Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Translator's Tale

I usually don't get very emotional when listening to people's stories. But, the story of Esho Joseph made me cry for a while. Esho worked as a translator for Saddam and other high-ranking officials during the 1980s. He was a target of abuse and harassment by Saddam's security forces during those years. He fled the country in 1991 and moved to the United States in 1992, where he still lives. After the removal of Saddam, Esho took a journey back to Iraq to see his family.

I'm not sure if I cried for his suffering during the time he worked as a translator, or because his story has a happy ending. You could decide for yourself when you listen to the interview and go through the photos from his visit to Iraq.

I became so emotional when I heard him return to his local church in Al-goush, a small town near Mosul. Listening to parts of the mass in Chaldean language made me realize how much I miss my local churches in Basrah and Baghdad.

The interview was broadcast on National Public Radio. Here's a link to the page which has the audio, slideshow and other links related to his story.

On the slideshow, you'll see the photo of this bridge. It's called Dalal's Bridge. Dalal is the center of a popular myth in the Kurdish, Chaldean and Assyrian cultures.
I have tapes of Father Yousif from Baghdad telling us the story in Arabic. I'll translate the story, from two tapes, to English and publish it sometime soon.

On a different subject, please visit Firas's blog and leave him a congratulation message for his job promotion. This guy is so optimistic. He needs to have his own talk show on Iraqi TV. Maybe he could change some people's minds to think positively. If people believe in themselves, they could get what they want.

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