Translation to Save Your Life: Matt Zeller and Janis Shenwary
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | While political views on US military involvements in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria may vary, one issue is clear: our country has a profound moral debt to local Arabic, Pashto and Deri translators and cultural guides who risked their lives to work for war reporters, relief workers, NGOs, and as embedded support on the battlefield.
Shenwary, an Afghan translator and cultural guide during the war against the Taliban, worked with Zeller, a US Marine. During battle one day, Shenwary tackled Zeller to remove him from the path of incoming fire. Zeller is the Founder of No One Left Behind, the service/advocacy organization dedicated to helping Afghan and Iraqi translators who worked--at peril for their lives--with US military, media and relief organisations, and NGOs to gain asylum under the Special Visa program and to help them and their families get settled despite major obstacles in Congress, continued death threats from the Taliban, and intense immigration anxiety in the United States. But No One Left Behind never gives up, and they have changed lives and communities in concrete and lasting ways.