The Iraqi refugee leading the charge for women in science

“Resettlement means to me a future full of happiness, full of freedom, full of safety and also the chance to be a scientist in the future.” 

© UNHCR/Laura Padoan

Hadir lives in the UK with her family. They fled from their home country of Iraq because they weren’t safe there, and have now been resettled in the UK for more than a year.   She explains how life was different when they were in Iraq “As a women, it’s not safe for us at all to move around. Life in the UK provides me with safety, with support, with protection.” 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by UK for UNHCR (@unrefugeesuk)

Hadir is a scientist with a passion is algae, which she says is, “the core of life,” and could even hold the key to changing the fossil fuel industry and protecting the planet. She explored this topic in her master’s degree and is preparing to start a PhD to investigate further.  

During the COVID-19 crisis, Hadir has been volunteering with the NHS where she lives, which she enjoys for many reasons.   “I feel happy to volunteer for the NHS because I feel like I’m giving something back to the country that provided me with security and safety – me and my family, she says.  Looking beyond the pandemic, being in the UK gives Hadir hope for the future and she talks about what resettlement means for her personally:   “Resettlement means to me a future full of happiness, full of freedom, full of safety and also the chance to be a scientist in the future.” 

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