Maine Law Alumni Profiles
Graduating class: 2013 (LL.M.)
Hometown: Portland. Formerly Baghdad, Iraq
My Maine Law story
I come from an educated family in Iraq. My father is an electrical engineer, and my mother is a psychologist. I attended one of the top schools in the country. Until the age of 18, my life was like any normal life in Iraq – living in fear and caution and always wishing for the better time to come.
When I reached the age of 18, I decided to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom, conducted by the U.S. Army in Iraq. I became a combat linguist and cultural advisor, working with U.S. troops from 2007 to 2010. During that time, I didn’t forget my passion about education, and I was admitted to one of the law schools in Iraq. It was very hard to be at the camp with the troops for 26 days and leave for four days only. But I had a dream, a desire, and a hope that at the end of the journey, I would have my achievement. I used to work and study at the camp. I remember having my book with me during missions to take advantage of any break or sleeping time, and I would use the time to study a couple of extra pages of the thick law books. My position was very hard; I had to stay in the camp for three months and then go do the exams collectively.
When I decided to come to the U.S., it was not a hard decision because it was the best of my options. My decision to attend the University of Maine School of Law is one of the best decisions that I have ever made. I have always wanted to further my education, and the Law School was the perfect place to do that.
Maine Law is not just a school, or an institution that offers education. Rather, it is a place that showed me how we are all equal, and that there is no difference among us, the students of Maine Law. The faculty, staff, and librarians were all supportive and helpful. I have never felt like a stranger at the school. The students were always interested in foreign students, who reflected foreign cultures. It is important and critical to find welcoming people, because it has a great impact on your experience in general, and upon your education in particular. To have an LL.M. degree from an excellent university is not a trivial matter for me. This degree is the key to my dreams in life.