Adam Babiker: Veteran +
Veterans served to not only protect their country’s borders, but also to protect the values that their country embodies. Service is not limited by color, race, gender, or religion. It’s built on the unity of people from diverse backgrounds that pledge allegiance to a flag symbolizing freedom, acceptance, and resilience.
Meet Adam Babiker. He is a U.S. Army veteran, a former refugee, and a Muslim. Adam fled Sudan in 2001 because of the genocide in Darfur, and was granted refugee status in Egypt. In 2006 he was resettled in the United States. Three years later, he joined the U.S. Army.
“America stood with me the time I really needed it, and that’s why I joined the United States Army,” he says. Adam’s service was a way for him to give back to his new country that welcomed him with open arms and gave him a home when he was stateless.
Adam spent four years with the U.S. Army and served in Iraq, during which time he says he never experienced any discrimination because of his religion or his skin color. “On our right shoulder, we have the U.S. flag, and then we have here U.S. Army, and then you have your name. It wasn’t Bible on your left, or Quran on the right. It wasn’t something like that.”
Adam believes that “American ideals are the determination of somebody who is stateless to cross all this ocean, to start a new life, become a good citizen, and live in peace.”
Adam’s commitment to service, and to other refugees like himself, continues. After finishing his tour in Iraq, Adam began helping resettle refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders (Iraqis and Afghans who worked for the U.S. military) in Texas. He is also the Co-Founder and CEO of the Darfurian Association of Greater Houston, a nonprofit that assists Darfurians integrating into the local community.
“I know the real work ultimately begins and ends in our communities,” Adam says.
Veterans for American Ideals, a project of Human Rights First, empowers veterans to challenge the United States to live up to the ideals that inspired them to serve in the first place. We are focused on protecting refugees, preserving the Special Immigrant Visa program for interpreters and translators who served U.S. forces, and countering anti-Muslim bigotry.