The Guardian: Khan’s kitchen: the difficult life of an Afghan interpreter for the British military
Afghan interpreters pay a heavy price for working with the UK armed forces. Riazat Butt meets one of them as he cooks a Ramadan meal.
“I brought two things from Pakistan,” says Khan the Afghan interpreter: “my education and a bit of cooking.” Khan, who works with Isaf, the Nato force in Afghanistan, is bent over a pair of aluminium bowls. One contains chicken, the other potatoes. “I cook every night during Ramadan; the others [the other interpreters] don’t know much about food. Sometimes I help them.”
Khan, who was born and raised in Afghanistan, spent several years in Pakistan. Tonight’s dish is chicken steamed with spuds, cumin, leeks and chillies.
When Khan and the other interpreters go to the bazaar to do their shopping for their iftar meal, which breaks the Ramadan fast each evening, the locals know who they are and what they do. “They think we are the enemy; they call us infidels.”