Junaid Munir takes his FHC education all over the world.


Junaid Munir looks like a typical FHC graduate as he stands comfortably in the auditorium. Neither dressed up or dressed down, he stands on the floor neglecting to use the podium placed on the stage for him. Simply holding the microphone and when that decides to fail, just talking. Like many other FHC grads, he talks about life after graduation– the college he attended, the course he thought he would take versus his actuality, and what it took to get there– and gives advice about life after high school.

A typical FHC graduate who is doing absolutely atypical and amazing things with his life.

“It’s my job; I’m just an American,” Munir said, commenting on his life as a Political and Economical Chief in Algeria.

After graduating from FHC, Munir continued his education through Yale University. It was here that he continued his French education and from there began to learn Arabic. Knowing these two languages as well as Pakistani (his parent’s native language) greatly affected his job placement.

Munir has served all over the world, focusing primarily on the Middle East and Europe. He has been stationed in places such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Georgia, and France while currently being stationed in Algeria.

Working as a Diplomat, it is Munir’s job to help stabilize and promote peace wherever he is stationed.

“My number one job is to promote U.S. interest, and the best way to do that is to create partnerships,” Munir said.

Munir did not acquire this job by chance; it took a major event to push him to serve his country: 9/11.

Munir was in Washington when the planes crashed and after witnessing the effects, he applied for the job. After finding out he was being considered, he went through two years of testing, simulations, background checks.

Then, he was sent off. On his first week of the job, he was met with gunfire. Five people were lost that day.

“That really showed me right up front– this is what we’re up against,” Munir said.

Since then, Munir has worked hard to get people on his side and accomplish whatever goal he is working on, no matter who in America it comes from.

“You have to present it to [an opposing side] like this,” Munir said, talking about how he presents information to other people to help them see the United States opinion on anything, “”we have this goal but this is why it’s also your goal.a�� Doing this makes everything a lot easier.”

Regardless of where the world takes him, Munir’s roots are in Michigan, and he is thankful for that.

“Every time I come home; I always think of how much we have to be grateful for,” Munir said.

He also is amazed at the changes of the building.

“When I was [a student here], the high school was one of the newer ones in Grand Rapids,” Munir said. “Now it’s even more renovated, updated, and advanced.”

As well as the building, he is able to see his perspective change on the teachers here.

“When I was in high school, Ms. Scobell, Mr. McClees, and Mrs. VanHouten were all my teachers, and I’m now the age that they were when they taught me,” Munir said. “So there’s also that generational change, which is interesting. I learned so much from them, and I can look back on what they taught me, which is always fun to do because my FHC teachers played a huge impact on what I ended up doing.”

Regardless of how much the building has changed or how many teachers have come and gone, Munir sees many similarities in the continuing excellence of FHC students.

“FHC students have always been really bright,” Munir said. “I see that that has continued. I was really impressed by the questions [people were asking me] because they touched on such a wide variety of areas from politics to social and ethnic conflict to just questions on how to shape a career. So I think that the FHC students I met today are really talented.”

As Munir continues to travel and dedicate his life to America, he offers advice to students that have dreams similar to his, as well as anyone who plans to take a serious career.

“I think the three most important things are to work hard and do well in a wide variety of subjects,” Munir said, “learn foreign languages, and the third is to stay out of trouble– keep the widest variety of options for your future.”