In 2016, the RSE Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) launched its At-Risk Academic Refugees (ARAR) initiative to recognise talented young professionals from Scotland’s refugee and displaced migrant communities. The first of its kind in the world, this initiative provided encouragement to outstanding members of the refugee and displaced migrant communities to apply to YAS and provided them with support with their applications, and YAS is proud to include many ARAR members in its cohort.

A group of people sitting posing for the camera
Portraits by I.D Campbell


In 2019, the RSE commissioned Glasgow-based portrait painter I.D Campbell to produce a series of portraits of our ARAR members, as a way of celebrating their involvement with the RSE and to raise their profiles. The exhibition has been seen by more than 2000 people since going on display in Summer 2020 at the RSE’s building on George Street, Edinburgh.


A man wearing a hat and glasses

I.D. Campbell is a Glasgow-based portrait painter and an Affiliate Artist of the UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts. Between 2016 and 2019, he was an artist-in-residence at St George’s Tron Church of Scotland in Glasgow. Iain is best known for his painting, Our Last Supper, featuring thirteen guests of Glasgow City Mission. He has also painted for Christian Aid, The World Council of Churches and Tearfund. In 2020 he worked in partnership with Remembering Srebrenica (Scotland) on paintings for the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica. His work focuses on bold portraits, exploring life in the face of adversity.

Portrait of Alaa Hamdon
I.D Cambell painting
Portrait of Dr Shaki Al-Dubaee
Photo of Debora Kayembe, Muriel Gray, I.D Campbell and 
Mohamed Zaher Al Bakour

MEET THE At-risk academic refugees MEMBERS

Partnership Development Leader, University of Strathclyde and Honorary Research Associate, University of Glasgow
Lawyer, Linguist and Human Rights Campaigner
PhD Candidate in Biomedical Sciences, University of Aberdeen
Lecturer in Structural Geology, Mosul University
Development Officer at Maryhill Integration Network, Committee Member for Right to Remain, and Actor and Facilitator for Active Inquiry
An in-depth discussion to raise awareness of Scotland’s refugee and displaced migrant communities, and the impact of COVID-19