I am very lucky to live in Glasgow. Scottish people are very kind, friendly, and keen to help. My wife and children are currently working hard to finish their studies and to be active members in building the community.Dr Shawki Al-Dubaee
How did you end up in Scotland?
Some things in your memories cannot easily be erased, for instance, being forced to flee, breathing in fear and losing part of your family or your friends. Scotland opens its doors for refugees from different countries and the Scottish people and its communities furnish them with a warm welcome to settle and to feel safe. Therefore, Scotland provided me hope to rebuild myself and redraw my dreams again.
Academic positions are extremely competitive, and you need to fulfil strict requirements to be eligible. My academic background and the mentorship of the Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) and Global Young Academy helped me to get my current job in knowledge exchange in the Advanced Forming Research Centre at the University of Strathclyde.
I am currently representing Scotland in Manufacturing Industry Digital Innovation Hubs (MIDIH), an EU project – Scotland is the only UK partner with eleven other countries in Europe. One of the objectives of the project is to establish a Scottish Regional Manufacturing Digital Hub in Scotland. I believe this is a great opportunity for me to return a simple favour to Scotland and to support the economy and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in adopting innovation and digitalisation in manufacturing.
How do you find life here?
When I came here the first time, I faced many difficulties including life, weather, culture, the academic system and missing our family and friends. We did our best to gradually understand and learn from them.
I am very lucky to live in Glasgow. Scottish people are very kind, friendly, and keen to help. My wife and children are currently working hard to finish their studies and to be active members in building the community. My daughter has a dream to be a doctor and return the smiles to her patients. We – her teachers and I – are encouraging her to achieve her dream. My son is often the first pupil in his class at school who learns the new English words and he can read English stories and books better than Arabic stories.
I cannot say that the current situation is easy for us, but we are simple people, crying and dreaming about a peaceful future for the world. Hope is our energy and we love to spread it to help others. Without the help of the Scottish people and society, we could not remove our fears to settle in our life.