Supporting Iraq’s oil sector
7th June 2017
Supporting Communities

Two Iraqis are currently benefitting from REF scholarships (the Rumaila Education Fund – click here for more information) at Middlesex University, near London. These are their stories.

Haider Kamil Sheri Al-Thamir
My style of writing and the way I approach language translation has completely changed since I have been here at Middlesex University. As well as improving my written language, I’m now also better at understanding all the many different English accents that I’ve come across – and there are so many!

When I first arrived in London, I felt a bit lost. Everywhere I looked everything was so different to my home in Basra, from the road signs to the big cultural differences, so it took a little while to get used to my new life.

Course Master of Arts: Business and Legal Translation
Employer Basra Oil Company (BOC)


I do want to say the university’s 12-month teaching programme itself is excellent. The staff at the university are incredibly helpful – our lecturers are very humble and always do what they can to support us and often treat us more like friends than students, an approach I like very much. Studying with international students is quite eye-opening – I really like this cultural diversity.

When I return to working at BOC I will go back to working in the Training and Development department, working with international oil companies (like Exxon and BP) to develop BOC’s workforce in our oilfields. I’m sure that my department will see the difference in my skill levels and benefit from the knowledge I’ve learnt.


Mohammed Zghayr Aati Al-Fraiji
This is such an exceptional opportunity for me – not only in terms of developing my career, but to also have the experience of studying and living in the UK for a year is wonderful.

Because I work with international companies on a daily basis, it’s vital that I am able to make legal translations correctly. For this reason, my company encouraged me to make an application for the REF scholarship, where it was reviewed by different people within the Ministry of Oil and Rumaila.

Course Master of Arts: Business and Legal Translation
Employer Oil Exploration Company, Baghdad


I found my first few months quite difficult, partly because I was the first international student to arrive on our course. Whilst this was personally a very challenging time for me, I overcame them with the help of the university and the Rumaila REF co-ordinators.

There are so many people I’d like to thank – everybody at Middlesex University, my company, the Ministry of Oil, the service provider Unihouse Company and the Rumaila Education Fund. I look forward to going home and putting my new skills into good use for my company and country.

I hope other Iraqi students can have similar opportunities in the future.


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