Author: Toyin Owoseje
A refugee forensic dentist who crossed the Mediterranean to flee conflict in Syria has vowed to help families in war zones with his new degree.
Rawad Qaq endured a treacherous 22-day journey by boat, travelling first to Germany before reaching Dundee in Scotland on a humanitarian scholarship to study for his masters.
The 27-year-old has now secured a fully-funded scholarship from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to complete his PhD at the university.
He said he hoped to help families who have lost loved ones in war zones by introducing forensic dentistry and facial reconstruction in Syria.
“I could not help during the war five years ago but now because of studying in Scotland, I will be able to pay back the support I have received here by helping identify the victims of war, not only in Syria but in other countries also ravaged by war like Iraq or Yemen,” he said.
Mr Qaq, who currently works as a medical interpreter for the NHS, will graduate with a distinction, the highest award.
“You cannot even begin to imagine what it means to graduate with this degree,” Mr Qaq said of his course.
“The education here has been fantastic, it has had a huge impact on me. Every topic I studied in my masters was related in some way to Syria, whether it was the study of mass graves, identification of people by their teeth, health records or data problems.”