The Friday Interview: Durgam Al-Kaizhwan
Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet is not just about academic excellence, studying hard, and striving for the best grades to get you to university. Just ask third year Social Science student Durgam Al-Kaizhwan.
"When I was in 9th grade my parents went back to Iraq for a long time, leaving me on my own with my six older brothers," says Durgam.
"Because of this, and working so much for my brothers, I flipped out and maybe did a lot of stuff I shouldn't have done. But IEG gave me a safe and friendly place to come every day," explains Durgam. "That's meant a lot to me."
A great role model
After a few run-ins with Mr Spires during his first year, Durgam is now a well-liked member of the school community, recognized by many of the staff as a great role model for other students.
"This term I am Deputy House Captain for Russell," says Durgam. "It's my way of trying to help make things better for students and staff in the school. It's also a great way of getting experience working with groups."
For Durgam, who was born in a tent in the desert, IEGS was always his first choice of gymnasiet despite what those around him said.
"I wasn't afraid"
"My friends told me to go elsewhere because IEG has a reputation of being tough. Everyone says the school makes you do a lot of work – I wasn't afraid of that. I realised that I needed an international education that would get me where I want to be: a lawyer, one day heading up my own firm."
Now in his final year at IEG, that dream of Law school is getting closer.
"I remember telling Ms Engström when I was in 7th grade that I was going to be a lawyer," he says, chuckling at the recollection.
This term, as well as juggling his studies, Durgam is looking at Law programmes in the UK and preparing his UCAS application.
"The support and encouragement I've got from teachers at the school has been amazing. If you look at what Skolverket wants teachers to cover you'll see that we doing so much more. I really feel I've learned a lot. I'm really prepared for university."
When asked what he's likely to miss about IEG after graduation, Durgam doesn't hesitate.
"The friends and community here. The school has been my family when things have been tough. I will have some great memories. "