Interpreting in conflict zones has garnered significant attention in the mainstream media in recent years, in large measure due to the plight of interpreters left behind after military forces withdraw. At InterpretAmerica, we have sought to shine a light on interpreters working in conflict zones, as have others in the field.
A recent post by Nataly Kelly on the New York Times blog “At War” vividly illustrates just how serious their plight is. The non-profit organization Red T and its dedicated group of volunteers are doing great work to protect translators and interpreters in conflict zones, while international organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have been cooperating with the Interpreting Department of the University of Geneva to train interpreters in conflict zones through the innovative InZone program.
The work of these programs is invaluable, yet despite how compelling their stories are, we seldom get the chance to hear directly from the interpreters themselves. This year's InterpretAmerica Summit will change that.
We are proud to announce that the closing keynote speaker for the 4th InterpretAmericaSummit in Reston, Virginia, on June 14-15, 2013, will be conflict zone interpreter and author of the New York Times bestseller In My Father’s Country Saima Wahab. A naturalized US citizen, Saima spent six years as a Pashto-English interpreter in Afghanistan, her native country, becoming one of only a handful of female Pashtun interpreters in the world. During her time in Afghanistan, she interpreted in hospitals for injured civilians, in high-level political and diplomatic meetings, and on patrol with coalition forces in some of the most hostile territory in the country. Saima will share her experiences as an interpreter in Afghanistan.
Register today for the 4th InterpretAmerica Summit!
Can’t wait until June? You can hear an interview with Saima by NPR’s Rachel Martin here or watch Saima on The Daily Show with John Stewart here.
See you at the Summit!