Abdul Bostani


MEd Adult Education, Community Development and Youth Work 2019  

“Abdul is the welcoming face of Glasgow”
Dr Sabir Zazai, Scottish Refugee Council.

Abdul Bostani is a figure of hope and positivity, identity and community, and education and resilience. As Managing Director of Glasgow Afghan United, Abdul plays a central role in providing support to refugees in Scotland. 

There are two key tenets to Abdul’s work: community development and education. Since graduating in 2019, the skills Abdul developed in his MEd have been put to immediate use helping hundreds of lives in Glasgow. The focus on the education of children and women is particularly prevalent; GAU provides over 200 parents and children with access to language and confidence skills, helping integrate families into the Scottish school system while maintaining their heritage languages. The Women’s Empowerment Project has given over 130 women access to sport, workshops, volunteering, and project participation that encourage confidence-building social and business skills.  
Abdul’s role in community engagement inspires joy and integration. The annual GAU football competition attracts over 300 people from 50 nationalities. The tournament is a celebration of multi-ethnic interaction, hospitality, and unity. Its success has attracted sponsors to expand the sports provisions to fields such as badminton and taekwondo.   
The covid pandemic brought new challenges. Initiatives such as mental health support, medical parcels, and mobile phone data provided tangible relief for his community during the lockdown. Today, projects such as the Afghan vegetable allotment serve as opportunities for social engagements like gardening, cookery classes, and festivals. GAU has expanded to support Afghan Resettlement integration and is now working across Scotland. 

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Abdul’s work visits several SDG's: empowering new arrivals from Afghanistan to settle in Scotland (Reduced Inequalities), providing relief to families in Northern Afghanistan (No Poverty), and educational access to women (Gender Equality).  
To revisit the words of Dr Sabir Zazai, “[Abdul] is a model refugee, who has worked hard to rebuild his life and is now turning his own experiences of suffering into hope for others…[the] University of Glasgow will be even bolder and stronger having recognised Abdul’s contribution to our society”.