Jamal Ali- Father, Translator and Iraq Refugee
now it's like recently the Syrian refugees now, there are serious. Is there a lot of students right? I am not so I mean because I work as an interpreter. I run into couple of them. Okay, but I didn't I don't know if they are coming as much as we used to come here. because we use like every day that was one of of people coming to u.s.
[00:00:23] Minnesota is. At the beginning when we came in. Should we start the questions and yeah, okay do it. Okay, you just so yeah, just give us a little bit of background like without it come from. Okay. Did you come? Okay my name.
Jamal Ali and I came in February 2009 and I came from Iraq. I used to work with UPS as a general manager and I got threatened. So me and my family moved to Georgia. we came from Jordan actually from Iraq. and. I came with my family, my wife, and two children and I got to Minnesota because my cousin he lives in Minnesota.
He's very well known in the community. And at that time we have choices to where to go. either, Minnesota, Minnesota or California, Oklahoma, Detroit, but at that time there was a recession. you have to have sponsor to come. if you don't have a sponsor they just put you anywhere.
Minnesota is still good for refugees regarding the government support To the new refugees immigrants. So that's why we choose here.
my background is as an aircraft engineer. Back in 1979 in Tulsa Oklahoma, I studied aircraft engineering. I graduated and went back to Iraq. there's a program through the International Organization for Immigration in new you and the United Nations. anybody who works with any American company is able to be immigrants. You, your family, your wife, they can be immigrants. I have two sisters now they came in2014 and 2016.
when we came here to Minnesota, I thought it was better because I've heard a lot of refugees didn't have a hard time getting along with others. people were welcoming us.
my wife is an MD in my country. she could not get her license here because she graduated 20 years ago. she started studying and she tried to get the license only to be told it's a long way, she might not get be accepted, she’s going to waste here time.
one of the companies I used to work for hired her as professional interpreter because she has an MD background they even provided with transportation and everything.
we enjoy working as interpreters. you get to help lot of people. the work is making money, pay your bills, and helping people. This is the joy we get. we call it a blessing from God when you get to help people.
my daughter used to wear hijab. She had little comments and people start asking why you wear the hijab. What's the hijab means for you? at the beginning she had some struggle because of the hijab, but she will and we gave her the confidence to talk. You have the freedom here to talk. with freedom you feel secure. nobody can just jump on you.
She went through the college and the people around her, when they see her strong personality or her confidence, they change their thinking about the hijab. That it’s covering not the heads but covering the mind.
being patient and did not making decisions right away Just want to go back but after they start working and they start seeing the system and they melted the system and people start accepting them.
I'm working as an Arabic interpreter. Most of my work is in Hospitals, Clinics, sometimes police stations, Sometimes schools, law offices, and the County and but most of it in the medical field.
I am a refugees, I started learning as I go.
I feel honor to help people. I'm proud to be helping people in the communities.
this runs in the family. my dad. and my mom used to help people.
I mean people comes here as Refugee, I advised him to be patience. Connect with your community. don't be shy of asking questions.