Aryan Wardak
Voices@Athena - Aryan Wardak

"If you are doing financially well, you need to study too. Education is a MUST! KNOWLEDGE IS POWER."

Aryan Wardak
Vice President
Mayar Wardak Group of Companies
United Arab Emirates

Masters in Supply Chain and Logistics Management Batch 2021

When I first came to Dubai in 2008,  I could only speak Pashto (native language) and Dari (second language). It was the toughest time I had ever faced in my life going to an English school while not knowing how to write “a book”.  It took time for me to realize that life isn’t as easy as a walk in the park, I needed to work hard to be successful. It took two to three years for me to just manage to speak English despite not being able to write. Today I speak six languages fluently and I can write and read 5 out of 6 (English, Arabic, Persian, Pashto, Hindi, Urdu).

After getting my Bachelor’s degree, I thought I would never study again. I considered that as the most difficult phase in my life, working from 8 am to 5 pm during my  university days and attending classes from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm and fighting hard to make my dreams come true. Never giving up was in my blood. I never wanted to settle for less.

I was under immense pressure, working and studying simultaneously. I had to manage my time right but I couldn’t. Hence, I did not do well in my bachelors. During my graduation ceremony, my family was celebrating my sister’s wedding. I came back home since nobody had attended my graduation ceremony. I broke down in tears, seeing everyone with their parents and I had none to hold/hug me or take a memorial picture on my way back from the graduation hall. My tears couldn’t stop. Obviously, being just 21 years old, I decided to never open a book if that made my life easier.

I took a gap of two years between my Bachelors and Masters. After starting my Masters ``online”, during the first semester, I asked one of my employees, Mohammad Yaqub working as a senior accountant in my office, to print some papers. It was for my first master's project. He asked me “Sir, are you studying”? I replied yes, he instantly asked was our business not doing well? Are you looking for a job? I smiled at him and replied “NO. I am studying to pursue my dreams and achieve my goals". And my dreams have always been scary but I never wanted to give up.

There is a  common misconception in Asian countries that if you are doing well financially, you don’t need to study. I am forever grateful to my parents and elder brothers. They have always supported me through every phase of life and today I have Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Human Resource Management and I am working for my second Masters degree, that is, in Supply Chain management to be followed by PhD. Out of 2800 professors in my country, only 190 have PhD degrees. I want more youngsters to step up so that our higher education sector grows.

Growing up in a society highly sensitive to prejudice has made me stronger and determined to pursue my dreams.

I am an Afghan guy who didn't just go to school, but went to college, university, got an MBA, broke the mold, and  I will continue to inspire so many more Afghans to do so. I am the first in my family to have a Bachelor’s degree at the age of 21, being second youngest of six brothers. Today, three of my brothers older than me have a Bachelor’s degree. I became a role model for them and I want to become a role model for every Afghan to have goals for rebuilding the country. I have always said that if you are doing financially well, you need to study too. Education is a MUST! KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

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