The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) flag will be lowered today, Friday, Jan. 8, in memory of UNO employee Abdul Raheem Yaseer.
Yaseer passed away on Jan. 1, 2021, and was 81 years old at the time of his passing.
Throughout his more than 30 years at UNO, Yaseer worked with the Center for Afghanistan Studies as Assistant Director and International Programs office as Coordinator for Education and Outreach. In these roles, Yaseer worked closely with UNO's Study Abroad program, served as a student advisor, and oversaw several multi-million dollar grants and initiatives in Afghanistan including building communications curriculums at various universities, training dozens of female teachers in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, and several job training programs.
"Yaseer’ s contribution to our Center and UNO are immense and he will be dearly missed," said Sher Jan Ahmadzai, director of UNO's Center for Afghanistan Studies. "He was my mentor and a great colleague who always provided me with great advice on how to lead our center successfully. He helped me a lot in my professional career here at UNO. He was a person of great wisdom and left a great legacy of service to others at UNO and our community. May he rest in peace."
Yaseer came to Omaha in 1987 as one of the city's first Afghan refugees following threats against him and his family from the then-Soviet-backed government. An English teacher at Kabul University prior to coming to coming to the U.S., he chose UNO due to his friendship with the director of the Center Afghanistan Studies at the time, Tom Gouttierre.
In the Omaha community, Yaseer served as the Ameer, Imam, and member of the Executive Committee of the local Islamic Center.
Yaseer is survived by his wife, Abeda; a son; and two daughters.
The thoughts and condolences of the university community are with Yaseer's loved ones during this time.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.