The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

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Meet MIHS Counselor and Teacher Dawood Dawood

Meet MIHS Counselor and Teacher Dawood Dawood
Dylan Goldhammer

Dawood Dawood, a new teacher at MIHS, moved to the U.S. from Iraq after getting the chance to immigrate here because of his job working for the U.S. Army. 

During the 2003 war in Iraq, Dawood was in his third year of college studying computer science. While searching for a job, he found that the U.S. base in Iraq was in need of Arabic-English interpreters.

“After the 2003 war in Iraq, I was in my 3rd year of college studying computer science. I graduated in 2004, and when I was searching for a job, I found that the U.S. bases were recruiting interpreters,” Dawood said.

After signing a contract, he served in Iraq for seven and a half years. Since it wasn’t safe for people there who supported the U.S. Army, he received the opportunity to immigrate. In Oct. 2012, Dawood moved to the U.S. 

“When I became a teacher, first, I was living in Normandy Park, WA, and started teaching with Highland Public schools,” Dawood said.

After teaching in the Highland Public School District for six years, Dawood got married and moved to Renton. He was looking for a teaching job that didn’t require a long commute and  found the job at Mercer Island. 

Dawood comes from a family with a teaching background. His father was a military instructor in Iraq, and his mother was a history teacher turned school principal, until 1980 when she became a superintendent until 1984. Dawood’s oldest sister is currently a middle school English teacher. “So by default, I [became] a teacher too,” Dawood said.

“Before coming to the U.S., I lived in the U.S. bases in Iraq for seven and a half years so I was already adjusted to American culture. The first 2 years inside the U.S. base, maybe 2004-05, was the transition time for me,” Dawood said.

“I love that all students are super nice and super polite; I appreciate that a lot,” Dawood said when asked about his favorite things about teaching at Mercer Island. He also mentioned that students in Iraq don’t get counselors. 

“Students [in Iraq] are following a path, a template that is already set,” Dawood said. They don’t get to choose courses, as opposed to Mercer Island schools where students can choose from the variety of courses MI offers. 

Helping the students in the counselor’s office is a new experience for Dawood, but he loves his job and is happy to be here.

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