NEW FACES OF SLOVENIA – 3. Story of Yaser from Afghanistan

True story: “I have managed to publish five scientific papers in reputable international journals and Slovenian journals.” 34 years old Yaser said from Afghanistan.

The BODE project (#BrezOvirDoEnakosti) is committed to empowering people with a migrant background in the field of advocacy, as they often do not get the right opportunity to present their side of the story. This time, however, it is different – by sharing real stories, we are fighting against the prejudice that migrants are not educated or skilled enough to participate equally and qualitatively in the progress of Slovenian society.

In this context, we will share with you 10 true stories of people with migrant backgrounds in Slovenia.

3️⃣This is Yaser’s story…

I am 34 years old and from Herat, in the west of Afghanistan. I graduated in Civil Engineering from the Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Herat Afghanistan. I worked as a quality assurance engineer in Afghanistan for about three years. In 2016, I obtained a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geodesy, University of Ljubljana. I am currently waiting to defend my Ph.D. thesis and complete my Ph.D. in Environmental Civil Engineering at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geodesy, University of Ljubljana.

I came to Slovenia in September 2013 on a scholarship from the Slovenian government to continue my studies at the University of Ljubljana.

Slovenia is a beautiful country with wonderful nature and peaceful and safe cities. However, I have encountered some problems that may be due to my nationality and being a foreigner (especially from a country like Afghanistan). Getting a professional job related to the field of education can be complicated. It seems to me that the job agency in Slovenia prioritizes nationality over professionalism, education, and experience. Obtaining a residence permit (work permit) is becoming more difficult every year. For someone like me from Afghanistan, who does not currently have a legitimate government, getting a one-year temporary permit is a matter of more than half a year. The rules are quite strict for foreigners applying for a work permit rather than asylum status. Another issue is finding accommodation to rent. Most landlords have refused to rent to a foreigner like me.”

My stay in Slovenia has helped me to improve my study skills and my understanding of the world and of life. I believe that I have been a good researcher during the last few years of my Ph.D. studies and my work at the Faculty. I have managed to publish five scientific papers in reputable international journals and Slovenian journals. I have published several conference papers and attended several conferences as a lecturer. This year I managed to get a permanent contract with an international engineering company partly located in Slovenia.

We fight stereotypes, discrimination, and prejudice. It is important to stand together for social justice, equal treatment, and opportunities for all members of our society. Let us be tolerant, friendly, and open to new faces, new acquaintances, and opportunities for people to surprise us positively as great employees, talented individuals, or just loyal friends. Although different, we are all equal.

As a graduate engineer at a Slovenian university, I expect the residence and work permit regime to be easier for all those who work and can contribute even a little to improving the country. In addition, it would be excellent if the government would provide the family members of foreigners who have been in Slovenia for a long time with the possibility of free education, at least at the bachelor’s or master’s level.

For more on the stories and the project, see :



ADRA Slovenija

Ministrstvo za notranje zadeve

𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒋𝒆𝒄𝒕 “𝑩𝑶𝑫𝑬/𝑩𝒓𝒆𝒛 𝑶𝒗𝒊𝒓 𝑫𝒐 𝑬𝒏𝒂𝒌𝒐𝒔𝒕𝒊” 𝒊𝒔 𝒇𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑨𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝑪𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒛𝒆𝒏𝒔 𝑭𝒖𝒏𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝑺𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒊𝒂 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝑴𝒂𝒓𝒄𝒉 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐 – 𝒕𝒐 𝑵𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐.

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