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Lido, a refugee in Tajikistan, dreams to become a famous architect

Lido (21)  was born a year after her family fled Afghanistan in 1994; what little she knows of Afghanistan, she heard from the news and through memories of her relatives. She lost her mother when she was only two years old. Just one year later, her father left her and her siblings in the care of her aunt and never returned. Lido’s aunt has since raised the family on her own.

Lido liked drawing from childhood and at 9th grade, she decided she was going to be an architect. Lido worked very hard throughout school and thanks to UNHCR’s higher education scholarship programme in collaboration with the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative Fund (DAFI), Lido and her sister enrolled in a university in Tajikistan. The Federal Government of Germany generously supports the funding of this programme.
 “Without this scholarship I would not be able to receive higher education”, - tells Lido. Now Lido is a 4th year student at the Tajik Technical University and will graduate with a diploma in architecture.

“My dream is to become a famous architect like (the late) Zaha Hadid. I want my designs to be translated into reality. In the future, I see myself working with big construction companies designing high-tech modern buildings”, – she enthuses.

And as a first step towards her dreams, in April 2016, Lido’s design of a sanatorium won 2nd place at International Exhibition of Architectural Works “Orchid”.
“I consider Tajikistan my home- I was born here, I grew up here. I hope that I can be granted citizenship one day and contribute to the development and construction of a modern Tajikistan”.

Every day war forces thousands of families to flee their homes. Families like yours. Families like mine. To escape violence, they leave everything behind. Everything except their hopes and dreams. On World Refugee Day, held every year on June 20th, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representation in Tajikistan commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. Today we want to tell you the stories of refugees from neighbouring Afghanistan who have been forced to flee their homes and find refuge in Tajikistan. Each refugee tells a story of pain and joy, courage and patience in their daily struggle to rebuild their lives and live in dignity.