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English Literature alumnus reflects on his transformative Brunel experience

Yadgar Ismail

The curriculum of the course I chose was quite liberal, modern and transcultural and the lecturers were renowned professors from around the world

Yadgar, Alumni

Lecturer, Soran University

English Literature MA - 2014

From Iraq

Tell us about your educational and/or career journey since you graduated from Brunel?

I returned to the Kurdistan Region in Iraq in September 2014 and began teaching at Soran University. I have been lucky to work with a good team and have been able to modernise the curriculum of the English Department. I have taught about 2,000 students and have delivered over 5,000 hours of lecturing, seminars and other academic activities. I have also worked as a News Editor / Simultaneous Translator and then for three more years as the Head of the International Desk at Kurdistan24 (Foundation for Media and Research). I have also worked and have written on human rights, misinformation, global warming and climate change, social and political issues of the region and beyond. I also analyse political issues in local and international media.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

A typical day would probably involve preparation and delivering lectures, daily assessment, checking email and accounts, checking news updates, reading and sometimes writing fiction and non-fiction.

What’s been the highlight of your career journey so far?

I have been able to propose and add modules to our department, especially practical lectures. I have also worked as the Head of the International Desk at a leading Kurdish Television station - Kurdistan24. I have also chaired our University’s international forums for academics and diplomats on peace and dialogue.

How would you say your Brunel experience has helped you to get where you are today?

The curriculum was very well-designed; I soon realised that the material was what I needed as someone from the Middle East. We were taught about self, other, culture, governance, gender and bio-politics. These modern theories were well-incorporated with literature; a concern-shifting experience. The course did not only fulfil my needs as a post-colonial, post-dictatorship, multiculturalist, modernist and internationalist individual that I am, but it also improved my understanding of the reality; an experience rather transformative that helped me discover my full potential as an individual on a divided world stage.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

The curriculum of the course I chose was quite liberal, modern and transcultural and the lecturers were renowned professors from around the world. Brunel’s campus and academic environment was also another reason behind my decision to pursue my higher education here.

What is your best memory of studying here?

Every single moment was a special memory, particularly class discussion, social events and activities that involved students and academics from every single corner of the world; an ideal place for learning from each other.

If you could give one piece of advice to current Brunel students, what would that be?

Brunel is a very liberal and open society. Its services are world-class, a fabulous campus, friendly staff and academics… you won’t regret a single second of it!

What would be your top tip or key advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey after leaving Brunel?

I would tell them to be original, confident and determined, because there is no doubt that as Brunel graduates they have what it takes to become leaders of their endeavours and professional journey. Please, pay it forward - your society needs you too.

#IamBrunel