Global perspective Human stories

Iraqi student praises the power of multiculturalism

Iraqi student praises the power of multiculturalism


When Ahmed Fahad left Iraq two years ago to pursue a PhD in the United States, he had what he described as “scary expectations.”

However, strong English language skills and a belief in what he called “the multicultural sense of communication” helped the father of three to survive.

Ahmed was one of 70 students from 42 countries who were winners of a UN-backed international essay contest promoting multilingualism.

Participants had to write in one of the six official languages of the UN—Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish—that was not their mother tongue or the principal language of instruction in their primary or secondary education.

Dianne Penn asked Ahmed what motivated him to write his award-winning essay.

Duration: 3’40”

Photo Credit
UN Photo/Bo Li