim

Zak Moradi grew up with cult of Saddam Hussein: ‘To the rest of the world he was a dictator, a warmonger – to us, he was God.’ Picture: Inpho

At just 31 years of age, Zak Moradi has already had a life far more eventful than most. It’s taken him from a refugee garrison in Iraq to playing senior hurling for Leitrim. Born in Al-Tash camp during the first Gulf War, his first 11 years were spent in extremely straitened circumstances with the threat of arrest and the dream of escaping to a safer country never far from his mind.

Moradi’s Kurdish parents had ...