What will happen to the Iraqi Interpreters?

November 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

Dear Colleagues,

The other night I was watching a TV show about the end of Bin Laden, and they mentioned that a member of the team that got him at his compound in Pakistan was an interpreter. I have had the fortune and privilege to work with military interpreters, get to know them, and admire their courage and skill. They perform the work that we all perform, but they do it under adverse circumstances (choppers flying over their heads, shots being fired, wounded people crying for help, etc.) All of it as they try to interpret and carry a weapon at the same time.

I also read that now that the United States is pulling out of Iraq, the government will leave behind hundreds of interpreters. These interpreters will be vulnerable and in great danger. Originally the American authorities had considered bringing them to the U.S. on H-1b visas or national interest waivers, but now the government decided against it. With the demand for good Arabic and other middle- eastern languages interpreters in the United States, do you think that it may be a good idea to bring some of these professionals, who have helped us for many years, to continue to interpret in the United States?

§ One Response to What will happen to the Iraqi Interpreters?

  • Janeth says:

    Absolutely, the US government should help and protect all interpreters who helped it accomplish such an important task!
    All interpreters who worked in Iraq to help the USA should be granted the option and/or privilege of coming to the USA if they want to; in fact, this should have been made part of any written or verbal agreement the interpreters signed!
    Interpreting is a very challenging profession as it is, and working as an interpreter in a war zone, risking one’s life, should be enough to prompt countries to offer protection and support to the interpreters who risk their lives!

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