Academics, engineers and doctors are among the millions of people displaced each year, but host governments rarely take advantage of their skills
Tamim Chalati remembers an Aleppo where you could get pizza at 3am. “I had a good salary and social life,” the scientist says, recalling how he used to take his two children out for “hot and crispy barbecue food”, their favourite, several times a week. They lived a comfortable life, with his wife a doctor, and he head of the Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology at the University of Aleppo.
When war broke out in 2011, first only cracks appeared in Chalati’s world – the electricity would go off, they’d be without water for a few days. But on one summer day in 2012, they found the streets empty and the hospital closed. “We then saw many people walking west [away from a battle in the eastern part of the city], and they told us the war had reached us.”
How are researchers coming back to Yemen? There is no money for stipends, we don’t even have an airport