As I watch the tragic events unfold in Afghanistan, and listen to the debate about who needs to get out of the country, and how and when, I am reminded of an interview I did in Dallas several years ago with Humam Taha.
Humam graduated from the University of Mosul, where he studied to be a translator. After the United States invaded Iraq, Humam joined the coalition forces as a translator to help resolve cultural differences and misunderstandings. In 2007 he moved to Dallas after the U.S. Congress passed a bill giving sanctuary to linguists who worked with coalition forces, and their families.
Humam’s life was at risk because of the work he did in Iraq with the U. S. military. And because we were the reason he was no longer safe in his old home, we did what was right. We gave him a new home. Take a minute to listen to his story. History repeats itself.
“Only the good things that you do with others will be cherished after you’re gone.”
“I believe selflessness is a great weapon for people who want to live in peace, because if I see you caring about me just like you care about your family and friends, I’ll never hurt you. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what religion you follow, if you care about me more than you care about yourself, I can’t do anything but respect you for the rest of my life.
What connects us as human beings is the desire to be good and do good, and to show respect to one another. You’ll leave what you have here, no matter what you do, no matter how much money you have, and no matter what kind of power you can master. It doesn’t matter if you have the strongest army in the world or not, it doesn’t matter if you have the most money in the world or not, the gold, the uranium, whatever material you think is worth the most, it doesn’t matter. The good that you produce is what matters.”
Humam Taha short audio clip
Humam Taha full audio
- What would you like your legacy to be? Do you think about your legacy often?
- How are trust of others and peace related? Is coexistence possible? What role does trust play in coexistence?
- Who is the most selfless person you know? What other characteristics do you admire about that person?
- What is the most valuable thing that you’ve created? What gives it value?
- Who do you care most about? Do they care for you? Describe that relationship.