My peer research experience added value to my personal and professional development

My peer research experience added value to my personal and professional development

My name is Hiba Mohammad and I am a Syrian student living in Romania. I decided to join MIMY project as a peer researcher because I wanted to be part of an insightful experience, hear refugees’ stories, and understand the real challenges each refugee faced in their journey to European Societies. One of my objectives was also to highlight the experiences of Arabic refugees in their migration journey. This was a challenging topic, especially in the Syrian case, as many people left their home country seeking security and better living conditions and they had to start their lives from the scratch and adapt to a completely new society.

This experience was great for me because it highlighted an important part of refugees’ lives, their unique migration story: it helped me to be closer to them and to understand their challenges.

During the interviews, I realized that many refugees have common integration challenges and I learned how they overcome those challenges and turn them into success stories: whether being a parent, learning a new language, integrating in a new society while taking care of the family, being a student able to finish the studies and starting a professional career; or becoming an expert in a certain domain, and growing in the new home country, trying to better adapt and add value to their new society.

Looking back to my experience with the MIMY project, I could say it exceeded my expectations. I was always interested in any issue related to integration, being originally from Syria. MIMY gave me the possibility to have deep conversations with refugees, to be closer to them and give them more visibility. I was happy to share their experiences, how they are living and what are their hopes, challenges and strategies to better adapt in their new home country and to overcome any obstacle that might arise along the way.

I think that my experience as a MIMY researcher also contributed to my personal development, as it gave me the opportunity to hear the refugees’ real stories, from their own perspectives. For me personally this created the opportunity to feel the refugees’ pain and put myself in their shoes, which requires much empathy. I was happy to transfer their voices and share their stories in such an insightful project, while improving my skills in conducting and organizing meetings with diverse people.

As a conclusion, I would recommend and encourage any young researcher to contribute to such research projects: it will be a great experience that will add value to the researcher’s personal and professional development.

Photo of Hiba Mohammad- Romania
The authorHiba Mohammad- Romania

This post is the result of reflections of the group of young peer researchers at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies.