Some hope for Afghanistan and Iraq’s imperiled interpreters
A few weeks ago, we posted about the US government’s decision to no longer offer employment or protection to Iraqi interpreters who had worked for the armed forces stationed there, and how these interpreters now found themselves fearing for their lives.
Fortunately, there’s some consolation and even hope. Interpreter Janis Shinwari, who saved American troops during his time working as an interpreter, was granted US citizenship. Now, he and his family can make a new life in the United States, safe from the threats they would have faced in Afghanistan, a country where interpreters who help the US army also risk their lives.
Not only does this give some hope for the many Iraqi interpreters who are currently in danger; Shinwari and his close friend, US soldier Matt Zeller (whose life was saved by Shinwari), have used money that was donated to Shinwari via a GoFundMe campaign, to set up No One Left Behind. This nonprofit works to bring other interpreters whose lives are in danger, to the US, as well.
Read on to learn more about this admirable and much-needed initiative.
Contact Our Writer – Alysa Salzberg