A refugee who suffered oppression and grief refused to give up on her dreams as she graduated from Aberdeen University.
For Yasmin Hosseini the Aberdeen Shining Lights scholarship lived up to its name.
Yasmin had come to the UK as a refugee from Iran, driven by a desire to escape oppressive barriers, especially those affecting women.
She had settled in Derby, working as an interpreter for asylum seekers and refugees there.
However, keen to reignite her academic journey, Yasmin applied for a scholarship to study Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology at Aberdeen University.
She said that when news of her successful scholarship application came through, it let some much-needed light back into her life – and gave her a new place to call home.
Yasmin ‘fell in love with Aberdeen’. But then came bad news
Graduating with her MSc marks the end of a difficult journey and the start of a more hopeful chapter in her life.
“I’ve fallen in love with Aberdeen and Scotland and this is now my home,” she said.
“I received such a friendly welcome in the city and it was much-needed after a difficult few years.”
However, a promising start in Aberdeen was followed by some devastating news from back home.
“I had hoped that university would be a fresh new start, but on starting my course I learned that my beloved elder sister back in Iran had cancer.
“Sadly she passed away just before I had my first meeting with my supervisor.
“It has been difficult. But with the support of the university and my tutors I have managed to focus on my studies.
“I was inspired by my sister’s resilience not to give up on my dreams.”
Love of the sea helped Yasmin settle in Aberdeen
Yasmin is now seeking internships which will allow her to use the specialist skills she has developed though the course, where she focused on parasites affecting white fish.
She says her love of the sea has helped her to settle in Aberdeen.
“I was born and raised by the sea in south Iran. So as soon as I arrived here I felt a sense of belonging. I even enjoy the cold!”
The Shining Lights scholarship is open to anyone with a university offer who has refugee or asylum seeker status.