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Climbing the Ladder, with Eyes on Iraq

“I honestly have no idea where I would be today if it were not for the UWC opportunity,” writes Ameen Amin (Iraq/Germany, UWC in Mostar, Westminster ’13). “My Iraqi passport comes with significant limitations.... My biggest ambition would have not been to make my mark on the world, it would have been to make it out alive.”

Instead, Ameen is currently a junior partner with the U.S. firm Morgan Stanley, advising clients on their investment portfolios. After graduating from Westminster, he worked at an insurance firm where he became a district sales manager, overseeing teams in Missouri, Illinois and Florida. He then joined Morgan Stanley.

Ameen reflects today that getting to know Bosnian, Croat and Serbian students at UWC in Mostar helped give Ameen hope that his own war-torn country can find internal reconciliation. “These students opened their eyes to a civil war where two out of three ethnicities were the sworn enemy,” he recalls, “yet they were sitting right there in front of my own eyes, having coffee and discussing how to collaborate with one another.

“The lesson I learned from them is why I still have hope for my country. Iraq is going through a civil war to this day, but I refuse to give up hope because if a couple of teenagers in Mostar can do it, so can the people of my country.”

For the future, Ameen adds, “I might not know what I will be doing but I know where I will be: Iraq. I feel it is both my duty and my mission to play my part in rebuilding a devastated country for the benefit of future generations. To those who say ‘It will be tough to leave what you have,’ I say: ‘We have a different definition of success.’”