The group have been marking the completion of their studies

Date posted

10 July 2023


A group of Afghan students who came to Edinburgh Napier University following the evacuation of their home country have spoken of their pride at graduation.

Tens of thousands of people fled Afghanistan when the country’s government fell in 2021, amid the Taliban insurgency and withdrawal of international troops.New graduate Abdur Rahim Anwari

Amin Ul Haq Majeed, Bilal Rafi, Rafi Ullah Jabarkhail, Ahmad Reshad Halimi, Allahdad Afghan, Idress Rasooly, Mujeeb Rahman Fazli, Ibrahim Anwari and his brother, Abdur Rahim Anwari, have since made Edinburgh their home and completed their studies at ENU in several different subjects, including Computing and Business Management.

They picked up degrees during the University’s summer graduation ceremonies at the Usher Hall.

Abdur Rahim Anwari already had an offer to attend ENU when the evacuation of Kabul took place two years ago.

The 29-year-old said: “Suddenly everything changed. I informed Edinburgh Napier and they replied very quickly, offering me support such as hardship funds so I could study. This was a turning point for me.

“I didn’t even have ten pounds in my pocket when I arrived.Afghan graduates (L-R) Amin ul Haq Majeed, Bilal Rafi and Mujeeb Rahman

“It was a very difficult time, but thanks to the support from the University we have made it through.

“My fellow Afghan students were in the same situation. We have become friends by going on this journey together. We’re very thankful to the University.

“It is impossible now, but one day I want to go back home to Afghanistan with what I have learned.”

Bilal Rafi said: “2021 in Afghanistan was a very big problem – we lost everything when it all happened. But when we came here, Edinburgh Napier University helped us get started, and I am very thankful for that.

“It was a very scary time. We didn’t know anyone here and our families weren’t safe back home. Everything was at risk. Everything was unstable.

“On the first day when I came to the University, I didn’t know anyone – except Amin. We didn’t know anyone and we didn’t have anything.Afghan student Ahmad Reshad Halimi celebrates with his degree

“But it gave us the motivation, the inspiration to complete our education, and finally complete our degree.

“You can feel it when you are here in a safe place and your family is at risk. It was very difficult, mentally, especially for the first four, six months – I couldn’t sleep at night.

“But later on, with the help of Edinburgh Napier University, especially the Safeguarding Team, we did it.”

Top picture: Abdur Rahim Anwari

Middle: (L-R) Amin Ul Haq Majeed, Bilal Rafi and Mujeeb Rahman Fazli

Bottom: Ahmad Reshad Halimi