This week the journal Nature has published an article that features the work that IIE-SRF and partner organizations are performing in order to help scholar refugees all over the world. The article gives voice to three refugees that sought for asylum in Europe. We are very proud and encouraged by the article, but at the same time it remembers us all the work that still needs to be done. The journey does not finish when the refugees, which against all the odds, managed to get a position in Europe, so much work still is needed. The psychological shock of suddenly losing their lives in addition to the necessity of facing a new country, holds them for some time before they are able to deliver their full potential. On top of everything, once a position is found it is expected from them to get the same academic achievements than the rest of scholars/scientists, who are “more accustomed to the ways of Western science”.
Projects such as “Help our refugees” tries to minimize the academic barriers by serving as mentors for scholar refugees. We try to avoid the refugees struggle to succeed in science in the Western world in spite of the fact that some of them, like Alsayed Mahmoud, hold European PhD degrees. Alsayed is still in disadvantage because of his three-year gap in his CV and, for being older than most postdocs applying for the same positions than him. “You have to start your life from zero,” he says.
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You can see the rest of the article in here: