Play the video to hear Adnan Al-Hammody address his classmates at spring commencement.

Building Bridges Between the United States and Iraq

May 20, 2013

Student speaker Adnan Adel Al-Hammody (MATESOL ’13) had a request for the crowd gathered for spring commencement on Saturday: “If you would like to know more about where I am from, please don’t Google it.” Adnan’s hometown is Mosul, Iraq, and he was referring to the images of a war-torn city that would pop up in your search in place of the beautiful, ancient city that he knows well, a city where people of diverse ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds have lived in harmony for centuries.

Adnan was one of the first students to receive a scholarship from the Higher Committee for Education Development in the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office, allowing him and two other Iraqi students to attend the Monterey Institute beginning in fall 2010. “When I learned that I had received the scholarship and been accepted to the Monterey Institute, I shouted ‘YESSSS’ into the phone and thanked Allah that my dream had come true,” said Adnan.

He said that during his nearly three years in Monterey (including an English language preparation course before he matriculated into the TESOL program), he has learned so much, not only about the field of language teaching, but also about other cultures and how important it is to share your own. “I learned that stereotypes are misleading and can ruin relationships, between people and between nations,” he says, adding that his perception of the United States has changed a lot and for the better.

He is now looking forward to returning home to Iraq, where he will start teaching English at a university as part of his scholarship agreement. “I really miss my family—my father and my four older sisters and one brother and thirteen nieces and nephews!” Professionally, he plans to seek out like-minded people in the university and be an agent of positive change: “I really believe that MIIS graduates have all the right skills and experience to ‘be the solution’ and I want to do my part.”

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Omar Maaroof (not verified)

you are the man

keep on working Adnan. I wish you all the best and the most successfully working in Iraq.

May 21, 2013 @ 1:09 am

Zayad Khalaf (not verified)

Proud of my friend

My name is Zayad Khalaf, and I am Adnan's best friend. We were at college together and we both aced it and got a scholarship accordingly. I also got a scholarship in the same program Adnan is. But was placed to study in Saint Michael's College, VT. USA. Despite the fact that I was sort of upset I wasn't placed at the same college where my friend was, I learned a lot about life and have had great experience in life. I am so thankful that our dream came true when we studied MA. in the US. When we first met at college as freshmen, we became so close friends and our dream was the same: to study in the US on day. Thankfully, the dream became true, and we both studied in the US. I am so proud that my best friend was nominated to deliver the speech at the commencement. Way to go dear Adnan...

May 21, 2013 @ 12:27 am

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