Aussie Stem Star: Munjed Al Muderis by Dianne Wolfer

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Aussie Stem Stars: Munjed Al Muderis is another well written biographical account of the life of an amazing Australian, Munjed Al Muderis. Born in Iraq, Munjed and his family lived through very challenging times under the rule of Saddam Hussein. During continuous bombardments from Iranian forces Munjed worked out clever and constructive ways to make pocket money. This progressed to designing computer programs at the age of 12 and then wanting to use his innovations to help people.

During the long years of battle with Iran, many people in Iraq lost limbs and were forced onto the streets to beg. Munjed dreamt of becoming a surgeon and influenced by the movie The Terminator he hoped to help those amputees. By August 1990 Munjed was ready to study medicine in the USA but Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait closed that opportunity. He was forced to study at Basra University close to the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border. Unfortunately war came to Basra with US-lead airstrikes and Munjed worked frantically in the local hospital helping victims of the bombs. He eventually had to flee Iraq after refusing to take part in the cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners.

His journey as an asylum seeker was dangerous and degrading. In particular the appalling conditions and bullying that occurred in the Curtin Detention Centre in WA is unfathomable. Munjed Al Muderis endured an horrific journey both physically and personally to achieve incredible success with osseointegration.

This is an amazing story. Munjed always vowed to give back more than he took from society and this is exactly what he has achieved. A worthy recipient of the 2020 NSW Australian of the Year. Teacher notes are available.

Themes: Munjed Al Muderis.

Kathryn Beilby