Interpreters: Either Left Behind or Left to Fend for Themselves in a Foreign Land

Have you ever heard of the organization, No One Left Behind (NOLB)?

Not to be confused with the seriously flawed and misunderstood No Child Left Behind Act, NOLB was formed to help Afghan and Iraqi interpreters (also known as “translators”) working for the United States gain their Special Immigration Visas, be relocated to the U.S. and setup properly so that they can actually survive in this foreign land — rather than be forced back into their home countries where they are oftentimes hunted down by the Taliban (or others) for being traitors.

What the founders of NOLB discovered was that these interpreters who risk their lives working for the United States government (and indirectly for our citizens living abroad and on U.S. soil) are promised safety and freedom from the hell they are merely existing within (which is incentive to help).

But the vast majority of times they are either left behind after our troops are pulled out (which leaves the interpreter and their family targets of the terrorists our country is fighting) or the interpreter is brought to the US only with the clothes on their back and whatever they can fit into one suitcase. They land in the U.S. and before they know it they are left with little to no resources and no backup plan.

Our country is the land of backup plans. But you have to have a fair shot at opportunity, and you must have hustle.

Please don’t confuse this post to be an attack on my beloved country, our government, or our dedicated military. This post is to highlight a human issue that has unpredictable consequences, all of which the majority of our nation is clueless about, but needs to be made aware of so we can play a role in improving the situation—standing what we’re for and not merely screaming about what we’re against. Even if you only do it for self-preservation and/or peace of mind, doing something is better than doing nothing.

If you need help wrapping your mind around all of this, let me shed some light….

Could you imagine risking your life and the lives of your family and friends to serve the government who has come to your country to fight “terrorism and injustice”. Every day you serve this foreign government, you are seen as a betrayer to those who are either in power or causing the most havoc in your country.

Would you risk everything for freedom, dignity, and a chance at a better life?

Could you imagine uprooting your family with only one suitcase each? Could you leave behind the pictures, keepsakes, family heirlooms, your car, and things you worked hard to earn and get? You’re leaving behind extended family members and friends, to have little to no contact with them once you arrive in the foreign country, because it puts them in even greater risk.

Well consider the shock of coming to the foreign land (in this case, the U.S.) just to be abandoned without a home, no money, no job, and little to no resources. Consider not having an immigration Visa that would ensure your stay and the guarantee of not being deported back to your home country.

Now consider helping this foreign government (risking everything each and every day) just to be told that you and your family can’t be rescued and relocated to the country you served, but rather must remain in your home country and face the consequences of your “traitorous act”. Maybe this other government will make an exception, but maybe not.

Right now there are interpreters waiting in Iraq and Afghanistan (and elsewhere) hoping that their service to the U.S. wasn’t in vain. Hoping that they can be rescued from the hell that they are facing. They served in hopes of ensuring the safety and freedom of their people and Americans abroad and on U.S. soil. They served in hopes of a slice at the great American ‘pie’.

There are numerous interpreters living in the U.S. who are living in extreme poverty, some have been evicted from their U.S. apartments and many are left with only one option….returning to the country they fled and “betrayed”.

Why should people in the countries we enter risk life and limb (and the lives of their loved ones) to help the U.S., just to possibly end off worse than they were before our countries intervention?

Could you uproot your family and take them to another country you have never lived in, and then announce to them weeks, months, or years later that this freedom dream is about to disappear, and that unless a miracle visits your family very soon all of you will have to return to your home country? Where do you return to exactly? You can’t go back to your old home. You can’t get your old job back. You can’t relaunch your old business you were operating before you left.

Could you look into the eyes of your spouse and children and watch their hope fade out of their eyes, and watch it be replaced with a fear greater than what you saw before you fled?

Well this is what’s happening right now.

We have courageous and hopeful people living in absolute fear in their home countries praying for salvation in the way of plane tickets, immigration Visas, opportunity, and a safe home to call their own.

We have courageous and hopeful people now living in the U.S. with limited to no resources, no guidebook, and no way to navigate through a foreign (and much larger) land with foreign rules, laws, customs, and cultures.

NOLB has been working hard to help these interpreters by providing them with three months of rent, fully furnished homes, job placement, and cars. Maybe you can volunteer or make monetary or in-kind donations to assist NOLB with helping these brave individuals with their transition from a life of fear into a life of hope.

Please remember that every war, conflict, mission (both public and secret), and intervention has innocent people and families on both sides. It’s not just our troops risking their lives. It’s not just our families fearful of the outcomes. There are everyday men, women, and children living in those countries risking their lives to help our troops –and to help us. They aren’t soldiers. They are regular people just like you and me.

Don’t they deserve more than a “thanks” and pat on the back? Or a “Welcome to the U.S., here’s a few bucks and a map, we hope you can figure out the rest on your own“. Okay it may not be that harsh, but I’m sure it feels like that to those people who gave up everything for the U.S.

Consider this…how helpful will people continue to be to and for our country if they no longer have hope that the U.S. will help them help themselves to a better life than they currently have?

Would you serve without immediate and substantial benefit to you and your family?

Would you serve if you heard that the other side of the coin may be much worse a fate than your current situation?

To learn more about what interpreters risk helping us visit this link.

To learn more about NOLB and possibly even help with their efforts, please visit.

Sources:
No One Left Behind.
http://www.nooneleft.org

Men’s Journal.
http://www.mensjournal.com/adventure/collection/afghan-interpreters-struggle-to-find-a-home-in-the-u-s-20140625

Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. The Paradigm Life. All Rights Reserved.

A Call to Action for All Men: Part One

By Natasha Foreman Bryant, MBA
 
 I’m fed up so I’m speaking out and I’m calling people forward to join me, and to do their part to change our situation. Every week I will post a Call to Action. Today I share part one of this series.
 
 Today and every day I call for men to stand up and be men in your families and households, communities, and in the communities that are in need of positive male images. I don’t care your color, racial makeup, nationality, religion, or how much money you earn. I just want to start seeing men lead and work to take back our neighborhoods.
 
 I want to see more men investing time in classrooms, in before and after school programs, in local community centers, in churches and religious centers, and in outreach programs. I want to see more men tutoring our youth, and telling them about the struggles of adulthood while encouraging them to accept the challenge with dignity.
 
 I want to see more men teaching young boys what it really takes to be a man, and that it has nothing to do with his age, the money in his pocket, the number of females he can impress and have sex with, the size (or capability) of his sexual organ, how far he can throw a ball, how well he can dribble or shoot one, or how fast he can run. These boys need to learn that making babies doesn’t make them a man, taking care of them and treating their mothers with respect is what separates the men from the deadbeats.
 
 Come on fellas, step up and tell these young brothas about the dope game and how they are setting themselves up to be locked up or stone cold in a grave, and how they are risking their families lives every single day. Tell them about the marijuana and crack possession laws that are slanted to incarcerate and keep them mentally enslaved for years. There is no credible and long-term retirement plan for drug dealers or gang members, and their families.
 
 Tell them why being in a gang doesn’t bring them power or respect, because they don’t own the streets they terrorize, and no one respects a person they fear—they merely tolerate them and hope that God or the government will remove them from their life. The disdain that they feel by the so-called “power structure” is the same disdain their community has for them. Oh and those big, bad guns that they (and others) want to tote around, their usage proves nothing to the rest of us—anyone can pull a trigger. I don’t condone violence, but two pairs of fists make a point better than a bullet, bat, knife, or other weapon. If you can’t put up those fists and take a “chin check”, then you need to stay out of drama and don’t let your mouth write a check your butt can’t cash.
 
 Pulling a trigger, stabbing, kicking or beating a person, stealing from or robbing someone doesn’t make you hard or brave. It makes you weak. It sets you up for a life of failure, incarceration, or a shortened lifespan. Tell them this. Explain this to our boys and young men.
 
 A weapon used for revenge or punishment is a cowards way out. You can’t claim self defense when you go out looking for the person to harm. People are outraged about George Zimmerman, so am I, but I’m also outraged by the countless young Black, Brown, Yellow, and White boys who are killing each other like it’s a video game. The players don’t reset themselves in real life like they do in a video game. In real life once the person dies the game is over.
 
 Even a person being bullied doesn’t really get an “eye for an eye” sort of revenge when they pull out a gun and begin firing. Now one or more people are dead or injured, and the person bullied is heading to jail (if they didn’t turn the gun on themselves or get killed by a third party). I need the men to stand up and explain this to our youth and young adults.
 
 Men I need you to stand up, stand up, stand up, and get to work. Don’t close your eyes or turn your head, get to work. We have a world to save!
 
 ~Natasha Foreman Bryant
 
 
 
 Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.
 
 
 

Trump the Chumps: Part Two

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

Are you ready to pick up where we left off ? Let’s go!

First let me say…OUR President announced late last night that the U.S. has confirmed that they killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan after OUR President gave the okay to engage in combative measures to eliminate Bin Laden and his associates as a threat. So…uh Donald Trump and all of you small-minded morons out there so concerned with OUR President’s birth certificate, maybe now you can see what pressing issues that he found more important to follow up on instead of tracking down his birth certificate from the 60s. Now this is a perfect segue into part two of my post on Trump the Chumps…

I want to see Trump’s transcripts from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Matter of fact I want to see his transcripts from Fordham before he transferred to Wharton. I want to see his academic honors he claims to have earned while attending the New York Military Academy (when he was acting up as a teenager as his parents sent him there to get his attitude problem adjusted). I want to know what gives a person who comes directly from Scottish (mother) and German (father and paternal grandparents) roots the right to question someone’s heritage and citizenship.

I want to know what a person who claims to have an interest in the U.S. economy, jobs, business development, and competing in the global marketplace- and says that OUR President is doing an awful job (the worst of all presidents he claimed) can do anything to turn our country around when in 1991 he filed for corporate bankruptcy (and almost filed for personal bankruptcy); watched banks and bondholders lose hundreds of millions of dollars while he restructured his debt to avoid losing more money in court. What can this man say when in 1992 his Trump Plaza Hotel was forced to file a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy?

Two years later Trump lost the Trump Shuttle, was forced to sell a parcel of his West Side yards to Asian developers without retaining ownership- only allowed to keep his name on the buildings that were built on those yards so a premium could be charged for them. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the breaking point when he became fixated on Asians, more specifically the Chinese as being enemy number one.

I want to know why Trump feels he’s qualified to run this country when in 1998 his Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts were profitless and could barely pay the interest on nearly $3 billion in debt; which kept them from making necessary improvements on the properties. I want to know how he feels he is capable of running our country and reducing our deficit when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought a financial-reporting case against Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc in 2002 alleging that the company had misleading third-quarter 1999 earnings release statements. Then two years later the company announced they were restructuring their debt reducing Donald’s individual ownership from 56 percent to 27 percent, and giving bondholders stock in exchange for surrendering part of the debt.

So who’s company had to file for bankruptcy November 2004? Trump’s. So who relinquished his CEO position but retained his role as Chairman of the Board? The Donald. So after re-emerging as Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings in 2005 and appearing to be on the upswing even with legal issues who then had to file for Chapter 11 again on February 17, 2009 after the “Chairman of the Board” said he would resign from the board four days earlier? Trump Entertainment Resorts.

How is Donald John Trump, Sr. qualified to be the President of the United States? Does he think it’s because he knows how to say, “you’re fired” and he thinks that shows signs of a strong leader? Maybe it’s because while he was a student at the New York Military Academy he was the captain of the baseball team in 1964 and received the Coach’s Award that same year. Or maybe it was because his senior year there he was promoted to the Cadet Captain-S4 (Cadet Battalion Logistics Officer). For those of you who don’t know what this title means- The Donald was “responsible for the maintenance, security, record keeping, issue, and turn-in of all U.S. government property (except ordinance).” That is definitely grounds to claim a stake at the presidency isn’t it?

His attack on OPEC and belief that as President he could force them to do what we say and “stop robbing us blind” is supported by what experience exactly? Does he think his real estate career has laid the foundation for dealing with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries?

Maybe Donald thinks he’s better suited for the Presidency since he knows the viewpoints from all sides since he’s been a supporter of the Reform Party, Republican Party, and the Democratic Party. Donald needs to choose a party first, commit to it, and I would suggest having had experience voting in primary elections- since according to an April 23rd report by New York-based TV station NY1 (and confirmed by a city board spokeswoman) Donald hasn’t voted in a primary election in New York City for 21 years.

I want to see Donald’s tax returns for the past four years. I want to see his academic achievements highlighted for verification. I want to see the report his “people” gave him when their intel said that OUR President’s birth certificate did not exist and then eluded that it was because he was Kenyan born.

I mean seriously, Donald’s foreign policy concept is imperialistic and pimpish. I thought our country is pushing an anti-bullying movement with our children- but we’re still saying, “do as I say not as I do”. He told CNN last week that we should have told the Arab League that we would go into Libya and take Gaddafi out of office for $5 billion and then we could go in there and get their oil. He then also found a way to attack China and place some blame their way because they haven’t sent their military troops to Libya.

Yes, China’s cleaning our clock economically and academically- how is that their fault that we got caught slipping on innovation and education? Donald why don’t you invest in our schools, bring in more textbooks and supplies, fund before-and-after school programs (in underserved and underrepresented cities) that offer tutoring as early as 6am and as late as 7pm during the week, and weekend programs open from 8am to 6pm?

I would also say this- the man who is so concerned about our economy, jobs, and competing with China whom he calls our country’s “enemy” should take the $100 million he offered to donate to the White House for a stinking ballroom and instead inject that into our economy for a booster shot and job creation. If he’s so concerned about jobs and says OUR President is incompetent at creating jobs, then The Donald should start hiring U.S. citizens in all of his companies, and since he has the money supposedly, why doesn’t he open more businesses to answer the supply and demand needs which will help to trigger positive consumerism trends in those states?

Let’s be real shall we…Donald Trump is the epitome of the capitalist that people detest- he is all about money and how he can acquire more only for himself, and not concerned with job creation except to help him achieve and maintain his financial wealth. I want to know as he’s attacking OUR President about our country not having enough U.S. based companies and U.S. made products, how many of his employees in Dubai, Turkey, South Korea, Canada, Scotland, and Canouan Island are U.S. citizens? How much of the generated revenues from these locations are being re-distributed back into the U.S. economy? I want to know what U.S. products he is helping to produce that are being exported to other nations to help boost our economy and help to pay down our staggering debt?

Let me say in closing that I see that Donald’s son Eric has a foundation- The Eric Trump Foundation for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital- but where’s Donald’s foundation? I researched and discovered on Trump’s website that “The Trump Family is proud to participate in and provide support for…” The Eric Trump Foundation, Girl Up United Nations Foundation, New York City Police Foundation, Operation Smile, and The Police Athletic League (PAL)…I will let you reflect on that for a moment and not to diminish the contributions made by and to these great organizations but just ask yourself where the support of education and job creation is present by the Trump conglomerate!

Then I want you to think about this…OUR so-called “incompetent” President has done something no other President before him has been able to do and that was whoop up on, defeat, and bring back the body of Osama Bin Laden snatching that magnet of fear out of the world. You may be able to huff and puff, and fire a bunch of people Donald, and Sarah Palin may be able to hunt deer and elk in Alaska but NONE of you fools have what it takes to deal with ordering the elimination of Bin Laden while being under attack from hate mongers who question your patriotism, nationality, citizenship, loyalty, and religion every single day; while also trying to bring up the spirits of the country, rebuild our schools, produce jobs for the unemployed and underemployed, and deal with back-to-back crisis situations affecting our country domestically and abroad- while raising a family and trying to be a loving and attentive spouse. Let’s not discuss your family lives and careers!

To my readers let me say…you know that I await your feedback!

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

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>The Real Question Concerning Ethiopia

>Today I read an article by Alemayehu G. Mariam who discussed democracy in Ethiopia and whether Ethiopians truly want a democratic society, know what that means to them and their future, and whether the western world is proactive in enforcing human rights while building dignity- or if it is all lip service. I have included excerpts from Mariam’s article below. I only have one word to describe it…DEEP!

Mariam wrote, “I am advised to accept the fact that US human rights rhetoric is primarily intended for international media consumption and to give moral support to the few human rights-minded Ethiopian elites while avoiding the scathing criticisms of the international human rights community for US inaction and hypocrisy. ‘That is realpolitik for you,’ said one of my erudite colleagues jokingly. ‘The US would rather blather about human rights violations to the African masses in the morning only to sit down for a seven-course meal with Africa’s murderers and butchers in the afternoon.'”

“…American policy makers should not be dismissive of ordinary Ethiopians. They should not misinterpret their silence for consent to be brutalised by dictatorship, ” wrote Mariam.

“…It has been argued and anonymously reported in the media that ‘Western diplomats’ in Addis Ababa believe that forceful US action on human rights could create ‘instability’ in the country….But the whole US ‘stability’ subterfuge to do nothing, absolutely nothing, about gross human rights violations in Ethiopia is eerily reminiscent of a shameful period in American history. The principal argument against the abolition of slavery in the US, the ultimate denial of human rights, was ‘stability.'”
                                                                             
Mariam’s correlation between what is and has been taking place in Ethiopia compared to the period of slavery (and post-Civil War) is poignant. 

So what are your thoughts? Read the entire article yourself and let me know.   http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/66294

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman

Source: 
Do Ethiopians really need human rights?
Steel vices, clenched fists and closing walls (Part II)
Alemayehu G. Mariam
2010-07-29, Issue 492
http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/66294