From the time Haroon Monis was two-years-old, his parents worked to get him and his 10 brothers and sisters smuggled from Afghanistan into Pakistan, and ultimately–legally–into the United States. Monis' published biography, Journey into Paradise from the Hell of Afghanistan, chronicles his family's decade-long struggle to escape the terror and instability of his native country.
His family landed in San Antonio, and Monis attended Rudder Middle School and graduated from Clark High School in 1995. The multi-lingual aspiring teacher went on to the University of Texas at Austin where he earned degrees in French and English. He currently teaches sixth grade English at Rawlinson Middle School, where he tells students the most important thing a person can do is make his voice heard by voting.
In 2004, Monis became a U.S. citizen.