Author Topic: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada  (Read 65391 times)

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jollyjacktar

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #75 on: March 27, 2012, 17:58:29 »
I just received an email from my head Terp.  He tells me he has arrived and settled out west with his family.  I am so very friggin pleased to see him safe here and knowing that we have done right by him and his wife.   :nod:

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #76 on: March 27, 2012, 18:06:47 »
sweet
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jollyjacktar

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #77 on: March 27, 2012, 18:09:23 »
Yes it is, so very sweet to hear this.

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More being allowed into Canada
« Reply #78 on: April 20, 2012, 21:48:28 »
Quote
Dozens of interpreters who served as Canada's voice during the war in Kandahar, but then met silence when they tried to immigrate here, are now being allowed in.

Over 500 people applied under a special program set up in 2009 by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to recognize "Afghans who face extraordinary personal risk as a result of their work in support of Canada's mission in Kandahar."

But two thirds of those who applied were turned away by the time the program closed last September, because the government said they didn't meet the qualifications.

Now, the government is easing the rules, saying they were too restrictive ....
The Canadian Press, 20 Apr 12
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One interpreter's update in Canada ....
« Reply #79 on: June 05, 2012, 07:07:13 »
.... from CBC
Quote
A former Afghan interpreter for the Canadian Forces now living in Ottawa has re-established contact with soldiers he helped during the war in Afghanistan.

Mohammad Rahman was no usual interpreter, according to soldiers who worked alongside him. Rahman carried a gun and medical emergency kit and was able to tie a tourniquet and administer an IV.

He can also speak five languages — Dari, Pashto, Urdu, Arabic and English — which made him indispensable to Canadian soldiers.

Four years ago, Rahman saved the life of Maj. Mark Campbell when the pair were caught in a firefight with the Taliban in Kandahar province's Panjwaii district .

"He was my personal bodyguard," Campbell said of Rahman. "He was the only interpreter allowed to carry a weapon and that’s because he was an Afghan National Army senior medic. He brought all those medical skills that came into play to some degree the day I was hurt."

Campbell suffered serious injuries, losing both legs in the field of battle. Rahman worked hard to save the man’s life.

"I put for him tourniquets and also I give him IV before the battle group medic was coming to help me. Very bad place for me in my life," Rahman said of that day.

Rahman — or Froggy as he became known because of his throaty, croaky voice — was the head interpreter for nine different Canadian commanding officers.

Maj. Steve Nolan was another of them, forging a bond while working in 2008 and 2009.

"It took many cups of tea and many meals," Nolan said, recalling how Rahman helped him, just as he had helped Campbell, mentor hundreds of men in the Afghan battalion.

"He not only knew the culture and the language, he knew all of the people in that brigade." ....
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jollyjacktar

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #80 on: June 06, 2012, 07:05:33 »
That's awesome for Froggy and Maj.  Campbell.  I'm sure they are both as delighted to re-establish contact now that Froggy's safe as I was with my head Terp, AJ.  At least and last we've done right by some of these men.

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Jobs for Afghan Interpreters
« Reply #81 on: June 23, 2012, 17:09:47 »
Hello All,

One of my interpreters from my last tour just immigrated to Canada and is interested in a job translating (Daari and Pashto) for the CF in or out of Canada. Does anyone have any idea of any opportunities for guys like him? Thanks,

LCJ

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Re: Jobs for Afghan Interpreters
« Reply #82 on: June 23, 2012, 20:10:47 »
I know this isn't much help, but I wanted to say it anyway.

Most of the Terps, we had over there, should be employed teaching our university kids how to speak English.

Thanks for the venue.  :salute:

On a serious note, I had an Afghan gentleman, that immigrated here, start as a volunteer at an Immigrant Help Centre. He was then in my office for awhile on a work program and ended up with a job working for the Ontario gov't.

Little steps, a solid work ethic, a willingness to help always and volunteer work is what got him noticed and hired.
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Re: Jobs for Afghan Interpreters
« Reply #83 on: June 23, 2012, 20:53:28 »
Great topic, one of my Interpreters just arrived in T.O. I'd love to be able to steer him towards a starter job, so that he can begin to enjoy the dream! Great kid, left his entire family back in Kabul to come over here for a chance at a better life. Decorated by the Yanks as well for valour.

jollyjacktar

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #84 on: July 30, 2012, 18:24:33 »
Another has made it safely to Canada!!!   :)

Quote
Afghan interpreter arrives in Canada
Published on Sunday July 29, 2012  Paul Watson  Staff reporter

The agonizing years of worrying that the Taliban would get him before he could get to Canada are over.  Sayed Shah Sharifi, a former combat interpreter for Canadian forces in Kandahar, arrived in Toronto from Afghanistan Sunday, ending a more than two-year fight to reach safety in Canada.

Philip Hunter, who worked closely with Sharifi, 24, as a combat medic, drove down from Ottawa with his wife, Oana, to welcome his comrade to the new home Sharifi often doubted he would live to see.  “Good to see you, buddy!” said Hunter, relieved but teary-eyed after waiting more than two hours in the reception area of Pearson airport’s Terminal 1, wondering if Sharifi had hit yet another snag.  “You made it!” Hunter beamed, shaking his head in disbelief after hugging Sharifi tight. “We’re brothers from different mothers.”  “Thanks a lot — to everybody,” Sharifi replied. “You really did a lot for me.”

In the end, after all the incessant danger and fear of life in a war zone, the hardest part for Sharifi was saying goodbye to his parents and siblings, who must now survive without him.  More: Afghan interpreters to get second chance to come to Canada  “They said, ‘You are leaving us alone,’ ” he said, as airline travellers pushed their way past. “I told them, ‘It is for my safety to go there. Some day, I will come back and see you guys.’ ”

Sharifi was also met by a representative of COSTI Immigrant Services, a settlement agency that helps some 42,000 clients, speaking 60 different languages, in the Greater Toronto Area each year.  The agency’s financial backers include the federal and provincial governments, the City of Toronto, the United Way and the Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund.  While he gets his bearings, Sharifi will live at a COSTI reception centre in Toronto, where he will get help finding a more permanent home.  Sharifi is also eager to find a job, and go back to school. He’s thinking about getting a degree in political science.

After Hunter was redeployed to Canada, he tried to stay in touch with Sharifi by email. When he suddenly lost contact, Hunter feared the worst. 
And then he saw his old friend, as courageous as ever, standing up for himself and other rejected interpreters on the front page of the Toronto Star last summer. And Hunter immediately rallied to join the fight.  He knew well what might happen if Sharifi didn’t win this one.

In the summer of 2008, not long before Hunter was stationed on one of the toughest battlegrounds, an Afghan interpreter from the frontline base disappeared after going on home leave.  When his corpse was found by the roadside, it seemed the Taliban had stopped the young man, searched him and discovered a Canadian military letter of recommendation.  “He was found with their letter affixed to his chest with a knife,” Hunter said.

Sharifi worked as an interpreter for Canadian troops in Kandahar from November 2007 to March 2010.  He applied for a visa under a special program that Immigration Minister Jason Kenney set up to protect Afghans who faced retaliation from Taliban-led insurgents because they worked alongside Canadian troops or officials.  Sharifi had tentative approval last summer, but after complaining in a July 2011 story about long delays, and fears that he would be killed before a visa came through, Sharifi was suddenly rejected.

Kenney defended the decision, insisting a three-member panel, which included a senior Canadian military officer and diplomat in Afghanistan, didn’t find Sharifi’s claims of Taliban death threats credible.  As Hunter and other Canadian soldiers who served with Sharifi quietly lobbied on his behalf, the Defence department also fought a bureaucratic battle for him.  Prime Minister Stephen Harper intervened, forcing Kenney to review scores of Afghans’ applications rejected under the special program.

Under loosened rules, the rejected applicants no longer had to prove they faced extraordinary risk, acknowledging the reality that the Taliban considers any Afghan who has worked with foreigners a collaborator with infidel invaders.  Harper pulled all Canadian combat troops out of Kandahar last fall and the final Canadian civilian, an aid official working under U.S. military protection, left the Taliban heartland this spring. 

Several hundred Canadian troops are in Kabul, the Afghan capital, and northern provinces training Afghan security forces.  The U.S. and its remaining NATO allies still in Afghanistan plan to have their combat forces out by the end of 2014, while Washington is expected to leave behind a small contingent to deal with any remnants of Al Qaeda.  But the main fight against the Taliban and allied insurgents will be left up to the Afghan military and police. The Taliban’s northern Afghan enemies are quietly rearming, laying the foundation for what many fear will be a new, vicious civil war.

As Sharifi packed to leave Kandahar, and his family, NATO reported Thursday that insurgent attacks increased 11 per cent during the past three months, compared to the same period last year.  June saw the most attacks since 2010, when the war sharply escalated under a surge of fresh U.S. combat forces that President Barack Obama hoped would deliver a death blow to the insurgency.

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #85 on: January 21, 2016, 07:51:10 »
Some of the latest ...
Quote
As Canada opens its doors to thousands of Syrian refugees, a young Afghan man who says he risked his life to help Canadians fears he’s been left behind to face a certain death.

Sajad Kazemi says he worked as an interpreter with the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan, but missed the visa process offered to linguists. Now he claims he’s been left behind and hopeless in Kabul, awaiting a certain fate.

“My future is not guaranteed here,” he said. “I know I will get killed here, 100 per cent.”

The 28-year-old recently left his job and spends most of his time hiding indoors, especially after he says masked gunmen tried to kill him on his birthday just two weeks ago. He’s convinced that his days are numbered and is desperate for a chance to reach safety in Canada ...
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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #86 on: January 24, 2016, 17:12:45 »
One more a step closer to making it here ...
Quote
After lots of pain, worry and danger, it appears all James Akam’s dreams are coming true.

The interpreter who risked his life serving with our troops in Afghanistan has been granted permission to come to Canada!

“Pleased to grant visa to James Akan.(sic) Have directed department to move fast on his processing,” Immigration Minister John McCallum tweeted Friday night.

It’s true that Akam, 29, whose birth name is Najibullah Habibi, isn’t here yet. But it’s a stunning piece of good news.

Needless to say, the good news was felt around the world, including in Afghanistan, where Akam’s wife and young son are hiding from the Taliban and ISIS.

And in Germany, where Akam, who served alongside the Royal Canadian Regiment between 2008 and 2011, has for months been stuck in a refugee camp, terrified at the prospect of being sent back to his homeland.

The news was also celebrated in Ottawa, where former corporal Eric Kirkwood has been working behind the scenes to try to save Akam ...
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jollyjacktar

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #87 on: January 24, 2016, 17:28:21 »
Excellent news to read.  I hope that more Terps who want to come here are able to.  As far as I'm concerned, they're earned passage.

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #88 on: January 24, 2016, 19:07:34 »
Excellent news to read.  I hope that more Terps who want to come here are able to.  As far as I'm concerned, they're earned passage.

If you ask me, they should have been allocated the first ten rows on the first "new Canadians" flight to land here.
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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #89 on: January 24, 2016, 19:28:12 »
If you ask me, they should have been allocated the first ten rows on the first "new Canadians" flight to land here.

They didn't have an Alan Kurdi to be on the front page of the news. Press coverage = political attention

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #90 on: January 24, 2016, 19:35:40 »
To my mind they've done more for this country than most Canadians ever will.
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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #91 on: January 24, 2016, 19:44:13 »
If you ask me, they should have been allocated the first ten rows on the first "new Canadians" flight to land here.
It's not like previous governments didn't have a chance to do more - let's see how this government handles them, even though the "official" program's over.
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jollyjacktar

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #92 on: January 24, 2016, 19:45:06 »
If you ask me, they should have been allocated the first ten rows on the first "new Canadians" flight to land here.

Damn skippy.  :nod:

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #93 on: February 18, 2016, 07:53:42 »
I heard that Russia sent its troops to the border of Tajikistan and Afghanistan

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #94 on: February 18, 2016, 09:17:28 »
I heard that Russia sent its troops to the border of Tajikistan and Afghanistan
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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #95 on: March 08, 2016, 06:36:57 »
Tick, tick, tick ...
Quote
Immigration Minister John McCallum has not only said that James Akam — an Afghan interpreter who assisted Canadian troops for three years — can come to Canada, but insisted he was “pleased” to make it happen.

That was Jan. 22 and Akam is still not here.

Time is of the essence as March 8 is the final day marked on the refugee visa that allows the husband and father the right to stay in Germany.

Akam was in a German refugee camp being transferred to an unknown location. He believes authorities are keeping him in a holding area where they can put him on a plane back to Afghanistan — and sure death.

Even though the minister said he could come, it seems red tape has ensured the process is not moving at the same pace as the 29-year-old’s mounting problems.

“Pleased to grant visa to James Akan (sic). Have directed department to move fast on his processing,” McCallum tweeted on Jan. 22 ...
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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #96 on: April 17, 2016, 15:44:12 »
Interpreter James Akam reunites with brother
joe-warmington  By Joe Warmington, Toronto Sun
http://www.torontosun.com/2016/04/16/interpreter-james-akam-reunites-with-brother

James Akam can now check “Enjoy a Molson Canadian” off his patriotic to-do list.

Add that to the Tim Hortons coffee he had after landing at Pearson airport Friday and his phone chat with hockey legend Don Cherry moments later.

The 29-year-old former interpreter who risked his life alongside our troops in his native Afghanistan is getting a handle on this whole Life in Canada thing.

“I definitely feel free,” James said during his first full day in Canada.

We had lunch at a Moxie’s restaurant in Mississauga and reflected on all that’s happened to him since he fled Afghanistan more than a year ago with hopes of building a better life for his family.

Thanks to Canada, he said, “I made it here and now I just have to hope that my application to bring my wife and son from Afghanistan will be processed quickly.”

It needs to be. His wife and five-year-old boy are still hiding from the Taliban.

His brother Nick, also a former interpreter who worked with Canada’s troops in Afghanistan, arrived from Calgary Saturday afternoon. He drove all night from Marathon, Ont., 1,100 km away on the north shore of Lake Superior, to see James for the first time in six years.

The brothers wasted little time before talking about what’s next for James.

“I may be going to Calgary or I may stay in Toronto. We are going to meet with some people on Monday and whatever city has the most job opportunities is where I will likely stay,” James said. “My brother loves Calgary and is doing well there, but I know that there may be more employment here, so we’ll see how it works out. Either way, I’m in Canada and I’m happy about that.”
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jollyjacktar

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #97 on: April 17, 2016, 17:22:14 »
Damn, that's a good news story to read about.  Makes me feel very happy to see.   Too bad you don't see anything about it on the Communist Broadcasting Corporation website. 
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 17:26:26 by jollyjacktar »

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #98 on: April 17, 2016, 17:45:02 »
He'll wait a year for his family, when we can bring in 25,000 Syrians in 3 months to fulfill a political promise, instead of honouring a moral obligation to help someone and their family who helped us.

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Re: Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada
« Reply #99 on: April 17, 2016, 17:57:38 »
He'll wait a year for his family, when we can bring in 25,000 Syrians in 3 months to fulfill a political promise, instead of honouring a moral obligation to help someone and their family who helped us.

Your sentiments are felt by many, here on army.ca and on other forums and media. 

The Liberal agenda here is a total failure.  The 25K that they have brought in already have so overloaded the various support systems in place, that the increase in numbers will prove to be DISASTROUS......But that is for that other thread dedicated to that very topic.
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