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.

Boko Hiram and Others Are Socio-Political Extremists Conveniently Hijacking Religion

The Nigerian government believes that Boko Hiram will keep their end of the recent cease fire agreement, but many people are skeptical.

This terror group is responsible for murdering more than 5,000 Nigerians at schools, churches, mosques, highways, bus stations, police stations, and at military checkpoints over the past 5 years all because they saw these people as pro-government.

Boko Hiram’s supposed mission is to return Nigeria back to a pre-colonial Muslim state, but by killing and kidnapping people, they have only proven that it is not in the name of Allah that they serve, but only in their own twisted and sadistic self-interest.

It is to gain recognition and possibly riches (from fundraising and looting). But definitely not to bring the overarching message of love, peace, forgiveness, charity, acceptance, and equality mentioned in the Koran. The same Koran that honorably references Jesus Christ numerous times throughout. I state this fact for Christians who don’t know this and continue to spread misinformation about Islam and Muslims.

To take this a step farther, beyond the extremism and violence, I make the statement that this terror group (and others like them) couldn’t genuinely be doing this in the name of Allah is because they freely killed people at mosques, while these people were praying to Allah. They weren’t praying to Satan. They weren’t praying to some pagan image or an animal. They were praying to Allah.

These innocent people died for what exactly?

They were murdered for being pro-government. What does that have to do with religion? Any religion?

So even in one’s ability to admonish this terror group, and others like them, by declaring that they go against the Koran. The most effective point of proving that this group is less concerned about honoring Allah, and more concerned with attacking governments and people (and taking pleasure and credit for it), is the fact that they have killed numerous Muslims–worshippers of Allah– the same Allah that Boko Hiram dishonorably mention as they spew hate and kill at their house of worship.

How could you bring violence to a known place of peace and love? How could Allah ever condone that behavior? If you have ever been inside of a mosque you could never visualize violence taking place there. But it’s happened countless times all around the world.

Boko Hiram aren’t religious extremists. They are socio-political extremists and opportunists masquerading as religious purists, just to have a niche footing in the battle.

You can stir up more fear when you leverage religion.

I bet if you sat them down and had an honest and open dialogue about what they are for, and not just what they think they are against, everyone at the table would be shocked, including them. It’s amazing how a principle initially fought for can be brutally mutilated into something totally different over time. Sometimes a noble argument can morph into a dangerous battle.

How does what you want now the same, similar, or different than what you wanted several years ago when your gang was just a member of one to three people?

Boko Hiram means “Western education is sinful” yet where are their schools or funding proposals for schools that peacefully teach their view on how children should grow and participate not only within their villages, towns, cities, and countries, but in other countries around the world?

Where are their schools where they are teaching love, acceptance, charity, respect for self and others, inclusion, equality, dignity, honor, and healthy pride?

They don’t have any because they are too busy spewing hate, killing people, and kidnapping innocent girls and holding them hostage for six months. They are too busy recruiting and brainwashing vulnerable people to be soldiers in a fight that they are clueless about.

If you want a greater Muslim influence and to see more mosques and schools teaching and practicing the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, then build them. Go home to home, town to town, lovingly teaching the words eloquently written in the Koran.

Maybe western education is sinful. But you don’t kill the sinner, you pray for them and you work to help them help themselves. This is the sin of many religions around the world. We don’t practice what we preach in houses of worship.

Ironically, the military weapons Boko Hiram, ISIL, and other terror groups use are designed from original western thought and first used by western military pioneers. Mass murder is entertainment in our movies and tv shows. We sing about it in songs. We’re fascinated by gangsters and drug lords. But terror groups can’t chastise the western world for creating the monster, and then use the monster for their own twisted benefit. By using western guns to kill people, they are just as guilty as the people they want to persecute.

You can’t be outraged by what someone is doing to you (or you think they are doing) and then you turn around and do the same thing—and 99% of the time not even against the actual people you hold responsible, but the thousands and millions of innocent people who have done absolutely nothing but live their lives.

This behavior is hypocritical. It’s cowardly and anything but honorable.

Western culture is now easily depicted and stereotyped by reality tv shows where women are seen as plastic surgery addicts, human Barbie dolls, whores and gold diggers, and both men and women are shown as self-centered, self-absorbed, obsessed with sex, addicted to drugs and alcohol, money hungry and greedy.

Maybe this is all sinful. But where in any religious text do you read that you have the right to kill these sinners? In all religious texts that I have read, God (by whatever name) has made it clear that it will be His responsibility to deal with the sinners.

So killing in His name is actually an even bigger sin!

Instead of killing why don’t you just teach children and young adults a better, more dignified way of living, that would honor God?

Boko Hiram, ISIL/ISIS, and other terror groups want to be heard, recognized, acknowledged, respected, and desire change. But no one hears, respects, or wants to work with anyone pointing a gun at them, shooting at them, stabbing and disfiguring them, kidnapping them, raping and torturing them, or killing their loved ones.

Without stopping the violence the only thing that will happen is the ultimate death of each member in the terror group.

What did that resolve? What was the learned lesson? What was gained? How did you get more people to read, study, and appreciate the Koran? How did you get more people to embrace and accept Islam? How did you get more people to convert? How did you get more people to be loving, charitable, and forgiving?

It’s not possible with hate in your heart, message, and mission.

This isn’t about God or religion. This is about some pissed off people who took their desire for positive change and allowed it to be contaminated, poisoned, and destroyed. When it’s all over, each member of these hate groups will have to answer to a Higher Power, their Creator, and at that moment it won’t matter what they think someone did to them, the Creator is going to focus on what this terrorist did to innocent men, women, and children— in His name.

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

Latin American Women Aren’t Receiving the Respect and Dignity They Deserve

According to Gallup findings, “Latin Americans were the least likely in the world in 2012 and 2013 to say women in their countries are treated with respect and dignity.

A poll shows that only 35 percent of respondents believed that women in their country were treated with respect and dignity, while 61 percent said “no“, and three percent responded that they didn’t know. Latin American countries have the lowest numbers of all countries.

Although there has been some progress over the years, Gallup states that when it pertains to these polling numbers that, “this low percentage in relation to the rest of the world reflects how gender inequality and violence against women persist throughout Latin America.

To read more and to see the charts and other data, please visit here.

Our world has a long way to go before all humans are treated equally. Information and education helps to stomp out ignorance that breeds hate and all of those negative “ism’s” that plague us, and they help us to come together in healthy dialogue to right our wrongs.

~Natasha

Source:
Gallup. http://www.gallup.com/poll/178427/respect-dignity-women-lacking-latin-america.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_content=morelink&utm_campaign=syndication

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

Kindness and Respect: A Message for All to Read and Share

Please read and share the post Message to Teens: Kindness and Respect is What You Should Expect written by SecretAngel. It’s title and message is directed to teens but truthfully, this message isn’t just for teens, it’s also for adults! Thank you SecretAngel for posting this original content.

Message to Teens: Kindness and Respect is What You Should Expect.

Source: Message to Teens: Kindness and Respect is What You Should Expect. https://secretangelps911.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/message-to-teens-kindness-and-respect-is-what-you-should-expect/

Natasha’s “Revenge” Quote of the Day 12.15.11

“The best revenge is living well. I don’t need to focus my attention and energy on ‘getting even’ with anyone– because I’m already ahead of them. It would require me to turn around, go back, and invest time and resources trying to hurt them. I’d rather carry myself with grace all the way to victory. I don’t need confirmation of my greatness. I don’t need someone to tell me I’m special or brilliant. I don’t need validation. I know who I am, whose child I am, what I’m made of, and what I will and won’t tolerate in my life. I also know that the eternal will stick around while the temporal will eventually fall to the wayside, so I don’t need to hold on to things or people. As my Dad always told me, “you can’t lose what’s rightfully yours”. Everything has its purpose and place in life. So heal and let go of the past. Heal and move forward in your life. Heal and live with dignity. Seek greatness and not revenge in your life so that your remaining days on Earth are well-spent and legacy-defining.”                                        

– Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman.

“Frankie Leg”: A Fun Image of Grandmothers Shedding their Frail Stereotype, or is this Adding to a More Negative One?

 

I’m really not sure what to say about this video, its message, and the impact (if any). I also am not sure what it says overall about the people it will ultimately reflect upon and clump together into one classification. Is this a fun and possibly healthy image of grandmothers and grandfathers shedding and shaking away the frail stereotype normally associated with getting older? Or is this somehow only adding to the negative stereotypes about Black people?

I start thinking of the buffoonery we once used to fight so hard against, and I wonder if we really have gone full-circle and found ourselves smack-dab in the middle of where we once were; if we have grown to accept not only other nationalities laughing and mocking us, but also embracing it as a reality for ourselves–so we too take part in this…we too find it acceptable; so we laugh, dance, smile, shuck and jive, and roll around comfortably in mediocrity.

Are we really in that much pain that we would rather entertain ourselves in this manner than uplift ourselves out of our pit of shame and despair? What message are our children really getting? Where is our dignity? When is enough truly enough? I believe that music and dance is healthy, healing, and cleansing–but does the “Frankie Leg” fall into those categories?

I am still letting all of this soak into my mind (which may be dangerous). But let’s have a healthy conversation about it shall we?

 

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. The Paradigm Life. Paradigm Life. Rights Reserved.
Video provided by YouTube

Natasha L. Foreman Quote of the Day 4.26.11

“…our adversity isn’t an excuse to let life pass us by or a crutch to coast through life doing and expecting the bare minimum, but a reason and motivation to excel and succeed.”

-Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

Speaking to 9th grade girls at the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy on April 15, 2011

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