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The Guardian: Khan’s kitchen: the difficult life of an Afghan interpreter for the British military

August 30, 2011

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.

Interpreters at FOB Shawqat Nad 'Ali Afghanistan, the forward operating base of 45 Commando RM, prepare their evening meal ready for sunset when they are allowed to eat under the constrictions of Ramadan. Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Andy Laidlaw, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011

Interpreters at FOB Shawqat Nad 'Ali Afghanistan, the forward operating base of 45 Commando RM, prepare their evening meal ready for sunset when they are allowed to eat under the constrictions of Ramadan. Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Andy Laidlaw, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011

“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.”

Continues at: guardian.co.uk – Khan’s kitchen: the difficult life of an Afghan interpreter for the British military

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Priscilla Dicketts permalink
    August 30, 2011 17:41

    As we seem slowly to be handing over in various parts of the country I hope that our government will do what is right and honourable for the Afghan interpreters who have put their lives, and their families at risk,to help us and their country.

  2. Claudio Alpaca permalink
    August 30, 2011 19:58

    Khans,
    You are not an infidel also if others tinks this.
    You know that the others are talibans and that they extremyse anytinghs.
    hey use Allah, but Allah, that is God, may not be strumentalized.
    Have on You serenity.
    You are for freedom, You defend your country, You love Your country and Your brothers.
    be sure allah is with You, Khan and give no importance to that others said.
    It is important that You are, You love, You make.
    Sincerily Claudio Alpaca

  3. firozan sayed gol permalink
    November 9, 2011 01:32

    I am an experienced linguist in Dari (farsi) and looking for Interpreting and translation job.

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