People & Places

A Pakistani Architect’s journey to SAHC

16 November, 2023 3 min reading
Marina Yaghshi

A Pakistani Architect’s journey to SAHC

In this fast-paced world, it has become the reality to find ourselves in unexpected circumstances, pursuing newfound passions and ambitions.


My story is somewhat similar, with academic journey, it has been a personal odyssey of growth, discovery, and determination.



I was raised with the belief that education was the golden ticket to a brighter future.

I was a small fish in a vast pond, after my successful graduation from an Architectural School back in my country Pakistan, I started working with many organizations from UNESCO and the Government of KPK, Pakistan, on different cultural and architectural conservation projects to ending up in a Real Estate company working on modern contemporary structures or a fusion of architectural styles.


I had gained six years’ experience in the industry with working in rural areas, and a 9 to 5 job. But my dreams were always as big as the sky itself. Thus, the world beckoned, and I answered its call.


My life has always been a blessing of luck and laughter with the interesting stories of my daily life. One of which was my journey from my dear homeland to the Land of Castles, Guimarães, every stranger had become a friend and helped me in every way they could, saving me from the huge lanes at the airports to helping me with luggage and language in a new country.

However, with my bad knowledge and google translation the driver took me to another city that’s called Braga, because I got nervous and pronounced the word ‘GUIMARAES’ wrong, you can try and pronounce it in all the wrong ways – and that was me in front of that Portuguese driver. He must have disliked me for messing up with his language, but I had no intention, trust me.


It was all fun and game, until it occurred to me, that the decision I made to pursue my masters with a program more technical than architectural studies, studying with civil and structural engineers, would sound interesting but be more than a challenge, that started with two exams the first day to evaluate us, in order to morph the curriculum accordingly.


I was also stunned to see the syllabus and the specifically chosen brilliant minds from different parts of the world. That soon stabilized with our first introductory presentation where I got to meet other architects, and former SAHC students and PhDs’.


Click here if you want to know more about SAHC advanced masters


My SAHC experience so far has been an eye-opener. It’s not just an institution, it’s a community of like-minded individuals, each with a unique narrative, coming together to weave a tapestry of empathy and understanding. The faculty members here aren’t just educators, they are mentors.


As a student, we are encouraged to think outside the box, in the wise words of Albert Einstein, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” My step, taken at SAHC, has set me on a path toward making a meaningful impact on the world, one small act of kindness at a time.



The road ahead may be daunting, but with the knowledge, experiences, and community I’ve gained at SAHC, I am well-prepared to continue this incredible journey of empowerment.





SEE ALSO: What is like to be a SAHC student?