Ali Almaliki has a world of knowledge. That’s why one day he hopes to become a teacher and share his knowledge with his students. “I want to teach wisdom, critical thinking, creative thinking and how to be successful,” he said.
Almaliki is a 62-year-old native of Baghdad, Iraq. He worked as a journalist in both the newspaper and television industries before he decided to change careers. Almaliki learned English over the course of four years, then became an interpreter for the United States military.
Coming to the United States was always a dream and in 2014 he did so. “I read a lot and I’m open minded. I consider myself to be a global man. There are no geographical boundaries for me.” While he’s enjoyed his first three years in the U.S., the people he loves the most are still in Iraq. His two sons, two daughters, their spouses and his 16 grandchildren are halfway around the world. “I miss them. I talk with my family every day.”
Almaliki began taking classes at OCC during the spring 2017 semester. Many of the students he is surrounded by are the same age as his grandchildren. He sees the opportunities they have in this country and is amazed. “I talk with family and friends about how education is here. The material you learn is the same as in Iraq but the equipment and the spaces here give students the advantage. Students here should thank God they have such an ideal institution.”
Between his wisdom and his good health, Almaliki is looking forward to the day when he becomes a teacher and is able to share his advice with students. “I want them to know if you are counting there is always a higher number. There is no limit to what you can do. Don’t ever think you’ve reached the top and don’t ever think money will make you happy. There is a type of pleasure you can only get from knowledge. It’s because of knowledge that I am here.”