Interview: Mutaz Al Mudaris


Interview: Mutaz Al Mudaris


Al Mudaris talks about his life, beginning with his early childhood in London, his struggles to learn Arabic in school after the family’s return to Iraq; his high school education at Baghdad College, the most prestigious school in Baghdad; the 1991 war with the U.S. and how widespread cheating on the college entrance exam prevented his admission to dental school—which was expected of the child of a physician and dentist; his work experiences as an engineer and the impact of refusal to participate in the corruption; his work as a translator in Iraq, which culminated in work for the U.S. State Department; the diversity of Iraq before the second war with the U.S. and the subsequent rise of religious and ethnic divisions; his love of Philadelphia, preference for Philadelphia over New York, and his deep love of the Delaware River, which reminds him of the Tigris; his desire to return to Iraq but inability to do so knowing that family members and friends who have attempted to do so have been kidnapped and murdered; his professional life as a medical translator at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and related topics, including Arab attitudes towards Americans. Mutaz Al Mudaris’s primary employment is as a medical interpreter at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Educated as an agricultural engineer, he worked a number of jobs in Iraq, fled to Jordan after 2003 War, and then immigrated to Philadelphia with his mother in 2009. See his mother’s book, "Malka Al Saadi, Beyond the Sandstorm: A Woman’s Journey From Bagdad to Philadelphia" (Author House 2016), for a brief autobiography on p. 227-33.


April 6, 2019




Charles Hardy, III


Mutaz Al Mudaris

Interview Keyword

Freedom of religion
Delaware River
Tigris River

Indexed By

Nicholas Heydeman


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“Interview: Mutaz Al Mudaris,” Philly Immigration, accessed July 18, 2024,