Translator and Personal Trainer, 35 years old
Saif was born during the Iraqi-Iranian war in the 1980s and spent his entire childhood engulfed in the turmoil of constant conflict, deprivation and fear. When war plagued Iraq again in 2003, Saif was a college student looking to focus on his education and stay out of the conflict surrounding him. This changed, however, when his fiancé was killed by insurgents. Determined to join the fight, Saif became an interpreter – one of the most dangerous jobs in the war – for the U.S. military. By 2010, when it all became too dangerous, he was granted entry into the U.S. to start a new life. Saif was eventually able to bring the rest of his family with him, and he is thankful every day for the opportunity to live out his American dream.