Before coming to The University of Texas at Austin to study government, Ali Rawaf began a controversial political blogging career in Iraq.
In this video, Rawaf talks openly about growing up in Baghdad, what media in Iraq was really like during the Gulf War and under Saddam Hussein's rule and how his classes and professors at UT have helped him understand the development of government in Iraq.
"I didn't plan on becoming a blogger," he says in the video. "One day I just wrote a poem and then I wrote an essay about how I felt about politics in Iraq at the time."
Soon after, a popular political blog invited him to write about elections and the parties he favored, things he said other bloggers only wrote about anonymously.