SALT LAKE CITY — Seven years ago, Iraqi Mohammed Mushib was a TV journalist, a talk show host and an advisor to the vice president of Iraq. One afternoon, his career and life as he knew it went up, literally, in smoke.
Militias blew up his TV station. Two days later, masked men came to his home and threatened his life. The next morning, Mushib fled his homeland in the trunk of a car. Eventually, the United Nations resettled Mushib and his family in Salt Lake City.
KSL 5 news profiled Mushib three years ago. At the time, Mushib was attending community college and struggling to find work. Mushib, his wife and four children were living in a small apartment.
"It was hard, of course, in the beginning," Mushib said. "Different culture, different language, different life but (it) just took time and now we are good."
Today Mohammed Mushib has a job as a manager at the Verisys Corporation. He uses his research skills to verify credentials of medical personnel.
He has a house and he has something else.
Last month more than 450 people from around globe gathered at Abravanel Hall to take an oath of citizenship. Mushib was among them.
"Citizenship for us means the freedom, the dignity," Mushib, handed a microphone, told those assembled.
In his free time, Mushib writes online political editorials, which, in Iraq, he said, would have been dangerous.
"Here it's different (than Iraq)," Mushib said. "You can say what you want. You can think about anything."
"I'm always telling my kids there (are) no red lines. Think about anything, and you can discuss anything you have with anybody around you."
Mushib said he still feels torn between the professional life he left behind and his new life in the United States, but he said he could not go back.
"When you take the bird from the jail, the cage," he said, "it's hard to call him again."