Shant Kenderian

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Shant, a high school senior, returns to Iraq, the land of his birth, to visit his father and other family members. He is conscripted into the Iraqi military when Saddam Hussein launches war against neighboring Iran in 1980. He remains in the country and is forced to join the military once again when Iraq invades Kuwait, where he becomes a POW, held by the Americans.

Shant Kenderian received his undergraduate degree in engineering in Baghdad. He later completed a Ph.D. in the United States, where he joined a NASA team in the aftermath of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to investigate the cause of the disaster and make improvements. He is a happily married to Ani (nee Manjikian) and a father. On September 8, 2002, he became an American citizen.

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