Entomologist Anas Shoureh successfully ends his work experience at the HAS with a new job

News 5 April 2018
Anas Shoureh - HAS Hogeschool

Anas has turned out to be an enthusiastic biologist, who sees things in his own way. He developed personally during the classes and helped with a few projects in the Insect Lab.

If you walked into the biology lab in the greenhouse at HAS University of Applied Sciences during the past year, there is a high chance you will have come across him. Biologist Anas Shoureh from Syria had a work experience post at the study programme Applied Biology. At the end of January, he said goodbye, because Anas has now found a job as insect carer at the company, Protix. A job full of personal development opportunities that he wouldn’t have had without this work experience. This is a temporary unpaid job that gives people like Anas the opportunity to gain Dutch work experience so they have a stronger position on the job market.

Gaining work experience

It wasn’t just the work experience that helped Anas: he studied biology and biochemistry at a University in Syria and then worked in a laboratory and as a lecturer. The only problem is, that experience doesn’t count in the Netherlands. His degree was valued as being at the level of Higher Professional Education and the municipality told him that it would be best if he first gained some work experience and learn Dutch before actually applying for a job. That turned out to be really rewarding for Anas, who fled Syria in 2014 and now lives with his wife and 4-month-old daughter in Vught.

Building up a life

His wife has known Anas since they were at the university. She also studied biology but focused on genetics. For now, they can’t go back to Syria. That’s why Anas is busy building a life in the Netherlands. The people at the HAS lab will miss Anas. He may have been a young timid man when he arrived, but now he’s confident and with very much his own vision.

Contact with students

“When I had my degree evaluated,” Anas explains, “I came into contact with someone from the Rotary. She helped me find out if I would be better off looking for work experience in a laboratory, or in the education system. It was the latter. And that’s how I ended up at HAS.” Anas started working as a practical-assistant and learned Dutch in the meantime. “The contact with the students was quite a challenge in the beginning, because I couldn’t speak the language fluently. But it soon went much better.” Now, Anas speaks almost fluent Dutch.

Enthusiastic biologist

Anas also got on well with his colleagues Jaap Willems and Sander van der Heijden. “Anas soon became more confident,” says Jaap. “And we got on well together, partially because we are about the same age. Anas has turned out to be an enthusiastic biologist, who sees things in his own way. He developed personally during the classes and helped with a few projects in the Insect Lab.”

Fascinated by insects

Anas is fascinated by insects. I was, even before he came to the Netherlands. Anas: “I’ve always been intrigued by insects and I specialised in entomology at university. I was able to apply this expertise in the Insect Lab. Insects are great creatures and each species has their own characteristics that continue to fascinate me. Compared to Syria, the Netherlands is a bit boring when it comes to insects. That’s due to the climate. But there are more than enough to keep me busy!”

Intelligent creatures

Anas is also someone who studies the creatures from top-to-bottom, down to the smallest detail. “We had a practical with crickets,” says Jaap. “Anas placed one under the binocular microscope and showed the students that the wings have tiny combs on them. Anas shows us how to look over the horizon.” Anas: “Insects are also intelligent creatures, they know exactly what they’re doing.” Anas starts to radiate enthusiastically when he talks about them.

Starting a career

Now that Anas has built up his CV and can speak Dutch, there’s nothing to prevent him from starting a career in the Netherlands. With insects, of course. His HAS colleagues will miss him. “We’d like to give someone else an opportunity like this, but it would be hard to replace Anas,” Jaap says with a smile. “But we hope he has a great career, and he maybe he’ll come back sometime, for example as a guest lecturer.”