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Jan 27, 2013 8:03 PM by Q2 News Staff

Billings man tells of life in Iraq

BILLINGS - A Billings man from Iraq says nearly 10 years after the start of the Iraq War, uncertainty remains in his home country.
Mo Mohamed talked about his former home at 1st Presbyterian Church's "Church and Society" series, on Sunday.
"There's still some violence here and there," Mohamed said. "Occasional explosions, random shootings, but it has not stopped normal life."
He says the US Invasion in 2003 helped Iraq by eliminating Sadaam Hussein.
"I think it was a good move to get rid of him," Mohamed said. "Although i wold admit he's not only tyrant out there. Existence of weapons of mass direction and links to Al Qaeda, however when they went in and spent all at time there and couldn't find any of those, those two claims have been discredited."
Mo studied literature and was teaching grammar at a high school in Iraq.
But jobs for people who studied English also included translators and interpreters, something that some saw as helpful to the United states.
"They saw people who worked with them as facilitators for the occupation and sometimes as traitors and spies."
One day he received the first of three potential warnings.
"The letter was stating by teaching english, I am teaching the language of the occupier," Mohamed said. "Therefore i am a traitor to this country, and I should consider this a threat, seriously or else.}
In 2006, Mo came to Billings to teach Arabic at Rocky and now teaches English at MSU-B.
And he's concerned that as in Syria, peaceful protests in Iraq might escalate into violence.
"I'm hoping this will not be the case in Iraq," Mohamed said. "And I'm afraid of it going that way."
When he first left Iraq, he thought he might return.
But while seeking asylum in the US has kept him safe, he says will not go home.
"I would say it is no longer possible."


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