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Iraqi Interpreter Shares Story

November 12th, 2007 by flanews

Veterans Day has a special meaning for an Iraqi man.  Ahmed worked as an interpreter for American soldiers in Baghdad.  He arrived in Florida last month on a special immigrant visa from the Pentagon.  As Chris Casquejo tells us, Ahmed and his young family never plan to go back to Iraq.

Hear it here: Iraqi Interpreter Shares Story

6 month old Dhia’a will never remember his time in Iraq.  His father Ahmed’s stories, pictures and letters will serve as his only links to his birthplace.  Nicknamed Jimmy by U.S troops, Ahmed worked as an interpreter for the U.S. from the fall of Baghdad until this summer.

“We have to be ready when something bad could happen,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed survived 7 improvised explosive device attacks.  He suffered only minor injuries.  Helping Americans made him a target.

“You can’t even talk to your relative or cousin about your job,” he said. “You never know what’s going to happen to you in the future.”

Ahmed and his wife No’or decided to leave their parents behind.  He doesn’t reveal much about them for fear they’ll be targeted.

With all the things Ahmed had to adjust to coming to America, one of his biggest adjustments might surprise you.

“It’s kind of like heaven,” Ahmed said.  “there are a lot of trees around here.  And I would never see green trees in Baghdad.”

Ahmed hopes to work for the U.S. government as an interpreter, or maybe go to graduate school.  If he returns home, it will be as a visitor.

“I don’t want to go as an Iraqi, but as an American,” he said.

Ahmed will no doubt tell his son about the soldiers serving in Iraq, men and women to whom he’ll be forever indebted.

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