School of Science, Engineering & Environment 29.05.24

GRADUATION 2021: From Syria to Salford

Hussam Almawal, a Biomedical Science student at The University of Salford, has graduated with a First-Class degree as part of the Class of Summer 2021. His story is one of inspiration proving that with determination you can achieve your dreams.  

His home is Syria, and it was here that he started his career as a Laboratory Scientist before progressing to a role as an embryologist and a hospital manager. When the war began in the country, he lost members of his family, friends, and the job that he loved. He was told that he would never be able to work again as a scientist. 

Undeterred, and with an admirable drive to get his life back on track, he enrolled on an undergraduate programme at the University.  Studying gave him the focus he had been looking for, taking him on a journey where he felt he had very little to now being the Bioscience Lead at one of the largest UK Testing Centres.   

Hussam said: “I’ve been on a mission to prove to the world that I’d be able to not only learn English but also make my life a success story once more so that my daughter would be proud of me.  There have been times where I have questioned myself, thinking why I am putting myself through this.  I am grateful for the support that has been provided to me by the University of Salford, without that I would not be here.  I cannot believe that I have completed my final year.” 

When asked what advice he would give to others he said:  

1. It’s NOT too late - never give up.   

2. To finish any great endeavour, you must first start. 

3. If you want happiness, help other people. 

4. Failure and mistakes make you stronger.     

He added: “I am so proud to be a part of the fight against COVID-19 with the Department of Health and Social Care and Lighthouse Laboratories. We have delivered over 1 million Covid test results to patients.  I am passionate about what I do and I’m hoping to continue my studies with an MSc in Biotechnology.” 

Dr Sara Namvar, Hussam’s personal tutor at the University said: “It has been an absolute pleasure talking to Hussam about his career plans and supervising his final year research project this year. Hussam’s commitment to scientific excellence is very clear, I am sure he has a bright future ahead and will be an asset to future employers. In addition to being a highly committed student, I know that Hussam really benefited from conversations with passionate colleagues from the library team. Hussam’s story really highlights the benefit to students brought about by the highly supportive Salford community.”