Yahya Wardak, Kabul, Afghanistan
Name: Yahya Wardak
Lives in: Kabul, Afghanistan
Period in Germany: 1992 – 2010 in Heidelberg, Hamburg and Bonn
Education and research institutions: University of Heidelberg, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine Hamburg
I already had good contacts in Germany, which is what ultimately led me to go and spend some time living there. During my time in Hamburg and Bonn, I studied health care and health care management and worked in tropical medicine. I was supported by InWEnt.
‘Studying independently was new to me.’
I think the biggest difference between Germany and Afghanistan is the work ethic. Studying independently and having to take responsibility for everything was new to me. I have taken on a number of the positive traits that result from this approach. If a German person gives you his or her word, then you can rely on it. This is a quality that I have taken to heart.
My time in Germany has strongly influenced my professional life. I have acquired a great deal of expertise, including practical and theoretical knowledge that has benefited and continues to benefit me greatly in my work in my own country.
‘Now, rather than simply treating individual patients, I can do something for the health of the population as a whole.’
I have now gone in another direction, leaving clinical medicine behind in favour of health care. This has completely changed my professional life. Now, rather than simply treating individual patients, I can do something for the health of the large municipalities and the population as a whole.
When I think back to my time in Germany, I remember studying hard, working hard and everything running in an orderly fashion. In the end, these efforts pay great dividends.
I missed the sun and the clear distinction between the seasons when I was in Germany and I didn't like the long German winters and the dark autumn days.
‘I still have personal and professional contacts in Germany’
I work together with my friends and colleagues on a number of projects. I am also in touch with many of the alumni in Kabul. I currently work as an administrative specialist (CIM expert) at the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education in Kabul and have published 137 new medical textbooks to date. Funding is provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and German Aid for Afghan Children. Additionally, I have developed a concept for sustainable health care and established the first interdisciplinary day clinic, which is due to open shortly. I am planning to develop the Afghan National Textbook Programme for all subjects and also intend to set up similar clinics elsewhere.
My life has been marked by three simple but incredibly strong passions: searching for love, striving for knowledge and feeling unbearably burdened by the Afghan's people's suffering.
Dr Yahya Wardak on the Alumniportal Deutschland
The Alumniportal enables me to find jobs and training opportunities, as well as allowing me to develop contacts and strengthen my own social network. I haven't made much use of the portal so far, but certainly intend to do so in future.
Looking ahead, I intend to set up the Alumni Network Afghanistan (ANA). This network will serve to establish and strengthen links between former students and between these students and their alma maters, and to maintain their ties with Germany.
It will provide a forum for personal, professional and academic dialogue. The network will be open to anyone who has studied in Germany or spent more than two years practising their profession in the country. The time has come to set up an alumni network for Afghanistan to enable networking among these experts and to pool their potential.